Strange Fruit (British label dedicated to the distribution of BBC recordings, like Peel sessions)
Strange Fruit Records was an independent record label in the United Kingdom.
The label, established by Clive Selwood and John Peel in 1986, was the primary distributor of BBC recordings, including Peel Sessions.
The name came from the song written by Abel Meeropol and famously performed by Billie Holiday, itself a reference to racially motivated lynchings. The label had the aim of generating sufficient revenue from recordings of 'big name' artists to allow the release of recordings by lesser-known artists. The label's first release was New Order's 1982 Peel Session, in July 1987, and was followed by sessions from some of the biggest names from the punk rock and post punk eras. Recordings from as far back as the 1960s were also released by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. As well as individual sessions, the label also released albums compiling several sessions by the same artist. Strange Fruit was sufficiently successful that it spawned subsidiary labels including Nighttracks (sessions from radio One's Evening Show), Raw Fruit Records (concert recordings from the Reading Festival), and Band of Joy (BBC session recordings from the 1960s and 1970s). In 1994, Peel's BBC colleague Andy Kershaw started another subsidiary label, Strange Roots, which released session recordings by world music and roots artists from his radio show.
Strange Fruit closed its doors in 2004. It was part of the Zomba Group of companies and was shut down when the label merged with BMG. The last release the label put together was an album of New Order's complete Peel Sessions, fitting seeing as the first release that came out was an EP of New Order's first Peel session. Six months later John Peel died.