SP001-SP100

SP100

DICKLESS ALL-STARS

SEX GOD TAD + 3

Wait, you're saying you've never heard Dickless All-Stars? Don't worry – neither have we. What was intended to be a supergroup between the members of Dickless Sub Pop's Megan Jasper, Mudhoney's Mark Arm, and The Derelicts' Duane Bodenheimer never actually materialized on wax. The world just wasn't ready for "Sex God Tad." - DH 

Date Played: March 21 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP099

TAD

JACK, 1991

"Jack" first appeared on Tad's sophomore LP, 8-Way Santa. The song itself is a quintessentially Tad romp. Tad Doyle outlines a day of shenagigans involving a pick-up truck, whiskey, soda pop, and a frozen lake. It doesn't end well. - DH

Date Played: March 21 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP098

BEAT HAPPENING

DREAMY, 1991

Of their impeccable run of full-lengths and singles, the Olympia band's fourth album may very well be where all their songwriting talents converge on the same album. Calvin Johnson's songs about heartbreak, sex, and the end of the world perfectly balance the Heather Lewis-led tunes dwelling in love lost and not quite procured. A light squall occasionally augments the famously shambolic, loosey-goosey pop tracks -- some of which are the band's best-known, including "Hot Chocolate Boy" and the A-side of 1990's "Red Head Walking" single. - Martin Douglas

Date Played: March 21 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP097

FLUID / NIRVANA

CANDY (LIVE) / MOLLY'S LIPS (LIVE), 1990

In what would become Nirvana's final contribution to the Sub Pop catalog, the trio teamed up with Fluid for a single of two live tracks. Nirvana's "Molly's Lips" was a cover of The Vaselines, one of Kurt Cobain's favorite bands and one he championed throughout his career. The band would later cover another Vaseline's song, "Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam," during their MTV Unplugged in New York performance. - DH

Date Played: March 21 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP096

REVEREND HORTON HEAT

SMOKE 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM, 1990

No one blitzes through rockabilly quite like Reverend Horton Heat. The good reverend from Texas' full-length debut, Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em, was recorded almost entirely live in the studio. You can feel that energy through each driving track, burning through one raucous moment to the next. - DH

Date Played: March 21 by DJ Sean Morrow


SP095

MUDHONEY

LET IT SLIDE, 1991

Before Mudhoney would release their sophomore LP, the band decide to slide in one more EP. Let It Slide boasts two tracks that would also appear on Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. The back cover of the EP also features childhood photos of each of the band members. - DH

Date Played: March 21 by DJ Sean Morrow


SP094

THIN WHITE ROPE

ANTS ARE CAVEMEN / LITTLE DOLL, 1991

Sub Pop embraced the swelter of the desert with Thin White Rope's Ants Are Cavemen / Little Doll single. The California act was a part of the Pailsey Underground movement of the late 80s and early 90s, which saw acts fusing psycedelic and hard rock with jangle pop and garage rock elements. The b-side to the 7-inch is a cover of The Stooges' "Little Doll," from their self-titled debut. - DH

Date Played: March 21 by DJ Sean Morrow


SP093

HOLE

DICKNAIL / BURN BLACK, 1991

On the back of Hole's Dicknail 7-inch is, surprisngly, a bible verse. "'The mouth of a loose woman is a deep pit,' Proverbs: 21:7." That quote against the fiery sounds of Courtney Love would help establish the band's ethos. Serendipitously, the pressing of the Dicknail single was initially released on a rainbow of different colors of wax – much like Nirvana's "Sliver" single. A year later, Love and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain would wed. - DH

Date Played: March 20 by DJ Larry Rose


SP092

REIN SANCTION

BROC'S CABIN, 1991

If you don't count their 1989 self-titled 12-inch, Broc's Cabin is Rein Sanction's official full-length debut. Listening through the record, you can feel the swampy influence of their native Jacksonville, Florida. Fuzz permeates every track, oozing through every chime of their guitars while hiding surprisingly infectious lead melodies underneath. - DH

Date Played: March 20 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP091

REIN SANCTION

CREEL / WILLOW BRANCH, 1991

Florida's Rein Sanction was formed in 1991 and only lasted through 1993. Throughout their tenure they were relentlessly compared to Dinosaur Jr., sometimes not always in a flattering light. It's unfortunate because while they utilized similarly blaring guitar tones and drawn out vocals, there was a different punch of twang that you can feel on the Creel 7-inch. But before they'd call it quits, they'd still manage to release a couple LPs. Like the next release on our list... - DH

Date Played: March 20 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP090

SMASHING PUMPKINS

TRISTESSA / LA DOLLY VITA, 1990

Before Smashing Pumpkins would become one of the definitive "alternative" aritsts of the 90s, they teamed up with Sub Pop as a part of their "Single of the Month" series. The version on the 7-inch is different from the one that would later appear on their debut LP, Gish. But perhaps most significantly, the single was a major jumping off point for the Chicago band. Upon its release, the band found themselves in a bidding war from labels around the country, eventually signing to Caroline Records. - DH

Date Played: March 20 on The Morning Show with Troy Nelson


SP089

TAD

8-WAY SANTA, 1990

Ho ho ho! Tad returns to bring some Christmas spirit with their second LP... and legal qualms! The original cover of 8-Way Santa (see to the right) originally featured an image of a couple the band found in a thrift store. When the couple came across the LP, they weren't too pleased and the band would reissue the album with an alternate shot that was previously featured on the back cover of their Jinx / Pig Iron 7-inch, shot by Charles Peterson.

Date Played: March 20 by DJ Reeves


SP088

POSTER CHILDREN

THINNER-STRONGER / POINTED STICK, 1990

It's hard to get more Illinois than a Poster Children 7-inch produced by Steve Albini. The punk outfit was just getting started when they released Thinner-Stronger / Pointed Stick in 1990, with only one distributed demo and full-length LP to their name. While they haven't released a record since 2004's No More Songs About Sleep and Fire, the band is still active on the live circuit. Bandmates Rick Valentin and Rose Marshack, who are married, also host a podcast called Radio Zero.

