Books & Music What Killed The Record Store?

Echoes

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Continuation of a discussion on the SOPA thread.

For those that haven't read that one, the conversation veered off the original topic and into the reasons behind the death of the traditional record store so many of us remember. The place many in their teens and twenties spent a great deal of time in the 50s, 60s and 70s, even into the 80s. Places the size of bookstores where thousands and thousands of albums and 45s lined the aisles. Mostly anything you could look for would be there from ragtime piano to big band to various forms of jazz, opera, classical, movie soundtracks and everything else.

Some were destinations for traveling artists and bands to do autograph signings and personal appearances. Radio stations did live remotes on weekends or when certain new albums were to be released. Some were national chains, others were local stores. Department stores had large music sections featuring records, posters and sheet music. This was BIG business.

In the SOPA thread, the discussion turned to various theories as to their demise including MP3s, iTunes, piracy (illegal downloads) and some other ideas.

So, if you were there in the late 80s to early 90s when MTV hit cable by storm (Video Killed The Radio Star as the song goes), what is your opinion of why the record store became a thing of the past?
 

jenax

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iTunes - the accessibility of having your music in the palm of your hands within seconds killed the desire to making a trip to the record store.
 

CobaltBlu

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Echoes, thanks for starting this thread!

I think megastores were the first harbinger of doom for the record stores. Once they became BIG commerce, there wasn't that connection that people had when they went to their neighborhood record store and saw their friends, etc.

The shift from records to CDs seemed to hyperhcharge the move away from buying at stores, whether large or small: By then there were more chains and megastores, and the buying experience at walmart or target or costco was only slightly less personal, but certainly more cost effective.

From there it was an easy slide to downloadable.

Also, for those of us who are older, there was something so cool about the record, the record cover, the liner notes, the whole thing. Now, so many people dont really care about that, they just want the music on their MP3 and to get going. That, I think, is part of the whole speeding up of our culture...Kids my DDs age dont really "browse" for anything, it seems...
 

chowlover2

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Echoes, thanks for starting this thread!

I think megastores were the first harbinger of doom for the record stores. Once they became BIG commerce, there wasn't that connection that people had when they went to their neighborhood record store and saw their friends, etc.

The shift from records to CDs seemed to hyperhcharge the move away from buying at stores, whether large or small: By then there were more chains and megastores, and the buying experience at walmart or target or costco was only slightly less personal, but certainly more cost effective.

From there it was an easy slide to downloadable.

Also, for those of us who are older, there was something so cool about the record, the record cover, the liner notes, the whole thing. Now, so many people dont really care about that, they just want the music on their MP3 and to get going. That, I think, is part of the whole speeding up of our culture...Kids my DDs age dont really "browse" for anything, it seems...
OMG! I miss records soo much. I have 300+ from my college days and never plan to sell them. There was something so special waiting for your fav bands album to come out, buying it and coming home and playing it. And sitting in your room playing the album and reading the liner notes. I never really embraced CD's, only because I had too. I have an MP3 player as well, the only beauty of them is you can download individual songs if you want rather than downloading stuff you don't want to listen too. I think kids miss out on alot of things today, everything just moves at warp speed.
 

Echoes

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there was something so cool about the record, the record cover, the liner notes, the whole thing.
I knew people that would buy two copies; one to listen to, the other to keep --- unopened.

Those types of people are partially why you can still find Sgt. Pepper in original condition.
 

littlerock

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I can't pretend to know all that you do about this subject, I haven't studied it. But I have many friends in the business as well. I work in TV production but I run in a large circle of musicians. Older musicians who've seen it all and new ones who are making a career for themselves in this ever changing climate. I just find it hard to believe that piracy was the sole reason for record and video stores going out of business. Piracy has been going on for a long time and only recently have the b&m stores become a thing of the past. It is my personal belief that new age companies like itunes and netflix played a bigger part. It's the convenience factor. Why do people need to go to a store when they can get it with the click of a button? Why do people need to have CD's & videos collecting dust when they can have everything online? It seems to me that the digital age made this inevitable.
All this makes me wonder, if piracy was that powerful and so many people were stealing their music and videos to bring down the entire B&M industry, then why are so many online businesses flourishing? Wouldn't everyone still be stealing their entertainment rather than spending all their money on iTunes, redbox, netflix, amazon, on-demand, etc?

I don't doubt that piracy had it's affects. I just think that without or without it, we'd still be right where we are. JMO of course.


Some people got integrity & backbone they were missing in the early aught years. Some grew up & now understand they don't their stuff stolen from them they worked hard for. So maybe they shouldn't do it to others.

