4AD

4AD

Profile:
The influential 4AD label was started in 1980 by music enthusiasts Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent with financial help from Beggars Banquet, whose record store chain the pair worked for.

Originally calling their label Axis, they released an initial series of four 7" singles before finding out that the name Axis was already being used by another label. Having to quickly come up with a new name, the partners noticed the following bit of typography that their graphic designer had put on a flyer announcing the Axis releases:

1980 FORWARD
1980 FWD
1984 AD
4AD

Kent left 4AD after a year and started another Beggars-affilated label, Situation Two.

Under Ivo Watts-Russell's guidance, drawing influence from other UK indie labels such as Beggars Banquet, Postcard Records and Factory, 4AD quickly established a unique identity thanks to both the cover designs of Vaughan Oliver/v23 and the label's unique numbering system.

In 1992, 4AD entered a highly publicized Stateside distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records, opening offices in New York headed up by Robin Hurley. Watts-Russell moved to Los Angeles in the mid 90s resulting in the label being largely been run from California for the rest of that decade. Ivo sold 4AD in the late 90s, although his influence remained apparent for years after. In November 1999 it was announced that, following the departure of Hurley as label chief, Beggars Group's chairman Martin Mills had taken the opportunity to relocate its HQ to London and install a new label head, former Beggars head of press Chris Sharp. Sharp was joined by former Mantra Recordings A&R man Ed Horrox.

Sharp was ousted from his role as MD by the Beggars Group management in April 2008. Simon Halliday, ex-Warp Records US, took over as MD. His first move was to "retire" fellow Beggars Group labels Too Pure and Beggars Banquet - key artists on the defunct imprints were transferred onto the new expanded 4AD.

Decoding the unique numbering system…
The alphabetic part indicates the format:

4AD - Mail-order only releases
AXIS - The Axis 7" singles
AD - 7" single
BAD - 12"/CD single and EP (generally up to four songs, although some have more)
CAD - LP
DAD - Double LP
EAD - MP3 download
FAD - Poster edition
GAD - Originally used for a series of re-issues that came out in 1998 under the promotional title "The Perfect Antidote", it has since been used for subsequent reissues, mid-priced reissues & remastered editions
HAD - Used only once, for the UK reissue of Matt Johnson/The The's "Burning Blue Soul"
JAD - Used for three mini-album releases
MAD - Mini-album (generally more than four songs)
PAD - Postcard Set
TAD - Temporary releases (i.e. those that have only one pressing)
VAD - Video
WAD - Postcard Set
XAD - Poster Set or Calendar

The letters CD appended indicate a compact disc, and the letter C appears in between the prefix and the catalog number on a cassette (ie: CAD C 809 for the cassette version of CAD 809). An appended D indicates a double or special limited release, and an R indicates a remix single/EP.

For promo releases and a few other oddities, the alphabetic part is quite often an abbreviation of the band's name, and the numbers are sequential across promos by that band.

As for the numeric portion:
* In 1980, releases were simply numbered sequentially. The AXIS numbers took up 1 through 4 (with AXIS3 being reissued as AD3), and the 4AD numbering took over with 5.
* From 1981 through 1989, the numbers became three digits, with the first digit representing the year and the other two being a sequential number for the year. For example, the first release in 1981 is numbered "101", the twelfth release in 1984 is "412", etc.
* From 1990 to 1999, the numbers became four digits, with the first digit again representing the year. So the first release in 1990 was "0001", the sixth in 1997 was "7006", etc.
* In 2000, the first two digits of the number became "2K", with the other two digits being the usual sequential number.
* From 2001 on, the first digit has been "2", the second has represented the year, and the last two have been sequential. So the first release in 2002 was "2201", the 11th in 2003 was "2311", etc.
* From 2010 on, the first digit has been "3", the second has represented the year, and the least two have been sequential. So it's "3101" for the first release of 2011, and so on.

