Underdog Records

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Underdog Records was a label started by Russ Forster in 1986. Russ was a member of a number bands, such as Fudgetunnel and Spongetunnel. Among Underdog's early releases were records by Sponge (not the '90s alternative band), ID Under, Screeching Weasel, Impulse Manslaughter, Group of Individuals, and Friends of Betty (along with Russ's own bands). Sometime in either late 1989 or early 1990, Russ opted to give up running the label. He turned over control to a collective headed by Douglas Ward, Ben Weasel, and Jughead. To celebrate the birth of the Underdog Collective, the label released a compilation called Achtung Chicago!, which featured bands such as Screeching Weasel, Gear, Ivy League, The Watchmen, Billingsgate, Apocalypse Hoboken, Flea Circus and Target, amongst others. Weasel and Jughead would leave the collective early on, but Douglas would remain on throughout the collective's existence. The Underdog Collective was staffed entirely by volunteers. Aside from putting out records by bands like the Bollweevils, 8 Bark, Cap'n Jazz, Gauge, Eskimo Nation, The Geezers, and many others, the Collective published a zine, put on shows, and distributed music by other local bands that had been released on other independent labels. Unfortunately, by the mid '90s, volunteers were becoming harder and harder to come by. Underdog Records officially shut down in 1997, although the zine would continue on for a some time afterwards. Russ continued publishing zines with 8-Track Mind.