(CBS Seattle) – Aw, they grow up so fast, don’t they?
Twenty-five years ago today, Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman turned a reoccurring fanzine and mix tape collection into an underground, Pacific Northwest record label. After a quarter century of spikes, booms, financial plunges, cooky artwork, and music from all over the globe, Seattle’s independent record label Sub Pop is a household name among record collectors and bands across the planet.
In 1986, the focus of the label was capturing the heavy — sometimes slow, sometimes fast — thrashing, ruckus coming from several bands in the region (Soundgarden, Green River, the Wipers, The U-Men, etc). The first LP released by Sub Pop was a compilation called Sub Pop 100, featuring several bands in the Pacific Northwest as well as art-punk press darlings, Sonic Youth.
Two years later, Sub Pop (with the help of British press) would put Seattle on the map by releasing Mudhoney’s single, “Touch Me, I’m Sick,” followed by Nirvana’s “Love Buzz” towards the end of the year.
Before saying, “the rest is history,” note that Sub Pop was on the brink of collapse a few times (once before royalties from Nirvana’s Nevermind kicked in, and another time in the mid 1990s when there were disagreements between Pavitt and Poneman regarding the direction of the label).
Now as a 25-year-old, Sub Pop has a slough of bands currently prowling the indie circuit: The Shins, Band of Horses, Blitzen Trapper, No Age, Obits, Mudhoney (still), Handsome Furs, Flight of the Conchords, THEESatisfaction, Fleet Foxes, and The Thermals (to name a few).
So from us at CBS Seattle, Happy Birthday Sub Pop!
Check out what Sub Pop has going on for Record Store Day (April 20, 2013) right here.
-Chris Coyle, CBS Seattle
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