Our Favourite Record Shops

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

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Jared
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Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Jared » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:01 pm

Since joining, I have noticed a good number of comments, understandably reflecting on the precarious state of our independent & second hand record shops, buffeted as they have been, both by the rise of music downloading, and the economic downturn. Indeed, a report in Britain has highlighted that their number in the UK have halved within the last 5 years... :(

So, I thought I would lighten the gloom a little, by telling you about a very special place, less than 30 miles away from me, in a sleepy Shropshire village, which has given me a tremendous amount of encouragement in collecting Classical Music.

Half way up the hill in Bishop's Castle, there is a little shop which might be described as 'Three Shops in One'. As you enter, and head to the back, you will find a Second Hand book section; usually quality hardbacks, reasonably priced, and specialising in the Arts. When I initially stumbled upon the place, I used to head to its History section, at the back, right hand corner, where I could spend ages perusing the possibilities. But, how blind was I? Between the front door and the book section, lay arguably the largest collection of 2nd hand classical CDs for sale, outside of London! Indeed, many dealers from around the UK, often make pilgrimages there, as the elderly proprietor and his wife (lovely people) seem to specialise in purchasing and breaking up complete collections/ libraries of recordings, often brought in by relatives, who wouldn't get the same enjoyment from them, as a loved one.

So, when I first started visiting, just sifting through the 'box set' section alone was an overwhelming experience, (let alone the general A-Z!!) however I quickly learnt that those browsing along side you weren't the type to impatiently muscle in on the Rachmaninov section, but rather were happy to chat and impart their knowledge on fine recordings of appropriate pieces to try... :D

The experience has meant that I can easily spend 2 hours sifting and re-sifting the trays, like a small boy in a sweetie shop. It has got to the stage where I have to take the cash out of the bank machine before I go in, and determine that to be my budget. And, any money I have left over, may be spent in the third part of the shop, which is their tea-rooms, where a latte and carrot cake may be consumed whilst I read the liner notes to my new gains... :D

for those of you who are a mite inquisitive:

http://www.yarboroughhouse.com/index.htm

and as I'd like to hear about yours, maybe we could dedicate this thread to a general celebration of our favourite record shops... long may they continue!! :D

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by bombasticDarren » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:52 pm

My favourite UK classical seller is Gramex near Waterloo Station, London.
Devoted owner who offers great bargains and insights, plenty of stock to peruse at leisure and prices are great. I hope you have a chance to visit Jared.

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:34 pm

Both Virgin Stores in Manhattan will close by June, that means the only Record Shop will be J+R, luckily for me it is literally across the street from my Apartment...
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:46 pm

Amazon.

Living where I do, in a rural section of an under-populated state, I have to rely on on-line shopping. Now it's a necessity, but when I lived in the DC area, I did that too to save money and time. We had record stores in the area, primarily Borders and Record & Tapes Ltd., I just would rather shop on-line when I want to, not when the brick-and-mortar stores are open. I buy both books and cds used 99% of the time from Amazon 3rd party sellers and have had only a couple of problems in 13 years of hundreds if not thousands of purchases.
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Jared
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Jared » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:10 pm

oh dear... maybe this is another thread which will quickly bite the dust... :(

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:42 pm

Jared wrote:oh dear... maybe this is another thread which will quickly bite the dust... :(
Well, there aren't exactly a lot of Record Shops left...
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by some guy » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:19 pm

Hey Jared, if you post on certain topics, you can get zero responses!!

But I digress. I live a three minute walk from Music Millenium in Portland, OR, where I moved a couple of years ago from the L.A. area. It's not Amoeba by any stretch, but it's very, very good indeed. (It's simply smaller than Amoeba. If it were as large, it would rival Amoeba, maybe even surpass it.)

And there are other stores here, too. Anthem Records has a lot of avant classical/fringe people like Francisco Lopez and Daniel Menche and Zbigniew Karkowski. Timbuktunes has even more just avant classical, like Tudor and Parmegiani and a very tasty CD of electroacoustic music from Sicily that I just bought a couple of weeks ago.

