Raiding the vault of top 5's that was the focus group again. Despite thinking having done this once before it ought to be pretty easy, it turned out not to be so. So many classic labels I couldn't fit in, Chess, Stax, Mowtown, Trojan, Blue Note, but then that's the whole point of a top 5.
1. Domino - So much of my favourite "Indie" of the last few years have come from this label. They have a link with Drag City in the U.S. which obviously helps but seem to have retained a uniquely independent feel despite massive hits with Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys. Recommended; The Kills, Smog, Bonnie Prince Billy, David Pajo, Pavement, Sebadoh and Sons & Daughters.
2. Sub Pop - I've always liked the name and they were in the right spot at the right time when grunge broke big. Recently made a return to the spotlight, as a Warner subsidiary, with a more indie feel. Recommend: Nirvana, Mudhoney, Tad, Soundgarden, The Shins.
3. Vertigo - ROCK! Mainly included for having a great name and an even better logo. The home of some classic British rock bands over the years though bizarrely also released the Lighthouse Family and Kraftwerk. Recommended: Status Quo, Black Sabbath, Metallica, The Noisettes.
4. Chemikal Underground - Set up by Scottish band The Delgados, made it's money thanks to the early success of Bis. Went on to release the early albums by Mogwai and Arab Strap alongside the entire Delgados catalogue. Recommended: Mogwai, The Delgados, Arab Strap.
5. Sun - My only slot for a genuinely classic label. Sam Philips little record company in Memphis made a massive impact on the world of music launching the careers of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins amongst many others. Recommended: Anything.