Some of the very best moments in my life have been whilst record shopping! The thrill of the hunt in the second-hand music shops for that mega-obscure vinyl album that was only released in Germany for one week, or the buzz of whizzing down to the ‘chart returns’ record shop when it opens to purchase the brand new release from your favourite artist. The smell of the new cover and the vinyl inside. The little electrostatic crackles as you pull the record out from the inner sleeve for the very first time. The joy of putting the needle down onto the disc and sitting down and listening to it whilst reading every single word of the enclosed booklet and cover. Ahhhhhhhhh!
If you own vinyl, then you will totally understand the above paragraph. With CD’s it can still be an exciting venture tracking down those on your wants list, but it just doesn’t have the same intensity or nostalgia. As for downloads, yes they are immediate and extremely convenient, but it arguably cheapens the whole process and thus making the music almost throwaway. Many millions of people around the globe are realising this and that’s a major contributing factor why vinyl sales are on the increase again.
For nearly a decade I have seriously wanted to research all of the Brighton and Hove record shops and thus collate a full database of them. With the current changes in circumstances affecting the nation, this has given me the available time to achieve this. I have found many contrasting stories and contradictions regarding several of Brighton’s record shops and clearly some of this is now part of ‘folklore’, but I urge you to come along on this exciting historical journey and to help me if you can. If you know of any shops that have unintentionally been omitted and you are able to substantiate your findings, then please leave a comment at the foot of this directory. Likewise, if you have further interesting information regarding a store that we have listed, then please let us know. Also if you strongly suspect that something in this directory is inaccurate and can prove this, then please also comment at the end, as it all helps.
Most small independent record shops were not the vinyl goldmines of popular legend, but simply outlets that sold chart singles along with a small selection of albums (mostly MOR) and, quite often, other goods such as electrical items or greetings cards.
A few though really were the basis of those shops featured in stories such as Nick Hornby’s ‘High Fidelity’ – places catering for those people searching for hard-to-find tunes as well as those just setting off on the path who needed a few tips and recommendations.
Back in Ye Olde Days of vinyl, records would be deleted as soon as sales started tailing off – usually a matter of weeks after release. The only way to find an old tune was to trawl through second hand shops. At their peak during the 1980’s it seemed that every other shop in the North Laine area of Brighton was a second hand record shop.
This directory catalogues every Brighton and Hove record store found from the past 100 years or so. It includes record shops that have in the past (and still do) sell new vinyl records. For an overall picture, we have also added those that solely concentrated on CD’s, as well as stores that stocked records, CD’s and even cassettes as part of their stock. I am not currently aware of a similar directory on the exact same subject that is as comprehensive and with as many entries as this one.
Seven years ago on 12th May 2013, I put the following account online. Many thousands of people in Sussex have their own record shop stories to tell, well here’s mine………
“From September 1978 a gang of us Brighton Tec students used to religiously go around as many record shops in Brighton as possible. Especially on a Monday as it was new releases day! It is funny how you remember defining moments in your musical adventures. I had one of these in late 1974 or early 1975, when I went to Polysound and bought a copy of the “Autobahn” album by Kraftwerk and was overjoyed with it, until it jumped and I had to go back and change it. I have since told my kids “You see that shop over there, well that used to be a record shop and I bought “Autobahn” in there” – Ahhhh the credibility. I can also remember going to Diplomat next door to the Open Market in London Road in 1978 and hearing the person behind the counter playing “Neon Lights” by Kraftwerk and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” by Tubeway Army in there in the same lunch hour! Diplomat was a card shop on the ground floor that sold records upstairs. It was along from Boots which also sold records. I can remember going into Subway Records in West Street in 1981 and buying the yellow album cover with a computer on it called “Computerworld” by Kraftwerk. They had them all in the racks, what a memorable sight. When I was at the Brighton Tec, one day I pretended to the tutor that I needed a toilet break during the lesson, but it was not true, as I bombed around the corner to Kenny Lyn Records (to see a Harry Enfield Scouse Terry McDermott look alike) to purchase their last remaining 12″ green vinyl copy of Herbie Hancock’s “You Bet Your Love”. When I got back into class, the game was up as I had nowhere to hide the 12″ record and it was confiscated, but luckily only for the duration of the lesson – job done! I too was a member of Red Rat record rentals. The manager or owner was a tall Turkish guy called Izzy. I fondly recall going into Attrix Records in Sydney Street as they sold their own (and other) records there. I can remember buying Cabaret Voltaire’s “Nag Nag Nag” in there and a massively obscure 7″ called “The Wundersea World Of Jacques Cousteau”. There was also a second-hand record shop called Plus One in Lewes Road which was run by an old mate of mine called Terry. It did not make much money and so his mum had half of the shop for her knitting business….random eh!”
52 Records, 11 Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1US.
Found under one listing, but not sure if this ever existed.
77 Records, North Laine Bazaar, Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL.
This comes up on Google but the North Laine Bazaar is actually located at 5 Upper Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 4AN.
Across The Tracks, 110 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AF. Online HERE.
A doyen of the local record collectors scene, who have had a variety of homes within the same vicinity. Across The Tracks started life as Disclocator, a small shop in Redcross Street, Brighton, in the mid 1980’s which was owned by Ed Farn. At the end of 1988 Alan Childs came aboard with a background of collectable record sales in Record Collector Magazine. In May 1989, Across The Tracks opened in 34 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EP. More shops followed in Trafalgar Street and Warwick Street precinct in Worthing. However in 1994 Across The Tracks moved everything to its current location 110 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AF.
