Rough Trade is an independent record shop just off Portobello Road in London. It has been around for over 30 years and really is what an indie record shop should be, complete with knowledgeable staff, an interesting selection, quirky background music and beautiful posters that completely cover all of the walls.
The passion that this place attracts is quite like nothing else. Earlier this week, I got my hands on a 2-CD compilation put together from stories, discoveries and recommendations of the shop’s customers in the past 30 years. There are 30 songs and 30 stories included in the booklet by a diverse group of people. As Rough Trade puts it:
The doors of Rough Trade Shop were first opened 30 years ago, but the album to celebrate this birthday isn’t compiled by the staff themselves. This time, it is the choices of their customers, thirty of them to be precise. They requested not only a favourite record selection from the last three decades but also for fond memories and tall tales from the culture at the counter.
Most of these have had a very personal connection with the store ranging from Bjork who was inspired to create music by records she bought there, to record label founders who looked to the shop as a never-ending source of passion.
The set of tracks is nothing short of amazing, and the stories are a mix of history and insight, or are just plain fun. Wow.
Naturally, they sell it on the site (they also have better photos), but the web is no substitute for an experience like this. If you are in London and have never been there, you owe yourself to visit and feel.