Labelcode: LC 5807 / LC 05807

Also referred to as:
- 4•A•D

See 4AD Ltd. for legal entity.
Sublabels
Parent Label:
Contact Info:
UK office:
4AD
17-19 Alma Road
London, SW18 1AA
United Kingdom

4ad@4ad.com

US office:
4AD
625 Broadway, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10012
USA
Sites:
[l634]

Label


Cat#  Artist Title (Format) Label Cat#  Country Year
- Love Streams  album cover Tim Hecker Love Streams(CD, Album, Promo) 4AD - USA & Canada 2016 Sell This Version
00Promo Elephant Gun ( Unit Blue Remix )  album cover Beirut Elephant Gun ( Unit Blue Remix )(File, WAV) Ba Da Bing!, PI Media, 4AD 00Promo US 2010
1AMP Bragging Party  album cover The Amps Bragging Party(7", Promo) 4AD 1AMP UK 1995 Sell This Version
2A-62766 Title TK  album cover The Breeders Title TK(CD, Album, Promo) 4AD, Elektra 2A-62766 US 2002 Sell This Version
4AD0001CD The Far Field   album cover Future Islands The Far Field (Album) 4AD0001CD Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0001CDJ The Far Field   album cover Future Islands The Far Field (CD, Album) 4AD, Beat Records 4AD0001CDJ Japan 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0001LP The Far Field   album cover Future Islands The Far Field (Album) 4AD0001LP USA & Canada 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0001LPX The Far Field   album cover Future Islands The Far Field (LP, Ltd, Whi) 4AD, 4AD 4AD0001LPX Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0001MC The Far Field  album cover Future Islands The Far Field(Cass, Album, Cle) 4AD 4AD0001MC US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0002CD The Age Of Anxiety  album cover Pixx (2) The Age Of Anxiety(CD, Album) 4AD 4AD0002CD UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0002LP The Age Of Anxiety  album cover Pixx (2) The Age Of Anxiety(LP, Album, Dar) 4AD 4AD0002LP UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0002LPE The Age Of Anxiety  album cover Pixx (2) The Age Of Anxiety(LP, Album) 4AD 4AD0002LPE UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0006DS Ran  album cover Future Islands Ran(File, AAC, Single, 256) 4AD 4AD0006DS UK 2017
4AD0007CD Big Bad Luv  album cover John Moreland Big Bad Luv(CD) 4AD 4AD0007CD UK & US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0007LP Big Bad Luv  album cover John Moreland Big Bad Luv(LP, Album, Gat) 4AD 4AD0007LP US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0008CD Party  album cover Aldous Harding Party (Album) 4AD0008CD Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0008LP Party  album cover Aldous Harding Party (Album) 4AD0008LP North America (inc Mexico) 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0008LPRT Party  album cover Aldous Harding Party(LP, Album, Ltd, Whi) 4AD 4AD0008LPRT UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0008LPX Party  album cover Aldous Harding Party(LP, Album, Ltd + 7", S/Sided, Single) 4AD 4AD0008LPX Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0009CD Planetarium  album cover Sufjan StevensNico MuhlyBryce DessnerJames McAlister Sufjan StevensNico MuhlyBryce DessnerJames McAlister - Planetarium (Album) 4AD0009CD Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0009LP Planetarium  album cover Sufjan StevensNico MuhlyBryce DessnerJames McAlister Sufjan StevensNico MuhlyBryce DessnerJames McAlister - Planetarium(2xLP, Album) 4AD 4AD0009LP USA, Canada & Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0019S The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness / Guilty Party  album cover The National The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness / Guilty Party(7", Single, Ltd, Blu) 4AD 4AD0019S USA & Canada 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0020CD The National Sleep Well Beast (Album) 4AD0020CD Australia 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0020CDJP Sleep Well Beast  album cover The National Sleep Well Beast(2xCD, Album) 4AD 4AD0020CDJP Japan 