Top 13 Record Labels

Today’s 13 list is a list of my top 13 favorite record labels.  They are listed in chronological order by year the label was established and includes info such as who founded the label and some of the great artists that were on or are on that label. 



1. Motown
Year established: 1959
Founder(s): Barry Gordy
List of artists: Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Miracles, The Temptations, The Contours, the Commodores, Rick James







2. SST
Year established: 1978
Founder(s): Greg Ginn
List of artists: Black Flag, Meat Puppets, Dinosaur Jr., Descendents, Minutemen, Husker Du, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, Firehose, Bad Brains



3. 4AD
Year established: 1979
Founder(s): Ivo Watts-Russell & Peter Kent
List of artists: Pixies, The Breeders, Belly, Bauhaus, The The

4. Epitaph
Year established: 1980
Founder(s): Brett Gurewitz
List of artists: Bad Religion, Alkaline Trio, Pennywise, Weezer, ALL, Descendents, Guttermouth, NOFX, The Offspring, Rancid, The Bouncing Souls






5. Dischord
Year established: 1980
Founder(s): Ian MacKaye & Jeff Nelson
List of artists: Minor Threat, Fugazi, Dag Nasty, Embrace, Nation of Ulysses, Rites of Spring, Shudder to Think, State of Alert, Teen Idles




6. Touch & Go
Year established: 1981
Founder(s): Tesco Vee, Dave Stimson, & Corey Rusk
List of artists: big Black, Butthole Surfers, Girls Against Boys, Jesus Lizard, Man or Astro-Man, Naked Raygun, The Rollins Band, Shellac, Yeah Yeah Yeahs




7. Def American / Def Jam
Year established: 1983
Founder(s): Rick Rubin
List of artists: Frank Black, Johnny Cash, Beastie Boys, Flipper, Danzig, MC 900 Foot Jesus, Love and Rockets, Skinny Puppy, Slayer






8. Sub Pop
Year established: 1986
Founder(s): Bruce Pavitt & Jonathan Poneman
List of artists: Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, The Shins, Afghan Wigs, L7, Built to Spill, Reverend Horton Heat, Sonic Youth, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fastbacks, Green River




9. Lookout!
Year established: 1987
Founder(s): Larry Livermore
List of artists: Screeching Weasel, Green Day, Avail, Born Against, Bratmobile, Crimpshrine, The Donnas, Filth, Operation Ivy, The Queers, Samiam, Riverdales, Sludgeworth, Tilt




10. Fat Wreck Chords
Year established: 1990
Founder(s): Michael Burkett
List of artists: Descendents, Screeching Weasel, Dead To Me, NOFX, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Swingin Utters, Face to Face, MxPx, No Use For a Name, Tilt





11. Tooth & Nail / Solid State
Year established: 1992
Founder(s): Brandon Ebel
List of artists: Emery, MxPx, Underoath, Anberlin, Dogwood, Fighting Jacks, Further Seems Forever, The Huntingtons, Stavesacre, Demon Hunter, Living Sacrifice, Norma Jean, Haste the Day, Dead Poetic






12. SideOneDummy
Year established: 1995
Founder(s): Joe Sib & Bill Armstrong
List of artists: 7 Seconds, Chuck Ragan, The Black Pacific, Flogging Molly, MxPx







13. Asian Man
Year established: 1996
Founder(s): Mike Park
List of artists: Andrew Jackson Jihad, Duvall, The Queers, Screeching Weasel, Riverdales, Smoking Popes

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8 thoughts on “Top 13 Record Labels

  1. Excellent list! When we were talking about labels last night, I had thought of 4AD but completely forgot Motwon (what a crime on my part!). Stacks Records was also a great early label. Didn't Sun Studios also have a record label?

  2. Excellent list! When we were talking about labels last night, I had thought of 4AD but completely forgot Motwon (what a crime on my part!). Stacks Records was also a great early label. Didn't Sun Studios also have a record label?

  3. Excellent list! When we were talking about labels last night, I had thought of 4AD but completely forgot Motwon (what a crime on my part!). Stacks Records was also a great early label. Didn't Sun Studios also have a record label?

  4. Excellent list! When we were talking about labels last night, I had thought of 4AD but completely forgot Motwon (what a crime on my part!). Stacks Records was also a great early label. Didn't Sun Studios also have a record label?

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