Between those three, I manage to stay in a state of perpetual poverty (while feeling spiritually wealthy, of course).
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Wallingford » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:14 pm

I've just about concluded that my favorite record store's the one I'm now running from my own little apartment, selling them over Amazon (long-time members of my collection as well as lucrative stuff I've scavenged for downtown)......amazing how many have record players out there & want the vinyl. Then again, not so amazing.
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Lance » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:46 pm

I checked out your site in Shropshire. It's a good thing I don't live there! I would probably be there in all free time waiting to see things come in - and go - with vigour. That place even LOOKS as clean and orderly as a whistle, as we say here.

Chalkie is right. At least in the USA, new and used record shops are a dwindling—if not already dead—breed. My favourite stores were in New York City. These included Sam Goody's on West 46th Street, which had a huge collection of classical LPs and attendants to go along with it. They were highly knowledgeable. I live three hours from NYC, but whenever I walked into Goody's back in those good ol' days, everybody knew me and welcomed me with open arms. I bought most of my recordings back then at sales from 50-60% off retail. Other stores were The Record Hunter at 505 Fifth Avenue, Music Masters, and Chambers Record Corporation in the village. They are all gone now, just memories of when it was REALLY fun to browse and find things. Boston, MA, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA and other areas I had also had the best Tower Record stores for CDs. The HMV store in Cambridge, MA was also very good at one time. Ithaca, NY (Cornell University) had some great stores. They are all gone now, too.

I visited Toronto, Ontario, Canada, fairly regularly. There was A&A Records, Sam the Record Man - both highly interesting places where you could always find something of musical value. It was usually good pricing because of the value of the US$ then. A few places remain in Toronto, particularly L'Atelier Grigorian, who have wonderful help and offer many things you can't get in the USA, especially from the biggies like the Universal Group and EMI.

In the Binghamton, New York area where I dwell, the only place to buy records is at the Barnes & Noble superstore. I was in there today amidst doing some errands and walked out with nothing in hand. Their classical department a few months ago was double the size it is today. It continues to shrink. I saw no one buying classical product and there was nothing of interest for me. Normally, I would walk out with at least one CD with each visit. It's been months since I've bought anything there. I am not going to revew my 10% discount card next time for which you pay $25 for anyway. Books, especially, are cheaper from Amazon.com. CDs are still retail priced (generally) but you don't have to pay the postage on orders of $25/more.

My visits to NYC to see my daughter no longer include visiting any record stores. I buy 99% of books and CDs online now. It's delivered to the door, no hassle parking in NYC and getting huge tickets for over-parking or garage-parking, fighting the traffic, etc. I do miss the excitement of shopping during the LP era.

There is no question: the Internet has changed the way we do business today. We still have to shop for groceries, however. Even clothing can be purchased through the Internet and often at far reduced prices from what you find in leading stores for the same brands. In some cases, there is no tax; shipping charges don't apply if one is over a certain dollar amount. New York State, however, is changing all that. Amazon, for example, adds the 8% purchase tax on all orders now. Buyers (and Amazon) is fighting this tax situation. If ever states need their tax dollars, it is now.

Truthfully, there is not too much in the way of NEW recordings that interests me today with the exception of pianists such as Hamelin, Hough, Volodos, etc., and some vocalists and instrumentalists. With a collection over probably now 35,000 or 36,000 CD titles and 68,000 LP titles [one title = the 92-CD Artur Rubinstein Edition, for example], I'm am generally leaving new releases, such as complete sets of Beethoven nine symphonies, to more contemporary collectors. I am vitally intersted in historical recordings and classical recordings made up to around 1975 or so. England, Japan, and some other European countries do an excellent job in reiussing live or historical material and I attempt to stay on top of that with issues by such companies as Tahra.

