Stiff Records  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Stiff Records is a record label created in London in 1976 by entrepreneurs Dave Robinson and Andrew Jakeman (aka Jake Riviera), and active until 1985.

Established at the outset of the punk rock boom, Stiff Records signed pub rock acts and marketed them as punk and new wave, including Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Ian Dury. The label's marketing and advertising was often provocative and witty. Stiff billed itself as "The World's Most Flexible Record Label". Other slogans were "We came. We saw. We left.", "If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck", and "When You Kill Time, You Murder Success" (printed on promotional wall clocks). On the label of Stiff's sampler compilation Heroes & Cowards was printed: "In '78 everyone born in '45 will be 33-1/3". A very early Stiff sampler album, A Bunch of Stiff Records, introduced the slogan, "If they're dead, we'll sign them" and "Undertakers to the Industry".

Stiff also produced eccentric but highly effective promotional campaigns, such as the two package tours in 1977 and 1978, Stiffs Live, featuring most of the label's roster of artists performing at alternating times each night; Elvis Costello's "busking outside CBS Records" arrest and the 12 different wallpaper sleeves printed for Ian Dury's second album, Do It Yourself, with associated unscheduled makeovers of unsuspecting record shops.

Barney Bubbles was responsible for much of the graphic art associated with the early Stiff releases.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Stiff Records" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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