Date Played: March 20 by DJ Reeves


SP087

MARK ARM

THE FREEWHEELIN' MARK ARM, 1990

Mark Lanegan wasn't the only proto-grunge vocalist named Mark to strip things back and step out away from their ear-pummeling antics. Mudhoney's Mark Arm paid tribute to the bard himself, Bob Dylan, with The Freewheelin' Mark Arm (see the excellent cover art to your right). While his rendition of "Masters of War" is stirring and evocative, the lengths of his Dylan parodying is equally as impressive. Take a look at the liner notes on the back cover in which take the original essay from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and replaces Dylan's name with Arms.

Date Played: March 20 by DJ Reeves


SP086

POISON IDEA

WE GOT THE BEAT / TAKEN BY SURPRISE, 1990

A Portland hardcore band covering The Go-Gos? That's exactly what you get with Poison Idea's We Got The Beat / Taken By Surprise 7-inch – the 25th installment in the first volume of the Sub Pop Singles Club. Since their formation in 1980, Poison Idea was one of the longest fixtures in PNW hardcore and punk until they finally disbanded in 2017 (although the band did initally break-up in 1993, reuiniting for performances and occasional releases through the next two decades).

Date Played: March 20 by DJ Reeves


SP085

COFFIN BREAK

LIES / PRAY, 1990

If you start talking about Seattle hardcore history, you're inevitably goign to talk about Coffin Break. After releasing numerous albums on another Seattle institution, C/Z Records, and before jumping to Epitaph, the band gave a taste of their invigorating punk assault with the Lies / Pray 7-inch.

Date Played: March 20 by DJ Reeves


SP084

AFGHAN WHIGS

SISTER BROTHER / HEY CUZ, 1990

Afghan Whigs return falling up their Up In It LP with the Sister Brother / Hey Cuz single. While Hey Cuz appeared on Up In It, "Sister Brother" was only made available on this 7-inch as well as on this single as well as on an extended maxi-single.

Date Played: March 19 by DJ Alex


SP083

SOUNDGARDEN

ROOM A THOUSAND YEARS WIDE / H.I.V. BABY, 1990

A year before Soundgarden would release their seminal Badmotorfinger LP, the Seattle band gave listeners a taste of what was to come with this "bonus release" in the Sub Pop Singles Club series. While they'd later up the ante by writing a song with a spoon solo, "Room A Thousand Years Wide" notably contains a wild saxophone solo from Black Cat Orchestra's Scott Granlund. The jury's still out if this means Kenny G can qualify as a grunge musician. 

Date Played: March 19 on The Afternoon Show with Troy Nelson


SP082

THEE HEADCOATS

HEAVENS TO MURGATROYD, IT'S THEE HEADCOATS! (ALREADY), 1990

Thee Headcoats return with one of their last Sub Pop releases before hoping between labels for the rest of their prolific career – complete with a cover from famed cartoonist/graphic novelist Daniel Clowes who would go on to write renowned works like Ghost WorldHeavens to Murgatroyd caught the ear of KCMU DJs as well. Check out our Review Revue with their DJ notes from the album's release.

Date Played: March 19 on The Afternoon Show with Troy Nelson


SP081

DWARVES

DRUG STORE, 1990

DwarvesDrug Store 7-inch was comprised entirely of songs off of their previously played Blood Guts & Pussy LP. Like the album the songs came from, the single also featured graphic artwork of women covered in blood that was considered highly volatile and offensive upon release. So, please enjoy this sparse back cover instead! 

Date Played: March 19 on The Midday Show with Michele Meyers


SP080

TAD

JINX / PIG IRON

Tad embraced their most animalistic tendencies for their Jinx / Pig Iron 7-inch, featuring images of cows, pigs, and the band hanging out in the stables on the back cover. Included in the packaging was also an ad for the Sub Pop Singles club, stating: "Hey Loser. Wanna find some action? Tired of being left out? Here at SUB POP we've just started a special club for lonely record collectors..."

Date Played: March 19 on The Midday Show with Michele Myers


SP079

L7

SMELL THE MAGIC

Upon its release, famed music critic Robert Christgau gave L7's Smell The Magic one of his top marks and awarded the album an A. He'd note in his review, "Afraid of nothing including the four-syllable F-word, they go for an obsessive, dirty, punk pop-metal so aggressive it'll scare damn near every sister in sight. But the bravest will grow stronger. Soon they'll tell others. And start their own bands. And conquer the world. Right?" He was totally right.

Date Played: March 19 on The Morning Show with Evie


SP078

BEAT HAPPENING

BLACK CANDY

Beat Happening often gets associated with vibrant, playful imagery – which makes Black Candy immediately look like an outlier in their discography. While Calvin Johnson and co. do delve into some darker tones with the title track and "Gravedigger Blues," the delightfully spooky LP never loses the fun spirit and tongue-twister lyrics that marked the band's earlier works.

Date Played: March 19 on The Morning Show with Evie


SP077

SISTER DOUBLE HAPPINESS

DON'T WORRY / WHEELS A SPINNING, 1990

The Walkabouts may have introduced elements of folk to Sub Pop, but Sister Double Happiness have the unique distinction as the first country act to be included in the label's catalog. The twang and drawl of "Don't Worry" may sound sonically different from the rest of the Singles Club series, but there's still an outsider attitude that bursts through the songwriting. 

Date Played: March 18 by DJ Ashley


SP076

UNSANE

VANDAL-X / STREET SWEEPER

Before Unsane would become a consistent name in noise rock, they put out one of their first releases as a Sub Pop Singles Club 7-inch. Vandal-x / Street Sweeper is as brutal as the gorey image on the cover, churning out dissonant licks against distant screaming vocals. 

Date Played: March 18 by DJ Ashley


SP075

SISTER RAY

THE KING / PUSH ME, 1990

Named after a Velvet Underground song, Ohio's Sister Ray recorded four LPs between 1987 and 1982 before calling it quits. It's hard to find much about this band these days, but the swirling fuzz of their The King / Push Me single on Sub Pop continues to keep their legacy alive on wax.

