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Rough Trade Records is an independent record label, based in Londonmarker, Englandmarker. It was started in 1978 by Geoff Travis.


Geoff Travis was traveling in North America and amassed a huge record collection as he moved from coast to coast. He then shipped these records back to the UK which became the basis of the Rough Trade Shop. The label grew out of the Rough Trade Shop, founded by Travis in West London in 1976. The Label was set up in 1978 and also went into the distribution business. Distributing amongst others "Joey Parratt's" first band The Flying Brix. It became independent from the shop in 1982, then went bankrupt in 1991, ruining quite a few smaller record labels to which money was owed. Rough Trade was relaunched in 2000.

Rough Trade specialised primarily in European post-punk and other alternative rock of the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the late 1980s Rough Trade branched out by issuing an eponymous album by Lucinda Williams. Other early signings included Agitpop, The Raincoats, Young Marble Giants, The Smiths and Scritti Politti (the latter re-signed to the label in the mid 2000s). Geoff Travis later launched Blanco y Negro Records in partnership with Warner Bros. Records.

Rough Trade was an independently owned entity — a partnership between Mr. Travis, Jeanette Lee, (a former member of PiL), and minority partners, Sanctuary Records, as a part of the Zomba Group until June 11, 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

Since its re-birth, Rough Trade has released albums by high-charting artists such as The Strokes, The Libertines, Babyshambles, and Belle & Sebastian. A 192-page illustrated history of Rough Trade, written by Rob Young of The Wire, was published in September 2006 by the UK-based company Black Dog Publishing.


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