Flying Nun Records (1981-2003)

  • Flying Nun Records birthed

    Flying Nun Records birthed
    Humble record shop manager and local rock fan Roger Shepherd founded Flying Nun Records, in The Record Factory on Colombo Street, Christchurch
  • First Flying Nun record released: Pin Group’s single ‘Ambivalence’/‘Columbia’

    First Flying Nun record released: Pin Group’s single ‘Ambivalence’/‘Columbia’
    September - Being associated with The Pin Group long before Flying Nun, Roger Shepherd scouted the trio as his first job, despite the length of their career ending being only just over a year
  • The Clean: the birth of Nun’s ‘Dunedin Sound’

    Roger Shepherd signs “his favorite band”: The Clean, having formed from the flourishing of Dunedin’s post-punk/indie pop era of music
  • The Clean’s ‘Tally Ho’

    The Clean’s ‘Tally Ho’
    May - After signing, The Clean’s release of ‘Tally Ho’ arguably molded the reputation of Flying Nun as a record label. It managed to reach No. 19 in NZ music charts
  • Release of Flying Nun’s debut record album: ‘Boodle, Boodle, Boodle’

    Release of Flying Nun’s debut record album: ‘Boodle, Boodle, Boodle’
    November - Just after The Clean’s rise to fame through their hit single ‘Tally Ho’, the released their debut album Boodle, Boodle, Boodle which reached No. 5 in NZ album charts and had astonishing reviews such as those in famous music magazine ‘Rip it Up’
  • Enter Chris Knox and Doug Hood

    Enter Chris Knox and Doug Hood
    After former national hit band Toy Love disbanded in the late 70s at the fault of the trans-tasman rock industry, musician and sound engineer Chris Knox and Doug Hood join with Roger Shepherd to ultimately cement the home-town Dunedin sound into the reputation of Flying Nun. Chris Knox would later join with Alec Bathgate to form Tall Dwarfs, and then continue his solo career through the 1990s.
  • The Dominion Building

    The Dominion Building
    As their portfolio expands, Flying Nun Records moves into The Dominion Building, in The Square, Christchurch
  • 'Dunedin Double'

    'Dunedin Double'
    December - The value of Knox and Hood is only truly heard until the release of Flying Nun's 4 side compilation EP featuring The Chills, Sneaky Feelings, The Stones and The Verlaines. The EP unusually was produced on full size 12inch 45RPM vinyl records
  • Sneaky Feelings

    Sneaky Feelings
    Sneaky Feelings, one of the headline bands on compilation album Dunedin Double, debut on Flying Nun with single ‘Be My Friend’. Their biggest hit, ‘Husband House’, reached No. 16 on NZ music charts.
    Matthew Bannister
    David Pine
    John Kelcher
    Martin Durrant
  • 'Death and the Maiden' by The Verlaines

    'Death and the Maiden' by The Verlaines
    July - 'Death and the Maiden' was one of the first Flying Nun records to make it to the international scene and became The Verlaines arguably most significant work with its characteristic 'jangly' guitar and melodic hooks - referencing the Dunedin sound style
  • The Chills

    The Chills
    After The Clean had made Flying Nun in NZ, is was The Chills that fuelled this fire. Over the course of 1983 and 1984, The Chills would release multiple charting singles, include Kaleidoscope World - their figurehead record.
    Martin Phillipps
    Todd Knudson
    Erica Scally
    Oli Wilson
    Callum Hampton
  • 'Looney Tours'

    'Looney Tours'
    As Flying Nun became well-established in NZ, Roger Shepherd wanted to start touring some of the more well known bands of Flying Nun. So for the first time, bands like The Chills, The Expendables and many others left Christchurch and Dunedin and set off on a National Tour called the 'Looney Tours'
  • The Bats release debut album: By Night

    The Bats release debut album: By Night
    October - First iteration of the second wave of Flying Nun
    Paul Kean
    Malcolm Grant
    Robert Scott
    Kaye Woodward
  • Flying Nun goes global

    September - By the time 1985 had come, Flying Nun was arguably one of the most famous record labels in NZ, with bands like The Chills and Chris Knox's Tall Dwarfs at the forefront. The Chills left NZ for a UK tour and ended up signing with UK based record label: Creation Records, the first for Flying Nun
  • Look Blue Go Purple released debut EP: Bewitched

