During the Bookie’s era, many bands released records on their own vanity labels. But, there were also a few band centered labels that sought to give other groups in the scene an opportunity to have their music released, typically as a 7-inch single, 7-inch EP or as part of a 12-inch compilation. These labels were focused on more than just one band during the Bookie’s scene.
Tremor Records started in 1977 by Gary Reichel with the release of “Gutless Radio”, the first single by his band Cinecyde. During the Bookie’s era, Tremor was one of the most prolific small label releasing punk rock/new wave music in Detroit. Beyond singles, EPs, split EPs, and full albums for bands, Tremor also released several compilation records showcasing various groups from the scene with titles such as “Detroit Defaces the Eighties” and “Mandatory Music”.
The collector’s site Discogs lists the Tremor Records label catalogue at 17 releases between 1977 and 1982 with an additional 10 releases since 1985.
Started by The Mutants in 1978, FTM Records stood for “Fuck The Mutants” according to frontman Art Lyzak. Short lived, but focused on its namesake band, FTM Records also released a single by fellow Hamtramck band The Reruns before calling it quits.
The first release from FTM Records was The Mutants “So American” b/w “Piece O’ Shit” in 1978. Lyzak says the first release from The Mutants did exceptionally well – about 20,000 copies sold in the first year. But, The Mutants follow up single “I Say Yeah” b/w “Café Au Lait” in 1979 failed to do similar numbers. The label’s final release was The Reruns second single “Bored to Tears” b/w “She Hates Me Now”.
The Mutants created another label, Moburb Records – a play on Motown Records, to release the band’s EP “American Guise” in 1983.
As the label started by The Romantics, Spider Records issued the first single for the Hamtramck band, “Little White Lies” b/w “I Can’t Tell You Anything” in 1977. The label’s second release was the first single from fellow Hamtramck band The Reruns, “So So Alone” b/w “Since You Gotta Cheat”, was issued in 1978. Following the signing of The Romantics to Nemperor Records, a division of CBS Records, Spider Records ceased operations.
Nebula Records was originally founded by then high school student Scott Campbell to release a single under the band name Apparition in 1972. “Apparition” b/w “Astral Spirit” was released once in a short run of 100 copies in 1972 and a larger run in 1974. Nebula Records would be the home of Campbell’s band, The Sillies, as well as his later work in Detroit throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
The first release during the punk/new wave period was The Sillies “No Big Deal” b/w “Is There Lunch After Death?” followed by R.U.R.’s first EP both in 1979.
Following the Bookie’s era, Campbell’s later work on Nebula included solo releases, compilations of the Detroit rock scene circa 1988 and the industrial scene circa 1990 which put him back in contact with Tex Newman, formerly of R.U.R., and his band Lab Animals.
Started by the manager of Destroy All Monsters, David Keeps, IDBI Records concerned itself chiefly with releases from that Ann Arbor band. The label released four-7 inch singles between 1978 and 1979 for Destroy All Monsters as well as one-7 inch single for the band Coldcock.
Have a story or information to share about Record Labels? You can do that here.