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The brainchild of The Charlatans’ singer Tim Burgess, O Genesis could have been another rockstar vanity label. Instead, over the last seven years, it’s become an important home for maverick musicians whose outsider art would otherwise struggle to find a home. Burgess tells John Earls of impulsive releases and how running a label has honed his secretarial skills…

There’s a long-standing debate as to whether The Charlatans qualify as a Manchester band – half of them are from the West Midlands – but it’s no surprise the city’s Factory Records was a key influence on Tim Burgess when he started his own record label, O Genesis, in 2011. Not only did Burgess hire New Order sleeve overlord Peter Saville to design O Genesis’ logo, the singer also copied Factory head Tony Wilson’s vision that every O Genesis catalogue number was important – even if it wasn’t anything to do with the music. In the same way FAC51 was the Haçienda club and FAC81 was a Factory board meeting, so too OGen11 is a badge of Saville’s logo, while OGen34 is a letter from

The KLF’s Bill Drummond politely declining an invite to record anything for Burgess. “I knew it was unlikely Bill Drummond would say yes,” admits Burgess, who has also given OGen catalogue numbers to the label’s poster and standard record contract. “So long as we got a response from Bill, we could give him a catalogue number.” As well as Factory, Burgess admired Postcard, Crass, Alternative Tentacles and Creation when he was growing up in Cheshire. “Catalogue numbers, like Factory and Crass had, was the first thing I thought of when people mentioned record labels to me,” he explains. “Then it was the artwork, and then it’d be a few of the records. I wanted something similar when I started O Genesis: good cataloguing, nice artwork. And I could help with producing the records. I wanted to sign nice people and to like what they were about as an artist.”

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About Long Live Vinyl

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Issue 21 of Long Live Vinyl celebrates the moment 50 years ago when the two biggest bands on earth went head to head on record-shop shelves. Our cover story tells the inside story of the making of The White Album and Beggars Banquet, while taking a look inside the new Deluxe Editions of both albums – you’ve never heard The White Album like this before! And our special collector’s edition covers enable you to choose either a Beatles or Stones edition – or buy both! Elsewhere this issue, we meet two of the most outspoken characters in the current musical landscape – Richard Ashcroft and Baxter Dury – to hear about their extraordinary new albums, and Heavenly Records founder Jeff Barrett talks us through his remarkable life in music, selecting the records that have soundtracked his career. Tim Burgess sits down for a chat about his O Genesis record label, The Trip visits Liverpool, our Classic Album is A Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 hip-hop masterpiece Midnight Marauders and we round up 40 Essential Laurel Canyon records that should be residing in your collection. If all that’s not enough, we bring you the most extensive range of new album, reissue and hardware reviews anywhere on the newsstand.