    Look Blue Go Purple released debut EP: Bewitched
    October - First all women band signed by Flying Nun
    Kathy Bull
    Norma O'Malley
    Lesley Paris
    Denise Roughan
    Kath Webster
  • Kaleidoscope World: a compilation album

    Kaleidoscope World: a compilation album
    February - The Chills release Kaleidoscope World with Creation Records, an album of the current best from The Chills. The album managed to sell upwards of 20,000 copies.
  • Flying Nun UK + Europe

    September - With the astounding success of international Flying Nun bands, Roger Shepherd established Flying Nun UK with Creation Records and Flying Nun Europe with German label: Normal
  • Jean-Paul Sartre Experience release self-titled debut EP

    Jean-Paul Sartre Experience release self-titled debut EP
    David Yetton
    Dave Mulcahy
    Gary Sullivan
    James Laing
    Russell Baillie
    Matt Heine
  • The Able Tasmans release their debut album: A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down

    The Able Tasmans release their debut album: A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down
    Graeme Humphreys
    Craig Baxter
    Peter Keen
    David Beniston
    Leslie Jonkers
  • The predicted 'Death of Vinyl'

    As the compact disc became more and more established as the standard for music listening, Roger Shepherd felt the financial strain as a record label trying to sell records. As Flying Nun's primary source of income, records were becoming less and less popular. With this, EMI Group Ltd threatened the shut down of the only record pressing facility in NZ, in Wellington. Because Shepherd had sole ownership of Flying Nun, he did not have the resources to source record production from Australia
  • Bailter Space

    Bailter Space
    Best known for their album, Wammo, which peaked at No.23 in NZ charts and No.13 in US charts, Bailter Space first debuted with Flying Nun in 1987, with their EP: Nelsh Bailter Space. They were formerly known as The Gordons.
    Alister Parker
    John Halvorsen
    Brent McLachlan
  • Straightjacket Fits release debut EP: Life in One Chord

    July - This was one of Flying Nun's most rewarding signings, with this EP reaching the Top 20 in the NZ music charts and staying there for over 2 months. Their later singles also make their way into charts.
    Shayne Carter
    John Collie
    David Wood
    Andrew Brough
    Mark Petersen
  • Partnership with WEA

    November - Warner Bros. Music, formerly known as WEA, arranges a deal with Flying Nun to fully manage record production and distribution whilst Flying Nun maintains all responsibility for local marketing and advertising
  • Move to Auckland

    November - Flying Nun Records moves for the first time out of Christchurch up to Auckland for easier national and international communication
  • 'The costs keep going up'

    As The Chills become an international sensation, signing with American record label, Slash, and bands such as Straightjacket Fits and The Bats were needing an increasingly larger budget, Roger Shepherd still felt that the label needed help
  • Enter Mushroom Records and Flying Nun Australia

    Enter Mushroom Records and Flying Nun Australia
    Ultimately, Shepherd signed a deal with Australian record label Mushroom Records to from Flying Nun Australia, where all label partnerships and distribution now occurred
  • Melt

    October - Melt, by Straightjacket Fits, was the first album released under Flying Nun Australia, and resulted in No.13 in NZ music charts and sold 40,000 copies in USA
  • Flying Nun's most successful album ever

    Flying Nun's most successful album ever
    February - The Chills release album, Submarine Bells, under newly signed Slash Records for US reception. As a result, the album reaches No.1 in NZ music charts, and became the labels first Gold Album.
  • The 3Ds

    The 3Ds
    October - The 3Ds debut their first EP with Flying Nun: Fish Tales. They will go on to release their most famous work, The Venus Trail, which peaked at No. 12 in NZ music charts in 1993.
    Dominic Stones
    Denise Roughan
    David Saunders
    Dave Mitchell
  • Flying Nun signs foreign artists

    With the rapid expansion of the label alongside Mushroom Records, Flying Nun began signing artists from USA such as Pell Mell, Labradford and Ween
  • 'Noisyland'

    JPS Experience, The Bats and Straightjacket Fits go on world tour of USA, Europe and Australia for their new albums. The trio tour was named: 'Noisyland'
  • Roger Shepherd moves to London

