Record Shopping

For most of the 1970s, Friday night was the time that I would get my pocket money. In 1970 it was sixpence, by 1972 it was about 10p rising steadily through the decade until 1978 when it had reached the giddy heights of 50p. This meant that Friday nights were often spent contemplating the frittering of the aforementioned freeloader cash as soon as the shops opened the next morning. 10p didn’t go very far even in 1973, a comic and some sweets maybe, but by 1977, 50p easily translated into a new 7 inch single. Deciding if anything warranted this heady investment gave me plenty to think about over Friday dinner, I had to be really sure I liked something to blow and entire weeks wages. If a record was still going up the charts, and if I’d already taped it off the radio and still wasn’t tired of it then both of these criteria worked in that particular records favour. If however, the record was now going down the charts then the chances that it might turn up in the “ex-juke box” selection of 45s at the local newsagent within the next few weeks were quite good, and by this stage of their lives these records only cost about 10p. Also, I thought that if I’d lived without the record for this long then it probably wasn’t worth it, especially as it now seemed to be falling out of favour with the rest of the world too. Most of my record shopping was conducted at the local record shop which was called Revolution Records, I thought the man who ran it was cool, I could just tell, and I was fairly sure that when I grew up I might want to work there. The other option, if I happened to be at the other end of the Town was WHSmiths. Even as a pre-10 year old, I could tell that there was just something a bit frumpy about Smiths, (despite their groovy TV ads), but at the same time I liked going there because sometimes Smiths had something different or a special offer, especially on LPs. Obviously Smiths lacked the overpowering fug of patchouli, and the presence of same four skinny young men in grey coats thumbing through the comprehensive Hawkwind section as Hawkwind thundered through the enormous shop speakers. Smiths was invariably less Hawkwind-y.

Revolution Records bag x5.jpg

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