Rough Trade is one of the few late 70s/early 80s DIY labels still standing…and still independent. Owner Geoff Travis got his start running a record store in London; selling, promoting, and eventually distributing Punk and Post Punk records. When he decided to start a label, early signees included Cabaret Voltaire, Stiff Little Fingers, Swell Maps, and Electric Eels.
In 1983, the label signed one of its most successful bands, the Smiths.
Cash flow problems caused the label to file for bankruptcy and cease production in the early 90s, but by the end of the decade Rough Trade was back in business. The label’s next wave included The Strokes, The Libertines and Antony and the Johnsons.
Today the label is going strong as a part of Beggars Group (with Matador, 4AD, and XL). Check out some of the Rough Trade’s most recent artists below:
Howler “Back of Your Neck”
Strange Boys “Me And You”
– Submitted By Justin Main, Music Design