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Established in the late 70s as an independent marketing company, Thirsty Ear pioneered the concept of specialized marketing to the yet-unnamed alternative music world in the U.S. As such, Thirsty Ear was hired to implement campaigns in this new area for virtually every major label, working with such now-legendary artists as David Bowie, The Talking Heads and The Police, among many others.
In the mid 80s, Thirsty Ear partnered with English labels 4AD and Beggars Banquet and established their US operations out of Thirsty Ear's offices. The Beggars Banquet alliance proved fruitful and continued for ten years, firmly establishing them as one of the premier English independent labels in America. In 1990, Thirsty Ear made its emergence as a record label of its own, quickly accelerating its position and becoming one of the top alternative independent labels within the U.S. music industry.