Pure Pop For Now People

They Could Have Been Bigger Than EMI 1st Edition (2005)
1st Edition (2005)

They Could Have Been Bigger Than EMI 2nd Edition (2007)
2nd Edition (2007)

A discography of now defunct independent record labels that released vinyl

All this started when the new millennium began.
The idea was to turn my private listings of labels I like and collect to a list of defunct labels that might be interested for others. It was the time before all this internet platforms and fan-sites. Here and now, this 2 issues are not more than "beginnings". But in time there were no other known books you can find all this stuff.
Today I see this both issues with some tears in my eyes, cause over the time thousands of gaps are filled and thousands of labels are added to the following editions.

1st edition (2005)
282 pages, paperback
Over 2.000 labels
New Wave / Punk / Hardcore / Garage / Indie Pop / Avantgarde ....
This edition had no label logos or cover pages

It contains labels worldwide

2nd edition (2007)
567 pages, paperback
Over 4.200 labels
New Wave / Punk / Hardcore / Garage / Indie Pop / Avantgarde ....
Over 2.000 pictures (label-logos, covers)
It contains labels worldwide

Both editions are sold out.

I still have 3 or 4 books each left.
So if there are some fanatics, collectors of 1st issues etc., please contact me. But you have to know that all informations are added to the next releases. This first 2 edition don´t contain labels which aren´t in the 3rd one.

Für Verhaltensgestörte
Historizität und Pop sind eine seltsames Paar: Spinnefeind und dabei eng umschlungen. Da treibt der Pop unablässig hungrig weiter, verleibt sich hier ein Stück Avantgarde ein, schlingt dort ein Stück Subkultur hinunter und behält bei allem Stürmen auf den zukünftigen Moment doch die Vergangenheit fest im Blick. Bis alles mündet in einem zeit- und nicht selten richtungslosen Schwappen zwischen Revolution und Besitzstandswahren. Wo die Welten sich reiben, da ist die Forschung nicht weit. Hier vertreten von einem dokumentarischen Eiferer erster Güte. Joachim Gaertner hat sich in den vergangenen zweieinhalb Jahren die Nächte um die Ohre geschlagen, um ein umfassendes Kompendium über die Veröffentlichungen vergessener INDIE-Label von den späten 70ern bis heute zu erstellen. Will sagen: 282 A4-Seiten nichts als Band- und Plattennamen, Jahreszahlen und Katalognummern, alphabetisch sortiert nach Plattenlabel. Da werden sich linientreue Popisten natürlich die Haare raufen. „Ja ist dem Mann denn noch zu helfen? Wen interessieren denn die ollen Vinyl-Kamellen von Vorvorgestern, wo jeden Tag so viele tolle neue Platten erscheinen, die so viel näher am Klang gewordenen „Jetzt“-Puls liegen, dem Pop schon immer nachspürte?“ Ein Ansatz, der – und da kommen wir jetzt zur Schizophrenie – all jene Musikhörer übersieht, die sich bequem eingerichtet haben im Zelebrieren des „Jetzt“ von gestern, vulgo: die Plattensammler. Die sind womöglich weit weniger an famosen Neuerscheinungen interessiert als vielmehr daran, was eigentlich 1978 die fünfte Veröffentlichung auf dem kleinen Refill Records Label war (die Desperate Bicycles unter anderem Namen, nicht wirklich gut), oder ob (und wenn ja wann) die Firma Sing, Eunuchs! Sing die „You And What Army?“-Compilation-Cassette veröffentlicht hat (weil da ein großartiges frühes „Mountain Goats“-Stück drauf ist), oder ob Finnlands Ikbals Records Anfang der 80er womöglich außer den Terveet Kädet noch anderes veröffentlichten (ja, u.a. zwei großartige Singles von Aavikon Kone Ja Moottori). All diese Fragen beantwortet „Could Have Been Bigger Than EMI“ mit ein wenig Blättern. Was eigentlich schon wieder schade ist, denn mit das Tollste am Plattensammeln war ja immer, dass man mit Wissen prahlen konnte, das gesellschaftlich so vollständig entwertet ist, dass man nie als Besserwisser erschien. Höchstens als verhaltensgestört, aber das ist ja eher schon wieder ein Kompliment.
Gregor Kessler, 20. April 2005 , Textem

Mind-boggling indiependium doorstop
This almighty volume is the very definition of labour of love: an encyclopaedic list of more than 4,200 discographies of nowdefunct independent labels from the UK, the US and beyond. From the likes of humorously named Sub Par (with its Sub Popspoofing logo) and its one release, to indie legends Postcard or Factory, this is a lovingly curated museum celebrating the workers at the coalface of indie. It’s just a shame it’s a little underfunded. Hugely impressive as author Joachim Gaerther’s scholarship of the recent, largely unGoogleable past is, you can’t help but wish for a few more glossy colour illustrations of sleeves or logos, or the odd brief history or anecdote for some of the more major or interesting labels. Still, there’s also something fitting about the form echoing the content; the product of a one-man industry, drawing on community knowledge, put together on a shoestring with blood, sweat and tears. As well as an invaluable tool for the 80s/90s indie or punk fanatic, it’s strangely addictive browsing. Many a happy hour can be spent leafing for the stupidest moniker (Wa-Hey Records? Death By Blowjob Records?) or looking for labels under your own name – I’ll pay good money for anything on Emily’s Shop.
Emily Mackay, Record Collector 2007

With respect to my own lot in life—a writer who loves punk rock—no matter what anybody writes about punk rock, it will never eclipse the music itself. Vinyl is the lifeblood of punk. It’s its monetary, artistic, and psychic currency. Something doesn’t “really exist” in punk if it’s never been released on vinyl. That’s just the facts. The other fact is that some German punks have great databasing, cataloging, and organizational skills. This book, in accompaniment with the Flex! book, are exhaustive, itemized (alphabetically) lists that any punk historian shouldn’t be without. This book is 567 pages of names of labels, graphics from covers, and a list of each piece of vinyl released by every label between 007 Records and Zyzzle Records, along with the release date. If you’re looking for narrative or a critique of the music, look elsewhere. If you’re looking to find out what, say, Rabid Cat Records put out in 1984 and what the matrix number of the record is—or any information on tens of thousands of releases that are scattered far and wide on the internet (if even that)—this is the tome for you. A cross-referencing punk’s delight. Todd Taylor, Razorcake 2007

Oh, damn! What a great concept. This book is a labor of love put together by Joachim Gaertner, who is responsible for the late, great Germany-based Get Happy!! Records. This label released a CD by Crevice, a Texas-based psych/experimental group I performed and recorded with from on and off from 1997 to 2002. I have many fond memories of Crevice and will always have a fondness for Get Happy!! Records…but that’s not the reason I’m posting now. In its second edition, They Could Have Been Bigger Than EMI is a collection of discography info on defunct indie labels that released vinyl. This massive, 567-page book has information on more than four thousand labels, with thousands of images. Want to know all about Stiffwick? Unicorn? Crass Records? Green Fez? Small Wonder Records? It’s all here. For the record–I have NOT read this book yet, but I am totally excited by the idea of it. What an amazing accomplishment! These days Joachim Gaertner runs Pure Pop For Now People, his small vinyl label and mailorder. I’ve not heard any of the groups on his roster except for the great-sounding S/T, but I am sure the others sound equally delicious. I am very happy to see him still at it after all this time and doing it on vinyl to boot! Check the book out, drop him a line at the PPFNP site to get ordering info.
Turntabling blog, July23, 2008