Given what's happened economically and the way people listen to music today through downloading, etc., I suspect that the CD market will change dramatically over the next couple of years, if that long. I just hope in my heart of hearts that companies such as EMI, RCA/Sony=BMG, Decca/DGG/Phillips=Universal, and a few others are not going to bite the dust. One wonders what will happen to all the master recordings from their vast catalogues. I also know that companies are being hurt substantially by the copying of CDs for friends and family.

For any new releases I acquire, I depend now on e-mail from the Amazon companies in all parts of the world, ArkivMusic (expensive but good, especially for reprints), H&B, MDT-England, JPC-Germany, and a few others. Usually, EMI, Hyperion, etc., is much cheaper from England than the USA with some exceptions. I cite one exception, in US$, the 50-CD set of Yehudi Menuhin runs $116 plus post from MDT. From other companies in the USA, that set can be had for around $85 US$. The other EMI "Icon" series packages run HALF what the USA charges, even with post fees. BRILLIANT boxed sets run about $2.73/CD USD$ from England and around $6 when purchased in the USA. So, one has to do his "shopping."

For the first time in my life, I have purchased the LEAST amount of CDs in the last four months than I ever have. Still, for January-February-March (so far), I have added 176 CDs (including review copies, used discs, new acquisitions, etc.). I cannot complain too much! In fact I am overjoyed to have what I have since music is the food of life!

This was far more than you asked for Jared. I think your idea for this thread is excellent! You have done a marathon job with your contributions to CMG. I'd like to find more "Jareds" in the English-speaking countries across our great pond! Come on, Ireland, England, Scotland, and others ... spend some time with us!
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Jared
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Jared » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:41 am

^^^ :lol: many thanks, Lance... that was an insightful and enjoyable post... :D

naturally, the trends regarding downloading, internet shopping and the economic downturn are the same over here, its just that us Brits have a tendency to wish to hang on to our traditions for as long as we can, and for us, there is nothing more comforting or satisfying than finding a small, second hand record or bookshop (especially when it doubles up as a coffee house)! I think we are genetically pre-disposed toward the slightly musty smell of old books & records, the buzz of finding something obscure, the creak of old wooden floorboards, the bargain box in the corner, the comraderie of fellow shoppers, and the knowledge of the proprietors, for whom the business will have been their life's work.

Amazon and ebay are great, but they can never replace such an experience, and I don't think the Brits will let such places die out without a fight... :wink:

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Ken » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:06 am

I think I speak for most of us when I say that, whenever I can afford it, I always prefer buying my records from an independent retailer than from an online store. I'm disappointed, then, that the only store in Halifax that has a classical music focus is both so overpriced and has such a limited selection. Occasionally there are good sales here, but oftentimes I'm left 'just browsing' and then logging on to MDT or Amazon when I get home to add the discs I couldn't find to my wish list.

When I was living in Ottawa, I used to often visit CD Warehouse, which had excellent new and used classical sections, and the prices were only slightly more than online. Like J&R and other large record stores, CD Warehouse has helpful staff dedicated to their classical section, and the Gramophone, Penguin, and All Music Guides for records are available for browsing.

I also cherished my short trips to Toronto when Sam's was still open; that classical section seemed enormous to me at the time, and the prices were unbeatable. I can imagine that in the '90s when the Canadian Dollar was at its nadir (and the CD was at its peak!), American travellers would have relished visiting and stocking up on 2/3 price discs.

