|Distributor(s)||R?R Megacorp (UK)|
R?R USA (US)
Locus Solus (Japan)
|Genre||Rock in Opposition, avant-rock, experimental music|
|Country of origin||England|
|Location||Thornton Heath, London|
Recommended Records (R?R) is a British independent record label and distribution network founded by Chris Cutler in March 1978. R?R features largely "Rock in Opposition" and related music, but it also distributes selected music released on other independent labels.
In 1982 Cutler established November Books, the publishing wing of Recommended Records, and between 1985 and 1997, Recommended Records and November Books published R?R Quarterly, a "quarterly" sound-magazine edited by Cutler.
When English avant-rock group Henry Cow toured Europe between 1975 and 1977 they encountered many bands in a similar situation to their own: they were forced to operate outside the music industry that refused to recognise their music. In 1978 these groups got together and formed Rock in Opposition (RIO). To provide a record label and distribution network for these artists, Chris Cutler of Henry Cow established Recommended Records (R?R) as a model for a non-profit music company. When RIO folded as an organisation in late 1979, R?R continued RIO's work by representing and promoting marginalised musicians and groups. R?R became a "virtual RIO", and "part of the continuing legacy of RIO".
Recommended Records grew from "Ré", a private record label in 1978 to "R?R Megacorp" in 1989, an internationally recognised independent record company with distributors worldwide. They have consistently introduced new and interesting artists from around the world, many of whom might never have been able to release records. They have always put the artist first and commercial viability second.
When Henry Cow split up in 1978, Chris Cutler created a record label called Ré for his own projects with a distribution arm called Recommended Distribution, so called because he personally "recommended" the titles they distributed. The intention was to import and distribute new, interesting and experimental music from all over the world to the United Kingdom.
In 1979, Cutler established the Recommended label for releases other than his own. In 1987, he combined the Ré and Recommended labels to form R?R, and at the same time Recommended Distribution became a worker's cooperative enabling Cutler to concentrate on running the RéR label and writing R?R's mail order catalogue. This arrangement worked for a few years, but in 1989, due to enormous unpaid debts from Recommended Distribution, Cutler was forced to restart his own distribution system again, and R?R became R?R/Recommended. Recommended Distribution went on to become These Records, an affiliated label. R?R/Recommended became known as R?R Megacorp with a website and online shopping facilities.
Just as Recommended Records's name evolved over the years, so did its logo. Here are examples from 1979 and 1998:
Recommended Records has the following imprints:
A distribution network of affiliated labels exists throughout the world to promote experimental, unusual and innovative music. While many of these labels are distinct operations, they share a common musical ethic. Some of these affiliated labels are:
These are some of the artists that have had music released or re-released on the Recommended Records label.