XL Recordings Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records
XL is probably the biggest independent record label out there. In fact, it’s so big that it often gets mistaken for a major - unsurprising really, given how bonafide megastars like Adele, Radiohead, M.I.A., Dizzee Rascal and Jack White have all dropped some of their biggest records via the London imprint.
XL take their time with their releases, usually only averaging around half-a-dozen LPs a year. However, when they do drop these things are always worth hearing. You’d be hard-pushed to find a label that balances commercial potential with critical acclaim better than XL. A fair few of their records have topped the charts, including The Prodigy’s ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ and ‘The Fat Of The Land’, The White Stripes’ ‘Elephant’ and all three of Adele’s bajillion-selling full-lengths.
Mind you, when Tim Palmer and Nick Halkes started XL way back in 1989 their primary goal was to release club and rave records. Even as the label’s size has expanded exponentially, they still keep their ear to the ground when it comes to new dance music. These singles and EPs often come in that now-iconic black and silver ‘X’ sleeve, a mark of quality if ever there was one.
Between these two poles we find XL’s indie darlings, cult favourites and one-of-a-kind geniuses. Genre-wise there’s a really wide spread here, with King Krule, Gil Scott-Heron and The Avalanches among those who’ve made their home on XL down the years.