Rough Trade 1976/78:
Geoff Travis collected records while traveling across America
Shipped records back which started the Rough Trade shop in 1976
Specialized in different, unusual music
Had an identity, wasn’t after people money
Became HQ for punk due to position in Ladbrook Grove
Mainstream labels began to take notice of shops record selling power
Formed alliance with West Indian community due to local area.
1977- Spiral Scratch put out record with the idea anyone could make a record without record company backing.
Scritti Politti put instruction on record sleeve, DIY manufacturing
1978- Rough Trade started mail-order to individuals and shops; this led to start of the record label.
People were paid equal money to keep simplistic friendly atmosphere.
Rough Trade’s Downfall:
Found it hard to hold onto bands after they had made their breakthrough
Lack of business experience which caused financial problems.
Majors have a bigger finance, better technology, and wider advertising.
Shop was shut in 1982 due to financial problems
Rough trade rights were sold off
Bad relationship with The smiths. They wanted to leave, but had to stay because they had a contract with Rough Trade. They eventually left in 1986.
As it got bigger and developed Rough Trade lost collective spirit from the audience.
Technology advances, making it harder for them to distribute.
Went Bankrupt in 1991
Rough trade – Re-invention:
In 1991 Geoff Travis and Jeanette Lee set up a shop near the original placing of the shop, to revive rough trade
Started managing Jarvis Cocker from Pulp. Pulp later signed to Island records and reached number 2 in 1995.
Rough trade was re launched in 2000.
They signed The Strokes, who were there biggest signing since The Smiths
June 11th 2002 was bought out by BMG
2006 rough trade celebrated 30 years of Rough Trade. Shops double-album launched a digital store and updated a mail order website.
In July 2007 Sanctuary Records then sold Rough Trade to the Beggars Group making Rough Trade independent once again
Since its rebirth rough trade has released albums by high charting artist such as The strokes, The Libertines, Babyshambles and Belle and Sebastian.
New shop opened in Talbot Road in 2007, it allowed audience not just to buy records/music but to visit the coffee shop, watch live performances stage, exhibition space, and 'snug' internet/workshop corner.
They got there first number one with Duffy “Mercy”.
Rough Trade now:
A much larger organisation that when Geoff and Jeanette started out but still trying to maintain their ethos of non-mainstream, music-that-they-like, treat-the-artist-well, equality-for-all hippyness (don't use that word in the exam!).
CHECK OUT THE 'HISTORY' SECTION OF THE WEBSITE FOR MORE.