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 identity 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

See 4AD Ltd. for legal entity.
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
---- The National Demons (CDr, Single, Promo) 4AD ---- Australia 2013 Sell This Version
-- The National Terrible Love(DVDr, DVD-V, Promo) 4AD -- UK & Europe 2010 Sell This Version
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
4AD0001CD Future Islands The Far Field (Album) 4AD0001CD Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0001CDJ Future Islands The Far Field (CD, Album) 4AD, Beat Records 4AD0001CDJ Japan 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0001LP Future Islands The Far Field (Album) 4AD0001LP USA & Canada 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0001LPX Future Islands The Far Field (LP, Ltd, Whi) 4AD, 4AD 4AD0001LPX Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0001MC Future Islands The Far Field(Cass, Album, Cle) 4AD 4AD0001MC US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0002CD Pixx (2) The Age Of Anxiety(CD, Album) 4AD 4AD0002CD UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0002LP Pixx (2) The Age Of Anxiety(LP, Album, Dar) 4AD 4AD0002LP UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0002LPE Pixx (2) The Age Of Anxiety(LP, Album) 4AD 4AD0002LPE UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0006DS Future Islands Ran(File, AAC, Single, 256) 4AD 4AD0006DS UK 2017
4AD0007CD John Moreland Big Bad Luv(CD) 4AD 4AD0007CD UK & US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0007LP John Moreland Big Bad Luv(LP, Album, Gat) 4AD 4AD0007LP US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0008CD Aldous Harding Party(CD, Album) 4AD 4AD0008CD Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0008LP Aldous Harding Party (Album) 4AD0008LP Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0008LPX Aldous Harding Party(LP, Album, Ltd + 7", S/Sided, Single) 4AD 4AD0008LPX Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0009CD Sufjan StevensNico MuhlyBryce DessnerJames McAlister Sufjan StevensNico MuhlyBryce DessnerJames McAlister - Planetarium (Album) 4AD0009CD USA, Canada & Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0009LP Sufjan StevensNico MuhlyBryce DessnerJames McAlister Sufjan StevensNico MuhlyBryce DessnerJames McAlister - Planetarium(2xLP, Album) 4AD 4AD0009LP USA, Canada & Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0019S The National The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness / Guilty Party(7", Single, Ltd, Blu) 4AD 4AD0019S USA & Canada 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0020CD The National Sleep Well Beast (Album) 4AD0020CD Russia 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0020CDJP The National Sleep Well Beast(2xCD, Album) 4AD 4AD0020CDJP Japan 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0020CDT The National Sleep Well Beast(CD, Album, Tar) 4AD 4AD0020CDT US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0020LP The National Sleep Well Beast(2xLP, Album, Ltd, S/Edition, Whi) 4AD 4AD0020LP USA & Canada 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0020LPE The National Sleep Well Beast (Album) 4AD0020LPE USA & Canada 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0022CD Torres (2) Three Futures(CD, Album) 4AD 4AD0022CD UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0022LP Torres (2) Three Futures (Album) 4AD0022LP UK & Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0022LPE2 Torres (2) Three Futures(LP, Album, Club, Ltd, Num, Blu) 4AD 4AD0022LPE2 UK, Europe & US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0033T The Lemon Twigs Brothers Of Destruction(12", EP) 4AD 4AD0033T UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0036S1 The Breeders Wait In The Car(7", Single, Ltd, Ora) 4AD 4AD0036S1 UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0036S3 The Breeders Wait In The Car(7", Single, Ltd, Yel) 4AD 4AD0036S3 UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0038 Daughter (2) Music From Before The Storm(13xFile, ALAC, Album) 4AD 4AD0038 Europe 2017
4AD0038DA Daughter (2) Music From Before The Storm(13xFile, WAV, Album, 24b) 4AD 4AD0038DA Europe 2017
4AD0044SP The National Day I Die (Live from Paris Centquatre - 22 june 2017)(7", S/Sided, Ltd, P/Unofficial, Fle) 4AD 4AD0044SP Belgium 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0055CDP Aldous Harding Live At KEXP(CD) 4AD 4AD0055CDP UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD00445P The National Day I Die(Flexi, 7", Single) 4AD 4AD00445P 2017 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, Comp, 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
4AD MC1 Various Clustered And Clipped(Cass, Comp, Ltd, Promo) 4AD 4AD MC1 Canada 1998 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
4GA-0405 Pixies Bossanova(LP, Album) Grabaciones Accidentales 4GA-0405 Spain 1990 Sell This Version
4JM-44618 Cocteau Twins Iceblink Luck(Cass, Single) Capitol Records 4JM-44618 US 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, RE) 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 = ディス・モータル・コイル* This Mortal Coil = ディス・モータル・コイル* - It'll End In Tears = 涙の終結 (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 (Album) 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
30CY-2568 Pixies Surfer Rosa & Come On Pilgrim(CD, Comp) 4AD, 4AD 30CY-2568 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-1647 Throwing Muses Throwing Muses(CD, Album) 4AD 33CY-1647 Japan 1986 Sell This Version
33CY-1758 Dead Can Dance Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun(CD, Album) 4AD, 4AD 33CY-1758 Japan 1987 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
1223 Dead Can Dance Spleen And Ideal(Cass, Album, Unofficial) M Records (14) 1223 Yugoslavia 1995 Sell This Version
1999 Gusgus This Is Normal(CD, Album) Everlasting Records (2) 1999 Spain 1999 Sell This Version
2013-CA-90065 Inc. (2) Black Wings(CDr, Single, Promo) 4AD 2013-CA-90065 UK 2013 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
2270-2 Tanya Donelly Beautysleep(CD, Album) 4AD 2270-2 Brazil 2002 Sell This Version
2307-2 Thievery Corporation Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi(CD, Album) Sum Records (2), 4AD 2307-2 Brazil 2002 Sell This Version
2357-2 The Breeders Title TK(CD, Album) 4AD, Sum Records (2) 2357-2 Brazil 2002 Sell This Version
2503-2 His Name Is Alive Last Night(CD, Album, Dig) 4AD, Sum Records (2) 2503-2 Brazil Unknown Sell This Version
2541-2 Belly Sweet Ride | The Best Of Belly(CD, Comp) 4AD, Sum Records (2) 2541-2 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

Reviews Show All 2 Reviews

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GraniteConsulting

GraniteConsulting

September 1, 2017
I am a big fan of 4AD brand collections I listen their all collections.
alexlad

alexlad

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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