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Andy Ross dies

By | Published on Wednesday 26 January 2022

Andy Ross

The former head of the Food Records label, Andy Ross, has died. He was 66. No cause of death has yet been announced.

Born in South London in 1956, Ross’s first brush with the music industry came as frontman of the band Disco Zombies, who released a handful of singles in the late 70s. Later he became a writer for music magazine Sounds and is credited with giving the ‘shoegaze’ genre its slightly derogatory name.

In 1986, Ross took a job heading up Food Records, the Camden-based independent label founded by The Teardrop Explodes keyboard player David Balfe two years earlier. There Ross signed bands including Blur, Jesus Jones, Dubstar and Idlewild. When Balfe sold Food to EMI in 1994, Ross remained its head.

Having been at the centre of the Britpop scene in the mid-90s, as the music industry changed the label was eventually folded into the then EMI-owned Parlophone label in 2000.

Paying tribute last night, Blur drummer Dave Rowntree said: “Really sad to learn of the passing of my friend and mentor Andy Ross. He was one of the good ones – generous, warm, and kind. They broke the mould”.