Ape Entertainment Limited, 17 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AH. Online HERE.
Independent store Ape specialised in music, books and film. They were formed by Francis Taylor and started out in tiny premises at 17 Duke Street, more than likely in August 2007, then relocated to larger premises at 25 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1EB. They were either here from early 2009 or October 2012 up until 28th April 2018. During this period Ape became Cult Hero, with Ape being dissolved on 7th June 2016. A new Cult Hero store is now trading at 16 Brighton Place, Brighton BN1 1HJ.
Asda, Unit 1, off Crowhurst Road, Carden Avenue, Brighton, BN1 8AS and Brighton Marina, Brighton, BN2 5UT.
Asda used to stock chart CD’s and some vinyl in their stores. I have purchased from their Unit 1, off Crowhurst Road, Carden Avenue, Brighton, BN1 8AS and Brighton Marina, Brighton, BN2 5UT stores before.
Attrix Records, 3 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EN.
Attrix Records, the shop not the local punk record label, was situated in Sydney Street (now Dave’s Comics). When it opened in 1979, a year after the label, it was the only place in Brighton where you could buy records by decent bands – Joy Division, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Clash, The Specials – as well as the more obscure stuff that John Peel would play on his radio show. Attrix Records Shop sold cheaper than any other outlets, a measure of owners Rick and Julie Blair and their philosophy, “music for the people, by the people”.
Whilst the shop was always busy, sadly more people used it as a place to meet and hang out rather than make purchases. I remember saying to the staff, only half joking, that they should sell tea and coffee as well as vinyl. I bought shedloads of records there as well as gig tickets, but the shop suddenly closed in 1981. By then High Street shops like HMV and especially Virgin were selling alternative music in competition with Attrix, but I heard that the losses incurred by the Birds With Ears album took down both the label and the shop. Sadly Rick Blair died in May of 1999 at the age of 52.
Avery’s, 77 St James’ Street, Brighton, BN2 1PA.
Mainly a photographers and Radio and TV showroom which also dabbled in gramophone records, which was situated on the corner of Rock Place owned by Henry Alfred Avery and then passed to his son Leslie Avery. It was known to be trading in 1931 and closed down circa 1984 and had been trading for many years.
B Cooke, 6 The Broadway, Whitehawk, Brighton, BN2 5NF.
This wasn’t a second hand shop, but an independent situated just off the Whitehawk Road in circa 1972/1973.
Bang Music, 16 Bond Street, Brighton, BN1 1RD.
Listed as CD’s and records, but I have no recollection of them.
Barnards, St George’s Road, Brighton.
There’s a notification of a record shop here where someone went in and asked for the “loudest record you’ve got”, to test his amp. They were given a 78rpm of Bill Haley’s ‘Rock Around The Clock’.
Bella Union Vinyl Shop, 13 Ship Street Gardens, Brighton, BN1 1AJ. Online HERE.
This hidden gem opened on 8th June 2016 as a vehicle of selling products from the Bella Union Record label, which features artists including John Grant, Beach House, Father John Misty, Penelope Isles and Ezra Furman. The label is owned by former Cocteau Twins band member Simon Raymonde.
Bellmans, 119 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JH and 98-101 George Street, Hove BN3 3YE.
Bellmans was known to have been trading in 1960 and 1968. The London Road store became Fine Fare in 1973. The Hove store was taken over by Tesco’s.
Bionic Records, 18 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1EB.
Number eighteen’s history features a series of traders with Biddle & Sons picture dealers occupying the shop for just over forty years (1885-1928) prior to Hanningtons moving in (1928-1960), then leasing out to the site British gas (1964-1971) as a showroom before taking over again (1971-1983). After the department store’s demise, it was briefly occupied by Bionic Records before retailers American Apparel arrived in 2007. They closed December 2016.
Black Grass, 39b Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EP.
This record shop opened in 2001 and closed in 2003. A second hand record shop called Reminiscing operated from the same site from 1980 to 1981.
Boots – various addresses.
Boots Pharmacy used to stock the latest chart singles back in the day at many of their branches. I was particularly aware of the 119-120 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JHL branch, as they had them laid out on their counter which was located at the back left hand side of the store. The 7” singles rarely came in picture sleeves in those days, usually just plain white or pink paper sleeves with large holes in the centre so that the record’s label was visible. I can recall one trip where I purchased Dee D Jackson’s ‘Automatic Lover’ single (which I still have) from the girl assistant, who at the time was being chatted up by her boyfriend and he saw my choice and loudly proclaimed ‘Automatic Scrubber’ to her. Funny the things you remember! The store finally closed on 20th September 2019 to make way for student accommodation. (Update: Alternative Brighton by Noyce & Jarman flagged up by Shelley Guild 30.03.20 – Branch at 157 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2HA had emphasis on the easy sellers).
Boots sold records at their other branches in Brighton and Hove, which included 17-19 St James’s Street, Brighton BN2 1RF and 129 North Street, Brighton, BN1 2BE, as well as 59-61 George Street, Hove BN3 3YD. (Update: Terry A 13.04.20 – “Boots also had a separate “Boots Audio” branch in London Road, during the late 70’s – early 80’s, which sold hi-fi equipment and accessories as well as records”).
Borderline, 41 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN.