Even counting my visit to J&R in Manhattan, I didn't realize what a real classical music section was like until I visited the basement of 'Dussmann - das KulturKaufhaus' in Berlin-Mitte. Shelves upon shelves of excellent new music, and the prices weren't all that bad for European standards. I'd like to find something similar in Düsseldorf once I get there in August; when I visited the city I went to the Saturn megastore on Königsallee, which had a half-decent selection, but which one had to go up three escalators within a giant shopping arcade in order to access! So if anyone knows a good record store in the city, I'm looking for hints. ;)
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:42 am

Buying online takes away the joy of searching for a CD and finally finding it after going thru all the cd's in the racks at a Record Store, once you go online that stops because you can find everything available somewhere, then comes the wait for it to arrive, a case in point, today at J+R I finally found a Double Decker of Falla's music, I had been searching J+R for about a month looking for it, J+R restocks everything they sell so it must have come in since the last time I was there a week ago, so, this afternoon at work I can play it, take it home tonight and rip it and play it for a second time...I could have bought it online a month ago but it's no fun...of course if it's a bargain online then I will get it but otherwise I just add it to my wish list and if I don't find it within a month then I buy online...Corlyss is right too, the Bellini disc is not available here, I love that opera, i'll probably get it this week because I can't wait to hear it, some CD's take months to appear here...
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Seán » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:32 am

I visit Tower Records religiously every Sunday. Upstairs at the back of the shop they have a combined jazz and classical music section. The jazz collection has remained largely unchanged down through the years. A few years ago they started selling jazz LPs. I bought a few but all of them were warped: they were shrink wrapped, so I returned them and haven't bought any jazz recordings now for more than a year. The larger classical music section is a joy. I usually spend about an hour or two hour slowly browsing through their selections. They do bring in new stuff too. Whilst browsing one is often serenaded with classical music too which is very welcome because outside of the jazz/classical section the young ones usually play recordings of cats being strangled or something that sounds quite like it.

I am prepared to spend a few euro extra in Tower rather than buy a recording online as I like to support the shop, however, I wonder how long it will last. Tower is very competitive too so who knows?
Seán

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Wallingford » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:18 pm

Here in Seattle, getting out to do one's record shopping is really a recreational/occupational hazard, as the only second-hand shops playing "civilized" music are the Half-Price Books chains. Otherwise, the independent shops (Easy Street Records, Al's Music Video & Games, The Second Time Around, Cellophane Square) are run by those in their twenties & thirties and normally pipe in the screaming, headbanging stuff.
Last edited by Wallingford on Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by nut-job » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:20 pm

I had no idea Tower Records still licenses its name for retail stores overseas. All US operations were shuttered a few years ago and the website eliminated, with the URL and trademark transferred to the Caiman web site.

I guess I do not share the fondness for the good old days prevalent here. There was a feeling of joy at reaching a big record store where classical recordings were stocked with relatively good selection, but that was because selection was invariably poor at local stores. I remember the excitement of riding the train to NYC to visit J&R at Park Row, lower Manhattan and coming back with stack of Harnoncourt/Concertgebouw recordings of Mozart Symphonies, unavailable at local shops because it was on the obscure "Teldec" label. But the clerks at J&R, though knowledgeable, were bitter opinionated boors who relished the chance to explain to you that your favorite conductor was a cretin, your favorite orchestra couldn't play in tune, your favorite recording sold well because it was popular among ignoramuses, and that your favorite record label mixed discarded pressings of Beatle albums into their vinyl to save money.

Amazon is a paradise, with customer reviews, access to myriad marketplace resellers for used and discounted CDs, good price and the best selection. MDT is another treasure. I'll be the first to dance on Sam Goody's grave.

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:54 pm

nut-job wrote:But the clerks at J&R, though knowledgeable, were bitter opinionated boors who relished the chance to explain to you that your favorite conductor was a cretin, your favorite orchestra couldn't play in tune, your favorite recording sold well because it was popular among ignoramuses, and that your favorite record label mixed discarded pressings of Beatle albums into their vinyl to save money.
That was probably back when they had a triple level store, Classical Upstairs, Budget/Mid Price on the Street Level and Opera in the Basement, the Basement Guy was the worst...now, however there is just Jeffrey, a kind, polite and very helpful person, he was at Sam Goody back in the day...the last thing you would get from him is attitude, he's there to help and if you're a newbie he is ultra helpful...
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by stenka razin » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:08 pm

