4AD

4AD

Profile:
The influential 4AD label was started in 1980 by music enthusiasts Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent with financial help from Beggars Banquet, whose record store chain the pair worked for.

Originally calling their label Axis, they released an initial series of four 7" singles before finding out that the name Axis was already being used by another label. Having to quickly come up with a new name, the partners noticed the following bit of typography that their graphic designer had put on a flyer announcing the Axis releases:

1980 FORWARD
1980 FWD
1984 AD
4AD

Kent left 4AD after a year and started another Beggars-affilated label, Situation Two.

Under Ivo Watts-Russell's guidance, drawing influence from other UK indie labels such as Beggars Banquet, Postcard Records and Factory, 4AD quickly established a unique indentity thanks to both the cover designs of Vaughan Oliver/v23 and the label's unique numbering system.

In 1992, 4AD entered a highly publicized Stateside distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records, opening offices in New York headed up by Robin Hurley. Watts-Russell moved to Los Angeles in the mid 90s resulting in the label being largely been run from California for the rest of that decade. Ivo sold 4AD in the late 90s, although his influence remained apparent for years after. In November 1999 it was announced that, following the departure of Hurley as label chief, Beggars Group's chairman Martin Mills had taken the opportunity to relocate its HQ to London and install a new label head, former Beggars head of press Chris Sharp. Sharp was joined by former Mantra Recordings A&R man Ed Horrox.

Sharp was ousted from his role as MD by the Beggars Group management in April 2008. Simon Halliday, ex-Warp Records US, took over as MD. His first move was to "retire" fellow Beggars Group labels Too Pure and Beggars Banquet - key artists on the defunct imprints were transferred onto the new expanded 4AD.

Decoding the unique numbering system…
The alphabetic part indicates the format:

4AD - Mail-order only releases
AXIS - The Axis 7" singles
AD - 7" single
BAD - 12"/CD single and EP (generally up to four songs, although some have more)
CAD - LP
DAD - Double LP
EAD - MP3 download
FAD - Poster edition
GAD - Originally used for a series of re-issues that came out in 1998 under the promotional title "The Perfect Antidote", it has since been used for subsequent reissues, mid-priced reissues & remastered editions
HAD - Used only once, for the UK reissue of Matt Johnson/The The's "Burning Blue Soul"
JAD - Used for three mini-album releases
MAD - Mini-album (generally more than four songs)
PAD - Postcard Set
TAD - Temporary releases (i.e. those that have only one pressing)
VAD - Video
WAD - Postcard Set
XAD - Poster Set or Calendar

The letters CD appended indicate a compact disc, and the letter C appears in between the prefix and the catalog number on a cassette (ie: CAD C 809 for the cassette version of CAD 809). An appended D indicates a double or special limited release, and an R indicates a remix single/EP.

For promo releases and a few other oddities, the alphabetic part is quite often an abbreviation of the band's name, and the numbers are sequential across promos by that band.

As for the numeric portion:
* In 1980, releases were simply numbered sequentially. The AXIS numbers took up 1 through 4 (with AXIS3 being reissued as AD3), and the 4AD numbering took over with 5.
* From 1981 through 1989, the numbers became three digits, with the first digit representing the year and the other two being a sequential number for the year. For example, the first release in 1981 is numbered "101", the twelfth release in 1984 is "412", etc.
* From 1990 to 1999, the numbers became four digits, with the first digit again representing the year. So the first release in 1990 was "0001", the sixth in 1997 was "7006", etc.
* In 2000, the first two digits of the number became "2K", with the other two digits being the usual sequential number.
* From 2001 on, the first digit has been "2", the second has represented the year, and the last two have been sequential. So the first release in 2002 was "2201", the 11th in 2003 was "2311", etc.
* From 2010 on, the first digit has been "3", the second has represented the year, and the least two have been sequential. So it's "3101" for the first release of 2011, and so on.

