The Saydisc and Village Thing Discography book jacket

Saydisc & Village Thing Discography - Mark Jones

Price: £16.99 (+ shipping)
Title: The Saydisc & Village Thing Discography
Author: Mark Jones
Publisher: The Record Press
Paperback: 215 pages
Book Dimensions: 24.6 x 17.2 x 1.25cm
ISBN: 978-0-9563531-2-2
Keywords: Saydisc; Village Thing; alternative folk; mechanical music; church bells; railway recordings; Ian A. Anderson; folkadelia; Roots; Matchbox blues; Amon Ra; alt folk; Dave Evans; Ahura Mazda; Steve Tilston; Matchbox Bluesmaster; Fred Wedlock; Bristol; carillons; barbershop; musical boxes; Cotswolds; folk; world; field recordings; Rounder Records; Kanawha; psych folk; acid folk; Weekend Beatnik.


The Saydisc & Village Thing Discography is the second volume in the occasional Great British Record Labels series and comes hot off The Record Press to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Saydisc, which began life in 1965 as Saydisc Specialized Recordings Ltd, and the 40th anniversary of Village Thing, which grew out of Bristol’s vibrant, late 1960s post-blues, folk scene.

Inside is an in-depth look at the wonderfully-eclectic Saydisc label and at the UK’s original “alternative folk label”, Village Thing. Also included are the Saydisc-related Matchbox, Roots, Amon Ra and Ahura Mazda labels. To make this celebration even more special, the book includes over 50 pages of illustrations, including some previously-unpublished plus sleeve illustrations for almost every record llisted – those few that are missing are so rare that even Saydisc does not have file copies!

Saydisc started life in the Bristolian suburb of Frenchay and set about recording all aspects of Bristolian musical life, from folk and jazz to church bells and organs to mechanical music from old cylinders and music boxes. However, in 1968 the label began a policy of releasing both contemporary British and classic American blues on the newly-formed Matchbox imprint. This policy was extended with the pressing and distribution of Johnny Parth’s legendary Roots label. If this wasn’t enough to ensure future collectability for the label, 1970 saw the formation of the Village Thing label, which concentrated on the emergent post-blues, home-grown British folk scene. Village Thing is now considered the classic acid/psych folk label, with the majority of records on the label having risen sharply in value over the last few years. In 1973, the Amon Ra label was formed to release chamber music on authentic instruments, long before this became fashionable. Added to this, Saydisc also produced contract pressings for others, often with woefully-short pressing runs. Many of the records released are now highly collectable.

Saydisc also released records licensed from quality American labels such as Rounder, Ahura Mazda and Kanawha to present contemporary American roots music alongside its expanding catalogue of classic jazz and blues. Added to this were releases covering barbershop, world music, choirs, hand bells, British dialect, brass bands, carillons, church bells and railway recordings. This has ensured that Saydisc is now considered an absolute one-off. A truly classic British record label.

At a glance

  • Listings of all known LPs, 7” records, CDs, cassettes and 8-tracks
  • Over 50 pages of illustrations of record sleeves, and photos from label owners' archives
  • Illustrations of all known label designs plus memorabilia
  • A brief history of Saydisc and Village Thing, with contributions from the owners

See inside

Have a look inside:

Contents page;

Example page 1; Example page 2; Example page 3; Example page 4;

Example page 5; Example page 6; Example page 7;

Example graphics 1; Example graphics 2.

If the example pages do not open in your browser (it works in most!), you can use the link in the window that opens to download the pages in pdf format.


A bit too early for reviews yet - wait until it's actually been published!