Rough Trade Shops - 25 Years Box set
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The very idea of a Greatest Hits Of Rough Trade--the very indiest of all of London's independent record stores--should have seemed, in theory, about as risible as the compiling of a Led Zeppelin singles collection. In practice, though, this anniversary compilation is nigh on essential. After 25 years of catering to London's most clued-up punters, Rough Trade has achieved a very respectable legacy of eclecticism; while other lesser independent record shops have tended more towards the traditional, guitar-led music that's come to epitomise modern indie, this compilation offers laudably impressive scope, collecting together a number of the chain's most popular sellers and sequencing them in a loosely chronological order. It certainly throws up some interesting juxtapositions: the caustic riot grrrl of Huggy Bear's "Her Jazz" rubbing up against futuristic avant-pop of Stereolab's "The Light That Will Cease To Fail"; the super-political anarcho-punk of Crass's "Reality Asylum" mere moments from the twee jangle-pop of The Raincoats' "Fairytale In The Supermarket"; or the cobwebbed dub of Lee "Scratch" Perry's "Jungle" that's a massive cultural leap from the loopy Icelandic pop explosion of The Sugarcubes' "Birthday". Taking risks, but seldom putting a foot wrong--really, it doesn't matter if you've ever browsed the rack of Rough Trade, as this compilation is as good an alternative pop encyclopaedia that you'll find. --Louis Pattison
Top customer reviews
Culled from a massive choice of personal highlights that arouse during the existence of the Rough Trade shop, this compilation is not only the coolest, but perhaps the most eclectic record you will ever hear. Reggae, punk, grunge, techno, noise and even an anti-Christian bombast (cheers for that, Crass) all have a home here and, in this big diverse world we live in, the Rough Trade compilation is a true reflection of the mass of influences which, thankfully, makes up this country's record-buying public.
But hang on - you want to know about the music. Well, glance at the tracklisting yourself. Half the names you'll know and will be familiar with - The Smiths, Pixies, Cornershop (their best track, if you ask me), Buzzcocks, Chemical Brothers and Talking Heads to name but a few - but the true beauty in this box-set lies not only it's eclecticism, but it's longevity. You see, not only will it take you (literally) longer to listen to than probably any other album you have, but as you give it repeated listens you'll discover bands and songs you would have never have considered, let alone heard of, before you bought this 4CD set. In the short time I've had this, I've already discovered Le Tigre, Stereolab, Stiff Little Fingers and The Raincoats, all bands I'd previously dismissed. Call it an expensive way of sampling if you will, but the joy of finding a track buried deep in a compilation knows no bounds.
Highlights? There are simply too many, but personally The Congos' "Fisherman", I Am Kloot's "To You" and the hilarious "Part-Time Punks" by the Television Personalities get my vote. But hey, that'll probably change tomorrow.
I'm not gonna bore you with "I've listened to this album every day since I've bought it" rubbish, but if you are the sort of person who tends to glue certain CDs into your player, then best put in your order for Pritt Stick now.
Buy it and restore your faith in independent music.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The cultural significence of this shop is immense as it has always fanned the flames for new musical directions whether this was punk , or cool Jamaican roots reggae in the seventies , or the cutting edge sounds of today .
This 4 cd box set has been released to celebrate 25 years of Rough Trade shops and it certainly does the company justice . Unknown artists sit side by side with musical legends like Pere Ubu , Joy Division , a young Bjork , The Pixies , Lee "Scrath" Perry , and The Smiths ( whose legendary legacy was released on the Rough Trade record label ) . The only thing that links the eclectic music on this collection ( apart from the quality ) is that all the songs were recorded by musical mavericks who were keen to push the sonic envelope back . If you want to hear four hours of exciting , groundbreaking music at a criminally cheap price . START HERE!
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