Sub Pop Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records
Like a few of the great U.S. indie imprints, Sub Pop began life as a zine. After a few years chronicling Washington state’s underground rock scene in the early 80s, Sub Pop head-honcho Bruce Pavitt decided that the right thing to do was to have a go at releasing some records. Little did he know what would lie in store.
Pavitt was one of the first to champion the gnarled, chugging grunge sound that was emerging from Seattle and the surrounding area. It’s safe to say that this paid off for him - to this day, Sub Pop are the label that is most associated with grunge. Mudhoney, Soundgarden and a little band called Nirvana were among the scene’s key groups who called Sub Pop home at points.
Mind you, there is much more to Sub Pop than lanky fringes and grizzled riffage. From the peppy invention of The Shins’ early LPs to the twiddling indie of Foals, Pissed Jeans’ arch hardcore to Tacocat’s zany twee-punk, Sub Pop’s net is cast wide across the rocksphere. They’ve also dipped their toe into the world of hip-hop - clipping. and Shabazz Palaces are the headline acts on this front - and spawned a respected sibling imprint in Hardly Art.