Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

50 Years of Island Records – Nick Drake


For the rest of this week I am going to concentrate on the fact that this year is the 50th Anniversary of Island Records.

Like most who grew up with music in the 70’s Island Records was for me a well known label as if you were into rock they had the likes of Free and Traffic, singer songwriters galore in Nick Drake, Cat Stevens and our own John Martyn and of course introduced reggae to the mass market via Bob Marley & The Wailers.

In its early years, the Island Records story was synonymous with one name – Chris Blackwell. From founding the label in Jamaica in 1959 with capital of just £1000 until he sold Island almost 30 years later for undisclosed millions, Blackwell built the most diverse and enviable back catalogue of any independent label in history. From Island’s early Jamaican roots in ska and rock-steady, through the label’s expansion to become the cutting edge of progressive rock in the late 60s, and then on to the signing of such international superstars as Bob Marley and U2, Blackwell brought to Island a unique vision and passion which still informs the label’s approach to this day.

The Island label has been responsible for the careers of some of the biggest stars in music including U2, Bob Marley, Cat Stevens, Traffic, Free, Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Toots & The Maytals, John Martyn, Marianne Faithfull, Aswad, Tom Waits, King Sunny Ade, Third World, Roxy Music, Robert Palmer, the B52s, Sly & Robbie, Melissa Etheridge, The Slits, Steel Pulse, Grace Jones, Tom Tom Club, Pulp, Tricky, Talvin Singh, and latterly Amy Winehouse, PJ Harvey, DJ Shadow, Sugababes, Keane, The Fratellis, Scott Matthews, Paul Weller, The Feeling and Portishead

Many of the above will feature this week but first up here is a lovely song from Nick Drake

Nick Drake

Nick Drake

“Pink Moon” – Nick Drake

To buy Nick drake music click HERE


May 5, 2009 - Posted by | New News, Old Music | ,


  1. 40 years to the month since Desmond Dekker introduced reggae to the world with “Israelites”. I think he was on Island too…

    Comment by re: turn on | June 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for dropping in, though I thought he was primarily with Trojan Records.


      Comment by thehelplessdancer | July 1, 2009 | Reply

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