Date Played: March 18 by DJ Ashley


SP074

BEAT HAPPENING

RED HEAD WALKING / SECRET PICNIC SPOT, 1990

Before "Red Head Walking" would emerge as the closing track to 1991's Dreamy, Beat Happening dropped it as a one-off single with "Secret Picnic Spot," which would also alter appear on the rarities collection Music to Climb the Apple Tree By.

Date Played: March 18 on by DJ Ashley


SP073

NIRVANA

SLIVER / DIVE, 1990

The last release Nirvana would issue under the Sub Pop banner before jumping up to Dacid Geffen Corporation for NevermindSliver / Dive has become a favorite amongst fans. "Sliver" was recorded during a break from a TAD recording session. Talking about the single, Cobain said the song "was like a statement in a way. I had to write a pop song and release it on a single to prepare people for the next record. I wanted to write more songs like that."

Date Played: March 18 by DJ Evie


SP072

ROLLINS BAND

EARACHE MY EYE / YOU KNOW ME, 1990

Four years removed from his tenure as lead vocalist for Black Flag (the longest stretch of any singer in the band at a whopping five years), Henry Rollins continued to push the punk ethos to the masses with Rollins Band. While "Earache My Eye" exuded the hardcore tones we've long associated with Rollins, "You Know Me" shows the spoken word that Rollins was continuing to explore since Black Flag's Family Man. 

Date Played: March 18 by DJ Evie


 

SP071 

THEE HEADCOATS

DAVEY CROCKETT / TIME WILL TELL, 1990

From the KEXP Playlist: Thee Headcoats was a band formed in Chatham, Kent, England in 1989, that was well known for its garage rock sound, explicitly sticking to this style on almost all of their albums. 20th release in the 1st volume of the Sub Pop Singles Club

Date Played: March 18 by DJ Evie


SP070

DERELICTS

MISERY MAKER / WASH

From The Derelicts Facebook bio: "The Derelicts fucked up a bunch of stages and turntables, and probably your house, between summer 1987 and spring 1991... Assholes Unite!"

Date Played: March 18 by Stevie Zoom


SP069

LOVE BATTERY

BETWEEN THE EYES

No, you're not seeing double. Seattle's Love Battery first released the title track from their debut EP collection, Between The Eyes, as a 7-inch single. With former U-Men bassist Jim Tillman now in the group, they put together this collection that feels more "nice" than its contempories, embracing pop-rock production and execution without losing any of the tenacity Seattle had been known for.

Date Played: March 18 by Stevie Zoom


SP068

DINOSAUR JR

THE WAGON / BETTER THAN GONE

Before Massachusetts' Dinosaur Jr. would release "The Wagon" on their landmark fourth album, Green Mind, the song first appear as the a-side to a Sub Pop single. The unsettling doll on the cover was shot by Seattle photographer, Charles Peterson.

Date Played: March 18 by Stevie Zoom


SP067

DWARVES

BLOOD GUTS & PUSSY, 1990

The name and cover for Dwarves' first Sub Pop ful-length, Blood Guts & Pussy, haven't aged well and were met with backlash upon their initial release as well (we've opted to include the back cover here instead). The band's use of shocking or offensive language and images would permeate throughout their career. 

Date Played: March 17 on Sonic Reducer by Brian Foss


SP066

BABES IN TOYLAND

HOUSE / ARRIBA

The same year Minneapolis' Babes In Toyland would release their debut LP, Spanking Machine, they managed to find time to sneak in a Singles Club 7-inch with Sub Pop. The band's fiery performances and recordings found much more than a niche audience, eventually entering the public conscious with cover shoots for Entertainment Weekly and references on the tv show RoseanneHouse / Arriba is a quick snapshot of the brilliant intensity the band was known for, snarling over snapping guitar leads and pounding drums.

Date Played: March 17 on Sonic Reducer by Brian Foss


SP065

LUBRICATED GOAT

MEATING MY HEAD / 20TH CENTURY RAKE, 1990

Australia's Lubricated Goat certainly have one of the most, uh, vivid names in the Sub Pop catalog – joining the ranks of Cat Butt and Blood Circus in that regard. Aside from releasing five LPs in their tenure as a band, they also have the claim to fame for appearing completely nude except for their instruments and shoes on Australian TV show, Blah Blah Blah.

Date Played: March 17 on Sonic Reducer by Brian Foss


SP064

FLUID

GLUE, 1990

Following up 1989's Roadmouth LP, Fluid dropped the "the" in their name and came back with a new EP titled Glue. The album was mixed and engineered by Garbage's Butch Vig, who would also producer Nirvana's breakthrough album, Nevermind.

Date Played: March 17 on Sonic Reducer by Brian Foss


SP063

MUDHONEY

THORN / YOU'RE GONE / YOU MAKE ME DIE, 1990

"Grunge" really started to make it worldwide with Mudhoney's "You're Gone" single. Selections of this record were recorded between Seattle, Austalia, and England. 

Date Played: March 17 on Audioasis by DJ Sharlese


SP062

BEAT HAPPENING

JAMBOREE, 1992

If you associate Olympia's Beat Happening with K Records instead of Sub Pop, you're not wrong. After all, Beat Happening's Calvin Johnson founded K! The two label's have constantly intertwined over the years with Johnson contributing to the early Sub Pop zines. Jamboree was originally issued by K, but later reissued through Sub Pop. As one of the band's most definitive works, Jamboree offers a blissful introduction to the band's playful pop sound – perhaps best encapsulated in the nostalgic "Indian Summer."

Date Played: March 17 on Audioasis by DJ Sharlese


 

SP061 

MARK LANEGAN

THE WINDING SHEET, 1990

In his first solo work outside of Screaming TreesMark Lanegan flexes his songwriting muscles with his stripped back debut The Winding Sheet. It was a stark contrast from the brutalistic music he was known for at the time, letting the bellow of his voice resound over acoustic-heavy arrangements. The record also includes a cover of Lead Belly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," a song which Nirvana would later famously cover in their MTV Uplugged performance in 1994. 