Chalkperson wrote:Buying online takes away the joy of searching for a CD and finally finding it after going thru all the cd's in the racks at a Record Store, once you go online that stops because you can find everything available somewhere, then comes the wait for it to arrive, a case in point, today at J+R I finally found a Double Decker of Falla's music, I had been searching J+R for about a month looking for it, J+R restocks everything they sell so it must have come in since the last time I was there a week ago, so, this afternoon at work I can play it, take it home tonight and rip it and play it for a second time...I could have bought it online a month ago but it's no fun...of course if it's a bargain online then I will get it but otherwise I just add it to my wish list and if I don't find it within a month then I buy online...Corlyss is right too, the Bellini disc is not available here, I love that opera, i'll probably get it this week because I can't wait to hear it, some CD's take months to appear here...
Chalkie and Corylss, May 5th is the US street date for the Bellini opera that the three of us love and want to buy. :D :D :D
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by stenka razin » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:17 pm

All I have to choose from are Borders and Barnes and Noble. The selection is horrible and changes are made at a snail's pace. I buy all of my CDs from either Amazon, Arkiv or J&R. Once in awhile I will use Presto in the UK and Buywell in Australia.
I truly miss the days browsing for recorded music in retail stores. It is so much easier, but, so much duller buying online. :( :( :( :(


P.S. The only reason to go to Borders or Barnes and Noble is to browse for new books. They have both almost completely given up on their recorded music sections.
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:21 am

We also have a mega Saturn store in Mannheim---as well as Media-Markt, where I occasionally find a rare gem of a recording. But SATURN is basically it. Otherwise, I like mail-ordering from JPC, located in Hannover (I believe).

Tschüß!
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Ken » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:09 am

^ Don't suppose you happen to know of a good record store in Düsseldorf, Jack?
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:40 am

Ken wrote:^ Don't suppose you happen to know of a good record store in Düsseldorf, Jack?
Sorry, Ken. I was in Düsseldorf once---just driving through. But check out "JPC"---they ship anywhere in the world and have a great website....just like shopping in a regular store!

Tschüß!
Jack
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Lance » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:08 pm

Yeah, Mel ... I'm hot after this one, too. It's available in Germany already, about 30 Euros! I'll wait until May 5th!
stenka razin wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:Buying online takes away the joy of searching for a CD and finally finding it after going thru all the cd's in the racks at a Record Store, once you go online that stops because you can find everything available somewhere, then comes the wait for it to arrive, a case in point, today at J+R I finally found a Double Decker of Falla's music, I had been searching J+R for about a month looking for it, J+R restocks everything they sell so it must have come in since the last time I was there a week ago, so, this afternoon at work I can play it, take it home tonight and rip it and play it for a second time...I could have bought it online a month ago but it's no fun...of course if it's a bargain online then I will get it but otherwise I just add it to my wish list and if I don't find it within a month then I buy online...Corlyss is right too, the Bellini disc is not available here, I love that opera, i'll probably get it this week because I can't wait to hear it, some CD's take months to appear here...
Chalkie and Corylss, May 5th is the US street date for the Bellini opera that the three of us love and want to buy. :D :D :D
Lance G. Hill
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rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Muniini K. Mulera
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Muniini K. Mulera » Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:42 pm

For me, the joy of terrestrial music store shopping is almost gone. Why? There are very few that remain, and those that do are way more expensive than the cyber-stores that are a mouse click away. It is not unusual to find as much as a $10 difference between the price of a CD in a Toronto store and an online retailer, such as www.CanadaCD.ca or www.amazon.ca or www.prestoclassical.co.uk

How do I justify paying C$ 46.99 + taxes for a 2 CD volume of the Gardiner Bach cantata series, when I can get the same set from Presto Classical for well below C$30 [including postage from England + whatever Canada Customs charges me? The Suzuki Bach cantatas on BIS sell for C$29.99 + taxes in the Toronto stores. I get them for less that C$20 [everything included.]

