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It's the vinyl countdown

Lost Bold St record shop auctions entire stock of 15,000 LPs

Written by . Published on January 30th 2014.

It's the vinyl countdown

IF you were making a monument or a sculpture called “The almost complete history of pop music” we have for you, today, the building blocks. 

This is one job lot that you will need a truck to shift and a lifetime to listen to. 

Around 15,000 vinyl records, including LPs and 12" singles, can be yours for five grand ("buy it now") or less in a current bidding auction on eBay.

It's the stock of Bold Street's Hairy Records, one of the oldest record shops in the country, which hit the proverbial deck last year. 

The store had rebranded under the name The Vinyl Emporium but “concerns over the building” had forced to shut up shop. Owners had insisted it was doing alright financially. 

“Rock, pop, prog, metal, reggae. Not a lot of dance. 50s, 60s, Beatles, Rolling Stones,” says the listing on eBay. A bit of Andy Williams here, a bit of Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds over there and who knows what in between. 

The closure of Vinyl Emporium last March, left just Probe, 3 Beat and Tuebrook's Musical Box to fly the flags for independent record stores in Liverpool. 

Hairy RecordsHairy Records rebranded as Vinyl Emporium before closing last year

But who will buy? A dealer, or a fan with deep pockets, maybe, such as film director Quentin Tarantino who visited the shop in September 2007: "I found this great little record shop in Liverpool, Hairy Records. There's one record I've been hunting for worldwide for years, and they had it. I was on fire." 

When Vinyl Emporium closed in 2013, it issued this statement: 'The closing of any independent store is a sad day and a reminder of just how important it is to keep supporting them. When you believe the records on your shelves have their own unique tale to tell - not just about the music contained on it but the story of how it got there in the first place - then hopefully you will understand what an honour it has been to take on the legacy of one of the oldest record stores in the country.” 

It could be argued that greed of out-of-touch record companies almost killed mainstream pop when they decided to halt vinyl in its tracks. 

It must have seemed like a win-win in the 1990s when the record buying public began to rush out to purchase albums that they already owned, in new fangled digital format. Never mind that you could now hear 80 tracks instead of just 12, without having to get up after 20 minutes to turn the thing over. 

For many, new releases were just not as sexy when they came in a small plastic shell. But there was a bigger problem. Who knew that digitalisation would open the door to internet piracy, file sharing and the unbundling of albums on sites like iTunes which mean that last year, for the first time since the 1980s, there was no million selling album in the UK? 

A Liverpool Confidential associate tells of earwigging on the 2012 conversation of two very senior record company executives at the Groucho club. “What happened?", one wondered as they drowned ther sorrows. "We were kings. What went wrong?”

The occasion, by the way, was not the drastic closure of a label, but a cut to the other's expense account.

In its rich 12-inch sleeve with notes, bells and whistles, the vinyl record had magical properties that made its purchase, before you had even taken it out of the bag – something of a life event that everybody on the bus knew you were about to experience - if only because of its distinctive shape. 

$_12Get into the groove, or 15,000

However, however,  thanks to bands like Daft Punk, the turntable has come full circle. Vinyl is mainstream cool again. 

When DP released Random Access Memories last May, 6 percent of its first-week sales — 19,000 out of 339,000 — were on vinyl. 

Daft Punk Album
Last year, US retailer Music Direct sold 500,000 LPs and “thousands of turntables” with a spokesman telling The New York Times: “When you look at the sales for a group like Daft Punk you’re seeing young kids collecting records like we did when we were young."

“We never expected the vinyl resurgence to become as crazy as it is,” he said. “But it’s come full circle. We get kids calling us up and telling us why they listen to vinyl, and when we ask them why they don’t listen to CDs, they say, ‘CDs? My dad listens to CDs — why would I do that?’ ”

Will some entrepreneur get lucky on this potentially hot stock currently sitting in the Baltic lock-up? Could be.

Yet whatever anyone's motive for buying this lot, there is one certainty: nobody will ever get emotional about the Compact Disc.

Tweets by Angie Sammons @twangeee


UPDATED: Feb 4, 11am: The winning bid for the lot was £6,100. We'll be taking a commission next time!

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Bryan BiggsJanuary 31st 2014.

Bob would be turning in his grave. Shame it never worked out for the Emporium

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 31st 2014.

Glad you never said "spinning" Bryan. :/

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