Borderline was at this address from 1998 and the site is now Bluebird Tea Co. who started in May 2018. Borderline was founded by David Stanley Minns in January 1990 and he originally traded along the road at the Jubilee Shopping Hall trading market at 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton BN1 1UN. The trading market ran from 1984 to 1997. The site was Tesco’s from 1965 to 1979 and is now Komedia Brighton.
Borderline is featured in ‘Last Shop Standing – Whatever Happened To Record Shops?’ By Graham Jones.
Borders, Unit MS6, Cranbourne Street, Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton BN1 2RG.
Borders was located at the North-East entrance of Churchill Square on the left above The Western Pub. They were primarily stockists of magazines and books, also at one time had a large selection of CD’s and DVD’s as well as a coffee shop. The chain went into administration in November 2009.
‘Brighton Record Fairs’ and ‘Markets’ – various locations.
Not actual permanent stores, but I suppose would now be classed as ‘popup shops’. Record Fairs in Brighton have been a popular mainstay for more than forty years. Down the years there have been several locations that have hosted these, with arguably the largest one’s being held at the Brighton Centre, which were hosted by ‘Vinylman’ Geoff Finch, who had expanded his operation from the Madeira Hotel. Other locations have included Brighton Racecourse, Hove Town Hall and the Komedia – where they still take place. Back in the early days, in addition to the vinyl, one could also snap up many cassette tapes of unofficial live recordings and demos. These were obviously unauthorised, but arguably are nowadays regarded as a valuable snapshot of music history.
The current home for the regular Brighton Record Fair is the Komedia, which hosts a free event on the 2nd Sunday of every month, 10-4pm. Now run by Josh Dean (Mrs Canuticacqs Emporium). It has 20+ dealers filling 50 tables with every type of music, bargains to collectables, with something for everyone. Discogs had begun to support the Fair before lockdown and it is hoped that, like other events, it will be up and running again soon.
The Saturday morning market in Upper Gardner Street, Brighton was a hotbed for this activity and I can even recall seeing Neil Arthur of Blancmange looking at a live tape of one of his own Brighton concerts with intrigue, at one of my many visits there. Vinyl records have been available at many markets in Brighton and Hove for over half a century, and indeed it is now sometimes even worth a jaunt to your local ‘charity shops’ as they quite often stock them as well.
Brighton Records, 19 Brighton Square, Brighton, BN1 1HD.
It has been suggested that this was the precursor of Fine Records, but this is not certain.
Brighton Rock, 11 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EN.
Opened in 1980, this was one of the many second hand record shops of the era found in this street. Initially they specialised in back catalogue and hard to get releases from the rock n’ roll era but later expanded into other genres. The business survived for a number years before closing in 1987 whereupon it became a ladies hairdressers, David Beattie’s Hair.
Brighton Vinyl Emporium, Unit 17, The Open Market, Marshalls Row, Brighton, BN1 4JU.
Peter Smith opened the store in The Open Market in December 2016, selling used vinyl and CD’s and some interesting items of rock related clothing. The albums lined both the side walls and was a pleasure to stare at. The CD’s were located in the centre of the stall. They changed their name to Glitter In The Gutter in February 2018 and moved to 28 Stirling Place, Hove, BN3 3YU and opened up their basement store on 26th March 2018. They specialised in Glam and Punk Rock, and buying and selling vinyl, CD’s, cassettes, DVDS, books and music related clothing, including vintage Vivienne Westwood. They sold their stock and left the premises in early 2020. The store is now solely Mrs Canuticacq’s Emporium Record and Music Shop and run by Josh Dean.
Brighton Vinyl Finds Limited, (Registered at) Maria House, 35 Millers Road, Brighton, BN1 5NP. Online HERE.
This is one of the ever increasing internet based vinyl sales operations that trade on Discogs. Andrew McKirdy joined Discogs on 27th December 2006 (the same year the company was founded) and currently has over 7,000 records for sale. They buy and sell rare and used vinyl records, whether it be dance, disco, funk, jazz, reggae, rock, or indie, and also value collections for insurance and probate purposes
Brunswick Record Exchange, 41 Brunswick Street East, Hove, BN3 1BB.
The Brunswick Record Exchange shop was located just down the road from The Diskery. It apparently occupied two floors and also sold books and magazines as well as records.
Buzz Base Records, 37 Bond Street, Brighton, BN1 1RD.
There is a plastic bag show on the internet from this store with an 0273 phone number on it. Therefore this store must have been trading prior to 1995, when the 1 was inserted into the Brighton area code.
CD Warehouse, 163 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2BB.
The CD Warehouse is listed as trading from this address from 2001 to 2006.
Charlie’s Orbit, Kemp Town, Brighton
This was a secondhand record store located in Kemp Town (quite possibly the St George’s Road area) and run by Charlie Cartwright and Jo Bateson. They were trading in 2002 as there was a post regarding Charlie posing naked in the window of Egg & Spoon, 107-108 St George’s Rd, Brighton, BN2 1EA with a copy of Robert Palmer’s 1985 hit single ‘I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On’ hiding his modesty. This was a stunt in order to promote a window display competition organised by the Kemp Town Village Business Association. The article fails to say whether the record was the 7” or 12” version! (Update: listing added thanks to Hugh Waddington 30.03.20).
Connections, 149 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1RE.
This store arose from the ashes of Sounds Unlimited in about 1977 or 1978 and for a while was the biggest import store in Brighton. It sold clothes in the front and records in the back and was on the left hand side of North Street as one walked up towards the Clock Tower.
Covert Records, 39a Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EP.
