15/01/2013 by jeanjacquessmoothie
It’s with genuine sadness I read the news today that HMV has called in the receivers and is going to go bust.
Throughout my teenage years, HMV in Gloucester was the main recipient of all my music buying. They somehow managed to cater for every passing musical fad I went through from age 14 to 21.
They were there aged 14 when I first decided I liked Bob Dylan and accidentally bought Blood on the Tracks. They didn’t hold it against me though and when I entered the Metal phase they were there with every Iron Maiden album.
As I matured from Maiden to Pink Floyd, HMV rewarded my curiosity by placing Pink Floyd’s first two albums (with Syd Barrett) on cassette in the bargain bin. I could afford them both! I’d lie in my room with the curtains drawn listening to Piper at the Gates of Dawn, all the way through, in all it’s bonkers glory.
The pattern continued as I moved through the genres and the years from psychedelic rock to blues, indie, rave, hip hop and house. Rummaging in the bargain bins was a joy and when those classic albums appeared it was a thrill.
My last enduring memory is going into HMV on Oxford Street, London and seeing my own record on sale. I bought 7 copies there and then for friends and family. For some reason it seemed important to me to have bought them myself from HMV, it meant I’d made it (if only briefly).
It was inevitable that HMV would close. The concept of music in a physical format can only have a few years left. No matter how much the older ones among us wax lyrical about how nice it is to hold a record or read sleeve notes, the next generation want their music instantly and on their magic tablet thingummies. So shed a tear and go for one last root in the bargain bin for some long lost prog/psychedilic/rock/rap/jazz/blues classics.