Loose Records was formed in the mid-seventies in London. It rose from the ashes of Keswick Music, a joint partnership between Bernard S. Vick and Andy Titcombe. Keswick Music had been responsible for the release of the Carlisle United football team record to celebrate their entry in to the First Division of the English Football League. Although this record achieved good sales, the three subsequent releases, by different artistes, failed to attract enough sales and the partnership was dissolved.
Loose was originally started as a publishing company but developed in to a label in the hey-day of UK independent labels, in the late 70s / early 80s. As the label developed it became clear that punk and heavy metal were breaking through in a big way and thus, an additional label was formed – Brickyard – to allow Loose to run specialist genres. In addition, Loose linked up with Animus Records in a deal signed at Midem. The label was originally distributed in the UK by Pinnacle Distribution, still a well-known name in independent distribution.
The label was based at 296 Chiswick High Road, West London, the HQ of the independent retail chain called “Tune in to 269”, also run by Andy Titcombe. Life for the label was fast and furious but the label did have some success not only in the UK but internationally as well. Demo tapes were regularly received but most artistes were signed because they had close connections to someone working with Loose or else they were customers of the shop. One notable band that failed this simple A&R test was the Housemartins (Fat Boy Slim / Beautiful South)! Would their careers have taken different paths had they signed to Loose?
As a publishing company Loose had success in the disco market in the 80s as well, but when the shops closed in the late 80s there was not much activity for the label or the publishing company until the mid-90s.
A decision was then taken to change direction towards country music with the signing of Lemon Grass, The Wurzels and Cattle Company as well as country music writers. Distribution was switched to RCA / BMG which immediately led to a top 100 entry in 1996 for The Wurzels with “I want to be an Eddie Stobart Driver”.
Loose is looking to continue in country music but true to its name, it reserves the right to delve in to the wonderful world of music in any genre it fancies.
And that’s Loose for you.