Opened 2002 and closed 2006. It was an independent dance record shop. Incidentally, on the dance theme, two years later in 2008, ‘Cyberdog’, the purveyors of very bright neon clubwear, opened at numbers 13-14 and often had live DJ’s spinning the discs instore. I can’t recall if they had any vinyl for sale though. They closed in January 2019.
Cult Hero, 16 Brighton Place, Brighton BN1 1HJ. Online HERE.
Cult Hero hasn’t been open that long at its current location. It was previously located at 25 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1EB up until 28th April 2018, where they had been trading for between three or six years. This independent music store was originally called Ape (Ape Entertainment Limited), having changed their name whilst at North Street. Ape being dissolved on 7th June 2016. Prior to this they were located at smaller premises at 17 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AH and were formed more than likely in August 2007 by Francis Taylor.
Dam Music, Flat 19, 39-40 Gloucester Street, Brighton, BN1 4RR.
Listed as CD’s and records, but I have no recollection of them.
Dance 2 Records, 129 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2AD.
Dance 2 Records was a record and equipment shop specialising in decks, amps, mixers and speakers. It opened in 1999 and closed this branch in 2015. Their remaining branch is in Guildford. I can recall snapping up a DJ promo import 12” of System F’s ‘Out Of The Blue’ on the Tsunami label long before it was a hit, and not long after the store opened. The A side plays at 45rpm and the B side plays at 33⅓rpm. A treasured possession!
Dangertrax, Bond Street, Brighton.
House music DJ and promoter Dulcie Danger, had Dangertrax in Bond Street for a while as well as DJing at just about every club in Brighton.
Dead Wax Social, 18a Bond Street, Brighton, BN1 1RD. Online HERE.
This is NOT a record shop and they DO NOT sell vinyl, but they have a selection of 5000 vinyl’s that you can dig through in order to get the soundtrack of choice to accompany your Pizza or Beer. They sometimes have popups.
Debenhams, 97-99, Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2LY
It has been put forward to me that Debenhams apparently sold records, although I have no recollection of this. This branch was open from 1973 to 1998, having previously been ‘Plummers’ (Plummer Roddis) from 1920 to 1972.
Dials Records, 32 Prestonville Road, Brighton, BN1 3TJ.
Listed as CD’s and records, but I have no recollection of them. (Update: Pauline Coverdale 30.03.20 –“Dials Records was a small shop selling secondhand vinyl”).
Diplomat, 110/113 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JG.
The store was located right by The Open Market and as the fascia across the front of the building used to boldly proclaim “Diplomat Cards Records Stationery Gifts” it did what it said on the tin. The records were on display on the first floor and was many a lunchtime mecca for me from 1978 to 1981, when I was at college at the Tec. Discovered Tubeway Army and rediscovered Kraftwerk here – life changing!
In the 1960’s and up until at least 1973, the store was called Ina’s and that also stocked records of the day.
Disclocator, 92a Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ER.
This was located right by Brighton Technical College and was a second hand record shop on two floors, street level and basement. The Disclocator shop was initially located in Redcross Street, Brighton, in the mid 1980’s and was owned by Ed Farn. This morphed into Across The Tracks and at the end of 1988 Alan Childs came aboard with a background of collectable record sales in Record Collector Magazine. In May 1989, Across The Tracks opened in 34 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EP. More shops followed in Trafalgar Street and Warwick Street precinct in Worthing. However in 1994 Across The Tracks moved everything to its current location 110 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AF.
Dobells Jazz Record Shop Ltd, 158 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2HA.
The store opened in 1958 and was replaced in 1960 by Wrights Confectioner.
Edge World Records, 6 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL.
This is often listed as Edgeworld Records, but the sign on the top of the first floor, where they were located, used to read Edge World Records. They were CD orientated and used to focus on alternative sounds. Became Endless.
Ed’s Vinyl, (view by appointment only) Iron Works Ground Floor Cheapside, Brighton, BN1 4GD. Online HERE.
Local online record store that sells underground dance music. Been on the case since 2011.
Edwards & Son, 67 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JE.
Many moons ago this store used to sell radiograms, receivers, records and all electrical appliances.
Elliott’s, London Road, Brighton
Located close to Preston Circus was a narrow shop, with a counter running down the middle, from front to back. Behind the counter were shelves of filing containing the stock, which was exclusively gramophone records. On the other side were four listening booths, each containing a wind up table model gramophone and a couple of chairs.
Endless, 6 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL.
Used to be located above Loaded. They were born out of the ashes of Edgeworld, with one half devoted to punk, garage and psych, the other half focused on bass, house and techno. Now closed.
Ernest Watts, 54a Church Road, Hove, BN3 2FN.
Ernest Watts was the founder of this Hove musical instrument firm. In 1912, they were known to have stocked His Master’s Voice Gramophones with every record and every machine in stock. By 1931 the business was described as a pianoforte warehouse and Watts was running it with his son. Ernest Watts died on 22 March 1942. In the early 1970’s they were referred to as “being good for cheap labels”. (Update: Alternative Brighton by Noyce & Jarman flagged up by Shelley Guild 30.03.20).
Essential Music, 15 & 16 Brighton Square, Brighton, BN1 1HD.
This decent store was located near to Rounder Records ‘in the Lanes’ and was initially a single shop (No.15) and then they expanded next door into No.16. Always looked bright inside and prices were often half decent as well.
Expantion Record Store, 40 Middle Street, Brighton, BN1 1AL.
