History of Jeff Barrett leading to ‘Heavenly Records

Stay on OsakaJeff Barrett, the founder for Heavenly Records, might have started this record label in 1990; but he was associated with the music world for nearly a decade before the launch of this prolific music producing record label. It was in 1984, when Jeff Barrett got noticed by Alan McGee of Creation Records. At that time, Jeff Barrett was a club runner or DJ and a record shop employee at Plymouth. At Plymouth, Jeff Barrett was involved in promotion of early endeavours of Creation Bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Loft, Primal Scream and The Pastels. It was in 1985 when he came aboard Creation Records and served as general assistant for 3 years.

It was during this time period when press company Capersville came into existence for Jeff Barrett. Capersville might have a short life period but during that, it promoted Factory Records, several work by Creation Records including My Bloody Valentine and The House of Love. There were several other independent bands that got represented through Capersville including McCarthy and The KLF. Mike Chadwick’s Vital Distribution, then came with an offer of commencing an in- house record label in a collaboration with Jeff Barrett in 1990. This is when Heavenly Records came into materialisation.

Journey of Heavenly Records

DJ Andrew Weatherall, who was later managed by Jeff Barrett, became the producer for the first release of Heavenly Records. It was a 12’’ single done by Sly and Lovechild. This introduction of Heavenly Recordings was then succeeded by endeavours from two separate groups, both making their debut. Saint Etienne of Croydon, who gave the memorable ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ and Flowered Up from North London, that became famous for ‘It’s On’, were the two debut artists which Heavenly Records had introduced. And then, there was no looking back for the record label. ‘Only Love’ emerged as a runaway hit in the underground circuit of clubs, gathering more and more fan following for the record label. ‘Circles’ by East Village was one of the last endeavours by the joint association of Jeff Barrett and Mike Chadwick.

The out of budget promotion for the then unknown Manic Street Preachers, which was touted as the best Rock n Roll, band to have surfaced in the recent times by both Barrett and Chadwick. Manic Street Preachers might have moved on with their two singles agreement with Heavenly Records; but there was much more going on in the scene. On the lines of Manic Street Preachers, Flowered Up also went ahead with London Record. However, it was for just one album. Flowered Up then returned back to Heavenly Recordings with ‘Weekender’. During this time, Martin Kelly entered the scene as manager for Saint Etienne which she continues to do so even now.

Tough times for Heavenly Records

Heavenly RecordsWith artists moving on with other record albums after their introduction from Heavenly Records, there can a time when the new introductions by it during this period failed to make as much impact as before. Moreover, there also came in a cash crunch. This was because of absence of Vital Records in the scenario. However, these conditions did not persist for long enough to put any dent on the future prospects of the record label. Soon in 1992, it signed a two year deal with Columbia Records. This two year period saw release of records by Flowered Up, Espiritu and The Rockingbirds.

By 1995, Heavenly Records got a deal with Deconstruction Records/ BMG. Until then, Martin Kelly has progressed to become a partner in the record label. Beth Orton, Q Tee, Dot Allison, Monkey Mafia, The Hybrids and Espiritu released albums for Heavenly Recordings post 1995 period. The start of the new decade dawned a new era of success for the record label. They also started promoting various products such as Handyortung Vergleich in Germany and random Elektrische Sigaret Review in Holland.

Heavenly Records endeavours post 2000

Entering into joint venture with EMI in 2000, Heavenly Records signed Manchester based bands Doves, Cherry Ghosts, 22-20s, Edwyn Collins along with Ed Harcourt. Doves brought great success to the record label with as many as 4 platinum records on a consecutive basis namely, The Last Broadcast, Some Cities, Lost Souls and Kingdom of Rust in the respective years of 2002, 2005, 2000 and 2009. Some Cities and The Last Broadcast went on to become the first #1 record for the label. The Magic Numbers album signed in 2004 became an out and out hit surpassing all the previous records by Heavenly Records bagging a BRIT Award Nomination for Best British Newcomer in 2006.

In the current decade post 2010, Heavenly Records had several albums released by names like Cherry Ghost, Pete Greenwood, Edwyn Collins, Trevor Moss, Fionn Regan and Hannah – Lou along with America based bands like The Soft Park, The Head and The Heart, Sea of Bees, The Little Ones, James Levy and the Blood Red Rose. In May 2012, eighth album by Saint Etienne was released under the label. Post this, October 2012 saw Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs for releasing their debut single and then by Temples in the month of November. February 2013 got Mark Lenagan and Duke Garwood was announced for a release in May 2013 for Heavenly Records.