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0020CDT Sleep Well Beast  album cover The National Sleep Well Beast(CD, Album, Tar) 4AD 4AD0020CDT US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0020LP Sleep Well Beast  album cover The National Sleep Well Beast(2xLP, Album, Ltd, S/Edition, Whi) 4AD 4AD0020LP USA & Canada 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0020LPE Sleep Well Beast  album cover The National Sleep Well Beast (Album) 4AD0020LPE USA & Canada 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0022CD Three Futures  album cover Torres (2) Three Futures(CD, Album) 4AD 4AD0022CD UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0022LP Three Futures  album cover Torres (2) Three Futures (Album) 4AD0022LP UK & Europe 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0022LPE2 Three Futures  album cover Torres (2) Three Futures(LP, Album, Club, Ltd, Num, Blu) 4AD 4AD0022LPE2 US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0033T Brothers Of Destruction  album cover The Lemon Twigs Brothers Of Destruction(12", EP) 4AD 4AD0033T UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0035CD All Nerve  album cover The Breeders All Nerve (Album) 4AD0035CD US 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0035CDJP All Nerve  album cover The Breeders All Nerve(CD, Album) 4AD, Beat Records 4AD0035CDJP Japan 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0035DA All Nerve  album cover The Breeders All Nerve(11xFile, MP3, Album, 320) 4AD 4AD0035DA 2018
4AD0035LP All Nerve  album cover The Breeders All Nerve (Album) 4AD0035LP US 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0035LPE All Nerve  album cover The Breeders All Nerve (Album, Single) 4AD0035LPE UK & US 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0036S1 Wait In The Car  album cover The Breeders Wait In The Car(7", Single, Ltd, Ora) 4AD 4AD0036S1 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0036S2 Wait In The Car  album cover The Breeders Wait In The Car(7", Single, Ltd, Red) 4AD 4AD0036S2 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0036S3 Wait In The Car  album cover The Breeders Wait In The Car(7", Single, Ltd, Yel) 4AD 4AD0036S3 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0038 Music From Before The Storm  album cover Daughter (2) Music From Before The Storm(13xFile, ALAC, Album) 4AD 4AD0038 Europe 2017
4AD0038DA Music From Before The Storm  album cover Daughter (2) Music From Before The Storm(13xFile, WAV, Album, 24b) 4AD 4AD0038DA Europe 2017
4AD0038LP Music From Before The Storm  album cover Daughter (2) Music From Before The Storm(2xLP, Album, Ltd, Cle) 4AD 4AD0038LP Europe 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0044SP Day I Die (Live from Paris Centquatre - 22 june 2017)  album cover The National Day I Die (Live from Paris Centquatre - 22 june 2017)(7", S/Sided, Ltd, P/Unofficial, Fle) 4AD 4AD0044SP Belgium 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0046 In A Poem Unlimited  album cover U.S. Girls In A Poem Unlimited (Album) 4AD0046 US 2018 Sell This Version
4AD00046CD In A Poem Unlimited  album cover U.S. Girls In A Poem Unlimited (Album) 4AD00046CD US 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0046DA In A Poem Unlimited  album cover U.S. Girls In A Poem Unlimited(11xFile, MP3, Album, 320) 4AD 4AD0046DA Europe 2018
4AD 0052CD I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life  album cover Tune-Yards I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life(CD, Album) 4AD 4AD 0052CD UK 2018 Sell This Version
4AD 0052LP I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life  album cover Tune-Yards I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life(LP, Album) 4AD 4AD 0052LP US 2018 Sell This Version
