|Founder||Peter Jesperson, Charley Hallman, Paul Stark|
|Genre||Various, mainly alternative rock and punk|
|Country of origin||United States|
Twin/Tone Records was a record label based in Minneapolis, Minnesota that operated from 1977 until 1994. It was the original home of influential Minnesota bands The Replacements and Soul Asylum, and was instrumental in helping the Twin Cities music scene achieve national attention in the 1980s. Along with other independent American labels such as SST Records, Touch and Go Records, and Dischord, Twin/Tone helped to spearhead the nationwide network of underground bands that formed the pre-Nirvana indie-rock scene. These labels presided over the shift from the hardcore punk that then dominated the American underground scene to the more diverse styles of alternative rock that were emerging.
The label was born from the Minneapolis punk rock music scene, which included venues like Jay's Longhorn Bar. The label was begun by Peter Jesperson, local music and sports writer Charley Hallman, and Paul Stark. Releases by pop/rock group The Suburbs were both Twin/Tone's first release (1978's The Suburbs), as well as the label's last, Viva! Suburbs! in 1994. Jesperson signed the Replacements to the label immediately after the band's debut gig at the Longhorn Bar in Minneapolis. By 1984, the label had released 41 records and grown large enough to support three paid staff members, with its biggest-selling records including the Suburbs' debut and the first two discs by The Replacements. Other groups that signed with the label include The Magnolias, Babes in Toyland, Agitpop, The Jayhawks, Poster Children, Soul Asylum, The Wallets, Curtiss A, and Pennsylvania-based Ween. British alternative-rock musician Robyn Hitchcock also released his 1990 solo album Eye through the label.
By 1994, the label had released more than 300 records by 100 bands, and had begun to develop an umbrella relationship with a group of about a dozen smaller, mostly Minnesotan indie labels, including:
In 1995, Twin/Tone was recognized as a "significant regional label" by Billboard Magazine. In 1998, Stark decided to stop releasing physical product in favor of digital media. The company is currently described as being "in mothballs", only releasing limited amounts of out-of-print material on custom-burned CDs, though some of the more significant material was licensed to Restless Records, part of Rykodisc.
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