Labelcode: LC 5807 / LC 05807

Also referred to as:
- 4•A•D
Sublabels
Parent Label:
Contact Info:
UK office:
4AD
17-19 Alma Road
London, SW18 1AA
United Kingdom

4ad@4ad.com

US office:
4AD
625 Broadway, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10012
USA
Sites:
[l634]

Label


Cat#  Artist Title (Format) Label Cat#  Country Year
00Promo Beirut Elephant Gun ( Unit Blue Remix )(File, WAV) Ba Da Bing!, PI Media, 4AD 00Promo US 2010
1AMP The Amps Bragging Party(7", Promo) 4AD 1AMP UK 1995 Sell This Version
2A-62766 The Breeders Title TK(CD, Album, Promo) 4AD, Elektra 2A-62766 US 2002 Sell This Version
4AD707 M|A|R|R|S Pump Up The Volume(CD, Single) 4AD 4AD707 US 1998 Sell This Version
4AD1005 This Mortal Coil Blood(CD, Album) 4AD 4AD1005 US 1998 Sell This Version
4AD 1005-2 This Mortal Coil Blood(CD, Album, RE) 4AD 4AD 1005-2 US 1998 Sell This Version
4AD-2016 The Birthday Party Hits(CD, Comp, RE) 4AD 4AD-2016 US 1998 Sell This Version
4ADCD1 Various Clustered And Clipped(CD, Ltd, Promo) 4AD 4ADCD1 Canada 1998 Sell This Version
4AD M1 Kristin Hersh Murder, Misery And Then Goodnight(CD, Album, Dig) 4AD 4AD M1 UK 1998 Sell This Version
4AD M2 The Hope Blister Underarms (Album) 4AD M2 UK 1999 Sell This Version
4AD M3 Kristin Hersh Selected Videos From Throwing Muses & Kristin Hersh(VHS) 4AD 4AD M3 UK 1999 Sell This Version
4ADUS 2003 Pixies / Cocteau Twins Pixies / Cocteau Twins - Retail Sampler(CD, Comp, Promo, Smplr) 4AD 4ADUS 2003 US 2003 Sell This Version
4GA-0380 Cocteau Twins Heaven Or Las Vegas(LP, Album) Gasa, 4AD 4GA-0380 Spain 1990 Sell This Version
4XPRO-79901 Cocteau Twins 4AD Catalog Sampler(Cass, S/Sided, Promo) Capitol Records 4XPRO-79901 US 1991 Sell This Version
7PRO-79477 Cocteau Twins Carolyn's Fingers(7", Promo) Capitol Records 7PRO-79477 US 1988 Sell This Version
9 E1-60856 Pixies Doolittle(LP, Album, Club) Elektra 9 E1-60856 US 1989 Sell This Version
15CY-5012 M|A|R|R|S Pump Up The Volume(CD, Single) 4AD, 4AD 15CY-5012 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
15CY-8070 Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares Song Of Pilentche(CD, Mini, MiniAlbum) 4AD 15CY-8070 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
15VB-1063 Cocteau Twins = コクトー・ツインズ* Cocteau Twins = コクトー・ツインズ* - Tiny Dynamine = タイニー・ダイナマイン (EP) 15VB-1063 Japan 1986 Sell This Version
18B2-116 Bauhaus In The Flat Field(CD, Album) Beggars Banquet, 4AD 18B2-116 Japan 1989 Sell This Version
23-1 Blonde Redhead Signs Along The Path(7", S/Sided, Promo) 4AD 23-1 US 2007 Sell This Version
25CY-2637 Cocteau Twins Blue Bell Knoll(CD, Album) 4AD 25CY-2637 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
28CY-2395 Bauhaus In The Flat Field(CD, Album) 4AD 28CY-2395 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
28CY-3005 Dead Can Dance The Serpent's Egg(CD, Album) 4AD 28CY-3005 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
28CY-3082 Ultra Vivid Scene Ultra Vivid Scene(CD, Album) 4AD 28CY-3082 Japan 1989 Sell This Version
28VB-1025 This Mortal Coil It'll End In Tears (Album) 28VB-1025 Japan 1985 Sell This Version
30CY-1651 Cocteau Twins Garlands(CD, Album) 4AD 30CY-1651 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1652 Cocteau Twins Head Over Heels / Sunburst And Snowblind(CD, Album, Comp, RE) 4AD 30CY-1652 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1653 This Mortal Coil It'll End In Tears(CD, Album, RE) 4AD 30CY-1653 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1654 Colourbox Colourbox(CD, Album) 4AD 30CY-1654 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1656 Cocteau Twins The Pink Opaque (Comp) 30CY-1656 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1657 The Wolfgang Press