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Postcard Records Profile


Postcard Records Profile

Edwyn Collins of Orange Juice in 2008

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Postcard Records - The Basics:

  • What: Short lived but influential record label Postcard Records
  • Where: Glasgow, Scotland
  • Founded by: Alan Horne
  • Founded: 1979

The Early Years:

Postcard records was founded by Alan Horne in Glasgow in 1979. Inspired by the DIY ethos of punk, and frustrated by the UK music industry's London bias, Alan founded the label to release the music of Orange Juice, a band formed by school friends at Bearsden Academy and fronted by the enigmatic Edwyn Collins. The label was run from Alan's closet in his small apartment in Glasgow's West End.

The Sound of Young Scotland:

In the 1970's, Glasgow music scene had a reputation for hard drinking and hard rocking. Postcard changed that with bands that were fey, witty, intelligent and clean and had a sound influenced by the pop of the 60's and Northern Soul. Each of the labels 13 singles was emblazoned with the slogan The Sound of Young Scotland, a homage to American 60's pop label Motown's The Sound of Young America.

Critical Acclaim :

Orange Juice's debut single was an immediate hit with the UK's London based music press, despite only 1000 copies being pressed, all of which had been sold direct to Scottish music stores from the back on Alan's car. They were awarded single of the week, and Edwyn Collins was soon gracing the front cover of NME. Influential writer and journalist Simon Reynolds credits this success to the fact that critics and music fans were looking for something life affirming after the depression cause by the suicide of Joy Division's Ian Curtis.

Postcard Records Acts:

As well as Orange Juice, Alan signed:

Like Orange Juice, all the label's signings were feted by the music press, while never troubling the charts.

The End of Postcard:

Postcard were a victim of their own success as Glasgow was overrun by A'n'R people looking to sign anyone in Glasgow with a guitar. Bands such as Altered Images rejected Postcard “As soon as we realised EMI and Columbia were interested in us there was no way we were going to go to Postcard” say Clare Grogan of Altered Images “We were going to sell our souls and be on Top of the Pops in a year, and that's what happened.” Orange Juice signed a deal with major label Polydor and Alan himself was headhunted by London Records as an A'n'R manager. After just two years and 13 releases Postcard records folded.

The Postcard Records Legacy - Glasgow Music City:

Postcard Records changed the face of the Scottish & the UK's music scene. It arguably heralded a rebirth of Scottish culture. Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and The Go Betweens all went on to enjoy chart success and numerous Scottish acts were signed in Postcard's wake, like:

Postcard's sound was hugely influential on the indie-pop of the 80s, 90s and today, inspiring bands such as:

Postcard's success has ensured that A'n'R scouts look outside of London and are constantly on the lookout for the "new Glasgow".

Postcard Re-birth?:

Alan resurrected the Postcard name for a string of releases in the early 1990s, including a collection of Orange Juice's early recordings and sessions and Fire Engines frontman Davey Henderson's new band The Nectarine No. The last release was in 1997 and there are no plans for further releases on Postcard.

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