I worked in a grocery store many years ago as a checker. This man came in regularly & stole from us. Store owners ignored him for awhile hoping he'd quit, he didn't. I was there the night he got arrested. I started bawling & offer to pay for the tuna he took. The owners wife was furious & fired me. I was 22, my dad set me straight. The rules are for everyone, this man would not quit if I paid for his tuna or we ignored him. The store owners shouldn't be expected to have to give food away cause they had money.

Sorry but feel like hearing the same old song & dance about the billion dollar labels/studios is just smoke and mirrors. They aren't only stealing from the labels, they are also stealing from the artists, musicians, etc. Some who barely squeeze out a living. None of this is new that I'm stating, been hearing it for 12 years.

These labels aren't Wall Street, they rightfully own their property. And didn't create something that took down other industries.

We shouldn't assume everyone is like us. Don't want CD's hanging around so no one else must? We love our collection! I don't have one song downloaded, have no I device nor does my DH. We buy CD's all the time, we like them. I actually like other songs on a CD, not just what is on the radio. Much of my age group feels the same way, if they really like music.

A lot of the world isn't as computer savy as you guys are. Much of the world isn't as up to the minute on technology as you guys are. Seriously, I am probably one of the most non tech people on TPF.

Goggle still arrogantly violates copyrights, my attorney (who doesn't just represent us) is on speed dial with them. I think everyone wants some kind of protection without a lot of disrupting to legit businesses.

Oh, we don't want no phony pharms either.
So you are saying that people all of a sudden grew consciences? I just don't believe that. Also, I don't think everyone stopped buying CDs or videos but there are other, easier ways of buying them now. Having them delivered to your home or workplace. I'm not saying it's right, it's just how it is. You might not be tech savy or spend much time online but most people buy online now and the ones that don't, just don't have the spending power to keep B&M stores alive.
 

CobaltBlu

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OMG! I miss records soo much. I have 300+ from my college days and never plan to sell them. There was something so special waiting for your fav bands album to come out, buying it and coming home and playing it. And sitting in your room playing the album and reading the liner notes. I never really embraced CD's, only because I had too. I have an MP3 player as well, the only beauty of them is you can download individual songs if you want rather than downloading stuff you don't want to listen too. I think kids miss out on alot of things today, everything just moves at warp speed.
I know!! I always sat on the floor and leaned against my bed and read the liner notes and all the lyrics. My friends all did too...Gosh...I remember....Imagine, Teaser and the Firecat, After the Gold Rush, YesSongs....so many great albums.

(like barbie dolls, I wish I had kept them, geesh)

I am glad records are still hanging in there.
 

chowlover2

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I know!! I always sat on the floor and leaned against my bed and read the liner notes and all the lyrics. My friends all did too...Gosh...I remember....Imagine, Teaser and the Firecat, After the Gold Rush, YesSongs....so many great albums.

(like barbie dolls, I wish I had kept them, geesh)

I am glad records are still hanging in there.
I have all those records and more. My brother is 7 yrs younger, and he'll come up from MD and did through my stuff, ask to borrow it and take it home and tape it, or search for it on Ebay if he likes an album. My BFF sold all her albums when CD's came out, I have most of my favs on CD, just couldn't part with the records though. I'll be buried with them-LOL!
 

CobaltBlu

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I have all those records and more. My brother is 7 yrs younger, and he'll come up from MD and did through my stuff, ask to borrow it and take it home and tape it, or search for it on Ebay if he likes an album. My BFF sold all her albums when CD's came out, I have most of my favs on CD, just couldn't part with the records though. I'll be buried with them-LOL!

Dont surround yourself with yourself,
Move on back two squares,
Send an instant karma to me,
Initial it with loving care



le sigh......

 

chowlover2

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You're giving me deja vu. I'll never forget seeing Yes in the 70's at Phillys old JFK Field. Their opening act was Peter Frampton at the height of his fame and someone else I can't remember at the moment. I saw Peter Frampton on TV some time in the last year and he is now bald. Talk about culture shock, I expected him to look like he did in the 70's! I was heartbroken.
 

.:Sprigged:.

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IMO - $30 CDs.

The industry likes to blame music piracy (and I am anti-music piracy), but they did it to themselves. $30 in the late 90's was a LOT of money for a young person.

Also, with iTunes, you can pick and choose the tracks you want, rather than paying $27 for a CD, and liking 1 or 2 songs.

CD's are now much cheaper, as we all know. Their greed made them shoot themselves in the foot, and now they are quite literally paying for it.
 

littlerock

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^ :yes:

I remember my dad giving me $50 to go to the record store so I could buy some music with my friends. I thought I'd be able to get a handful of CDs. I was SO bummed when I could barely afford two. I think I walked with one and some change. It was a huge blow that day.