I have become very selective in what I buy from the two stores that I still visit in Toronto, namely, L’Atelier Gregorian and HMV. The selection at HMV gets thinner by the month. L’Atelier soldiers on, bringing in good stuff from Europe, because the owners love the music. But some of their prices are too high for me, when I have the cyber-option.

One misses the days when one could go to downtown Toronto and spend many hours in SAM THE RECORD MAN, browsing through a huge selection of Classical & Jazz Recordings, then take a break, before spending more hours in A&A, literally next door to SAM’s, doing the same. In the 1980s, we lived in a condo exactly one block away from these stores. My wife always knew where to go looking whenever “I went missing”. My children always joked that daddy’s idea of a good outing was a visit to SAM’s or A&A. I always emerged from these stores loaded with bags of records, many of which continue to give me priceless pleasure. The music lovers that I met in there, and the salesmen who actually knew the music and led me to great recordings are part of my fond memories of that period.

With the arrival of the megastores [HMV & Tower Records], the old timers were doomed. A&A closed for good in the early 1990s. SAM hang in there for another decade. [It outlived Tower Records, whose life in Toronto was rather brief.] But SAM’s inventory progressively became less varied. Its sales staff seemed to have a high turnover. Then there came the Internet’s maturity and music downloading. The game was up. SAM’s filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

Although it was resuscitated by two of the sons of Sam Sniderman, the man who started the business in 1937, their efforts were in vain. SAM’s finally closed its doors for good on June 30, 2007. There was a funereal atmosphere in Toronto, where the iconic landmark that opened its doors on Yonge Street in 1961, was one of the signature pieces of this great city’s landscape. We still refer to the area as SAM's.

I see the writing on the wall for HMV. I also fear that little but mighty L’Atelier Gregorian may be gone within a decade. I do not see how one can stop the march of time and technology. The CD will go the way of the 72s and the LPs. I cannot imagine a new music record medium that will need to be sold in a brick and mortar store. The music buying generation of tomorrow is being raised on the Internet, not on dad-and-mum's trips to the terrestrial stores.

But until that day, my two favorite stores on Terra Firma are:

1. L’Atelier Gregorian – Toronto, Canada
2. Harold Moore’s Record Shop – London, England.



Muniini

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by John F » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:41 am

I used to buy stacks of out-of-print LPs from Harold Moores's basement. Haven't been back since Harold sold his shop to The Classical Group Limited five years ago. They're putting up a website at http://www.hmrecords.co.uk/ but so far it's just a placeholder. Any changes in their stock, atmosphere, etc., or are they still the same?
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:42 pm

For a number of years I lived and worked in both Toronto and New York, I loved Sam the Record Man and L'Atelier Gregorian, Sam's was a little run down, but, what a selection...I have not been to Toronto in about a decade but I loved shopping for discs there, except of course when I had to go and pay for them... :wink:
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Jared » Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:51 pm

Well, I had a jaunt up to my favourite record shop today, and have come away with a couple of goodies...

Elgar: BBC Symph Orchestra/ Andrew Davis 5CD boxed set of orchestral works on Warner... I'm listening to Cockaigne Overture right now..

earlier on, I played Mozart: Piano Quartets 1 & 2 by the Faure Quartett on DG (2005). I actually played them twice through in the car, on the way back from the shop, rather wonderful, with the window down, the sun shining, and the lambs bouncing around the rolling, green fields... :D

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Febnyc » Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:16 pm

Chalkperson wrote:For a number of years I lived and worked in both Toronto and New York, I loved Sam the Record Man and L'Atelier Gregorian, Sam's was a little run down, but, what a selection...I have not been to Toronto in about a decade but I loved shopping for discs there, except of course when I had to go and pay for them... :wink:
Yup - we had one of our Canadian branch offices in Toronto and I'd get there about once a month. I always left some time to walk down Yonge Street to Sam the Record Man to browse those gritty aisles (almost sawdusty floors, it seemed) and see what I could find. L'Atelier I found too expensive. HMV had a large store on Yonge also, just near the Eaton Centre. I know Sam is history - it's been a while since I've been in that lovely city.
(I also miss four equally lovely flight attendants who looked after me on my monthly flights between LGA and YYZ.)

