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XSF


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XSF was a short-lived label owned by the always forward moving ex-Split Enz and Citizen Band bassist Mike Chunn, formed after he left Ripper Records and scored a job as head of A&R at CBS Records in Auckland's Parnell in early 1981.

Naturally distributed by his new employer, he signed both Pop Mechanix (ex Ripper Records) and The Crocodiles (ex-RCA/Mandrill), the former giving the label its only hit with ‘Jumping Out A Window’ (No. 21 in March 1981). Pop Mechanix would release 3 singles for the label and the sole album by the band, the lost classic Cowboys And Engines, 1982.

 

The label also released the debut self-titled 12-inch EP from The Narcs (thereafter they were on CBS) and a single by Geoff Chunn, 'The Man's A Wonder'.

However, the label’s biggest successes were with the Hits & Myths series of three albums, which resourcefully collected together recent NZ independent singles as a NZ indie Solid Gold Hits. All three sold extremely well.

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The first Hits & Myths collection sold many thousands in 1981 and provided a template for two more volumes in the series

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The 1982 More Hits And Myths compilation of indie bands was a substantial seller for XSF via CBS

After Chunn left CBS in early 1982 to manage Auckland's Harlequin Studios, XSF was wound down, with the final release being Hits & Myths 3 in early 1983.

Mike Chunn would re-emerge as the boss of Mushroom Records NZ (Dance Exponents, DD Smash, Coconut Rough) later in 1982, and then with the indie label Definitive (co-owned with Tim Finn) in 1989 before heading APRA for over a decade, where he revitalised the rights body. He now heads the Play It Strange Trust, encouraging young New Zealanders to play and compose music.

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