Date Played: March 17 on Audioasis by DJ Sharlese


SP060

AFGHAN WHIGS

UP IN IT, 1990

Recorded right here in Seattle, Afghan Whigs released their sophomore album and Sub Pop debut Up In It in 1990. With songs like "White Trash Party" and "Amphetamines and Coffee," it's one of the band's darkest and murkiest albums lyrically – something they'd continue to hone in and flesh out throughout their career.

Date Played: March 17 by DJ Miss Ashley


SP059

DICKLESS

I'M A MAN / SADDLE TRAMP, 1990

Seattle's Dickless was one of the most short-lived bands in the Sub Pop canon, but the few singles they dropped before breaking up are some of the most aggressive and compelling marvels of the whole catalog. Their 1990 7-inch I'm A Man / Saddle Tramp blares through your speakers with a brutal Bo Diddley cover.

Date Played: March 17 by DJ Miss Ashley


SP058

L7

SHOVE / PACKIN' A ROD, 1990

How are you going to talk about the early days of grunge without getting into L7? This ferocious Los Angeles band had some of the hardest and meanest riffs of any of their contemporaries. Their all-female lineup and presence became influential to bands in the riot grrl movement. Listening to their lyrics today is just as empowering as it was nearly 30 years ago. Take this exceprt from "Shove" as just a sample: 

"Some guy just pinched my ass
Shove
Drunken bums ain't go no class
Shove
The club says I won't get paid
Shove
It's been months since I've been laid"

Date Played: March 17 by DJ Miss Ashley


SP057

THE FLUID

TIN TOP TOY / TOMORROW

From the KEXP playlist: The Denver quintet was the first non-Seattle band signed to the label. Split in 1993, but reunited to play SubPop's 20th anniversary bash in 2008.

Date Played: March 17 by DJ Evie


SP056

WALKABOUTS

RAG AND BONE, 1989

From the KEXP Playlist: "One of SubPop’s early bands, Seattle’s The Walkabouts were never grunge. ”We were, for the most part, suburban kids that listened to bad rock music."

Date Played: March 17 by DJ Evie


SP055

TAD

LOSER / COOKING WITH GAS, 1990

From the KEXP Playlist: "Seattle band founded by Tad Doyle in 1988 - among the first bands signed to SubPop. The 7" "Loser" b/w "Cooking with Gas" was released on January 1, 1990 - a limited pressing of 3,000 on green vinyl."

Date Played: March 17 by DJ Evie


SP054

THEE HYPNOTICS

LIVE'R THAN GOD, 1989

Decades before Sub Pop would give us THEE Satisfaction, Thee Hypnotics held down the old english nomenclature with their debut album, Live'r Than God. The English garage rockers embraced psychedelic music more than any of their label peers at the time, transposing the expansive territory of the 60s with the grime of the late 80s.

Date Played: March 17 by DJ Gabriel Teodros


SP053

BIG CHIEF

CHROME HELMET / BLOWOUT KIT, 1990

Ann Arbor, Michigan's Bgi Chief may have only lasted through 1996, but their short time in existence they managed to squeeze in a number of entries into the Sub Pop catalog. Their first comes with the Sub Pop Singles Club 7-inch for Chrome Helment / Blowout Kit – a pair of propulsive, dirty rock jams that would hint at even more gnarly music to come. 

Date Played: March 17 by DJ Gabriel Teodros


SP052

FUGAZI

SONG #1 / JOE #1/ BREAK IN, 1989

Later known as 3 Songs, one of the band's watershed EPs, this trio of releases started out as an edition of the Sub Pop Singles Club, displaying the early gifts of the Washington D.C. quartet. A rumination on scene politics, an exploratory instrumental, and a hookup that ends with the protagonist wondering if money can substitute for taking responsibility for the dissolution of said hookup -- three songs which represented the continued ascent of one of the most talented bands traversing the rock underground. - Martin Douglas

Date Played: March 16 by DJ Michelle Meyers


 

SP051 

HONEYMOON KILLERS

GET IT HOT / GETTIN' HOT, 1989

The west coast wasn't the only side of the country embracing the illustrious power of frenzied feedback and ear drum crushing sound. New York noise rockers Honeymoon Killers blended blown out production with blues dirges, as encapsulated in their Sub Pop Singles 7-inch, GET IT HOT / GETTIN' HOT

Date Played: March 17 by DJ Michelle Meyers


SP050

DWARVES

SHE'S DEAD / FUCKHEAD, 1990

Dwarves have never been known to play it safe or politically correct. Their She's Dead / Fuckehead 7-inch single proves that for the umpteenth time. The entirety of the single lasts just over one minute, with each song clocking in around the 30 second range. 

Date Played: March 16 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP049

TAD

SALT LICK

A monster truck running over what looks like a vision of a band on fire? Must be a Tad album cover! If you were worried there wouldn't be more Tad on this list, fret not! Produced by studio wunderkind Steve Albini, this is one of the fiercest sounding records in the Tad canon. Included in the liner notes are some eyebrow raising credits, such as: "Chicago Bustamoving - Tom Reitinger" and "Beer Bongs – John Spencer." Stay tuned for more Tad on the countdown! 

Date Played: March 16 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP048

SCREAMING TREES

CHANGE HAS COME, 1990

Given their prominence in the Seattle scene, some fans might be surprised to find out that Screaming Trees only put out one release on Sub Pop. But as the label's first release of the 90s, it was a prophetic visage of what was to come. Mark Lanegan's bellowing vocals would soon become iconic and a lichpin in PNW music history. The subdued melodies against the clamoring instruments helped define an aesthetic that would be mimicked throughout the country.

