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VINYL junkies listen up! South London author and music collector Marcus Barnes has done us a big favour with his new book Around The World In 80 Record Stores.
Having visited all the 80 stores included in the book, he writes about each store’s location, the types of music sold, the exterior, the interior — the lot.
The journey across the globe includes London’s Alan’s Record and CD shop situated between the East Finchley Tube station and the North Circular with crates of bargain albums stored outside as well as punk, soul, reggae, jazz, African, techno and a handy key-cutting service in the back; Sounds Of The Universe for jazz, soul, funk, African releases; heavy metal at Crypt Of The Wizard and Edinburgh’s Unknown Pleasures who stock prog rock and new wave.
Overseas he visits the long-established Pet Sounds in Stockholm; Chico Records in Beirut, which stocks 1960s and 1970s Arabic albums; Toronto’s Play de Record for rare reggae; Amoeba Music in Los Angeles — a store you could get lost in looking for just about everything you could want; Happy Feet in Prague with a large stock of home-grown albums on labels such as Opus and Panton.
Then there is the Jazzhole in Lagos, Nigeria — much more than a record store, it is a local hang-out with a cafe and live music from great African musicians; Rockers International in Kingston Jamaica plus many more including stores in Singapore, India, Egypt, South Africa, Iceland and the US.
There are plenty of illustrations of the stores as well as trivia facts such as which are the world’s biggest record stores (Answer: Tower Records in Tokyo, Japan and Forever Young in Grand Prairie, Texas) or which record store has a life-sized statue of gorilla? (Answer: Public Possession in Munich).
Published by Dog ‘N’ Bone and priced at under a tenner — not to be missed by Britain’s army of crate-diggers.
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