Independence Days, even by the
standards of author Alex Ogg’s previous
work (The Hip Hop Years, No More Heroes
etc) is an exhaustive undertaking.
Collating more than 150 interviews, it
traces the story of the UK independent
record label boom of the late 70s to mid-
80s. While most of the punk bands were
co-opted by major labels, a new
generation of independent spirits took
the baton and revolutionised popular
music.

Discrete chapters cover Chiswick/Ace,
Stiff, Rough Trade, Beggars Banquet/4AD,
Crass, Factory, Cherry Red and Mute.
There is also extensive coverage of Fast
Product, Zoo, Clay, Small Wonder, CNT,
Industrial, Good Vibrations, Postcard and
myriad others. The smaller labels and their
unique stories are also rigorously explored.
From the budget DIY of Buzzcocks and
The Desperate Bicycles to the grandiose
packaging of Factory and 4AD and
eventual chart dominance of Depeche
Mode, the Smiths and New Order, all the
key moments are documented through
painstaking research, analysis and
eyewitness accounts. Scheming and
rivalries and fiscal brinkmanship contrast
with the optimism and opportunism –
and incredible diversity and quality of
music - of a decade when anything
seemed possible.

Interviewees include: Geoff Travis, Daniel
Miller, Ivo Watts-Russell, Dave Robinson,
Ted Carroll, Bill Drummond, Roger
Armstrong, Penny Rimbaud, Richard
Boon, Martin Mills, Richard Scott Iain
McNay, Mike Alway, Bob Last, Terri Hooley,
Bill Gilliam, Charlie Gillett, Miles Copeland,
Seymour Stein, etc