Sonar Records

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Sonar Records is a Coventry, UK based record label. A family-run company, it is not associated with any major record label. It has its own recording studios, (Cabin Studio,) and releases product from local Coventry musicians and artists.


In 1983, Sonar released the single Courtiers of Fashion by the band Courtiers of Fashion, written by Dave Pepper from the mid 80s and late 70s bands Blitzkrieg Zone and The X-Certs. The recording included Pepper (vocals, keyboard and guitar); Paul Johnson (drums and keyboards); and Karen Ellet (vocals). Pepper is now part of ‘’The Dave Pepper Band’’, based in Washington DC.

Sonar Record’s second release, in October 1983, was the single Engineering b/w Belladonna by The Furious Apples, with Greg Crabb (vocals); Robin Hill (drums); John Westacott (bass); Raphael Moore (guitar); and Mike Crabb, and Abbe Collins (keyboards); engineered and produced by Paul Sampson . There was radio play of the single by John Peel.[when?]

In 1984, Sonar released Living on the Edge b/w Breakaway written by, and from, Armalite, a band comprising Caron Joyce (vocals); Adrian Dix (guitars); Paul Johnston (drums); Cary Lord (bass guitar/backing vocals). The single was produced by ‘’Armalite’’ and Paul Sampson.

Further releases were for Gdansk, Laughing House, Kenny Love, City Dread, Blush, She's The Leader, and 20 Days.

Two more record labels were formed by Sonar: Dodgy Ticket Records produced the albums Crokodile Tears, Dodo-ism, Gulibles Travels, and Go for the Jugular for the band Crokodile Tears. Frantic Records released reggae product for City Dread, Kenny B, and Kenny Love.

A Sonar-produced single, Love car by Crokodile Tears, was played on the Steve Wright Breakfast Show on Radio 1 in 1994, and was performed on Central TV's, Hit the town game-show the same year.[citation needed]

Sonar Records - 25th Anniversary.

In November 2009, to celebrate 25 years of the label, a compilation album Sonar Music – 25th Anniversary was released, which included:

  • Engineering and Belladonna (The Furious Apples);
  • Living on the Edge (Armalite);
  • Bed of Roses (‘She's the Leader);
  • Obsessed by You (Blush);
  • Understand You (City Dread);
  • Courtiers of Fashion (Courtiers of Fashion);
  • Freefall (20 Days);
  • Stand Up (Gdansk);
  • Liz’s Song (Chris Aldridge)
  • Chinese whispers (Crokodile Tears);
  • Go for the Jugular (Crokodile Tears);
  • Cathedral Lanes (Crokodile Tears).


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