1997 proved to be yet another interesting year for 4AD...
To start the year off, the label broke all the catalog numbering rules by issuing a 7" single with the number TAD7000. A CD single from scheer with the idea of it being sold only in Ireland and mail order came out, providing a taste of what to expect on album number two out in '98.
Two of the label's first movie soundtracks came out this year as well - Michael Brook's "Albino Alligator" and the Ivo Watts-Russell compiled "Joyride" (featuring a 99% all-4AD tracklisting).
Spring saw the release of two killer albums on the same day - "Polydistortion" from the Icelandic collective gusGus and "Mirador" from Paula Frazer's Tarnation. It's nice to see 4AD continue releasing Tarnation outside North America as well.
The much anticipated solo outing from ex-Belly Tanaya Donelly gave the label a sparkling Fall offering along with a cryptic yet amazing mini album from Livonia's His Name Is Alive and the formal introduction of 4AD's book line featuring the amazing photography of Tom Baril.
The label celebrated the tenth anniversary of signing the Pixies by releasing a lavishly packaged double CD affair featuring a disc of fave album cuts and a second disc of an intense 1990 concert. Much talked about "GT" versions of the limited Pixies CD box set provided a source of frustration for fans however.
As a nifty pre-Christmas gift, the label reissued on CD for the first time their 1982 compilation "Natures Mortes - Still Lives" with five extra tracks previously only found on early eighties vinyl singles.
More hard to find 12" only promos from gusGus and other bands were issued, causing further rabid collector stress. A couple of 4AD's artists releases were issued by other labels including a "Polyesterday" 12" from gusGus on the Shaken Not Stirred imprint and a single from Lisa Germano featuring remixes of "Lovesick" by Underdog.
Hardcore touring from gusGus and Tanya Donelly wrapped up a year some may have seen as being slow but there was plenty of action behind the scenes with much of the roster in the studio prepping albums for a 1998 release. Kristin Hersh, scheer, Lisa Gerrard, Mojave 3, Lisa Germano and The Breeders were all recording throughout '97. Hersh's "Strance Angels" is out February 2nd while Gerrard's "Duality" is released sometime in March with more stuff to follow at a fast pace.
Ivo has plans for a new project called The Hope Blister and already there are promises of a couple interesting new signings to the label. The new 4AD compilation "Anakin" (TAD8001) out next month should give us insight into what's up for 1998.
Merry Christmas everyone (no file attached) and an advance Happy 18th Birthday to 4AD...
JEFF "all sold out of VAD tapes" KEIBEL TORONTO, ONTARIO CANADA