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 Welcome To Discerning Music Fans Everywhere...

To the World Wide Web home of Banana Records! Banana Records released its first record in 1982 - long before the debut of that entity known as the internet - but here we are!

Banana Records traces its history in Cleveland to as far back as 1973, when it emerged as a concept in the heads of a few music heads plying the scene in those long ago times. Please feel free to explore these pages. You'll find a concise history of Banana on the about page, you can explore the Banana stable of artists, and purchase their material. You can also check out Mab Zab Music publishing, which continues to be operational and can handle your music publishing needs. (Protect that intellectual property, folks!)

Thanks for visiting, and send us email with any questions/additions/subtractions.

Breaking News from Banana Records...

“With Friends Like These” Now Available in CD & All Streaming Formats

“With Friends Like These,” the first solo record by Cleveland area musician Paul Nickels, is now available through all streaming services and for purchase as a CD.

Click Here to Order Your Copy Now.

Paul Nickels“Friends” is a sprawling, 20-song collection recorded by Nickels in his own studio and featuring the original work of Nickels and six other Cleveland songwriters, including Dan Cook and the late Terry Hartman of legendary 70s/80s Cleveland band The Backdoor Men, in which Nickels served as drummer. The tunes range from Cook’s ironic, blues based “Inner Peace” to Hartman’s psychedelic masterpiece “Pavlov’s Cat,” and includes songs by Nickels, Richard Altieri, Mark Bluhm, Dave Borucki, Jim Butterfield, John Castrigano, and Bill Rouse.

Bluhm and Rouse played in recent years with Nickels in two bands in the power pop vein – The Clifton Beat and Inner Ring Conspiracy, while Borucki leads Nickels’ current band, The Old Brown Shoe Revue.  Other contributors to the record had recorded their own material with Nickels and kindly offered contributions to the record.

Songs on the album range from edgy power pop, to garage rock, and even pop folk. The record was completed during the heaviest stretch of the Covid lockdowns, and several of the musicians contributed remotely.

“This got me through that terrible year,” says Nickels. “I decided to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse and make something of the time. I had a core set of songs spanning a number of years that I wanted to record properly, and then the kindness of friends filled it out. I had to stop at 20 songs! I am told that it is a very listenable record, and that’s music to my ears. The lyrics are very good and the vocals are up front. It’s the album I always heard in my head.”

Nickels signed with Banana Records early this summer. Banana label head Jim Butterfield contributed to the record instrumentally.

“In the end, it was all about the friendships I’ve built - with artists I’ve produced and musicians and writers I’ve played with over the years,” Nickels concludes. “And it’s my tribute particularly to the songwriters. They conjure magic out of the air.”

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About Paul Nickels: Paul Nickels has played drums for a variety of Greater Cleveland bands over the past decades, including The Backdoor Men, Inner Ring Conspiracy, The Clifton Beat, and most recently The Old Brown Shoe Revue. While drums have always been his primary instrument, he is an enthusiastic if mediocre guitar player and also contributed acoustic and electric guitars and even some bass to the project. He is the proprietor of Handsome Studio in Bay Village, where the album was recorded and where he has produced and recorded albums and EPs for a number of other Cleveland artists. Learn more at www.handsomeproductions.com.

About Banana Records: Banana Records was founded in 1982 by Cleveland, Ohio musician and songwriter Jim Butterfield as a music distribution outlet for musicians in Northeast Ohio.   From 1982 – 1990, Banana Records released 11 titles on the label, with  artists ranging from Butterfield’s own projects (The Leisure Set, Butterfield 8) to local favorites such as Lucky Pierre and Jinni Fontana.  After 1990, Butterfield concentrated on the music arm of the label (Mab Zab Music), providing publishing and promotion avenues for Cleveland-area songwriters.

In 2021, Banana Records became an active label again with new releases by Paul Nickels and the latest incarnation of Butterfield 8.  Information about Banana can be found at www.bananarecords.net.

Banana A&R Honcho Mick Butter hard at work on "With Friends Like These."


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