New Hormones

New Hormones was a Manchester independent record label founded by Buzzcocks and manager Richard Boon. It was the first independent punk rock label in the UK.

British independent record label

New Hormones
Founded 1977
Founder Buzzcocks
Richard Boon
Defunct 1982
Genre Punk, post-punk
Country of origin United Kingdom
Location Manchester

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The label’s first release was Buzzcocks’ Spiral Scratch (EP), which was the second self-released punk record ever (after The Saints(I’m) Stranded” from Australia), and the third English punk single (preceded only by The Damned’sNew Rose“, and Sex Pistols’sAnarchy in the U.K.“). The band had to borrow £500 from their friends and families to pay for the record’s production and manufacture.[1] The EP quickly sold out its initial run of 1,000 copies, and went on to sell 16,000 copies, initially only by mail order, but also eventually with the help of the Manchester branch of music chain storeVirgin, whose manager took some copies and persuaded other regional branch managers to follow suit.[2] When re-released (by Virgin Records) it reached 31 on the UK Singles Chart.[3] After this, the band planned to release another EP, titled Love Bites (eventually the name was used as the title to their second album), through the label however when drummer John Maher decided that after graduating he was not going to get a day job and instead play in Buzzcocks for a living they decided to sign to a major label, United Artists.[4]

After the release of Spiral Scratch, several bands planned to release music through New Hormones however for various reasons did not, this includes The Fall, New Hormones paid for the recording session however they could not afford to release what would become Bingo-Master’s Break-Out! EP; Boon put it “I would have put [it] out if I’d had the money. I paid for the tapes. Martin Hannett did a shoddy job and things were getting very difficult. I gave Kay Carroll [the band’s then manager] the tapes, she placed them with Step Forward.”[5] Both Cabaret Voltaire, and Gang of Four sent tapes to New Hormones however those too could not be released due to lack of money; he did however invite them to open for Buzzcocks at the London release party of Another Music in a Different Kitchen (along with John Cooper Clarke, and The Slits).[5] Cabaret Voltaire later released music through Factory Records, Industrial Records and Rough Trade, while Gang Of Four signed to Fast Product and eventually EMI. Although Buzzcocks left and the label couldn’t afford to release other records, it still existed, run mainly by Richard Boon and made its second release in late 1977; it was not even a record, it was a booklet of collages by Linder Sterling and Jon Savage titled The Secret Public.[4][6]

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