Graham Jones, Author of the 2008 book Last Shop Standing joins director Pip Piper to tell us the story of the rise, fall and resurrection of the UK’s Record Shops. Talking with shop owners, musicians, fans, radio djs and industry folk we start with the 50’s where a shop could sell 500 copies of Bill Haley and ship Elvis by the boxload through to the golden 60’s era of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and then the 70s with the rise of punk and small pressings, money being thrown around by record companies, dodgy chart fixing and the beginnings of the independent stores, a backlash to the whitegoods stores that sold records on the side and the big bucks of a corrupt industry.
Act 2 is the decline, the 80s and 90s when CDs took over, when supermarket chains got in on the act and it was only the big boys that could survive. By the naughties it was downloads and MP3s and a shop like Hudsons which had existed since 1906 was forced to shut its doors in 2012. Sadly just before the rebirth of vinyl as Indy shops rose again, International Record Store Day kicked in and the kids discovered what us old farts always knew, a record is better than a CD, a download or an i-tunes card any day!
This is a great look at the way an industry runs, how the decisions behind the scenes can affect business and how wrong some of them got it. And luckily it seems to have a happy ending as an optimistic Jones looks to a future of Indy shops and caring record shop owners press on, still waving the vinyl banner and still having fun.
With a stack of extras, including longer interviews and bonus footage to keep things up to date, this is essential for any record hoarder, collector, nostalgic whimsical fool (yes that’s me) and tragic. And like a true vinyl tragic I watched the film again trying to identify the records in the racks, on the shelves and behind the interviewees!
DIRECTOR(S): Pip Piper | COUNTRY: Netherlands | YEAR 2013 | DISTRIBUTOR(S): Converse Entertainment/MVD | RUNNING TIME: 124 minutes | ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 | REGION: 0 / NTSC | DISCS: 1