I can recall visiting an obscure dance record shop which was located down the little passageway by the side of the building and climbing up the stairs at the rear in order to get to the first floor of the building where the records were on display. I’m assuming that this was either Expantion Record Store or Jelly Jam Records. (Update: Barry Parks 13.04.20 – “Exspantion Records moved from Hove to an upstairs shop on the south side of Duke Street (nearer the West St. end). Later, it was in Middle Street – on the street, not down a passageway – that was a club of some sort. Tickets for the Rolling Stones gig at Big Apple were sold there, with a queue a long way down the street. We got to about 20 people in front, when the last ticket was sold. Mike Clayton (manager of Mike Stuart Span) ran these shops. It then it moved to the Lanes and became Tiger Moth. There was also a branch in Portsmouth, I think. Then the money ran out, I assume”).
Exspantion, off Portland Road, Hove.
This record shop was located off Portland Road, Hove close to Bell’s Music Shop. It was opened in 1968 by Radio 1 DJ Pete Drummond, who was with Radio 1 from it’s opening day on 30th September 1967.
Fine Records, 32 George Street, Hove BN3 3YB and 19 Brighton Square, Brighton, BN1 1HD.
It has been said that Fine Records in Brighton opened on the day ‘Sgt Peppers’ was released in 1967, when The Lanes area wasn’t even properly open, and that over 500 people trod over the planks over unset concrete to buy it! Sounds like ‘folklore’ and it has been stated that Fine Records in Brighton might have previously been known as Brighton Records. But what is certain is that the Brighton branch became the famous Rounder Records. The Hove branch used to specialise in jazz and classical music. In around 1984 Julian Pelling purchased Fine Records and Ian Wallace joined the firm in 1986. In 1994 it was stated that the two men ran the business together with Ian’s girlfriend Silvanna Galen. One part of their trade was devoted to vinyl records as there was an international market for them. (Update: Barry Parks 13.04.20 – “Fine Records: unlikely that it had a previous name. I bought Magical Mystery Tour in there about the end of 1967 when it was Fine Records. Run by Ralph, who looked like Hank Marvin. He was more interested in classical music”).
Fopp, 148 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1RE.
This was branch number 18 for owner Gordon Montgomery and it opened on 28th November 2005 and closed in 2007. Fopp had replaced a furniture store called Elephant as occupier of one of the biggest units at 148 North Street – a road which has flourished since the redevelopment of the Hanningtons site. Fopp was named after a 1970’s disco anthem, which was the title of a song by the Ohio Players on their 1975 album ‘Honey’. The store used to also stock films and books.
Glitter In The Gutter, 28 Stirling Place, Hove, BN3 3YU.
This was established by Peter Smith in February 2018 and opened up their basement store on 26th March 2018. They specialised in Glam and Punk Rock. They bought and sold vinyl,CD’s cassettes, DVDS, books and music related clothing, including vintage Vivienne Westwood. They sold their stock and left the premises in early 2020. The store is now solely Mrs Canuticacq’s Emporium Record and Music Shop and run by Josh Dean. Glitter In The Gutter had previously been called Brighton Vinyl Emporium, and were based at Unit 17, The Open Market, Marshalls Row, Brighton, BN1 4JU.
Godfrey & Co., 88 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1JB.
Godfrey & Co. opened up at this address in 1890 and closed in 1934. They are listed as a’ pianoforte and music warehouse’. It is quite likely that they also sold gramophone records, as by 1912 these records had effectively superseded the phonograph cylinder from the late 1880’s. Godfrey & Co. had replaced Cramer, Watts & Co, who were in the same business and had been trading from 1873 to 1889, but I suspect that they had not sold these ‘new’ records as the phonograph had only been invented on 18th July 1877 by Thomas Edison and his team.
H Ransom Electrical Contractor, 34 Bond Street, Brighton, BN1 1RD. “Ransoms, the first mention I found was in 1947 when there was an H Ransom – Electrical Contractor at 34 Bond Street. In 1951 it is called a Radio Engineers, in 1954 a Television Engineer, by 1956 “Television, Radio and Record Dealers.”. It became a predominantly a TV shop in the 1960’s and was closed by 1972. Interesting to see how the shop evolved. As new 78’s had basically gone from the record shelves by 1956, then the sleeves I have are most likely from the early 1950’s. It was very usual for electrical/tv shops in the 1950’s and ’60’s to sell records as well as radios, tv’s etc”. (Update: listing added thanks to Chris Nichols 13.04.20).
Hanningtons, 2-5 North Street (and beyond), Brighton, BN1 1EB.
It has been put forward to me that Hanningtons apparently sold records, although I have no recollection of this. They were once the premier department store in town, and Smith Hannington opened his first shop in North Street in 1808. They gradually grew and purchased adjacent buildings to match their growth. At its height in the mid 20th century, the department store occupied a sizable chunk of the South side of the street and continued to do so until its closure in 2001. The buildings have now been converted into individual shops and offices. (Update: Anthony Squires 31.03.20 – “Yes, Hanningtons definitely sold records – at least in 1980. I remember buying the 2 x 7″ double packs of the ‘Generals and Majors’ and ‘Towers of London’ singles by XTC (on separate visits) from a box on the counter where they had ex-chart singles at a reduced price”). (Update: Barry Parks 13.04.20 – “Hanningtons definitely sold records – between the circular” water feature and a North Street entrance. It had listening booths too – listened to soundtrack of the film “Candy” in one”).
Happy Vibes Records, 52 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN.
Opened 1996 and closed 2000.
Hayes and Hayes, Sydney Street, Brighton.