    October - In order to broaden the reach of distribution to the European consumer market, Shepherd moved to London to set up a Flying Nun distributing office
  • The Chills disband

    In the middle of their tour for their album: Soft Bomb, Slash cut all funding for The Chills, resulting in a slow dissolving of band members
  • Headless Chickens release hit single 'George'

    Headless Chickens release hit single 'George'
    September - Reached No.1 in NZ music charts
  • $1M Exported Sales

    Flying Nun receives Tradenz Award for recognition of $1million sales of exported records
  • The 3rd Wave of Flying Nun Tour

    The 3rd Wave of Flying Nun Tour
    New upcoming bands such as Garageland, Loves Ugly Children and King Loser tours Australia and England. The tour was called ‘The Sound Is Out There’, and an eventual compilation record was sold based of the songs played in the tour.
  • Abbasalutely

    A second and third wave Flying Nun artist compilation album as a tribute to ABBA, including 14 covers of famous ABBA songs
  • Garageland

    One of Flying Nun’s most successful third wave, Garageland, first debuted with the recording label with single ‘Come Back’, reaching No. 21 in NZ music charts. Their debut album a year later propelled their stardom, Last Exit to Garageland, reaching No. 3 in NZ music charts.
  • Nunfest

    For their 15th Anniversary, original first wave bands celebrated with gigs around NZ for Flying Nun. This included Dunedin Sound exhibitions in Otago and bands such as The Chills coming back together, even releasing an exclusive album: Sunburnt.
  • ‘The beginning of the end’

    After the partial hand over to Mushroom Records, the classic Flying Nun Dunedin Sound was starting to dwindle as mainstream producers had a great focus on image rather than music. Mushroom was far more set on music making money rather than maintaining what made Flying Nun so great. With this, the relationship between the NZ and Australian companies was starting to dry up.
  • Pop-Eyed

    A pop song compilation album showcasing the best of Flying Nun pop
  • So Long London

    Mushroom Records decide to close the London branch of Flying Nun due continuous low sale numbers in UK
  • So Long Roger

    After 16 years of leadership, founder Roger Shepherd sells his final stake in Flying Nun, handing the reigns over to colleague Lesley Paris. Shepherd stayed in London, turning to drugs and alcohol.
  • The D4

    The D4
    The D4 debut on Flying Nun with EP, Boss TV. They will go on to reach No. 17 in NZ music charts and No. 41 in UK music charts. The band dissolved in 2006
    Dion Palmer
    Jimmy Christmas
    Vaughan Williams
    Daniel Pooley
    Rich Mixture
    English Jake
  • Fiona McDonald

    Fiona McDonald
    Fiona McDonald was arguably one of the most famous solo Flying Nun artist from the third wave, potentially only second to Chris Knox. Her debut album, A Different Hunger, reached No. 7 on NZ music charts. Interestingly her fame came from her career in bands such as Strawpeople and Headless Chickens, with her solo career going for 2 years.
  • Enter Rupert Murdoch

    With Festival buying out Mushroom Records, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp provided much needed financial help to a slowly dying Flying Nun
  • ‘Under the Influence: 21 years of Flying Nun Records’

    ‘Under the Influence: 21 years of Flying Nun Records’
    With the 21st birthday of Flying Nun, came a temporally progressive compilation of Flying Nun songs from 1981-2002. In fact, all songs were re-recorded by the original members of all bands and artists included on a single day in March 2002 including The Clean, Chris Knox, Tall Dwarfs and The Verlaines.
  • Heavenly Pop Hits: The Flying Nun Story

    Heavenly Pop Hits: The Flying Nun Story
    With its 21st birthday compilation album, Under the Influence, a documentary called Heavenly Pop Hits was produced following the full history of Flying Nun Records.
  • The Mint Chicks

    The Mint Chicks
    On paper, The Mint Chicks were the most successful Flying Nun band from the 2000s. They released their debut EP, Octagon, Octagon, Octagon, in 2003. Their most famous album, Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!, won them 4 NZ Music Awards in 2007 including Album of the Year, Best Rock Album and Best Group. The group split up in March 2010
    Ruban Nielson
    Kody Nielson
    Paul Roper
    Michael Logie