Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops?

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9780956121202: Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops?
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Not long ago there was a record shop in every high street, but an astonishing 540 of them closed down between 2004 and 2008. 'Last Shop Standing' lifts the lid on an industry in tatters.

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From the Back Cover:

FOREWORD by DAVID SINCLAIR There is a romantic image of the local record shop which Nick Hornby captures with exquisite detail in his novel High Fidelity. "The shop smells of stale smoke, damp and plastic dust-covers, and it's narrow and dingy and dirty and overcrowded....this is what record shops should look like, and only Phil Collins' fans bother with those that look as clean and wholesome as a suburban Habitat." The shop in Hornby's book is staffed by a bunch of oddballs, united by an obsessive love of recorded music and committed with an almost missionary zeal to the business of supplying it to the public. The owner measures out his life in an endless succession of music-related lists – everything from his Favourite Records (Singles) to his Top Five Dream Jobs. Graham Jones, one of the founders of Proper Music Distribution has been doing his dream job – or variations on it – for most of his life, and the true story of his time spent working in and around the world of independent record retailing is every bit as colourful, funny, strange, and occasionally sad as any fictional yarn. Graham has some lists of his own, and in Last Shop Standing he has amassed many extraordinary tales of the best shops he has done business with over the years and hilarious accounts of the worst. He reveals the truth about chart hyping and shines a light on some of the extraordinary shenanigans that have regularly gone on behind the scenes as record companies go about promoting some of their biggest hits (and misses). But the most shocking list is the one that begins and defines Last Shop Standing: a roll call of some of the 540 record shops that have closed in the last four years alone. For record retailing is an industry in crisis. Beset by the onward march of the supermarkets, the growing popularity of music downloading and a host of other rapidly emerging market trends, the traditional record shop has become an endangered species. While Graham recognises such problems, and explains them with an insider's knowledge and eye for detail, he remains committed to the future of the industry that he loves. As well as being a eulogy to an era that is fast fading into history, Last Shop Standing is also a celebration of the unique spirit of comradeship and entrepreneurial ingenuity that has enabled so many shops to keep operating successfully in such a harsh trading environment. All of which makes this a most timely and important book. Graham has amassed a fantastic collection of anecdotes on his travels around the record shops of Britain, and Last Shop Standing is a unique slice of social history and record industry folklore. It is also a damn good laugh. - David Sinclair November 2008

From the Inside Flap:

Not long ago there was one in every High Street. But an astonishing 540 of them closed down between 2004 and 2008.Last Shop Standing lifts the lid on an industry in tatters. Graham Jones has worked at the heart of record retailing since the golden era of the 1980s. He was there during the years of plenty and has witnessed the tragic decline of a business blighted by corruption and corporate greed. Undertaking a tour of the last remaining independent record shops in Britain, he has collected a wealth of entertaining stories that explain why the best are still standing, and how the worst of them blew it.In telling the tale of the industry's sad decline Graham Jones has unearthed wry anecdotes about dozens of rock stars and music industry figures, including The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols, Joy Division, Oasis, John Peel and many others.Last Shop Standing is a hilarious yet harrowing account by a man who has been there and sold that. It is a book that will bring a wry smile to the face of anyone who has ever bought a CD or attended a concert, and still has the T-shirt to prove it.

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Jones, Graham
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Jones, Graham
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