Thursday, 8 April 2021

Seems Like a Long Time

March 25th - the date was naggingly familiar, but for a while I couldn't put my finger on exactly why. And then I remembered. It was on that very day, 21 years earlier, that I closed the doors on my little record shop for the last time. 21 years...blimey. The numbers pile up. By the time I took on my own business, I'd already been working in record shops for 7 years. Then I spent 14 years behind the counter at my place. Now it's been 21 years since it all ended. Sometimes it feels like only yesterday - sometimes it seems like a very long time ago indeed.

I recently came across the photo at the top of this post in the middle of a negative strip. It looks very much like 1989 to me. I've no idea why I took it, unless it was to document my recently purchased CD racking, which cost me an arm and a leg, but, as I tried to explain to my long-suffering bank manager at the time, CDs are the future y'know! 

Name those sleeves.

Rod Stewart - Seems Like a Long Time


John Medd said...

Nothing says '80s CDs quite like Collins, Ferry, and Simply Red! Vinyl just out of shot?

Charity Chic said...

Maybe wishful thinking but do I spy Gorgeous George by Edwyn Collins on the CD racks?
And Eels?

Swiss Adam said...

Great photo, a time capsule. The good (New order Technique, Pet Shop Boys Introspective, The The's Beaten Generation 7" in there too), the bad (The Hit Factory- although there'll be a decent Kylie song on there) and the ugly (Phil Collins). Good to see the Stray Cats displayed so prominently.

Brian said...

I'm sure you're filled with so many emotions when you look at the photo, Swede. Even though it has been ages since you told the story of your adventures with the shop, I still remember vividly how they made me feel as a reader. Fond memories were mixed with heartbreak all over the page.

Your guess at the date seems right on (I'll add Paul Simon's Negotiations and Love Songs comp that came out in 1988), but if that's Gorgeous George by Edwin Collins, the photo has to be more like 1994. I see where CC is coming from, but it does seem out of place with the others on the timeline. It also looks like the possible Edwyn has his arms down and maybe hands in pockets which is a little different than how he has his arms on Gorgeous George. Anyway, this is great fun to spot the covers, isn't it? I wish we had more.

Brian said...

Enjoying the New Age Steppers right now too. Thanks for bringing that to light. Been way too long.

Martin said...

See Madonna and Sam Brown featuring prominently too. Plus a showing for Roy Orbison on the top row.

Charity Chic said...

As I said Brian wishful thinking

The Swede said...

John. The vinyl you seek is over my right shoulder.

CC. I know the one you mean, but it's a Bryan Ferry compilation.

SA. That's pretty much the view people got when they walked in through the door. It was a very small space, so I tended to make the first titles that customers would see as unthreatening as possible so they didn't do a 180 and walk straight back out of the shop. The Einstürzende Neubauten and Extreme Noise Terror sections are out of shot to the right :-)

Brian. Yes, most of the time these days it really does seems like a very long time ago, but just looking at this photo vividly summons up the feel and smell of the place. Glad you're digging the New Age Steppers. I recently invested in the reissued vinyl catalogue, having ill-advisedly replaced them all with CDs 20 something years ago. Terrific stuff.

Martin. I'll always make room for The Big O.

Rol said...

I love looking at photos like this and thinking back to simpler, happier times. More stories from that era, whenever you feel like sharing them, will always be welcome, Swede.

Alyson said...

A great picture - Although poignant now to look back I admire you for actually biting the bullet and opening a shop in the first place. So many people would have dreamt of doing that but didn't have the guts. Yes, CDs were the new big thing, and still tangible - So different to how most of us consume our music nowadays.

My eyesight not good enough to pick out anything else but had forgotten Vanessa Williams was a singer back then. Most used to seeing her in acting roles now. Had a few of those on cassette copied from other people's collections (sorry, shouldn't have admitted that to someone who ran a record shop) but again long gone as nothing to play them on nowadays.

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