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It is over 30 years ago now that the Rough Trade shop opened its doors to the public in Notting Hill, West London. Disco and soft-rock ruled the airwaves, The Clash had just signed to CBS and Geoff Travis set up the company with a group of friends as a communistic, DIY alternative to the increasingly stale mainstream. Over the ensuing years the Rough Trade Shop, Rough Trade Records and Rough Trade Distribution profoundly altered the landscape of modern music. Run with punk's revolutionary zeal, Rough Trade cast its net wide in its search for musical innovation, from French and Northern Irish punk rock to classic Jamaican dub. The label released many of the most important and enduring records of the 1980s by artists including: The Smiths, Scritti Politti, The Pop Group, The Raincoats, Galaxie 500, The Go-Betweens, Aztec Camera, Robert Wyatt, The Fall, Arthur Russell, Ivor Cutler and Linton Kwesi Johnson. Rough Trade looks back on three fascinating decades of innovation, noise and change, taking in ups and downs, twists and turns and some of the best music ever committed to vinyl. Review ''Rough Trade charts the label's history through its stories, images and sleeves and unearths a few gems along the way.'' --NME Magazine Synopsis Established in 1976 in West London by Geoff Travis, as an anarchic, DIY alternative to the mainstream, Rough Trade grew to become a defining influence in the British music scene. Originally specialising in US and Jamaican imports, it became one of the leading outlets for the burgeoning punk scene, signing such bands as Metal Urbain, Stiff Little Fingers, The Raincoats, Scritty Politty, Robert Wyatt, The Fall, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and most famously, The Smiths. It was the signing of the Smiths that propelled Rough Trade from a cult post-punk label into the mainstream, as the Smiths became one of the biggest independent bands ever. Towards the end of the 80s, the empire had already started crumbling, and in 1991, the label went bankrupt. Travis continued to work in the industry, and by the mid-nineties had managed to revive the label. It has been riding the crest of a wave ever since, with bands, such as Arcade Fire, Antony and the Johnsons, Pulp and Babyshambles. "Rough Trade" is the remarkable story of this unique label, tracing the changes that have occurred over the past three decades, and addressing both the production aspect of the company and the distribution and record shops that operate as separate businesses with worldwide reputations. Boasting a complete discography and filled with archive images, profiles and interviews, this book is an essential for any music lover of any age. "Rough Trade" follows on from "Warp in Black Dog's Labels Unlimited" series; which surveys record labels whose innovative practices have stamped their identity on musical styles the world over.
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