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Tales Behind The Label: The Lasting Impact Of Fiction Records

Friday I'm In Love by The Cure

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Fiction Records is a British independent record label that has been a significant player in the music industry since its inception in 1978. The label has been responsible for the launch of numerous successful artists, including The Cure, Elbow, and Snow Patrol, among others. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the history and impact of Fiction Records on the music industry.

Fiction Records was founded in 1978 by Chris Parry, a former A&R executive at Polydor Records. The label's first release was "Killing an Arab" by The Cure, which became a hit in the UK and helped to establish the band as one of the most influential and enduring acts in alternative rock. “Killing an Arab” was based on the classic novel "The Stranger" by Albert Camus. The song's lyrics were inspired by the book's opening scene, in which the protagonist kills an Arab on a beach.

Over the next few years, Fiction Records would continue to release albums by The Cure, as well as other artists such as Fad Gadget, The Associates, and Billy Mackenzie. Fiction was also home to a subdivision called ‘Non Fiction Records’ who were responsible for their special edition releases.

The Cure Friday I
The Cure The Love Cats

In 1983, Fiction Records was sold to Polydor Records, which became part of the newly formed PolyGram group the following year. The label continued to release albums by The Cure, and in 1987, the band released their most successful album to date, "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me," which went on to become a platinum-selling record in the United States.

Fiction became dormant in 1995, aside from a small number of The Cure releases. In 2004 the label was relaunched to “give Polydor a bit more of a guitar stronghold.” With signings including Snow Patrol, Elbow and Kaiser Chief, Fiction came back strong. The first release on ‘new’ Fiction was “Run” by Snow Patrol, which reached the top 5 in the UK charts and has appeared in it again multiple times since.

Did you know?

Many of the earlier Fiction record catalogue numbers start with 'FIX' or 'FICS', directly referencing the name of the label.

In 2014, Fiction Records was acquired by Universal Music Group, which is currently the label's parent company. Current Fiction signings include The Amazons, Tame Impala and Self Esteem. Fiction has been responsible for launching many artists careers, including Kate Nash, The Big Moon and Black Honey.

Fiction Logo
Fiction Records Logo

Fiction Records has had a significant impact on the music industry since its inception. The label's early success with The Cure helped to establish the band as one of the most influential acts in alternative and goth rock, and the band's continued success throughout the 1980s and beyond helped to cement Fiction Records' reputation as a label that could develop and nurture successful artists.

In addition to The Cure, Fiction Records has been responsible for launching the careers of numerous other successful artists. Elbow, for example, released their fourth album, "The Seldom Seen Kid," on Fiction Records in 2007. The album received critical acclaim and earned the band a Mercury Music Prize in 2008, helping to establish them as one of the most respected and enduring acts in British music.

The Amazons
The Cure Kiss Me LP

Similarly, Snow Patrol released their breakthrough album, "Final Straw," on Fiction Records in 2003. The album went on to become a commercial and critical success, selling over 3 million copies worldwide and earning the band numerous awards and accolades.

Fiction Records has also played an important role in the development of British music. The label's focus on alternative and indie rock has helped to establish the genre as an important part of the British music scene, and many of the label's artists have gone on to inspire and influence countless other musicians. While The Cure are one of the most significant artists in the development of modern music history, the more recent Fiction story is arguably just as impactful and successful.

We really enjoyed this in depth video look into Fiction legends, The Cure.

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