LETTER FROM IVO WATTS-RUSSELL

All I’d really like to do is give a big hug and say thank you. I can still recite, in order, the titles and catalogue numbers, from the first 10 years of 4AD, as fast as I can think. I do get blurry around Doolittle! After that, Chris Staley took over manufacturing from me. It’s got me thinking about the importance of being involved 100%, across the board. I’m not promoting the sometimes accurate cliché that if you want a job done properly you should do it yourself, but I am making the connection between being informed from post to wire.

 

 

I really think there’s an unmatchable experience, that stretches from the auditioning/signing of an artist all the way through recording, mastering, promotion, licensing etc. to the actual manufacturing, that cannot be fully absorbed by individuals only doing one of those jobs. I also think it was when the job was most enjoyable for me personally… and of course it didn’t hurt when multi-tasking mavericks such as Nigel Grierson and Vaughan Oliver, Deborah Edgley and Colin Wallace, Rob Deacon and Chris Bigg slowly came on board… perhaps 4AD was, briefly, more a “refuge” than a “factory”.

Anyway... my point here is to explain that I couldn’t quote accurately one catalogue number beyond 1989 and, whenever I’ve needed to do so, I’ve always turned to 4AD The First Twenty Years, for accuracy. It, frankly, was the only reliable reference for [Facing The Other Way author] Martin Aston whilst working on his 4AD book. As most realise... “all memory is fiction and we are each the hero of our own story”.

Ivo Watts-Russell
July 2017

DEDICATION “To the memory and music of Caroline Crawley and Steve Young”—Ivo

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