I found a recollection by a gentleman going by the name of Horace Harris, who stated “In 1938 discovered Hayes & Hayes, in Sydney Street, Brighton, who sold all the major labels. Their shop also extensively traded in bicycles and perambulators. My first purchase there was ‘Jazz Cocktail’/’Lightnin’, by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, a ten inch Brunswick record, which cost all of two shillings and sixpence”.
Hedonizm Records, 106 Trafalgar Street, Brighton BN1 4ER.
Hedonizm Records used to specialise in new and used Jazz, Soul Funk and Hip-Hop vinyl. The shop was in Brighton until it closed 29th June 2008.
HMV, Churchill Square, Brighton (three sites) and 61-62 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2HA. Online HERE.
‘The HMV Shop’ as its fascia used to say was first located at the back of the old wet and windy open plan Churchill Square, Brighton. The first complex was built in the 1960’s and required the demolition of a run down area of town. Work commenced in 1965 and the first Churchill Square shop (not an HMV) opened in 1967 though many of the units were not filled until 1968 when the centre was officially opened. It had been the last major open precinct built in the UK with trends pointing towards indoor malls from the early 1970’s onwards. Thus in 1996 work began on the new indoor mall that we see today and it opened in 1998.
Brighton was fortunate in having a second HMV store for a while. It was located at 61-62 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2HA between 1990 and 2011. It was almost a satellite branch of the main one in Churchill Square, but was the only branch when ‘the Square’ was being rebuilt.
HMV went back into the new undercover Churchill Square on the top level at 48-50 Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton, BN1 2RG. This new megastore was in direct competition to the new Virgin megastore, which was a stone’s throw away. They both were specialising in some vinyl, mainly CD’s, with DVD’s books and posters. HMV then closed and their site is now occupied by Victoria’s Secret & Victoria’s Secret Pink.
With the closing of their undercover Churchill Square branch, HMV were not present in Brighton for a while until they opened their latest store which is now located at Unit MSU1A, Lower Mall Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Russell Place, Brighton BN1 2RG. (Update 14.04.20 “Gym plans to open in old HMV store”).
Ina’s, 110/113 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JG.
Ina’s was around in the 1960’s and up until at least 1973. They stocked records of the day as well as cards and stationery. I started visiting this store in 1978, when it had become Diplomat. It was conveniently located opposite Woolworth’s, who also used to stock new records downstairs.
Infinite Records, 111 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AF.
There’s a drum and bass MC concert advertised with Infinite Records Brighton 01273 689 853 being one of the places where to purchase tickets for the event from.
Inner Rhythm, 24 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AQ.
Inner Rhythm was a dance music shop staffed by Brighton DJ’s Carl Cox and Darren Murphy from 1990 to 1995.
Jam Ltd, 39 Baker Street, Brighton, BN1 4JN.
Known to have existed in 2010, they were like a charity shop buying and selling books, DVD’s, video’s, games and records.
Jazzville, 29 Tidy Street, Brighton, BN1 4EL.
There’s a flyer advertising the store as stocking rock ‘n’ roll plus sixties/seventies bought, sold and exchanged, with the name Geoff as the contact.
Jelly Jam Records, Middle Street, Brighton.
This Brighton record store was run by Tony Lee from 1989 until 1992. It’s where Luke Slater began releasing original tracks under a slew of different monikers and thus the UK techno label was born courtesy of Luke and Alan Sage.
I can recall visiting an obscure dance record shop which was located down the little passageway by the side of the building very near Duke’s Lane and climbing up the stairs at the rear in order to get to the first floor of the building where the records were on display. I’m assuming that this was either Jelly Jam Records or Expantion Record Store. (Update: amended thanks to Tony Lee 31.03.20).
John Beal & Son (Stationers) Ltd, 55 & 56 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HN.
This was primarily a stationery shop, but back in the day you could venture downstairs in order to buy record albums, such as the Beatles. (Update: Alternative Brighton by Noyce & Jarman flagged up by Shelley Guild 30.03.20 – They also had listening booths with doors for intimate listening).
Johnstone’s Phonograph Store, 82 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD.
This ‘record’ shop was trading from this site from 1907 to 1910.
Joy 4 Life, Gloucester Road, Brighton.
As a partner in rave era Joy For Life records, DJ Gordon Kaye opened the first branch in Brighton and by 1993 there was a second branch in Nottingham. Between 1994 and 1997 Gordon Kaye with James Wiltshire (who was Phats & Small’s co-producer) released 12” vinyl’s under the Joy 4 Life name.
‘Jubilee Market’, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton BN1 1UN.
The Jubilee Shopping Hall trading market ran from 1984 to 1997. Many times, I can recall bounding up the steps on the left hand side of the building (which now houses Komedia Brighton) to be greeted by rows of vinyl records on the first floor. I know that Borderline was initially trading from here, but I suspect that there might have been more than just the one company operating, due to the amount of stock. (Update: Terry A 13.04.20 – “Brighton Book and Record World” also traded from the Jubilee Hall. They had albums upstairs and boxes of second hand singles on the landing halfway up”).
K. J. Bredon, Bartholomews, Brighton and 70 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HQ.
Bredons at Bartholomews was a well known book and card store which had a downstairs record store selling items like the Doors and Fever Tree. They were also selling tickets for the first Isle Of Wight Festival there 1968. Bredons moved from Bartholomews to a site at 70 East Street, which had a good classical section and then took over John Beals, which was purchased by British Bookshops and Stationers around 44 years ago.