Date Played: March 16 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP047

SKIN YARD

START AT THE TOP / WATCH

The story of overlapping bands in the Seattle scene continues with Skin Yard, formed with prolific producer Jack Endino, Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam), Daniel House (founder of C/Z Records), and Ben McMillan (Gruntruck). Given their grunge pedigree, it feels inevitable that they'd release a single on the beloved label. As you'd expect from all the parties involved, Start at the Top / Watch is a brutal, gut-punch twofer with lots of distortion and infectious aggression.

Date Played: March 16 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP046

LONELY MOANS

SHOOT THE COOL / TEXAS LOVE GOAT, 1989

One of the most compelling things about looking through Sub Pop's back catalog are the mysteries that begin to reveal themselves. Lonely Moans came and left in almost a blink of an eye, but not before joining the esteemed Sub Pop Singles Club with Shoot The Cool/ Texas Love Goat. The band was comprised of Hampshire College students whose music scene peers included Pixies and Dinosaur Jr.

Date Played: March 16 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP045

LOVE BATTERY

BETWEEN THE EYES / EASTER, 1989

It's easy to call most of the Seattle bands in the late 80s and early 90s "supergroups" simpyl because everyone seemed to be in each other's bands! Beyond just the major known acts like Temple of the Dog and Mad Season, bands like Love Battery featured members from Green River and The Presidents of the United States of America

Date Played: March 16 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP044

MUDHONEY

MUDHONEY, 1989

Despite already having numerous entries on the list, their self-titled release is actually Mudhoney's debut full-length LP. Within the packaging of the original vinyl, fans were treated to a poster of the band with the tagline: "Mudhoney. The album is out." They've always had such a way with words. 

Date Played: March 16 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP043

LAZY COWGIRLS

LORETTA / HYBRID MOMENTS, 1989

Despite what their name might imply, Lazy Cowgirls music is too hyped up to be lazy and the members are neither women nor country. The LA punks show up their rapid fire punk antics with the 11th Sub Pop Singles Club 7-inch with the invigorating Loretta / Hybrid Moments

Date Played: March 16 by DJ Atticus


SP042

COSMIC PSYCHOS

GO THE HACK, 1989

Cosmic Psychos aren't the first international band in the Sub Pop catalog, but upon their signing they were the band furthest from the label's homebase of Seattle. The Australian punks released their sophomore record, Go The Hack, with Sub Pop back in 1989. As you might guess from the bulldozer on the cover, it's a record packed with nasty riffs and dirty rhythms – the perfect soundtrack for tearing down buildings! 

Date Played: March 15 by DJ Shannon


SP041

CAT BUTT

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF CAT BUTT, 1989

From the label that brought you Nirvana, Fleet Foxes, and Beach House – we give you, Cat Butt. You can make a lot of jokes about Cat Butt and their hilarious album title, but part of what makes Sub Pop's legacy so enduring and endearing is their willingness to let their artists have fun. Listening to Cat Butt also puts into perspective a long lineage of ironic humor in Seattle music, paving the way for bands like... Butts. There's some inter-label love going on with this record too with a message printed on the spine reading, "Special thanks to the girlfriends of Swallow, Mudhoney, Tad & Nirvana!"

Date Played: March 15 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP040

R***MAN

INKI'S BUTT CRACK / SONG NUMBER ONE, 1989

Chicago's ill-named noise rock outfit R***man hand numerous controversial titles in their catalog, or at least ones that would pop out in the record bin. By their own measure, "Inki's Butt Crack" is pretty tame. The song itself showcases what the band really does best, turning in chaos into something expansive and mind-warping.

Date Played: March 15 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP039

DAS DAMEN

SAD MILE / MAKING TIME, 1989

New York's Das Damen derived their "fake German" name from a poor translation of "The Women." Though they featured heavy guitars and punk aesthetics, they were one of the poppiest acts from the label's early days this side of Nirvana. Prior to releasing the anthemic "Sad Smile / Making Time" 7-inch for the Sub Pop Singles Club, the band was known to get into some hijinks. On their 1988 Marshmellow Conspiracy EP, they included a track called "Song for Michael Jackson to $ell," which was actually an uncredited cover of The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour." After this was discovered, future editions of the album removed the track.

Date Played: March 15 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP038

LES THUGS

STILL HUNGRY STILL ANGRY, 1989

There's a poor joke in there somewhere about this band hailing from Angers, France and having an album named Still Hungry Still Angrybut Les Thugs' music moves so fast and so brutally that you'll be trampled before you get to the punchline. Their third LP is one of the most invigorated in their catalog, rushing from riff to riff in an empassioned blitz and never lets up over the course of the 12 tracks.

Date Played: March 15 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP037

TAD / PUSSY GALORE

DAMAGED 1 / DAMAGED 2, 1989

Hardcore punk icons Black Flag may have never released a record on Sub Pop, but their influence on DIY culture and rebellious spirit still pemeated through the idealogy of the young label. On this splt 7-inch from Tad and Pussy Galore, we see both acts putting their own spin on Black Flag's seminal "Damaged 1" and "Damaged 2" tracks from their album, you guessed it, Damaged

Date Played: March 15 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP036

THE FLUID

ROADMOUTH, 1989

Denver's The Fluid returns to the list again with their third LP, Roadmouth. Like the title implies, the record is full of beastly tracks primed to blare out your speakers rolling down the highway. The record also saw the group teaming up once again with two of Sub Pop's go-to key players: photographer Charles Peterson and producer Jack Endino.

Date Played: March 15 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP035

MAD DADDYS

ALLIGATOR WINE / TAKE ME BACK TO WOODSTOCK, 1989

New Jersey punk outfit Mad Daddys made their way into the Sub Pop canon with their delightfully scuzzy Singles Series entry. "Alligator Wine" contorts the blues into dissonant dirges while the b-side, "Take Me Back to Woodstock," waxes on nostalgia for the hippie era with the power chords and disaffection of the late '80s. 

