Nice to see my old RPM label co-founder Mark Stratford get the ‘collectors’ page in the new edition of Record Collector magazine.  This regular feature looks at different vinyl collectors each issue and what makes them tick.  Mark, myself and Roger Dopson founded RPM back in 1991 to try and forge a reissue label putting out CD packages as we wanted to see them, rather than the often indifferent way the majors handled their archives.  Mark is still at the helm, the label now operating out of Cherry Red’s indie empire.  I bailed out to restart Purple Records and Roger teamed up with the guys at Sequel, but RPM keeps on truckin’ and the article gives a nice flavour of Mark’s undiminished enthusiasm for the scene.  We’re currently working together on a book of rare American Blues photographs for publication early in 2017, and hopefully an exhibition to go with it.

Here is one of the first three RPM CD designs from 1991; if I recall Mark and Roger didn’t get any say in this whatsoever! We did plan vinyl editions (I may still have the mock-ups somewhere) but sadly the market was in free fall at that time and we just didn’t have the money to do both.


About simon robinson

Having worked as a graphic designer in the music industry, mainly in the reissue sector, I now concentrate on the design and publication of books about popular culture - and even write some of them.
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3 Responses to RPM

  1. Bring back the Connoisseur Collection. That’s what I say!

    • simon robinson says:

      You are showing your age now! I used to work for one of the owners of the label and that’s where me and Mark first did a few albums together, and eventually came up with the idea of RPM. Though it’s a sobering thought that Connoisseur’s biggest seller was not our carefully packaged Deep Purple offerings, but a bog standard Barry White 2LP reissue set which went gold…

      • Haha good old Barry! Those Connoisseur Purple releases were such a big deal to me. I know a lot of those recordings have been re-everythinged many times since but I still love and stick with those editions. Foxbat, Knebworth and Rainbow in Germany in particular.

        But the most cherished for me is the two RPM Gillan BBC sets: Unchained Your Brain and Dead of Night. LOVE those sooo much.

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