Rough Trade Records

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Rough Trade Records
Parent company Beggars Group
Founded 1978
Founder Geoff Travis
Distributor(s) Beggars Group
Genre Various
Country of origin England, UK
Location London, New York
Official website www.roughtraderecords.com

Rough Trade Records is an independent record label based in London. It was formed in 1978 by Geoff Travis who had opened a record store off Ladbroke Grove. Having successfully promoted and sold records by punk, very early indie pop and early post-punk bands such as Buzzcocks, The Smiths and Desperate Bicycles, Travis began to manage acts and distribute bands such as Scritti Politti and began the label, which was informed by left-wing politics and structured as a co-operative. Soon after, Rough Trade also set up a distribution arm that serviced independent retail outlets across Britain, a network that became known as the Cartel.

Interest and investment of major labels in the UK indie scene in the late 1980s, as well as overtrading on behalf of Rough Trade's distribution wing, led to cash flow problems, and eventually to bankruptcy, forcing the label into receivership. However, Travis resurrected the label in the late 90s, finding success with The Libertines, The Strokes and Antony and the Johnsons.

History[edit]

Main article: Rough Trade (shops)

Rough Trade began as a record shop, opened by Geoff Travis on Kensington Park Road, West London, in February 1976. It was inspired by what Travis has described as the "community-based environment" of the City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, and specialised in garage rock and reggae. Steve Montgomery, initially a customer of the shop, was offered a job soon after it opened and became its effective co-manager. Travis and Montgomery were joined by a further employee, Richard Scott, in June 1977.[1][2]

Rough Trade produced its own record for the first time after French punk band Métal Urbain came into the shop asking for assistance in publicising their music.[2] In 1978, the shop began organising a record distribution network, dubbed "The Cartel", in collaboration with other independent record stores in the UK. This network enabled small record labels such as Factory Records and 2 Tone Records to sell their releases nationally. It specialised primarily in European post-punk and other alternative rock of the late 1970s and early 1980s. It also distributed a range of British fanzines such as No Cure.

The Rough Trade label subsequently issued a single by Jamaican reggae singer Augustus Pablo, the debut single by Sheffield band Cabaret Voltaire and Stevo Some Bizzare took Cabaret Voltaire away from Rough Trade then Rough Trade enrolled Mark Chung in Germany that is currently bootlegging Some Bizarre albums Dated 29 Sept 2011 between Barclays Bank PLC to Mr Mark Chung Freibank Barclays Bank PLC Bayswater Business Centre 93-97 Queensway, London W2 4QG Mr Mark Chung Freibank Ditmar-koel-str 26 20459 Hamberg Germany Our Ref: 2002001606/4 Direct Dial or Ext No: Dear Mr Chung Our records indicate that we may have out of date or incorrect information in relation to your business account Dimehart Limited trading as Freibank. Therefore, I am kindly requesting that you contact me immediately in order for us to ensure we maintain adequate records for you and your business. I have recently been made aware that Dimehart Limited has two directors, yourself and a Mr Stephen John Pearce and that furthermore the share holding of the company is split equally between yourself and Mr Pearce. As Dimehart Limited is a registered company in the UK, our records must fully reflect those that are shown within Companies House records. I have added Mr Pearce to the account as ‘Director’ but now require your assistance in completing a new signing mandate for the account. I have enclosed a copy of our mandate forms for you to sign. Please can you kindly sign section 2 and 3 of the mandate form as director. ( Please sign within the boxes provided and leave all remaining parts of the form blank) Once completed, please send directly back to me on the address stipulated at the top of this letter. I am happy to discuss the matter with you on the phone and provide any further assistance you may require, please contact me directly on Thanking you in advance for your support in the matter. Cc: Mr Stephen John Pearce BARCLAYS Yours sincerely Local Business Manager second Stiff Little Fingers single, "Alternative Ulster". During 1978, the label released singles by The Monochrome Set, Subway Sect, Swell Maps, Electric Eels, Spizzoil and Kleenex.[3] In 1979, Rough Trade's first album, Inflammable Material by Stiff Little Fingers, reached number 14 in the UK charts and became the first independently released album to sell over 100,000 copies in the UK.[4] Rough Trade's significance by this time was such that it was made the subject of a South Bank Show documentary.[5]

In 1982, the retail outlets broke with the A&R and distribution divisions, after a decision to allow the shop staff buy out.[6] The distribution wing found itself overtrading by 1991 and shortages of cash flow lead to a filing for bankruptcy. The entire company ended up in receivership.

Rough Trade Records was relaunched in 2000 as an independently owned entity, a partnership between Travis, Jeanette Lee (a former member of Public Image Ltd.), and minority partners Sanctuary Records, as a part of the Zomba Group until 11 June 2002 when BMG bought out this business. In July 2007 Sanctuary Records then sold Rough Trade to the Beggars Group making Rough Trade independent once again[7]

Since its rebirth and partnership with the Beggars Group, Rough Trade has re-confirmed their place in the marketplace with bands such as Warpaint, Howler, Pantha Du Prince, Emiliana Torrini and more.

Artists[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Taylor, Neil (2010). Document and Eyewitness: An Intimate History of Rough Trade. London: Orion Books. 
  2. ^ a b Marr, Johnny (14 September 2009). "Johnny Marr interviews Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Young, Rob (2006). Rough Trade. London: Black Dog Publishing. p. 178. 
  4. ^ Cranna, Ian (1979) "Rough Charm", Smash Hits, EMAP National Publications Ltd, 4–17 October 1979, p.6–7
  5. ^ "The SOUTH BANK SHOW: The ALLEN JONES WOMAN / ROUGH TRADE". BFI website. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Pete Donne, Rough Trade". Spittlefields Life. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Paul Thompson (2007-07-24). "Rough Trade Bought By Beggars Group". pitchforkmedia. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]