Sunday, August 06, 2006

Children of the Revolution Records

Update 7/5/2019. This was our first post back in 2006, before Negative Insight existed as a proper entity. We wanted to do a physical mag or zine, but we didn't have a cohesive idea at the time, so we started a "blog." C.O.R. was one of my favorite labels, but there was limited info available on it. This was 2006 and info was still semi-hard to come by on a lot of pockets of old hardcore. People take ease of access to information for granted these days, but it was work in the 1990s and into the early 2000s. The Kill From The Heart site was like an web based international hardcore bible for an entire generation of punks like myself, but no single website could replicate the amount of info available today. Anyway, here is the original 2006 post revised with some newly added information and photos (to replace all the ones that no longer work).
Children of the Revolution Records, better known as COR, was started by Tim Bennett in 1984 in Bristol using inheritance money he'd received. Bennett had originally started COR as a zine, producing three issues that covered British and international hardcore punk. At the time that COR was shifting to a label, British punk was transitioning from the UK82 era to a more hardcore and underground sound, and the label was in the right place at the right time to help usher in that shift.

Riot City Records, coincidentally (or not?) also from Bristol, had been Britain's leading hardcore label with releases from the Varukers, Ultraviolent, and Bristol's own Chaos U.K. and Disorder (whose releases were on Riot City offshoot label Disorder Records). By 1984 though, Riot City was winding down, and COR picked right up where they left off. In fact, Onslaught (who were also from Bristol) had sent their demos to Riot City in hopes of getting picked up by the label. However, with Riot City ending, Onslaught were turned down down, resulting in their seminal "Power From Hell" LP being released on COR in 1985 instead.

Before that LP though, two other fellow Bristol bands released records on the upstart COR imprint. Lunatic Fringe released the "Cringe With The Fringe" 7" EP, and Chaos U.K. (who briefly shared a drummer with the Fringe) released their genre defining argh and fuzz LP "Short Sharp Shock" LP in 1984.

More releases would follow, and COR quickly became one of the premier hardcore labels in the world. It went from being based out an office in the back room of Full Marx bookshop to an office space in an old run down building, while Tim Bennett put in up to 16 hours a day working on the label.

Label spotlight in the April 1986 issue of Rough Trade's The Catalogue
The Stupids released a trio of records including the "Violent Nun" EP, "Peruvian Vacation" LP (both from 1985) and "Retard Picnic" LP (1986) that were hugely successful releases, catapulting The Stupids to being one of the most popular bands in hardcore. They were probably the best USHC band ever to not be from America, and their releases remain essential and blazing today. 

Equally popular were Sacrilege, whose "Behind The Realms Of Madness" LP from 1986, featuring three former members of the Varukers, is powerful thick metallic hardcore. AOA, The Apostles, Concrete Sox, and Oi Polloi helped to certify the C.O.R.'s status and symbol of quality UKHC before the likes of Earache or Peaceville ever began.

The label also released international hardcore as well. Italian bands CCM and I Refuse It (paired together on a 1985 split LP), along with Declino and Negazione (also on a split LP) were brought to larger audiences in the U.K. by C.O.R. (leading to Negazione U.K. tours in 1987 and '88). Other international HC acts included Vicious Circle from Australia, Angor Wat from Norway, and Heibal from Belgium. The merits of the label were noticed in abroad as well, as both Sacrilege's and Onslaught's aforementioned LPs were licensed for North American pressings via Pushead's choice Pusmort label.

After three intense years of logging long hours putting out hardcore and thrash releases, Tim Bennett decided to close down C.O.R. As Shane Dabinett of Manic Ears explains, "People think I took over C.O.R. Records, and that is not the case. All I did was take over his mail order and take two releases – the Bad Beach LP and the 'Digging In Water' compilation and put them out on Manic Ears. I did not take over C.O.R. at all; it was still Tim Bennett's label, and he still did the deals with the distributor, etc. over his label, even though he stopped putting stuff out. All I did was take over his massive stock of mail order records and put out the two LPs he had lined up for his label before he decided to call it quits."

In total, C.O.R. Records had a total of 27 releases to their credit. Few other labels can claim such a high percentage of bangers, and the releases are still sought out today.

Links for further reading:
Tim Bennett's Children of the Revolution Records official site (contains no info)
Manic Ears Records website
Shane Dabinett/Manic Ears Records interview on Bristol Archives Records
Straight bangers

C.O.R. Records discography:

7" and 12" EP Releases

COR 1 (1985) - LUNATIC FRINGE - "Cringe with the Fringe" 7"
COR 2 (1985) - XPOZEZ - "Forcefed the Truth Drug" 7"
COR 3 (1985) - THE STUPIDS - "Violent Nun" 7"
COR 4 (1985) - AOA - "Who Are They Trying to Con?" 12"
COR 5 (1985) - POLITICAL ASYLUM - "Winter" 7"
COR 6 (1985) - POTENTIAL THREAT - "Brainwashed" 7"
COR 7 (1985) - FAMOUS IMPOSTERS - "Would Anything Change?" 12"

LP Releases

GURT 1 (1984) - CHAOS UK - "Short Sharp Shock" LP
GURT 2 (1985) - ONSLAUGHT - "Power From Hell" LP
GURT 3 (1985) - CCM/I REFUSE IT split LP
GURT 4 (1985) - SACRILEGE - "Behind the Realms of Madness" LP
GURT 5 (1985) - VICIOUS CIRCLE - "The Price of Progress" LP
GURT 6 (1985) - DEPRAVED - "Come On Down..." LP
GURT 8 (1985) - ANGOR WAT - "General Strike" 12"
GURT 9 (1985) - THE STUPIDS - "Peruvian Vacation" LP
GURT 10 (1986) - CONCRETE SOX - "Your Turn Next" LP
GURT 11 (1986) - THE APOSTLES - "The Lives & Times of the Apostles" LP
GURT 12 (1986) - AOA/OI POLLOI - "Unlimited Genocide" split LP
GURT 13 (1986) - KINA - "Cercando" LP
GURT 14 (1986) - DEPRAVED - "Stupidity Maketh The Man" LP
GURT 15 (1986) - THE STUPIDS - "Retard Picnic" LP
GURT 16 (1986) - HEIBAL - "Yeah, Everything's Great!" LP
GURT 17 (1986) - THE ACCÜSED - "The Return of Martha Splatterhead" LP
GURT 18 (1987) - SCUM - "Born Too Soon" LP
GURT 19 (1987) - EYES ON YOU - "Received With Thanks" EP
GURT 20 (1987) - V/A - "DIGGING IN THE WATER" compilation LP


Anonymous said...

Fuckin' Maiden ruining it for the rest of us.

Tim COR said...

Any trainspotters wanting to question me about obscure history,feel free!

Erik SN said...

Tim CoR, get in touch please at would kill for an int in my zine.