From Roger Shephard’s formation of the label in 1980 (originally with the Pin Group‘s ‘Ambivalence’ 7″ and The Clean‘s seminal ‘Boodle Boodle Boodle’ EP) through to the mid 90s, Flying Nun Records totally encapsulated great New Zealand pop and rock, plus a suitable home for a substantial amount of fringe or experimental material.
From the first wave of bands (The Clean, The Chills, Sneaky Feelings, Verlaines etc) through to third generation and young upstart bands (The 3D’s, Superette, King Loser etc) the strike rate for the label during this period was as high as any indie label in the world, and produced many a classic release.
In fact, with the emergence of low-cost 4-track recording in the early 80s (mostly brought about through Chris Knox and Doug Hood’s huge involvement in the local scenes) Flying Nun Records recordings soon became known for the Dunedin sound – a label that described the lo-fi, jangly aesthetic of their high-light acts.
Over the course of the 90s, bands started requiring more assistance with their recordings, as drifts away from their humble beginnings to a more high-fidelity approach meant the simple home-brewed studios of the past were no longer up to scratch.
These financial strains led to Flying Nun Records expanding their horizons, setting up European and Australian bases, and even outsourcing their vinyl pressing plant.
Essentially, these changes to a more corporate structure brought about the death of the original ‘nun way of operating.
Shephard resigned from the head of operations role as the label and the label relocated to Auckland, creating a rift between label and their bands.
Finally they we’re brought-out whole by the festival mushroom group in the early 00s, retaining the Flying Nun Records persona mainly as an A and R outlet.
Releases still trickle out, and they’ve been committed to reissuing classic former releases, but they’ve certainly lost a lot of the spark of their former years.
- Dunedin double 4xEP (1982 DUN1/2)
- The last rhumba (1983 RUM001)
- Tuatara (1985 FN045 / FNE21)
- Outnumbered by sheep (1986 BFM001)
- In love with these times (1990 FN677 / FNE28)
- Freak the sheep vol. 1 (1991 FN189)
- Flying with Brashs: A Flying Nun Records sampler cassette (1991 FN91/98)
- Roger sings the hits cassette EP (1991 released for the 10th anniversary)
- Flying Nun 1981-1991 trading cards (1991)
- Getting older: Flying Nun Records 1981-1991 double-LP (1991 FN209)
- Pink flying saucers over the southern alps (1991 FN210)
- Freak the sheep vol. 2 (1992 FN226)
- Flying Nun 1993 calendar (1992)
- Wild things-wyld kiwi garage 1966-1969 vol. 1 (1992 FN-vlp-wt1)
- Let them eat pavlova (1993 included with Les Inrockuptibles)
- Shrew’d: a compilation of NZ woman’s music (1993 FN270)
- Ain’t nothing but a sampler (1993 fmgnz01 FES001)
- Ak79: Auckland punk (reissue 1993 FN279)
- Beyond the jangle (1993 Australian release)
- Abbasolutely (1995 ABBA tribute compilation FN315)
- The sound is out there (1995 FN334)
- 15: Flying Nun Records records (1996 FN377)
- Popeye’d (1996 FN395)
- Topless women talk about their lives soundtrack (1997 FN402)
- 12 hours fast (1997 FNUN 1)
- Something for the weekend (1997 FNUN 2)
- God save The Clean (1997 The Clean tribute album FN409)
- I’ll make you happy soundtrack (1999 FN425)
- Scarfies soundtrack (1999 FN425)
- MGD limited edition (2002 FN466)
- Speed of sound (2003 FN479)
- 31 very short films DVD (2004 FN474)
- In love with these times / pink flying saucers double-cd reissue (2004 FN485)
- Second season DVD (2004 FN489)
- Where in the world is Wendy Broccoli? (2005 FN498)
- Flying Nun 25th Anniversary Box Set (2006, FNCD500)
- Tally Ho! (Flying Nun’s Greatest Bits) 2xCD (2011, FNCD517)
- Time To Go – The Southern Psychedelic Moment: 1981-86 (2012, FNCD514)
- PO Box 68194
- NZ, 1145
- Flying Nun Records
- Box 3000
- New Zealand