“Clearly it would be unrealistic not to have expected things to have gradually changed over the last ten years,” Kevin Buckle of Avalanche wrote this week in the Edinburgh Evening News, “but truth is, what was a very well intentioned idea has become commercialised and distorted to a point where it is unrecognisable from those early years.”
As I’ve said before, there’s no way that I’m ever gonna queue all night for the chance to buy some horribly overpriced records that I probably already own whether on vinyl, CD or MP3 and even if I don’t already own the tracks I want then I can always (in all likelihood) download them somewhere online but if RSD still appeals to you, then good luck finding whatever you’re after. To quote again from the same article: “Support high street record shops, support new music and if possible support new music in high street record shops.”
And here I’ll add my own far from original advice: On any day of the year you fancy.
By coincidence, while cleaning out a cupboard this morning, I came across a bunch of old albums collected together in a record shop bag from Impulse Records & Tapes, which certainly brought back some memories and prompted this rather impulsive post.
Carrier bags like this have over recent years – and for reasons that I can’t fully understand – started to become collector’s items and some apparently fetch reasonable sums of money when auctioned off on eBay although when I just looked none were going for anything above twenty quid. I seem to remember hearing that a book consisting of photos of old (and possibly some new) bags from British record shops had been published and a few articles have also appeared in the press about the phenomenon.
And so for anyone interested, here’s my old bag which is chanky to the extent that I really thought it best to set to a high contrast when assembling in Paint Shop Pro:
Impulse started out in Hamilton before adding a second branch in East Kilbride town centre in the summer of 1977, the grand gala opening involving a helicopter and several Radio Clyde DJs. I remember heading over in the early days during a school lunch hour and being given a Jam poster and badge – a very big badge from memory.
Before then in East Kilbride, records and cassettes were available in Rockabill (closed years ago) John Menzies (now WH Smith) and Boots, which is still Boots albeit there’s no racks of vinyl nowadays.
Saturday morning trips into Glasgow and shops like Listen, Bruce’s and Graffiti continued but it was good to have a record shop within walking distance and I did spend many hours flipping through the Punk and New Wave box on the counter, stacked with singles by the likes of The Adverts, The Damned and The Clash – and bands like Motorhead, The Count Bishops and even Loyd Grossman’s old band Jet Bronx And The Forbidden – in other words, records that didn’t really belong in a punk or new wave box.
Today, the unit – which I think is now a pet store that is actually set to move shortly – shares the same row as a carry-out shop, a chippy, a bookies and a boozer, so you never have to stray more than a few yards to keep the vice or carbohydrate levels up. Sadly though, if vinyl is your addiction you’re out of luck.
Okay, here’s a track from one of the albums I found in the bag. From the disappointing No More Heroes album, this is The Stranglers and the far from disappointing title track:
Record Store Day 2017 will take place on Saturday, April 22.