Kemp & Turner, Carlton Terrace, Portslade.
The daughter of an owner was Phyllis Steele who married Pete Sayers (sadly now deceased).
Kenny Lyn, 20 York Place, Brighton, BN1 4GU.
I have fond memories of this store that was located just around the corner from Brighton Technical College when I was studying there in 1978 to 1981. DJ Kenny Lyn I seemed to recall had a mobile disco and had been a bit of a hit on the circuit a few years earlier. He looked just like Harry Enfield’s Scouser character by the time he was running his shop. As mentioned at the beginning of this article I purchased their last remaining limited edition 12″ green vinyl copy of Herbie Hancock’s ‘You Bet Your Love’ in there, during class time! I have seen references also saying Kenny Lynn and Kennylynn, but I reckon the shop was Kenny Lyn.
L & H Cloake, (then H & R Cloake) Churchill Square, Brighton.
The best reference for this store came from a certain ‘Cookster660’ in 2014, who informs us thus:
“L & H Cloake opened in Brighton in December 1975 – I was their “Saturday boy” from the start until going full time with them when I left school the following June. It was the sixth and last store to open in the chain, the others being in Crawley, East Grinstead, Streatham, Croydon and Redhill. The business had been set up by two brothers (l. & H.) in the fifties (I believe), but by the time I started was effectively being run by their respective sons, both called Richard. Eventually they split the chain between them, with Brighton and two others becoming ‘H & R Cloake’ and the rest ‘L Cloake & son’. After a brief flirtation with punk and all the coloured vinyl we could get our hands on, we started to specialise in US disco / funk imports, supplying the burgeoning DJ scene in the town. The now legendary Mick Fuller started working there in around ’78 and began organising club nights around the county, in particular the never to be forgotten Bognor Boogie Bus. The Brighton store was never a success, being tucked away round the back of the Square (they’d been promised a walkway from the seafront when they took the shop on – it never materialised) and it closed at the end of ’81. The manager, Trevor, went on to open Miles Ahead in Queen’s Road, taking me and Mick with him, but this only lasted for a year or so before going to the wall”.
Apparently Porl Thompson who found fame in the Cure, used to work in the Crawley shop before his fame.
Lyon & Hall Limited, 92 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2LB.
The Lyon & Hall shop opened as a piano and sheet music shop at the seaward end of East Street in 1850, and is very likely to be the oldest music shop in Brighton. They moved to 92 Western Road in 1941, when the original shop was blown up by the Luftwaffe. They are listed as ‘TV dealers’ and started selling records around then and were the first shop to sell Rock ‘n Roll in Brighton in the 1950’s. They closed as a record shop in 1975.
M V C Entertainment Ltd, 8 Air Street, Brighton, BN1 3FB.
MVC was located opposite The Quadrant pub just off of Queens Road. Music & Video Club (MVC) was founded in 1989 by former Our Price directors, who left after W H Smith bought the company and at their height they had 82 stores including Brighton, Hove, Eastbourne, Hastings, Worthing, Horsham and Chichester. They sold CDs and DVDs. Their Hove branch was at 97 George Street, Hove, BN3 3YE and was there from 1999. The company closed in January 2006.
Megawatz, 55 Preston Street, Brighton, BN1 2HE.
This was a short lived shop in 1977/1978, that was the probably the first to stock punk rock tunes as well as US Soul imports.
Mic-Check, 41a Bond Street, Brighton, BN1 1RD.
Mic-Check was said to have been trading from this address circa 2002 – 2005/6. They were probably considered a ‘hip-hop’ shop who specialised in bling chains, gold fronts, baggy jeans and T-shirt’s, who occasionally also had a dusty or dubplate on offer. (Update: listing added thanks to JJ 30.03.20).
Mick’s Music, 28 Stirling Place, Hove, BN3 3YU.
Upstairs of Mrs Canuticacq’s Emporium Record and Music Shop features Mick’s Music with the largest collection of reggae from all eras in a local shop. (Update: listing added thanks to Josh Dean 16.04.20).
Middle Floor Records, 104 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ER. Online HERE.
In essence, this is ‘The Middle Floor at Rarekind Records’, and also operating from the floor above is RK Bass Records. From 2012 to 2017, it was the home of Well Rounded Vinyl Vendors.
Miles Ahead, 61 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XD.
These were early 1980’s Disco importers. Miles Ahead was founded by Trevor Miles, who was the former manager of H & R Cloake in Churchill Square, when that store closed in late 1981. Miles Ahead specialised in jazz, funk, soul and reggae with an emphasis on US imports. It closed in 1982.
Monkey Music Emporium, 43 Baker Street, Brighton, BN1 4JN.
They buy and sell used records and hi-fi. The store was known to be there in 2012 and 2016. (Update: Shelley Guild 30.03.20 – but has now ceased trading).
Mr Bongo, 6 Gloucester Yard, 121-123 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AF. Online HERE.
Mr Bongo’s was established in 1989 at Berwick Street London. The Brighton store opened at the end of 2016. Here is a store that goes big on Brazilian. They open every Saturday.
Mrs Canuticacq’s Emporium Record and Music Shop, 28 Stirling Place, Hove, BN3 3YU.
This is run by Josh Dean across two floors in the Hove backstreets. Mrs Canuticacqs sells everything from punk and metal to classical and jazz. Upstairs also features Mick’s Music with the largest collection of reggae from all eras in a local shop while downstairs you will find the extensive classical collections, books, CDs and memorabilia. It was also briefly the home as well to Glitter In The Gutter, who operated out of the basement from March 2018 until the beginning of 2020.