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Istvan » Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:00 am

I refuse to go into any record store (UK) which has loud pop stuff thumping away. In other words, I don't go into record stores any more.
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Istvan » Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:03 am

"Classical Music Newbie: Please treat anything I type with caution!!"

On the contrary I shall take anything you type seriously: Andrew Davis is a superb Elgar conductor and the set would be a bargain at any price.
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Jared » Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:37 am

Istvan wrote:On the contrary I shall take anything you type seriously: Andrew Davis is a superb Elgar conductor and the set would be a bargain at any price.
thank you, Istvan.. :D

I have been having quite an Elgar month of it, tbh.. I purchased the Barbirolli EMI box set about 3 weeks ago, along with the Handley/ Kennedy Violin Concerto, and the Davis/BBC Elgar-Payne Symph 3. As you will see, the Davis set is new to me, so I played CD5 containing the Music Makers twice through yesterday, whilst driving to Telford, and am currently playing Falstaff. Indeed, I hope to visit his Birthplace Museum next weekend... :D

back on topic, I tend to agree with you about the loud thumping noises which come out of 'Zavvi' style record shops these days. I am now 40, brought up on Progressive Rock and *selective* metal, so you'd think I would be more attuned to it than most on CMG, but I'd have to say that the older I get, the less I tend to enjoy stuff which sounds more like a broken lawnmower than Jimmy Page... must be getting more intolerant.. :oops:

fortunately, Yarborough House is a haven from yesteryear.. although I'm going to miss it dreadfully when I move... :(

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by Donaldopato » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:46 am

In my smallish (80,000) home town of Decatur, Il there used to be a small, independent record store called the Spin Shop. Selection was small, but the owner was an enthusiastic lady who could and would get you anything you desired. She would call and alert you about new releases of interest and you could listen to discs there before you bought them. She retired in the late 80s and closed up shop. Now in her mid 80s I still visit with her when I go home. Sadly those places are long gone.

There used to be a decent local record store here in KC with decent classical music selection. It dwindled down to nothing and although the store is still there and I can even easily walk to it, I have not been there in 3-4 years. When I lived in St Louis there was also a similar store with a great separate classical area.... not been there in a while either, last time the selection had dwindled greatly.

Trips to Chicago meant hours browsing through the stacks of recordings at Rose Records, which became a Tower outlet and I think is now closed.

I learned a ton about classical music and classical artists from some of the knowledgeable staff at these stores. Now, as many others have posted, we are being reduced to Borders/Barnes and Noble. Few of their staff could tell a thing about anything classical.... to them that is Josh Groban....... as I shudder at the thought.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:31 am

Jared wrote: So, I thought I would lighten the gloom a little, by telling you about a very special place, less than 30 miles away from me, in a sleepy Shropshire village, which has given me a tremendous amount of encouragement in collecting Classical Music.
When I was one-and-twenty--sigh....

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by THEHORN » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:03 am

I loved the Tower records on Long Island where I used to live because it had such a great selection of interesting off-beat repertoire, and most of my CD collection is from there.
With my disability, I don't have that much chance to get out , but I'm thrilled that there is an infinitely wider selection on the internet than any record store could ever offer.
The fact that you can't browse and chat with knowledgable clerks and other customers is a small price to pay for such a cuornicopia of classical CDs on the internet.
And now we can discuss CDs at forums like this ! Not too shabby.

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Re: Our Favourite Record Shops

Post by moldyoldie » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:44 am

Detroit area music lovers have rued the demise of Harmony House Classical on Woodward Ave. in Royal Oak, a specialty store in the large, once venerable, and now defunct Harmony House chain. There were days when I felt I single-handedly kept them in business! Since then, it's been Amazon.com.
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