Early UK independents

These pages explore the independent labels of the 1950s and 1960s.


The UK was locked into four giant groups … EMI, Decca, Pye and Philips. Hovering outside the big four was Oriole, who were selling lots of records due to their Embassy label providing cover versions for Woolworths.

Next was Top Rank International, aiming to be a major, but soon sold off to EMI.

Ember was the most serious attempt to be a sixth major.

The BBC was another semi-major label.

Those above have their own major entries .

Others can be found under PRODUCER LABELS and MANAGER LABELS

Triumph was an important early effort for a pop label (under Producer labels)

This section is for the tiddlers.

Some were highly specialized … like Caedmon (Spoken voice), Cambrian (Welsh), Blue Beat (Jamaican), Esquire (Jazz), Beltona (Scottish), Castle (sound effects) Kidditunes (young children).

Others had the nerve to try for a wider catalogue. The effort that went into printing labels, sourcing pressing (usually from Decca or Oriole)was probably below the profit level. Their collectability ranges from very high (Oak) to charity shop 20p.


Aral (Aral, Windsor, Mayfair, Top Ten)  


These appear in other sections:

Shell Nature (Discourses) – under The Art of The LP in Collecting

BOAC and airline discsunder The Art of The LP in Collecting