Date Played: March 15 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP034

NIRVANA

Bleach, 1989

With all due respect to their later, major-label releases Insecticide and In UteroNirvana's debut has the distinction of being the punk-est set of songs the trio had ever recorded. There is an intensity which comes from the pit of Kurt Cobain's stomach here (most famously on "Negative Creep"), a rawness which makes even the most pop-friendly slice of melody on the album -- the indelible "About a Girl" -- feel like it was rubbed down to the gristle with sandpaper. - Martin Douglas

Date Played: March 15 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP033

MUDHONEY

YOU GOT IT / BURN IT CLEAN, 1989

Mudhoney's sound often gets described as "dirty" and they really leaned into that idea with the cover for their You Got It / Burn It Clean 7-inch which features the band covered in mud. The music reflects that, with "You Got It" coming in with a scorcher of a riff before shortly being joined with the guttural chug of the rhythm guitar. "Burn It Clean" feels even grimier as vocalist Mark Arm howls, "You say I abuse my only life/The fruit I eat is over-ripe."

Date Played: March 14 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP032

AFGHAN WHIGS

I AM THE STICKS / WHITE TRASH PARTY, 1989

The sixth Sub Pop Singles Club entry comes from none other than Afghan Whigs. The Ohio-based garage rockers only had one record to their name at the time, 1988's Big Top Halloween, but Sub Pop was early to recognize the power they exuded with their shredded vocals and wild guitar antics. Diehard fans will recognize "White Trash Party" from the band's sophomore LP, Up In It, but the 7-inch actually features an alternate version of the track. 

Date Played: March 14 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP031

WALKABOUTS

CATARACT, 1989

Not everything in Sub Pop's early years was noisey. Seattle's own Walkabouts blended pop-rock with folk and country influences to craft their jangling sophomore album, Cataract. It may have seen like a departure for the label at the time, but it set a precedent for Sub Pop to build off of years later with acts like Blitzen Trapper and Fleet Foxes. Cataract also features some of the catchiest songwriting the label had put out at that point, with infectious songs like "End-in-Tow" and "Bones of Contention." Even still, they had the marked Sub Pop edge with songs like "Whiskey XXX" and "Hell's Soup Kitchen."

Date Played: March 14 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP030

HELIOS CREED

NOTHING WRONG / THE SKY, 1989

No one explores the expansive power of the guitar quite like Helio Creed. The former Chrome guitarist is an industrial music pioneer with a prolific catalog that continues to keep growing. His entry in the Sub Pop Singles series is one of the spaciest releases on the label this side of Shabazz Palaces. A-Side "Nothing Wrong," thrills with distortion feedback and Creed's monotone vocals bellowing in the foreground.

Date Played: March 14 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP029

LES THUGS

CHESS AND CRIMES / SUNDAY TIME, 1989

French punks Les Thugs are the first international act to appear in Sub Pop's catalog, though far from the last. Hailing from Angers, France, they sounded as tenacious as their name would imply. The band would continue making pummeling tracks like the beastly "Chess and Crimes" before calling it quits in 1999. The band would later reform for Sub Pop's 20th anniversary in 2008.

Date Played: March 14 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP028

FLAMING LIPS

STRYCHNINE / DRUG MACHINE / WHAT'S SO FUNNY, 1989

The third installment in the Sub Pop Singles series comes from none other than Oklahoma's own Flaming Lips. These days the Lips have ascended into the psych-rock, experimental performance art that they always hinted at in their early years. Before they'd embrace specatacle and the entire color spectrum into their tripped out tunes, they were blaring out some of the fuzziest sounds around – as documented in the Drug Machine 7-inch.

Date Played: March 14 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP027

TAD

GOD'S BALLS, 1989

As promised, Tad emerges on the list once again – this time with their debut LP, God's Balls (catchy title, too). On the back cover of the record, the band included fake credits to match their snarky sense of humor.

Steve Wied: bongos, washboard, vocal stylings 
Kurt Danielson: washtub, Homlite, harmonica, vocal stylings 
Gary Thorstensen: dobro, lead banjo, mandolin, vocal stylings 
Tad Doyle: banjo, barking, 50 lb. sledgehammer 

The album is also "lovingly dedicated to convicted felon Dick Johnson."

Date Played: March 14 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP026

MUDHONEY / SONIC YOUTH

HALLOWEEN/TOUCH ME I'M SICK

Legend has it that this iconic release from Sub Pop's Singles Club series came from Bruce Pavitt sending Sonic Youth a short tape of Mudhoney's early work for feedback, only for the art-punk heroes to float the idea of both bands covering each other. Kim Gordon's growl and the scrambled guitars of Sonic Youth's version of "Touch Me I'm Sick" emphasizes the guttural power of Mudhoney's career-defining moment, while Mark Arm and company take a moody and cerebral b-side and fashion it into a pummeling monolith. - Martin Douglas

Date Played: March 14 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP025 

VARIOUS

SUB POP 200, 1988

If you really want an overview of what Seattle sounded like in 1988, look no further than their Sub Pop 200 compilation. Much like Sub Pop 100, this comp explored the array of bands on the Sub Pop roster and then some. With tracks from NirvanaSoundgardenThe FastbacksScreaming TreesBeat Happening, and more, it wouldn't be innacurate to look at it as an "early grunge greatest hits." 

Date Played: March 14 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP024

SWALLOW

SWALLOW

Swallows debut LP was a co-release effort between Sub Pop and Tulepo Recording Company. While it is assigned the SP025 catalog number, it does not actually appear on original copies of the record. There's manic energy on the album's track "Coffin," as lead vocalist Rod Moody reflects on the unfairness of the world and the dirty deeds he's had to do to get by, erupting into a chorus of "put another nail in my coffin, baby." 

Date Played: March 13 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP023

NIRVANA

LOVE BUZZ / BIG CHEESE

As the legend goes, Kurt Cobain stopped by KCMU (what would become KEXP) after the release of Nirvana's first 7-inch single, Love Buzz / Big Cheese. He personally handed over a copy to the station then sat in his car with his radio tuned in and waited to hear his song. When he didn't hear it, he called in and requested the song himself. In the grand scheme of what Nirvana would go on to do – you know, global airwave domination – moments like these show the inevitable ascent that both the band and Sub Pop would soon find themselves on. The 7-inch was also the first installment in Sub Pop's single series and "Love Buzz" (a cover of Dutch band Shocking Blue) would also appear on Nirvana's debut LP, Bleach.

