Needles and Plastic - Flying Nun Records 1981-1988 by Matthew Goody / ISBN 9781737382980 / 382-page paperback from Third Man Books
In this remarkable tale of creativity and chaos, do-it-yourself innovation and extraordinary attempts at world domination, Needles and Plastic tells the inside story of one of New Zealand – and the world’s – great independent music labels. Hundreds of full color & black and white photos illustrate the story!
Founded in 1981 by Roger Shepherd in Christchurch, New Zealand, Flying Nun Records unleashed an extraordinary wave of music that had an impact around the world. Needles and Plastic is the first comprehensive history of the early years of the label and its bands covering the critical period from 1981–1988 when many of the most influential and critically acclaimed artists emerged on Flying Nun, bands like – from The Clean, The Chills, The Verlaines, Straitjacket Fits and Bailter Space. The influence of the obscure label became apparent in the 1990s, when big-time indie acts like Pavement, Cat Power or Yo La Tengo started covering Flying Nun bands.
In entries on over 140 records from The Clean’s ‘Tally Ho!’ 7" in 1981 to The Verlaines Bird-Dog LP in 1988, Matthew Goody tells the story through the records themselves. His book draws on years of in-depth research to reveal the stories of the bands, the recordings, the songs, and the audience, with a host of significant characters contributing along the way – Shepherd, Chris Knox, Doug Hood, Hamish Kilgour and many more. In this remarkable tale of creativity and chaos, do-it-yourself innovation and extraordinary attempts at world domination, Needles and Plastic tells the inside story of one the world’s great independent music labels.