Obscure Records

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Obscure Records was a U.K. record label which existed from 1975 to 1978. It was created and curated by Brian Eno. Ten albums were issued in the series. Most have detailed liner notes on their back covers, analyzing the compositions and providing a biography of the composer, in a format typical of classical music albums, and much of the material can be regarded as 20th-century classical music. The label provided a venue for experimental music.


Obscure Records[edit]

Catalog Year Artist(s) Title Notes
Obscure no.1 1975 Gavin Bryars The Sinking of the Titanic Release also contains Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, which includes Derek Bailey on guitar and Michael Nyman on organ.
Obscure no.2 1975 Christopher Hobbs, John Adams, Gavin Bryars Ensemble Pieces
Obscure no.3 1975 Brian Eno Discreet Music Title track (side one) utilizes the tape loop system previously used by Fripp & Eno in (No Pussyfooting) and soon to be known as Frippertronics
Obscure no.4 1975 David Toop, Max Eastley New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments David Toop's name appears first on the cover, but his tracks occupy side two. Toop's tracks are incorrectly listed in backward order on both cover and label of Island and Polydor editions. The Virgin CD reissue retains the cover and label order, but adjusts the running order of the tracks on the disc itself to match
Obscure no.5 1976 Jan Steele, John Cage Voices and Instruments Features Robert Wyatt singing two tracks
Obscure no.6 1976 Michael Nyman Decay Music
Obscure no.7 1976 Members of the Penguin Café Orchestra Music from the Penguin Café Lists Simon Jeffes as the artist on the label only, on Island and Polydor editions
Obscure OBS-8 1978 John White, Gavin Bryars Machine Music
Obscure OBS-9 1978 an opera by Tom Phillips, music by Gavin Bryars, libretto by Fred Orton Irma
Obscure OBS-10 1978 Harold Budd The Pavilion of Dreams

Releases and editions[edit]

The first seven albums were issued on the Obscure label in 1975 and 1976, manufactured and distributed in the UK by Island Records whose name appeared at the bottom of the label. These have a catalogue number expressed as "Obscure no. 1" through 7 on the covers, or "OBSCURE-1" etc. on the labels. All albums use the original, mostly black, cover art.

External links[edit]