Stiff release the first UK indie single

August 1976: Number 11 in our series of the 50 key events in the history of indie music

It helped that Nick Lowe's debut solo single was a great record – So It Goes was a brilliant, breezily craven rip-off of Thin Lizzy's The Boys Are Back in Town and Steely Dan's Reelin' in the Years – but the record's real influence lay not in the music but the label that released it: Stiff. Set up by entrepreneurs Dave Robinson and Andrew Jakeman with a £400 loan, it went on to release the UK's first punk single, the Damned's New Rose, but more importantly, set the template for the British indie label: irreverent, iconoclastic, hipper, smarter and faster to react to new musical developments than any major could hope to be. As the label's own publicity put it: "If it ain't Stiff, it ain't worth a fuck."

Contributor

Alexis Petridis

The GuardianTramp

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