Long live our record shops
In a week of bad news on the job front, here in Sunderland, I was very pleased to hear that the HMV shop in The Bridges Shopping Centre has been saved from closure.
It, along with Hot Rats Records, can continue to offer music fans an outlet to buy their vinyl and CDs and in the case of HMV films.
In this age of downloads and streaming the joy of owning a solid copy of an album or film still has its appeal.
I can still remember buying Tubular Bells and being jokingly told “You can’t listen to it on old tin cans”.
Going through the brown boxes of singles on a Friday in my hunt for something special, struggling with two arms full of LPs when HMV on High Street had one of its sales or buying my first Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band LP from that small corner record shop (whose name is now lost in the mists of time) situated at the bottom of Church Street, Seaham.
My singles, LPs, cassettes and videos are still playable today and the look and feel of a gatefold LP or iconic album sleeve cover or record label design can still excite.
You knew certain labels catered for certain styles and warranted a second look.
In my case, trips to the Sunderland shops like Atkinson’s, Bergs, The New Record Inn and many others, still bring back happy memories of flicking through the racks of new, classic and vintage music.
Talking music with the assistants, whose love and dedication of music was blatantly obvious to anyone, added that something extra, that your computer will never give.
RIP, HMV, Oxford Street, but long live our record shops.
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