Date Played: March 13 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP022

BLOOD CIRCUS

PRIMAL ROCK THERAPY

While perhaps not talked about as much as say Superfuzz Bigmuff, history's proven Blood Circus' first and last album to be a significant historical document of the grunge movement. While never quite receiving the same level of acclaim as their peers at the time, Primal Rock Therapy oozes the ethos of the era with vocalist Michael Anderson bellowing over gnarled riffs.

Date Played: March 13 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP021

MUDHONEY

SUPERFUZZ BIGMUFF

After the fallout of Green River, lead vocalist Mark Arm continued to innovate and release genre defining records. Case in point, Mudhoney's debut EP, Superfuzz Bigmuff. The vinyl version's a-sides and b-sides were rebranded as "outside" and "inside." Intentionally or not, those titles seem to apply to Mudhoney themselves. Very much inside the Seattle scene and crucial to developing the dirty punk sound that would define the region, it also would extend outside the city borders. The EP also highlighted the fiery guitar playing of Steve Turner, helping cement Mudhoney's aesthetic in the ear drums of listeners. If you're wondering how he got that sound, look no further than the title which derives it's name from two of the crucial guitar pedals used in the studio: a superfuzz and a big muff. 

Date Played: March 13 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP020

GIRL TROUBLE

HIT IT OUR QUIT IT

There's a number of cult classics in the Sub Pop catalog, but Girl Trouble's Hit It Or Quit It might be one of the first to earn that distinction. Released alongside another legendary PNW label, K Records, it's easy to tell why the garage rock anthems got so much love. Here's what Sub Pop's Bruce Pavitt told Pitchfork on the announcement of the album's 25th anniversary reissue:

"One of the first releases on Seattle's Sub Pop record label, Hit it or Quit It by Tacoma's infamous Girl Trouble remains a timeless party classic. I initially agreed to help release Hit It or Quit It back in '88, because I was convinced that Girl Trouble was the most entertaining live band in the Northwest at the time. 25 years later, Tacoma's finest is still rockin' it, and the garage drive and brilliant irreverence of this record still rings true. I should also mention that, in recognition of its classic status, Hit It or Quit It has finally been designated a "cultural heirloom" by the American Historical Society. In summation, this priceless recording not only belongs on your turntable, but truly deserves to be placed behind glass at the Smithsonian."

Date Played: March 13 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP019

TAD

DAISY / RITUAL DEVICE

You can't really talk about Sub Pop's early days without getting into Tad. This might be Tad's first entry, but it will be far from the last. Produced by Jack Endino, who would go on to record Northwest legacy acts for years to come, Tad's first single is a mission statement for the guttural sound that would define their discography. Daisy / Ritual Device feels dirty, menacing, and is full of monstrous riffs. This is just the start of the band's tenure on the label. Get ready for a lot more Tad coming up.

Date Played: March 13 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP018

MUDHONEY

TOUCH ME I'M SICK/SWEET YOUNG THING

From the KEXP Playlist: This album recorded in March 1988 at Seattle's Reciprocal Recording studio with producer Jack Endino. "Touch Me I'm Sick" was released as Mudhoney's debut single by independent record label Sub Pop on August 1, 1988. "Touch Me I'm Sick" would become further immortalized as the inspiration for "Touch Me I'm Dick," the song performed by the fictional band Citizen Dick in Cameron Crowe's filme ode to grunge Singles. - DH

Date Played: March 13 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP017 

SOUNDGARDEN

FOPP

From the KEXP Playlist: The EP contains one Soundgarden original, two covers, and a remix. Guitarist Kim Thayil said of the title track: "That's an Ohio Players song off of Honey—I've had that album since I was in high school. We thought we could take the song and make it AC/DC or something. We'd take the power chords, turn up the volume and make it heavy. "Fopp" is a good song that needed to be given its due as a 'kick-ass rock song!'" The EP also contains a cover of the Green River song "Swallow My Pride" from the 1985 EP, Come on Down. - DH

Date Played: March 13 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP016

FLUID

CLEAR BLACK PAPER LP/CS

True to Bruce Pavitt's vision way back in the zine days to create a "decentralized cultural network," Sub Pop reached out beyond the Northwest and released the sophomore record by The FluidClear Black Paper. Despite hailing from another region, The Fluid's sound fit in with the rest of the label peers, well, fluidly. The brash guitars and shredded vocals aptly captured the same ferocious energy brewing in Seattle. It was an early indication of a broader musical movement on the horizon. - DH

Date Played: March 12 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP015

GREEN RIVER

REHAB DOLL

The first and only full-length release from Green River also marked the beginning of the end for the grunge forebearers. Divisions began to surface within the band during the recording of Rehab Dollleading Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Bruce Fairweather to leave the group following recording and starting a new band called Mother Love Bone while lead vocalist Mark Arm would go on to form Mudhoney. Still, Rehab Doll is perhaps one of the finest documents of Seattle music in the late 1980s and a prophectic vision of the musical boom that was soon to come for the city. - DH

Date Played: March 12 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP014

SWALLOW

GUTS / TRAPPED

Swallow were one of the first bands signed to Sub Pop and also one of the first of the label's artists to break-up. It's easy to see what attracted the label to the band based off this single, with the sludgy guitars and howling vocals surging with propulsive energy. Before this list is over, we'll get a couple more releases from Swallow before their 1992 break-up. - DH

Date Played: March 12 on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole


SP013

BLOOD CIRCUS

TWO WAY STREET / SIX FOOT UNDER

Beyond just Green River and the big four of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains – Blood Circus is at the heart of what would later be dubbed "grunge." Sub Pop released the band's first 7-inch single, Two Way Street / Six Foot Under in 1988. Fun fact: both Nirvana and Mudhoney played their first ever shows opening for Blood Circus. - DH