Standing Up Straight(CD, Album) 4AD 30CY-1657 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1658 The Wolfgang Press The Legendary Wolfgang Press And Other Tall Stories(CD, Album, Comp) 4AD 30CY-1658 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1659 Clan Of Xymox Clan Of Xymox(CD, Album, RE) 4AD 30CY-1659 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1660 Cocteau Twins Treasure(CD, Album, RE) 4AD 30CY-1660 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1661 Cocteau Twins Victorialand(CD, Album) 4AD 30CY-1661 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1662 Cocteau Twins Tiny Dynamine • Echoes In A Shallow Bay(CD, Comp) 4AD 30CY-1662 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1663 Dif Juz Extractions(CD, Album) 4AD 30CY-1663 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1921 Dead Can Dance Spleen And Ideal(CD, Album) 4AD 30CY-1921 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1922 Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares(CD) 4AD 30CY-1922 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-2225 Various Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares: Volume 2(CD, Album) 4AD 30CY-2225 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
33CY-1571 Harold Budd / Simon Raymonde / Robin Guthrie / Elizabeth Fraser Harold Budd / Simon Raymonde / Robin Guthrie / Elizabeth Fraser - The Moon And The Melodies(CD, Album) 4AD 33CY-1571 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
33CY-1572 This Mortal Coil Filigree & Shadow(CD, Album) 4AD 33CY-1572 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
33CY-1646 Clan Of Xymox Medusa (Album) 33CY-1646 Japan 1986 Sell This Version
33CY-2084 Pieter Nooten, Michael Brook Pieter Nooten, Michael Brook - Sleeps With The Fishes(CD, Album) 4AD 33CY-2084 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
33CY-2085 Various 12 Inch 87 Anthology(CD, Comp) 4AD 33CY-2085 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
44K 73534 Ultra Vivid Scene Special One(CD, Maxi) Columbia 44K 73534 US 1990 Sell This Version
0150-2 Dead Can Dance Best Of(CD, Comp) 4AD 0150-2 Ukraine 2009 Sell This Version
703 Various Lonely Is An Eyesore(LP, Comp) 4AD 703 France 1987 Sell This Version
1999 Gusgus This Is Normal(CD, Album) Everlasting Records (2) 1999 Spain 1999 Sell This Version
2219-2 Colourbox Best Of 82-87(CD, Comp, Album, Enh) 4AD, Sum Records (2) 2219-2 Brazil Unknown Sell This Version
2357-2 The Breeders Title TK(CD, Album) 4AD, Sum Records (2) 2357-2 Brazil 2002 Sell This Version
3174-8 Cocteau Twins Lullabies To Violaine - Volume 2(2xCD, Comp, RM) 4AD, Sum Records (2) 3174-8 South America 2005 Sell This Version
3723 Lush Ex(CD, Promo) 4AD 3723 France 1995 Sell This Version
6409-2 Cocteau Twins Garlands(CD, Album, RE) Roadrunner Records 6409-2 Brazil 2000 Sell This Version
6411-2 Cocteau Twins Tiny Dynamine • Echoes In A Shallow Bay(CD, Comp) 4AD 6411-2 Brazil Unknown Sell This Version
6412-2 Cocteau Twins Treasure(CD, Album, RE) Roadrunner Records, 4AD, Beggars Banquet Music 6412-2 Brazil 1986 Sell This Version
6413-2 Pixies Surfer Rosa & Come On Pilgrim(CD, Comp) 4AD, Sum Records (2) 6413-2 Brazil Unknown Sell This Version
6416-2 Pixies Death To The Pixies(CD, Comp) 4AD, Sum Records (2) 6416-2 Brazil Unknown Sell This Version
6419-2 The Breeders Last Splash(CD, Album) 4AD, Roadrunner Records 6419-2 Brazil Unknown Sell This Version
6420-2 The Breeders Pod(CD, Album) 4AD, Roadrunner Records 6420-2 Brazil Unknown Sell This Version
6421-2 This Mortal Coil Blood(CD, Album, RE) 4AD 6421-2 Brazil 2003 Sell This Version
6422-2 This Mortal Coil Filigree & Shadow(CD, Album) 4AD 6422-2 Brazil Unknown Sell This Version
