I don’t think there is anything better than rifling through box after box of vinyls in search of a bargain or something by your fave band/singer (in my case its Duran Duran). I love finding new places to fulfil my craving, and recently I stumbled upon a gem of a place, squished between a food outlet and adult store. Upon entering, my friends and I realised we had entered our own little utopia. Everywhere you looked there was vinyls; stacked up, on the walls, in boxes, placed on shelves and even on the floor. I had never seen so many in one place and doing so filled me with joy. What makes record shops so wonderful is the sheer quantity of music that is held within them; most of them have row upon row of boxes, all with as many vinyls in them as possible. It doesn’t matter what you are looking for – most second-hand record shops will have it, the ones I shop at have everything from thrash metal, to northern soul, to new wave, to reggae etc. The eclectic range of music stocked in them means that even if you have no intention to buy anything, just going into one and browsing is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. My friends and I spend inordinate amounts of time within the walls of these shops and never get bored.
The thing I love most about shopping for records is the smell, like with old books, records seem to take on a particular smell once they get old. As soon as you near a box of them it hits you and I find great comfort in it – it’s as though the smell is an aromatic nicotine. I just can’t get enough (something my bank balance does not appreciate), I’d even go so far as to say that my record player is one of my most prized possessions. Although sometimes I buy my vinyls from online retailers – as they are great for getting something specific and fast. I will never turn my back on these shops, it is important for music and its history that they stay around and I hope that they will for a few more years at least. I also hope that younger people continue to discover records and listening to music on them as it is a really special thing. To be able to sit back and think “I’m listening to something that was made 30 odd years ago,” is not only amazing but also a privilege. Thank god there were people out there who took such care of their records that in 2015 they still play perfectly!
For a nostalgia lover like myself they are the perfect way to temporarily go back in time and forget about everything else, when I enter one I can shrug off whatever is stressing me out and focus all my attention on the records. These shops – no matter where, always have a calming atmosphere, there is no bustling, no shoving and no having to try and peer around other people to get a look at something. It’s as though there is an unspoken rule of chillness. This just adds to their appeal, for someone who gets stressed out super easily it is great to be able to go somewhere and inhale these calming vibes.
I am lucky enough to live in a city that has an abundance of record shops, which makes life just that little bit better. Whenever I have a bit of free time that’s where I’ll be, either with my friends or on my own perusing the fantastic music that sits within their walls or adding to my ever growing collection of vinyls. So thank you record shops for adding that special something to my life’s musical experience.