4AD 0052LPE I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life  album cover Tune-Yards I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life (Album) 4AD 0052LPE UK 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0055CDP Live At KEXP  album cover Aldous Harding Live At KEXP(CD, EP) 4AD 4AD0055CDP UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0055TE Live At KEXP  album cover Aldous Harding Live At KEXP(12", EP, Ltd) 4AD 4AD0055TE UK 2017 Sell This Version
4AD0077CD Boxer (Live In Brussels)  album cover The National Boxer (Live In Brussels)(CD, Album) 4AD 4AD0077CD Europe 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0077CDJP Boxer (Live In Brussels)  album cover The National Boxer (Live In Brussels)(CD, Album) 4AD, Beat Records 4AD0077CDJP Japan 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0077DA Boxer Live In Brussels  album cover The National Boxer Live In Brussels(12xFile, FLAC, Album) 4AD 4AD0077DA 2018
4AD0077LPE Boxer (Live In Brussels)  album cover The National Boxer (Live In Brussels)(LP, Album, Ltd, Cle) 4AD 4AD0077LPE USA, Canada & Europe 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0079CD Kazuashita  album cover Gang Gang Dance Kazuashita (Album) 4AD0079CD Europe 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0079CDJP Kazuashita  album cover Gang Gang Dance Kazuashita(CD, Album) 4AD, Beat Records 4AD0079CDJP Japan 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0079LP Kazuashita  album cover Gang Gang Dance Kazuashita(LP, Album, Red) 4AD 4AD0079LP US 2018 Sell This Version
4AD 0082T Hue / Nil  album cover SOHN Hue / Nil(12", Single) 4AD 4AD 0082T 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0084CD Come On Pilgrim... It's Surfer Rosa  album cover Pixies Come On Pilgrim... It's Surfer Rosa(3xCD, Comp, RE, RM) 4AD 4AD0084CD USA, Canada & Europe 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0084LP Come On Pilgrim... It's Surfer Rosa  album cover Pixies Come On Pilgrim... It's Surfer Rosa(LP, EP, RE, Gol + LP, Album, RE, Gol + LP, Gol + C) 4AD 4AD0084LP USA, Canada & Europe 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0090MC Double Dream Of Spring  album cover Deerhunter Double Dream Of Spring(Cass, Ltd, Num) 4AD 4AD0090MC USA & Europe 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0092DS Fake Empire (Live In Brussels)  album cover The National Fake Empire (Live In Brussels)(File, MP3, Single, 320) 4AD 4AD0092DS 2018
4AD0094CD Go To School  album cover The Lemon Twigs Go To School(CD, Album) 4AD 4AD0094CD France 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0094CDJP Go To School  album cover The Lemon Twigs Go To School(CD, Album) 4AD, Beat Records 4AD0094CDJP Japan 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0094LP Go To School  album cover The Lemon Twigs Go To School (Album) 4AD0094LP Europe 2018 Sell This Version
4AD0094LPX Go To School  album cover The Lemon Twigs Go To School(2xLP, Album + 7", Ltd + Dlx) 4AD, 4AD, 4AD 4AD0094LPX USA & Europe 2018 Sell This Version
4AD00445P Day I Die  album cover The National Day I Die(Flexi, 7", S/Sided, Single) 4AD 4AD00445P UK, Europe & US 2017 Sell This Version
4AD707 M|A|R|R|S Pump Up The Volume (Maxi, Single) 4AD707 US 1998 Sell This Version
4AD1005 Blood  album cover This Mortal Coil Blood(CD, Album) 4AD 4AD1005 US 1998 Sell This Version
4AD 1005-2 Blood  album cover This Mortal Coil Blood(CD, Album, RE) 4AD 4AD 1005-2 US Unknown Sell This Version
4AD-2016 Hits  album cover The Birthday Party Hits(CD, Comp, RE) 4AD 4AD-2016 US 1998 Sell This Version
4ADCD1 Clustered And Clipped  album cover Various Clustered And Clipped(CD, Comp, Ltd, Promo) 4AD 4ADCD1 Canada 1998 Sell This Version
4AD M1 Murder, Misery And Then Goodnight  album cover Kristin Hersh Murder, Misery And Then Goodnight(CD, Album, Dig) 4AD 4AD M1 UK 1998 Sell This Version
4AD M2 Underarms  album cover The Hope Blister Underarms (Album) 4AD M2 UK 1999 Sell This Version
4AD M3 Selected Videos From Throwing Muses & Kristin Hersh  album cover Kristin Hersh Selected Videos From Throwing Muses & Kristin Hersh(VHS) 4AD 4AD M3 UK 1999 Sell This Version
4AD MC1 Clustered And Clipped  album cover Various Clustered And Clipped(Cass, Comp, Ltd, Promo) 4AD 4AD MC1 Canada 1998 Sell This Version