Date Played: March 12 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP012

SOUNDGARDEN

SCREAMING LIFE

Before Soundgarden would release their debut LP Ultramega OK on SST Records, Sub Pop released the band's first initial release with the Screaming Life EP. The cover photo for the release aws done by Charles Peterson, who would continue to document the halcyon days of the PNW rock movement. The image now feels insperable from the music, capturing the raw energy Soundgarden had in their performances. Cornell and co. were initially not sold on the cover, with Cornell telling Details Magazine in 1996, "The rest of the band thought it was silly of the press to concentrate on the beefcake when I was writing songs, singing, and playing guitar for the band. Even now, some people will stick a paragraph about my hair in the body of a review." - DH

Date Played: March 12 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP011

GREEN RIVER

DRY AS A BONE

If you're discussing the history of "grunge," you'd be remiss to leave out Green River. The second EP from the Seattle act marks the first non-compilation entry in the Sub Pop catalog, which aligns thematically with the legacy that Sub Pop would later inherit for championing the burgeoning rock sounds of the Pacific Northwest. Members of Green River would go on to form iconic acts like MudhoneyMother Love Bone, and Pearl Jam – just to name a few. - DH

Date Played: March 12 on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters


SP010 

VARIOUS

SUB POP 100

A couple years before they'd release the iconic Sub Pop 200 collection, the young label made their first foray away from zines and cassettes with the Sub Pop 100 compilation featuring songs from future legends Steve AlbiniWipersSonic YouthNaked Raygun, and Shonen Knife. Only 5,000 copies were made available upon initial release. - DH

Date Played: March 12 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP009

Sub Pop

SUB POP CASSETTE 'ZINE, 1983

The final cassette zine opens up with a track from Pavitt himself composted of found audio from old television shows (appropriately, the track is caleld "Random American Television") before jumping into an electric mix of songs from WipersSteve Fisk, and Velvet Monkeys. Much like the previous volumes, SP009 features artwork from Charles Burns as well. - DH

Date Played: March 12 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP008

Sub Pop

SUB POP FANZINE, 1982

In yet another mission statement, Bruce Pavitt lays down some of Sub Pop's initial model, including the alternating between fanzines and cassette tapes and their commitment to following national trends. He puts it most elegantly with the statement, "A decentralized cultural network is obviously cool. Way cool." - DH


SP007

Sub Pop

SUB POP CASSETTE 'ZINE, 1982

From the KEXP playlist: "Chicago's Sport of Kings was featured in one of the OG Sub Pop Zines. Engineer Ian Burgess, who worked on their "Sing Mary Sing" album, helped define the sound of the Chicago post-punk music scene in the 1980s and early 1990s, working with Ministry, Big Black, Naked Raygun, The Effigies, Get Smart!, Ministry, Green, Bloodsport, Pegboy, Poster Children, Bhopal Stiffs, and many more"

Date Played: March 12 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP006

Sub Pop

SUB POP FANZINE, 1981

"Today's hardcore teenage army is the most dominant, the most obvious scene in the American music underground. Hardcore is intense, honest American music, burning red, white and blue images confronting specific American problems" - Bruce Pavitt, Sub Pop Zine #6


SP005

Sub Pop

SUB POP CASSETTE 'ZINE, 1980

Sub Pop 5 is the first musical release by the young zine/label. The 22-track cassette compilation featured cuts from the likes of Steve Fisk, Beakers, and Pavitt himself. Beyond its historical significance for its ties to Sub Pop, the compilation documents an array of short-lived PNW acts like Visible Targets, Jungle Nausea, and and Portland's Neo Boys. The artwork was done by Charles Burns, who would go on to become an acclaimed graphic novelist – most notably for his coming-of-age meets horror novel Black Hole. - DH

Date Played: March 12 on The Morning Show with John Richards


SP004

Sub Pop

SUB POP FANZINE, 1980

The fourth Sub Pop zine is notable as it announces a hint toward the future with Bruce Pavitt putting out an open call for cassette submissions before the zine transitioned into alternating between print zines and c-60 cassettes. He champions the medium, saying, "Cassettes are the ultimate tool. Unlike records, production and manufacturing can happen – within minutes – in your own living room." - DH


SP003

Sub Pop

SUB POP FANZINE, 1980

“Hi There – My Name is Bruce and we have to decentralize our society and encourage local art and things and music. Sub/Pop can be an outlet for this kind of subversive entertainment perspective but only if you help me by writing local gossip and sending it in right away to me with money and photos of you and your friends playing rock star. Send it in and I will print it. O.K.?” - Sub/Pop #3, Introduction, Spring 1981 - DH


SP002

Sub Pop

Subterranean Pop Fanzine, 1980

Issue #2 of the Subterranean Pop Fanzine featured an array of local talent, including a notable two page spread on the Life Elsewhere three-way split 12-inch LP that featured contributions from The Beakers, John Foster, and Steve Fisk. Fisk himself would become a key figure in Sub Pop lore, producing what would become classic Pacific Northwest records for the label like Soundgarden's Screaming Life/FoppScreaming Trees' Change Has Come, and Beat Happening's Black Candy. - DH

 


 

SP001 

Sub Pop

Subterranean Pop Fanzine, 1979

Before Sub Pop became a landmark label that would go on to promote and support artists who lived "left of the dial," founder Bruce Pavitt started with the Subterranean Pop Fanzine. In its first issue, he offered up a "New Pop! Manifesto," the ethos of which would go on to define the future of the label. Here's an excerpt to give you just a taste:

"As our teen-bongo, Space Age counter-culture becomes infiltrated by wimpoid TV “mop tops” in skinny ties and leather pants, it becomes apparent that the bland sameness of the pop suprastructure is with us once again. Once-adventurous bands who now opt for major label contracts are immediately becoming the robot-slaves of a system that is interested in one thing only – money. Believe me, wealthy biz-execs who sit in their air-conditioned penthouses are not contemplating anarchy and invention. Likewise, the machine-like organizations they work for could care less about new sounds or new cultural heroes." - Dusty Henry

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