Here's a list called The Strangest Stiff Records, which catalogs novel packaging ideas like the scratch & sniff record cover, the 6" single, and 3-D picture discs. To promote the Be Stiff tour, the label released five albums on the same day (one by each of the artists on the tour) plus a Be Stiff Tour LP with the five touring artists performing versions of the Devo song of the same name. Devo wrote a theme song for Stiff, and Nick Lowe recorded a tribute called "I Love My Label".
It made sense for both artistic and financial reasons to encourage Stiff artists to perform songs composed by Stiff songwriters. This culminated in Tracey Ullman's hit version of "They Don't Know" (#2 in the UK, and #8 in the US charts). Ullman recalled, “One day, I was at my hairdresser, and Dave Robinson's wife Rosemary leant over and said, 'Do you want to make a record?'" Ull-timately, Tracey recorded four Kirsty MacColl compositions, plus a gender-switched version of the Madness song "My Girl" (which had been a #3 hit for the nutty boys).
|Promoting the "Do It Yourself" LP in Oxford Street|
Some of the songs in today's set are performed by Stiff alumni, and not all were released on Stiff. The Members only released one single on Stiff, but they later covered "Police Car" by Larry Wallis. "On Parole" (the b-side of "Police Car") dates back to Wallis' days as a founding member of Motorhead. Nick Lowe and Larry Wallis also served as producers for many of the early Stiff releases.
Wreckless Eric's tribute to the late Larry Wallis (1949-2019) is a touching read.