Friday, 11 January 2013

I'd rather indie record shops Monorail and Avalanche closed, not HMV.

And now the last of the big High Street shops to sell records, HMV, are in trouble.  I hope they stay open.  They are the best place left to buy music in Glasgow.  Glasgow also has the much praised Monorail, curated by Stephen Pastel, previously from the Record Shop upstairs at John Smith's bookshop.  I still recall him sneering at me when I asked if he had the new Kenickie single in stock.  (He didn't)  Similarly Avalanche in Edinburgh refused to stock early Manic Street Preachers CDs because they didn't like them.  No such concerns from HMV!

Most of the good record shops in Glasgow have closed down over the years. The West End of the city had:

  • West End Records in Partick with a fabulous selection of CD singles at cheap prices every week (my first Manics CD singles bought here). 
  • Music Mania with country loving Canadian Mountie owner and well stocked Erasure and Pets Shop Boys sections.
  • Echo with racks and racks of CD that only the Munster family brothers who owned it could fathom the ordering - but packed with treasures if you searched long enough
  • Lost In Music a haven for 2nd hand stuff
  • Woolworths where I (and surely many others) got my first Frankie Goes to Hollywood 12" singles.
  • upstairs at John Smiths. (more about them later)
  • Original Fopp - vinyl heaven.  New Order 12" singles, Fall albums.  1st port of call on student grant cheque day.
Or you could venture into town for:

  • Tower Records. Late night opening was a revelation and many a night I would pop in and just browse the fabulous Imports section, or recheck the whole A-Z for any new arrivals that slipped under my radar.
  • Casa for soundtracks (many a Dr Who record purchased here), 
  • Virgin for racks of t-shirts


  1. Bit harsh on Monorail. They provide an excellent service and will order in anything you ask for. Never knew about Music Mania mind you - that sounds like it was a bloody good shop

  2. Yes, maybe I'm not being entirely serious - I hold a grudge too long!! Don't really want to see any of these shops go of course.