Rough Trade
May 4, 2010 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Do It Yourself: The Story of Rough Trade (goog vid, BBC, 1:28) The history of the legendary indie label/shop, home to such bands as Scritti Politti, The Smiths, The Fall, Cabaret Voltaire, The Feelies, Robert Wyatt, The Slits, and many more.
posted by puny human (11 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
This post is having a cosmic alignment with the post directly above it.

(also Yaaay, I had/have like half of RT's entire output)
posted by The Whelk at 12:13 PM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

This is a really entertaining doc—watched it last month. There's something I really love about that alchemical mix of punk, Jamaican music and... I dunno... London-ness.

Nice to see bands like Desperate Bicycles and other lesser-known groups getting their due too!
posted by saltykmurks at 12:19 PM on May 4, 2010

I can't watch this until I'm at home but I am stoked. Rough Trade was always a staff favorite when I worked in record stores. Robert Wyatt, Shelleyan Orphan, Float Up C.P. (featuring Neneh Cherry in 1986) and the Sundays were favorites.

posted by adamd1 at 12:32 PM on May 4, 2010

Mayo Thompson looking sharp as hell.
posted by activitystory at 12:50 PM on May 4, 2010

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Thanks for posting this, puny human. I was a huge Scritti Politti fan in my youth (queued up at HMV Oxford St. to get my copy of Songs to Remember autographed -- Green was gracious and very, very tall).

I was too young to go to shows by most of this era's bands, but I still cherish a great love for all those shambolic postpunk Peel-approved sorts referenced here. I think I feel a vinyl flashback evening coming on.
posted by vickyverky at 3:39 PM on May 4, 2010

There's a nice preview of Rob Young's 190-page book here.

"Travis has variously said that the name Rough Trade was taken from a pulp S&M novel, or a moderately successful Canadian group featuring Carol Pope ..." Whatever, dear.
posted by Twang at 4:16 PM on May 4, 2010

I just had a Johnny Marrgasm.
posted by humboldt32 at 5:15 PM on May 4, 2010

So that's what they're calling rough trade now, huh?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:13 PM on May 4, 2010

That Duffy song at the top sounds a lot like UB-40's version of "Ooh Baby I Love Your Way" with vocals provided by a sick goat. Really, Rough Trade?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:21 PM on May 4, 2010

Okay now that I've seen it at last: I'm struck by how many artists I was completely unaware were ever on Rough Trade to begin with, and that includes the Smiths. I lived my whole life in North America, and the Smiths were always a Sire band to me. Interesting. Same goes for Stiff Little Fingers, who I was unaware got their start on that label.

A great documentary, especially for anyone today who feels that bigger and bigger labels are the only way to get your music to a wide international audience. Great find.

Nice Bonus: you can "download for iPod", which means you can also watch it on a PS3. Sound was surprisingly decent quality.

posted by adamd1 at 6:35 PM on May 4, 2010

Having both The Smiths and The Strokes on your label is a huge achievement. I loved the first Libertines disc as well, though of course the band itself and all the nonsense outside of the music ensured their time was brief.

Back in high school I always thought the Carol Pope thing was just a coincidence and I still believe it but it's nice to have it mentioned.

Having seen the Factory/Tony Wilson doc this was a nice one to see as well. Didn't realize they distributed so many other labels including Mute and Beggars Banquet.
posted by juiceCake at 8:18 PM on May 4, 2010

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