6423-2 This Mortal Coil It'll End In Tears(CD, Album) 4AD 6423-2 Brazil Unknown Sell This Version
6451-2 Various Club Mix 2000(2xCD, Comp, Mixed) Cold Front, BMG Special Products 6451-2 US 1999 Sell This Version
6463-2 Dead Can Dance A Passage In Time(CD, Comp) 4AD 6463-2 Brazil 1991 Sell This Version
6862-2 Heidi Berry Pomegranate: An Anthology(CD, Comp, Enh) 4AD, Sum Records (2) 6862-2 Brazil 2001 Sell This Version
21048 Dead Can Dance Into The Labyrinth(CD) Lyricon, 4AD 21048 Spain Unknown Sell This Version
21073 Dead Can Dance Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun(CD, Album) 4AD 21073 Spain 1995 Sell This Version
21075 Dead Can Dance Aion(CD, Album) Lyricon 21075 Spain 1995 Sell This Version
21091 Dead Can Dance Spiritchaser(CD, Album) Lyricon, Sonifolk, Beggars Banquet 21091 Spain 1996 Sell This Version
21512 Various ...And Dog Bones, Too(CD, Smplr, Promo, Comp) 4AD 21512 US 1992 Sell This Version
027010 Lush 2 Videos-Tied(VHS, Promo, NTSC) 4AD, Reprise Records 027010 US 1992 Sell This Version
0-29836 Modern English I Melt With You(12", Maxi) Sire, Sire 0-29836 US 1982 Sell This Version
30240 Cocteau Twins Treasure(CD, Album, RE) 4AD 30240 France Unknown Sell This Version
30241 Dead Can Dance Spleen And Ideal(CD) 4AD 30241 France Unknown Sell This Version
30242 This Mortal Coil It'll End In Tears(CD, Album) 4AD 30242 France Unknown Sell This Version
30243 Cocteau Twins Victorialand(CD, Album) 4AD 30243 France 1986 Sell This Version
30244 This Mortal Coil Filigree & Shadow(CD, Album) 4AD 30244 France 1986 Sell This Version
30309 Pixies Surfer Rosa & Come On Pilgrim (Comp) 30309 France 1988 Sell This Version
30347 Lush Scar(CD, MiniAlbum) 4AD 30347 France 1989 Sell This Version
30364 Pixies Velouria(CD, Single) Virgin 30364 France 1990 Sell This Version
30375 Cocteau Twins Iceblink Luck(CD, Single) 4AD 30375 France 1990 Sell This Version
30396 Pixies Dig For Fire(CD, Single) 4AD, Virgin France S.A. 30396 France 1990 Sell This Version
30397 Lush Sweetness And Light(CD, Single) 4AD 30397 France 1990 Sell This Version
30398 Pale Saints Half-Life(CD, Maxi) 4AD 30398 France 1990 Sell This Version
30419 Throwing Muses Counting Backwards(CD, Maxi) 4AD 30419 France 1991 Sell This Version
30456 Pixies Pixies(3xCD, Single + Box, Comp, Num) Labels, 4AD 30456 France 1991 Sell This Version
30457 Pixies Gigantic / River Euphrates(CD, Single) 4AD, Virgin France S.A. 30457 France 1988 Sell This Version
30458 Pixies Monkey Gone To Heaven(CD, Single) 4AD 30458 France 1989 Sell This Version
30459 Pixies Here Comes Your Man(CD) 4AD 30459 France 1989 Sell This Version
30464 The Wolfgang Press Time(CD, Single) 4AD 30464 France 1991 Sell This Version
30633 Cocteau Twins Blue Bell Knoll(CD, Album) 4AD 30633 France 1988 Sell This Version
30659 Dead Can Dance The Serpent's Egg(CD, Album) 4AD 30659 France 1988 Sell This Version
30697 Pixies Doolittle(CD, Album) 4AD 30697 France 1989 Sell This Version
30765 Ultra Vivid Scene Joy 1967-1990(CD, Album) 4AD 30765 France 1990 Sell This Version
30769 The Breeders Pod(CD, Album) 4AD 30769 France 1990 Sell This Version
30771 Dead Can Dance Aion(CD, Album) 4AD 30771 France 1990 Sell This Version
30797 Pixies Bossanova(CD, Album) 4AD 30797 France 1990 Sell This Version
30804 Cocteau Twins Heaven Or Las Vegas(CD, Album) 4AD 30804 France 1990 Sell This Version

Reviews

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lliiiill

lliiiill

November 16, 2013
4AD had a strong impact upon me. Suffice it to say, that significal part (well, best part) of my CD collection are the label's releases. Indeed, 4AD is "the perfect antidote", as one of its fan-sites is called.

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