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  • White Rabbit

Believe in Magic: 30 Years of Heavenly Recordings

Robin Turner

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Music industry

A celebration of Heavenly Recordings, one of the most iconic and admired independent British record labels of the past three decades, published to mark the 30th anniversary of the label

'Heavenly has always lived up to its name. Celestial tunes with the sublime sure guidance of Jeff Barrett. A beacon of integrity.' Annie Nightingale

'MAGIC-FAITH-AESTHETICS. That to me is what Heavenly stands for. I feel very grateful and properly proud to have played a small part in this incredible story.' Nicky Wire

'Heavenly is more than a record label, it's the absolute nectar of all that's brilliant in the culture of these island. I love the shit out of them and everything they stand for.' Irvine Welsh


Believe in Magic is a fully illustrated history of one of the most colourful and exciting independent British record labels; a label responsible for creating satellite communities of fans around the country and at all the major festivals.

After several years working at Factory and Creation, Heavenly Recordings was set up by Jeff Barrett in 1990 as the acid house revolution was in full swing; early releases set the tone and tempo for the mood of the decade to come - their first release was by perhaps the most revered acid house DJ of them all, Andrew Weatherall; and this was quickly followed by singles from St Etienne and Manic Street Preachers.

Heavenly was always different to other labels; more of a 'club' with a defiant spirit of inclusiveness, and in 1994 they set up The Heavenly Social, which alongside the Hacienda, became perhaps the most famous club in recent British history, where the Chemical Brothers made their name.

Over nearly 200 releases in thirty years Heavenly have consistently produced some of the most exciting music across all genres - dance, acid house, singer-songwriter, psych-garage - and this book collects rare photographs, ephemera, artwork into a celebration of a label that is, alongside Rough Trade and Factory, one of the most beloved institutions on the independent landscape. Running though the book are thirty stories, mostly told in the form of oral history by artists like James Dean Bradfield, Flowered Up, Beth Orton, Doves and Don Letts, which capture the presiding personality of the label, its bands and the people associated with its success.

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