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The Stiff Records Box Set

Posted on

The Stiff Records Box Set

type:
Music
Current Status:
In Season
performer:
Various Artists
genre:
Reissues, Rock

We gave it an A

Long before alternative rock reached its current state of grace, bands that didn’t sound popular had no way to get their music on record. When new wave hit in the ’70s, independent labels like Stiff became a grass-roots alternative to the music establishment. The Stiff Records Box Set documents the now-defunct British company, which started in 1976. Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Ian Dury, and Madness are just some of the eccentric greats who emerged via Stiff, but lesser lights also contribute gems here. What unified Stiff’s musical menu — punk, R&B, pop, ska, soul, nonsense — was a bratty rejection of standard rock & roll excess and the belief that money isn’t the only reason to make records. Not every single track here is a timeless winner, but you can hear enthusiasm in each note. A