3 Beat was founded in 1989 by Jon Barlow and began life as a second-hand record stall in Liverpool's Quiggins market. At the time the UK was falling under the spell of house music and the shops of London and Manchester were stuffed with Chicago Trax, Italo House and New York's funky garage. In Liverpool there were few places to buy it until Barlow and two other vinyl addicted students (Dave Nicoll and Phil Southall) decided that the hours journey to Manchester's Eastern Bloc was becoming a bit dull and 3 Beat opened its doors with a shop on Wood Street. All the big name DJs – Pete Tong, Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, Judge Jules and more shopped there religiously via their globally acclaimed mail order service. The shop went on to win numerous awards including the prestigious Music Week independent retailer of the year award in 2002.
Business quickly boomed, leading to the birth of the 3 Beat record label when customers started bringing in demo tapes to the shop. The first release was "Compulsion" by Zenana who later became K-Klass, club-classic, it was closely followed by New Atlantic "I Know" and Oceanic "Insanity", both of which became massive chart hits. Things just built from there. Other top tens followed Lisa Marie Experience "Keep on Jumping", Pianoman "Blurred" and Berri "Sunshine After The Rain"
3 Beat also set up the now legendary G-Love club night which fast became one of the best night's in the country and brought names like Andy Weatherall, Pete Tong and Paul Oakenfold to Liverpool for the first time. The last Thursday of every month, queues would stretch for miles as clubbers came from as far afield as London and Glasgow to feel the G-Love. In 1991 the night was voted Best Club Night by Mixmag.
More success came when 3 Beat began managing dance trio Dario-G, co-producing their massive hits "Sunchyme", "Carnival de Paris" and "Voices" in 1997 and 1998. "Sunchyme" peaked at number 2, kept off the top slot by Elton John "Candle in the Wind" – a tribute to Princess Diana released soon after her death. "Carnaval de Paris" climbed to number 5 and was chosen as the theme tune for 1998's World Cup and "Voices" was used on the soundtrack to the film "The Beach".
Between 2002 and 2007 the label had multiple hits under the name Boss Records. You might remember "I See Girls" by Studio B, Angel City "Love Me Right" and "Do You Know" and Aaron Smith "Dancing" and Mason Ft. Princess Superstar "Exceeder".
In 2007 the label was reborn as 3 Beat Productions building up a hugely talented roster of artists. With the likes of Alyssa Reid, Duck Sauce, Inna, Martin Solveig, Skepta, Alexandra Stan and Sway the label is now a hotbed of hits. And after 20 years at the forefront of dance music we had our first UK number 1 in 2011 with Sak Noel "Loca People".