Loading
Mute Records

Mute Records: Artists, Business, History

by Zuleika Beaven

Zuleika Beaven is Senior Lecturer in Music Business and Arts Management at Middlesex University, UK. She is Programme Leader for the MA Arts Management, and teaches on the undergraduate popular music and music business degrees. Her research focuses on musician work and identity in the commercial space. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

Search for publications
, Marcus O’Dair

Marcus O’Dair is Associate Professor in Music and Innovation at Middlesex University. He is the author of Different Every Time (2014). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

Search for publications
and Richard Osborne

Richard Osborne is Senior Lecturer in Popular Music at Middlesex University, UK. Prior to becoming a lecturer he worked in record shops, held various posts at PRS for Music, and co-managed a pub. He is the author of Vinyl: A History of the Analogue Record (2012). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

Search for publications
(eds)
Bloomsbury Academic, 2019
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781501340635
  • ISBN:
    978-1-5013-4060-4 (hardback)

    978-1-5013-4062-8 (epdf)

    978-1-5013-4061-1 (epub)

    978-1-5013-4063-5 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
  • Published Online:
    2019
Mute Records
Collapse All Sections

Mute Records is one of the most influential, commercially successful, and long-lasting of the British independent record labels formed in the wake of the late-1970’s punk explosion. Yet, in comparison with contemporaries such as Rough Trade or Stiff, its legacy remains under-explored.

This edited collection addresses Mute’s wide-ranging impact. Drawing from disciplines such as popular music studies, musicology, and fan studies, it takes a distinctive, artist-led approach, outlining the history of the label by focusing each chapter on one of its acts. The book covers key moments in the company's evolution, from the first releases by The Normal and Fad Gadget to recent work by Arca and Dirty Electronics. It shines new light on the most successful Mute artists, including Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, Erasure, Moby, and Goldfrapp, while also exploring the label's avant-garde innovators, such as Throbbing Gristle, Mark Stewart, Labaich, Ut, and Swans. Mute Records examines the business and aesthetics of independence through the lens of the label's artists.