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by Stephanie Benson

August 3, 2011

Label Spotlight: Sub Pop Records, The Early Years (1988-'99)

by Stephanie Benson  |  August 3, 2011

The rise of Sub Pop Records is a tale of Cinderella stature: Prince Charming came in the form of a rogue Aberdeen poet, and the rest, as they say, is history. But that was only the beginning of the story. From longhaired grunge to squeaky-clean indie folk to a world-music imprint and now hip-hop, the Seattle label has proven time and again to be one of the most reliable tastemakers in the biz. For over two decades, they've helped define whatever "indie music" is, or soon will be.

Sub Pop's formative years are often synonymous with the advent of grunge, but this isn't a totally accurate perception. Sure, they kick-started the careers of Nirvana and Soundgarden, but they also gave artists like Sebadoh, Sunny Day Real Estate, Codeine and Julie Doiron a platform on which to evolve and to ultimately influence.

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