The Island Book of Records Volume I


Edited by Neil Storey

The Island Book of Records Volume I
Hardcover -
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526173768
  • Publish Date: Oct 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Buy Now £85.00

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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-7376-8
    • Pages: 392
    • Price: £85.00
    • Published Date: October 2023


    The Island Book of Records brings the early years of this iconic record label to life.

    A fifteen-year labour of love, the volumes will fully document the analogue era of Island. Offering a comprehensive archive of album cover design and photography, together with the voices of the musicians, designers, photographers, producers, studio engineers and record company personnel that worked on each project, the volumes show in unique depth the workings of the label, covering every LP.

    Featuring material from recent interviews and from media interviews of the time, and each including a comprehensive discography of 45s, the books are lavishly illustrated with gig adverts (very many at venues which no longer exist), concert tickets, flyers, international LP variants, labels, LP and 45 adverts and other ephemera.

    These LP-sized editions are a collector's dream, offering a truly unparalleled resource for those interested in music history and a perfect gift for any music lover.


    One of The Telegraph's best music books of 2023
    Nominated for the 2024 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research

    'It's like entering the record shop of your dreams.'
    David Hepworth, author, podcaster and Radio Times columnist

    'Eyewitness accounts underpin a vault-load of memorabilia across 390 elegant pages where the footnotes are as fascinating as major events in what is an exemplary piece of musical archaeology.'
    Phil Alexander, MOJO

    'I had the pleasure of running Island Records for a decent stretch, but in my time there I never saw such a staggering overview of the early years compiled like this new book! The images, the details, the stories, everything! Rather amazing!'
    Ted Cockle, former head of EMI Records

    'LP-sized and weighing in at 390 pages, it's both an elegant coffee table book and a proper history, with a sizeable amount of written information to complement the fascinating photographs of record covers, artists and other ephemera, including gig adverts, concert tickets and flyers.'
    Peter Mason, Morning Star

    'The details are exhaustive, the images beautiful and wonderfully laid out in an unfussy clear manner that never overpowers the original sleeves.'
    Cally Calloman, Caught by the River

    'This is the anecdote rich inside story of the eventful first decade in the life of the maverick label which carved a distinctive niche within the UK's booming record biz of the 60s' as told by a cast of label employees, photographers, musicians, producers, and the man who started it all, Chris Blackwell.'
    Grahame Bent, Shindig!
    One of Shindig! magazine's Books of the Year 2023


    Preface - Genesis & Revelations
    Escaping Torquemada & Harrow on the Hill - tracing Island founder Chris Blackwell's roots
    Boogie in my Bones via Half Moon Bay - Chris Blackwell's first productions and the first Jamaica-only LPs
    Underneath the Mango Tree - Chris Blackwell and Jamaican music's role in the first James Bond movie, Dr. No
    London Calling, from Rutland Gate Mews to Cambridge Road - the early growth of the label
    Did you ever wonder why all those early 45s were faded at 2'50"? Graeme Goodall on engineering early recordings
    Too Much, Too Young - the Spencer Davis Group's split and the formation of Traffic
    Miles From Nowhere - Traffic's famed Berkshire Cottage
    How's yer arse since the pig bit ya? - Albert Heaton, Island's first super-roadie by Spooky Tooth's drummer
    Going Up, Second Floor - 155 Oxford Street and the creative hub which ushers in the pink (label) revolution
    There are only two Phil Spectors and I'm one of them - Guy Stevens, from the Scene Club to the Sue label and beyond
    North London to the world - the move to the scout hut on Neasden Lane
    Season of the Witch - the formation of Joe Boyd's production company
    Withering Tree - Traffic grinds to a halt
    Prefix and suffix - the most comprehensive listing of all Island and sub-label 45s and EPs from this era.
    El Pea - every Island album issued between 1959/1968 as well as those known and/or scheduled but not released including subsidiary labels (Surprise, Big Shot, Studio One etc)


    Neil Storey has spent almost fifty years at the heart of the music industry. He joined the Island sales force in 1974 before going on to co-run the press office into the mid-1980s. With long experience as an editorial and events consultant, he researched and wrote The Island Book of Posters (edited by Tim Clark) and founded bespoke re-issue label HiddenMasters in 2008.

    The Island Book of Records Volume I

    Edited by Neil Storey

    Hardcover £85.00 / $150.00

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