We have grown happily accustomed to the flourishing and the development of the 21st-century indie music labels' landscape. In the early 1980s, it wasn't easy for a faithful music fan to find alternative kinds of sounds and scenes to follow. The major labels had occupied the most part of the available space in the previous decade, contrary to today, a music fan had to grow accustomed to a whole lot of precast types of music - though often good and well-crafted. The 1970s mainstream sound was a strong trademark as well, but the fans in search of particular niches needed to refresh their ears with something really innovative and new.

New Rose, a boulder in a pond

new rose records was one of the most fantastic paradoxes in rock music's history. Though its diversified catalogue included many American important names, they couldn't find a place in a context in which the market rules were hugely prevailing. It was founded in Europe and would grow mainly thanks to the precious work of some European alternative music magazines, among which it's worth remembering the Italian Buscadero and Rockerilla. We didn't have Facebook and the other social media in those analogic times, but it wasn't impossible to spread a good news, when it was worth the effort.

The label was opened in 1980 in Paris by Patrick Mathè and Louis Thevenot, who had previously owned a famous alternative record shop in the French capital and who respectively were the administrator and the artistic director of the project.

The most fascinating and meaningful part of it was that New Rose emergence inextricably coincided with the explosion of post-punk so that it was possible to create an ideal transoceanic link with its (sort of) twin American label, Slash Records.

New Rose lasted until 1994 and, in a time when the US appeared to despise their own musical and cultural legacies, acted as a shelter for a large bunch of musicians and genres to whom the doors of the American music industry were unfortunately closed.

In the 1950s and '60s, America invented rock 'n roll, garage rock, psychedelia, alternative songwriting. About twenty years later, things radically changed; money became the main obsession of the industry's bosses. Mathè and Thevenot's work is consequently praiseworthy, but one can't help feeling sad thinking about the many talented artists who had to cross the ocean and come to Europe, hoping to find a record contract and an actual audience.

This weird state of things happened while at the same time in the States the MTV-era was just beginning.

New Rose, browsing through the catalogue

Here are some of the artists and bands that, appreciably and surprisingly, were included in the New Rose Records roster.

WILLIE 'Loco' ALEXANDER- With his crispy mixture of post-punk, garage and psychedelia, this Philadelphia native recorded nine albums for the French label. Everybody should jump into every given marketplace of the world to try to find them. A Girl Like You (1982) and the Taxi-Stand Diane EP (1984) are consistent stand-outs.

CHRIS BAILEY - Casablanca (1983), the first of the five LPs the Australia born and former leader of the post-punk band Saints recorded for New Rose, should be included in every aspiringly serious domestic record collection.

BAND OF BLACKY RANCHETTE - Nowadays, every indie music fan knows everything about such labels as Americana and Alternative Country, but this band, which Howe Gelb led before forming the longer lasting Giant Sand, foreshadowed it all ten or fifteen years earlier. Listening to their 1st self-titled LP is enough to prove it.

ALEX CHILTON - In the 80's, the former leader of the 1970s power-pop kings Big Star found the most possibly comfortable place to stay inside New Rose. He scratched the Big Star's pop layers away and opted for a brand new sound, an iconoclastic trademark strongly indebted to R&B, woozy jazz and original rock. Many Italian fans heard something about AIDS for the first time thanks to a song called No Sex which was included in the samely titled 1986's Ep.

Chilton died in New Orleans in 2010.

ELEVENTH DREAM DAY - The band that contributed to lay the foundation of indie rock with Lived To Tell (1991) had begun its recording career in 1988 thanks to Mathè and Thevenot who allowed them to cut Prairie School Freakout, recently reissued by Thrill Jockey, one of the best contemporary indie labels.

ROKY ERICKSON - It's tremendously bizarre, but the former lead singer of the seminal 13th Floor Elevators couldn't carve a millimetre of space for himself in the 1980s' American music's territory. He had written no less than You're Gonna Miss Me, one of the groundbreaking rock songs, in the Sixties but to record Clear Night For Love (1985) and other middle-age masterpieces he had to emigrate to a foreign land.

TAV FALCO - If it wasn't for New Rose's goodwill, maybe nobody would have ever heard about this rebel child of the Fifties and the American Songbook, who sang rock 'n roll as if Elvis had recorded his hits inside a cave and conceived unrespectful covers of Mona Lisa and The World We Knew, the latter made famous by Frank Sinatra.

LYRES - Formed in Boston in 1979 and led by the volcanic lead singer Jeff 'Monoman' Connolly, this band was one of the cornerstones of the '80s garage-rock revival. Due to the plentiful doses of fuzz guitars, Farfisa organ, shakers and tambourines, one could think their LPs were recorded in the second half of the '60s if he only hadn't carefully read the sleevenotes. On Fyre (1984) is an indisputable proof in itself.

ELLIOTT MURPHY - One of the most talented and uncommon American songwriter of the '70s, with his blend of Lou Reed-ish decadent approach and Faulknerian melancholy (one of his first album's songs is called Like a Great Gatsby), Murphy went to France in the early '80s to work and stay. He inevitably acquired some of the peculiar French 'chansonnier' traits and so he turned into a unique and never-seen-before kind of songwriter. One of the most romantic kisses of love between European and American culture.

OLYMPIC SIDEBURNS - The Australia native members of this band could have been one of the two halves in an ideal bill with the aforementioned Lyres. The Sideburns slightly differentiated from the Monoman's band thanks to a more robust punk-rock approach.

It's extremely important to dress like a hunter and try to find an original copy of their sole LP on New Rose, at least because it includes a free EP, which contains a monumental cover of Arthur Lee's 7 and 7 Is.

CALVIN RUSSELL - Sometimes fate forces a songwriter to live a so deep and uneasy life that he can write his songs with a bloody kind of ink and he can carve them from the many scarves that drew the second skin upon and through his body. A Crack In Time (1990) and Sounds From the Fourth World (1991) are sorts of musical novels that tell a lot about a man who experienced life in jail and always walked on the wrong side of the road until he died in 2011.

TRUE WEST - Their first album, the Hollywood Holiday Ep (1983), with the funny image of a James Cagney dressed like an aviator on the cover, would have made Syd Barrett happy thanks to its early Pink Floyd psychedelic esthetic, which was undoubtedly expressed through a beautiful rendition of Lucifer Sam.In the first full-length LP, called Drifters and published one year later, the psychedelic approach becomes poppier and less idiosyncratic and contributes to the creation of the Paisley Underground's trademark sound.