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Robin Turner Believe In Magic: Thirty Years Of Heavenly Recordings

White Rabbit
9th November 2020

Format Info

Book + Saint Etienne Spring 7" single + Herb Lester map.
Slight dunt on corner

Robin Turner authored, Paul Kelly designed book on Heavenly Recordings and their official / unofficial world. Limited edition with Saint Etienne Spring 7″ and a Herb Lester map of Heavenly’s London.

Heavenly got in on a change. It was a change that came along at the end of the 1980s and made the 1990s look very different. It’s all over their first run of records, they were part of an opening up of boundaries, of chance taking and sometimes of chancers making it. Andrew Weatherall, Saint Etienne, Manic Street Preachers, Flowered Up… it immediately felt different to Creation and Factory, the two labels which label founder, Jeff Barrett had been most associated with, but it had links to both.

The Saint Etienne early records have most of the elements which I associate with Heavenly – a love of house music, a love of lyrics, a love of the history of music and an optimistic hope that getting the right people in will take you there. As Jeff says, “Heavenly was already a state of mind. Seemed like the right time to make it something really special. We were all deeply immersed in music that we loved. None of us could believe our fucking luck, really.”

Heavenly is actually a magical thing, it is really a bunch of friends who were fans and then somehow managed to make records, books and films that were at times as good as the ones that they were into – with input from Martin and Paul Kelly, Beth Orton, Bob Stanley and everyone else it’s a story of possibility as much as anything else. As Jeff Barrett puts it at the beginning of the book, “If there’s a continuous theme that runs through all of this, I think it’s that everything comes down to conversations with people about music. It might seem like it all starts with someone on one side of the counter who is selling you something, or someone writing excitedly in a magazine telling you about a band you need to hear, but I don’t think I’ve ever really seen things as one-way transactions. It’s more an ongoing dialogue, one that never really stops and helps to build up this growing soundtrack to our lives, something that’s passed from one person to another. That’s really the ever-present thread. That’s why we still believe in magic”.

Other Releases by Robin Turner