4ADUS 2003 Retail Sampler  album cover Pixies / Cocteau Twins Pixies / Cocteau Twins - Retail Sampler(CD, Comp, Promo, Smplr) 4AD 4ADUS 2003 US 2003 Sell This Version
4GA-0380 Heaven Or Las Vegas  album cover Cocteau Twins Heaven Or Las Vegas(LP, Album) Gasa, 4AD 4GA-0380 Spain 1990 Sell This Version
4GA-0405 Bossanova  album cover Pixies Bossanova(LP, Album) Grabaciones Accidentales 4GA-0405 Spain 1990 Sell This Version
4JM-44618 Iceblink Luck  album cover Cocteau Twins Iceblink Luck(Cass, Single) Capitol Records 4JM-44618 US 1990 Sell This Version
4XPRO-79901 4AD Catalog Sampler  album cover Cocteau Twins 4AD Catalog Sampler(Cass, S/Sided, Promo) Capitol Records 4XPRO-79901 US 1991 Sell This Version
7PRO-79477 Carolyn's Fingers  album cover Cocteau Twins Carolyn's Fingers(7", Promo) Capitol Records 7PRO-79477 US 1988 Sell This Version
9 E1-60856 Doolittle  album cover Pixies Doolittle(LP, Album, Club) Elektra 9 E1-60856 US 1989 Sell This Version
15CY-5012 Pump Up The Volume  album cover M|A|R|R|S Pump Up The Volume(CD, Single) 4AD, 4AD 15CY-5012 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
15CY-8070 Song Of Pilentche  album cover Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares Song Of Pilentche(CD, Mini, MiniAlbum) 4AD 15CY-8070 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
15VB-1063 Tiny Dynamine = タイニー・ダイナマイン  album cover Cocteau Twins = コクトー・ツインズ* Cocteau Twins = コクトー・ツインズ* - Tiny Dynamine = タイニー・ダイナマイン (EP) 15VB-1063 Japan 1986 Sell This Version
18B2-116 In The Flat Field  album cover Bauhaus In The Flat Field(CD, Album, RE) Beggars Banquet, 4AD 18B2-116 Japan 1989 Sell This Version
23-1 Signs Along The Path  album cover Blonde Redhead Signs Along The Path(7", S/Sided, Promo) 4AD 23-1 US 2007 Sell This Version
25CY-2637 Blue Bell Knoll  album cover Cocteau Twins Blue Bell Knoll(CD, Album) 4AD 25CY-2637 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
28CY-2395 In The Flat Field  album cover Bauhaus In The Flat Field(CD, Album, RE) 4AD 28CY-2395 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
28CY-3005 The Serpent's Egg  album cover Dead Can Dance The Serpent's Egg(CD, Album) 4AD 28CY-3005 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
28CY-3082 Ultra Vivid Scene  album cover Ultra Vivid Scene Ultra Vivid Scene(CD, Album) 4AD 28CY-3082 Japan 1989 Sell This Version
28VB-1025 It'll End In Tears = 涙の終結  album cover This Mortal Coil = ディス・モータル・コイル* This Mortal Coil = ディス・モータル・コイル* - It'll End In Tears = 涙の終結 (Album) 28VB-1025 Japan 1985 Sell This Version
30CY-1651 Garlands  album cover Cocteau Twins Garlands(CD, Album) 4AD 30CY-1651 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1652 Head Over Heels / Sunburst And Snowblind  album cover Cocteau Twins Head Over Heels / Sunburst And Snowblind(CD, Album, Comp, RE) 4AD 30CY-1652 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1653 It'll End In Tears  album cover This Mortal Coil It'll End In Tears(CD, Album, RE) 4AD 30CY-1653 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1654 Colourbox  album cover Colourbox Colourbox(CD, Album) 4AD 30CY-1654 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1656 The Pink Opaque  album cover Cocteau Twins The Pink Opaque (Comp) 30CY-1656 Japan 1987 Sell This Version
30CY-1657 Standing Up Straight  album cover The Wolfgang Press Standing Up Straight(CD, Album) 4AD 30CY-1657 Japan 1987 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 5 Reviews

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mousetrap

mousetrap

August 2, 2018
Who cares about the impact of 4ad on you? This is not youtube
alexlad

alexlad

November 16, 2013
4AD had a strong impact upon me. Suffice it to say, that significal part (well, best part) of my CD collection are the label's releases. Indeed, 4AD is "the perfect antidote", as one of its fan-sites is called.

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