C89 is another celebration of the Eighties Indie scene, documenting a golden era when tuneful guitar-based bands made records on shoestring budgets, often issued on small labels with hand-made artwork, with little hope of mainstream exposure. This 3-CD box set follows previous best-selling collections C86 (2014), C87 (2016) and C88 (2017). C86 expanded the NME’s genre-defining compilation with 50 extra tracks from the period. C87 and C88 were the imaginary sequels, picking up the story as the 1980s unfolded.
Disc 1 is devoted to artists who haven’t previously graced this series, who first made an impact in 1988/1989. Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, The La’s, Milltown Brothers, The Family Cat and The Telescopes were among the indie scene’s biggest names that year. Disc 2 revisits many of the bands who appeared on C88, with later singles or B-sides by The Stone Roses, Mock Turtles, Pooh Sticks, The Man From Delmonte, Bridewell Taxis, Popguns, etc. Sarah Records – which came to epitomise a certain type of Indie Pop – are represented by Brighter, The Orchids, Another Sunny Day and Christine’s Cat. Other key indie labels also figure, such as Creation (The Revolving Paint Dream), Bristol’s The Subway Organization (Korova Milk Bar, Choo Choo Train), Manchester’s Playtime (The Rainkings, New Fast Automatic Daffodils), Sheffield’s Native (Treebound Story, featuring Richard Hawley, and The Snapdragons), Brighton’s La-Di-Da (Daisycutters, Bobby Scarlet, How Many Beans Make Five, Said Liquidator) and Liverpool’s Pink Moon (Barbel, The DaVincis, Jactars).
C89 also includes two previously unissued tracks. New names to the series include The Bardots, The Seers, Po!, The Ammonites, The Ogdens, Kit, The Candy Darlings, Jane Pow, Rorschach, etc. Several names feature personnel from notable bands, such as post-Razorcuts act Red Chair Fadeaway, post-Chameleons quartet The Sun And The Moon and post-La’s combo The Onset. Numerous tracks have never been on CD before. The deluxe clamshell package includes a weighty booklet full of illustrations, with an 8,000-word sleeve-note and band-by-band biographies by C86 co-compiler Neil Taylor.