Chiswick was started in 1975 out of a couple of market stalls selling second hand records in London, and inspired by the American independent labels of the 50s and 60s. Not having a host of great blues and soul artists to hand we recorded the British equivalent and not having the budgets available to the major record companies we recorded fast and cheap. Flushed by the relative success of our first record by the Count Bishops, we scoured the bars and clubs of London for more. Pretty soon we had stumbled over Joe Strummer and his 101ers, finally got a record out of Jesse Hector and his Hammersmith Gorillas, but then along came punk and its perfect cousin Power Pop.Read more
As the majors scrambled to get a punk band on board and we narrowly missed signing the Jam, we still put together a descent roster of punk rock and power pop acts, including Radio Stars, the Radiators (From Space), Johnny Moped and a young Jim Kerr-led Johnny & The Self Abusers. Though we avoided the Damned first time out, we eventually signed them for their epic "Machine Gun Etiquette" and their debut hits. We also had a scattering of hits round the world with Rocky Sharpe and the Replays and Sniff 'n' The Tears, whose 'Driver's Seat' became a US Top 20 placing and our biggest record. It was an eclectic enough label, but by the early 80s the charts were dominated by too many men with strange haircuts playing what looked like ironing boards not exactly rock'n'roll. So we moved on from our pop aspirations and sailed quietly into off into the re-issue sunset. But it sure was fun while it lasted.