A Short Biography Of LINE MUSIC
Back in 1979.
Several major labels had just squeezed out the Punk movement and its followers such as New Wave, when a new small independent record company based in Hamburg made a bold step back into the future: LINE RECORDS.
Virtually nobody still cared about the music of the glorious 60s and 70s then – except Uwe Tessnow, a former A&R rep of Kinney Music and Teldec Records.
Surprise releases by almost forgotten rock stars such as Mitch Ryder and Roger Chapman made their way into the shops and were sold by the vanload immediately.
The news was spread almost overnight, and many musicians got in touch with LINE to find a new platform for their products nobody else was interested in.
A highly attractive artist roster took shape almost by itself, the term "re-release"
was (re)born and has become a substantial part of the international recording
Highly acclaimed (but almost forgotten) artists from America and Great Britain were back in the biz, critics' darlings got their second chance, lost vinyl rarities were available once again, unknown bands and soloists made their marks on LINE.
Uwe Tessnow signed contracts, acquired rights, the so-called "small label with the scale-paper" had fulfilled groundbreaking, pioneering work – fans and collectors cheered alike.
LINE also set a new standard in extracting valuable material from foreign
LINE got the meat out of cult labels such as BOMP and Star-Club, and took over product from newly established indies from the likes of Stiff, Albion, Beserkley among others for the German market.
There seemed to be a niche for everything: Rock and Rock'n'Roll; R&B and Soul; Blues and Pubrock; 60s Garage Rock, Punk and New Wave. Promoting sound from the past and present, LINE had finally arrived.
Furtheron the label set even more new standards – sometimes with a twinkle in the eye: Uwe Tessnow offered coloured vinyl, double LPs with only three sides housed in normal one-album sleeves, 10-inch promo items, special cassette editions – LINE paved the way once more, got imitated but was hardly conquered.
In the mid-80s, comprehensive parts of the label's catalogue were transferred
onto the new compact disc format.
It was the starting shot for special compilation series as well, making LINE a forerunner once again: Rock File, Pop File, and the Backline series – presenting the US pop history from the 40s to the mid-50s – have become legendary projects since, got copied by many competitors but are still a distinctive part of the label's catalogue.
These days Uwe Tessnow is marketing classical music (core theme: rare opera
recordings) – with his pop job expertly done and left behind.
Without his bold reanimation strategy at times when nobody cared, the international rock scene would have been much poorer.
Rock and pop re-issues these days are still a significant part of the record
The crucial pattern has got a name: LINE.