Mrs E.J.Roberts, Music Shop, 1 Guildford Road, Brighton, BN1 3LU
This compact record shop was located just up the hill from Brighton mainline railway station. They sold 78’s and also specialised in sheet music. Mrs Roberts was known to be trading in 1953 and still there in 1960.
Music Meltdown, 10 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EN.
Opened in 1996 or 1997 and closed in 2006. From 1997 the shop became another second hand record store, Music Meltdown, run by Vinyl Demand, the same company that operated from 46 Sydney Street and who were well known from the late 1970’s for their trading from a number of outlets in neighbouring streets as well as local record fairs. Around 2001 Paul Clark bought Music Meltdown. He was more dance-music inclined. The shop survived until 2006 when it was closed to concentrate on the growing online market and thus was at the time the last of the second hand record shops in Sydney Street to go although Across The Tracks still has a presence at the southern end of the street its official address is Gloucester Road. Music Meltdown was replaced by a clothing store, Zero Culture, until 2010.
Murdoch, Murdoch & Co, 164-165 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2BB.
Murdoch & Murdoch are listed as pianoforte dealers on this site from 1901 up until 1940 when the business appears to have collapsed. They retailed pianos and other musical accessories, which might have included gramophones.
‘Number 23’, Snooper’s Paradise, 7-8 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL.
One of three outlets within the indoor flea market at Snoopers Paradise, Number 23 has a bargain selection of second hand LPs.
Oliver Idris and Co., 95 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1FA.
“This is a fascinating thread, and I’m very pleased that I have been sent it by a friend. I have some old 78rpm record sleeves , many used to advertise the name of the shop where they were purchased. I have a Hove one which is not on your list, it is for Oliver Idris and Co., of 95 Western Road, Hove. Using the MYHOUSEMYSTREET Street Directories, an example below: http://www.mhms.org.uk/sites/mhms.org.uk/files/directories/1921/1921_sd_pik-234.jpg I have worked out they are first mentioned in 1921 and last mentioned in 1930. The sleeve says ‘piano, Gramophone and Music Saloons’, the first mention is of a Piano Manufacturers”. (Update: listing added thanks to Chris Nichols 05.04.20).
One Better, George Street, Blatchington Road & Boundary Road, Hove
“There was a weird shop called “One Better” which had 3 branches in Hove around 1994 – 95. (George Street, Blatchington Road & Boundary Road.) They sold a random mixture of goods such as luggage and shoes, but also had a sizable CD selection, some of which were quite obscure, and very cheap”. (Update: listing added thanks to Terry A 13.04.20).
One o’Seven Records, 107 Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1UD.
There appears to have been a second hand record shop here in the late 1960’s.
One Stop Records, 30 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EP.
This was run by Chris from neo-disco outfit Soft Rocks and located above Wolf & Gypsy Vintage. One Stop Records sold deep house, techno, post dubstep and, of course, disco edits. The second hand section went right back to the 60’s. In 2012 Wayne Hemmingway published in The Independent that it was his favourite record shop in Brighton and added “It specialises in old jazz and reggae and is run by proper enthusiasts who really want to help you find something new. I got one of my top bargains there: a sought-after promotional single by a group called Rivage for £8”.
Our Price, 40 West Street, Brighton, BN1 2RE.
I’m honestly not sure about this one, but I seem to think that Our Price was in Brighton and quite possibly on the old Subway Records site. There was also a branch at the front of Churchill Square. Our Price founded in Finchley Road, London 1971 and stores closed April 2004. In 1986 it was bought by WH Smith and in 1998 by Virgin. (Update: Fiona Cuff 31.03.20 – “I was the manager of Our Price from 1990-1991. It was at the front of the Old Churchill Square- where W H Smith is now. It was a big store, but don’t think it could compete with Virgin , HMV & the independents”).
Phase Music, 21 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UP.
This record shop opened and closed back in 1970.
Plus One Records, 151 Lewes Road, Brighton, BN2 3LG.
The shop opened early 70’s under its original owner and closed in the 90’s, when it was run by avid autograph collector Terry Hunt. Their price stickers said ‘Plus One Books’ as they sold them as well as second hand vinyl and during the store’s final years, Terry shared the shop with his mother who ran a knitting business.
Polysound, 15 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UP.
Polysound used to sell new records and was owned by John Winstone. It was situated opposite where Komedia Brighton now resides. It opened in 1975, the same year as I purchased ‘Autobahn’ album by Kraftwerk from them. They closed in 1986.
Punker Bunker, 34 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EP. Online HERE.
Punk rock specialists located in the basement of ‘Immediate’ retro clothing store (which was established in 1993). The Punker Bunker is run by Buz who says they are “a tiny punk rock shop selling tiny punk rock label releases to tiny punk rock people”. They sell vinyl, CD’s, fanzines and some t-shirts.
Rarekind Records, 104 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ER. Online HERE.
It seems as though Rarekind Records Ltd have been trading since 25th March 2010. You can’t fail to miss Ewan’s heavily graffiti style designed shop frontage. They participate in Record Store Day, and are a real world record shop specialising in Hip Hop, Funk, Soul, Reggae and the like. Their stock is on ‘Discogs’ as well. Their first floor is given over to Middle Floor Records and the top floor is RK Bass Records, who specialise in Jungle, Drum & Bass plus Old Skool Hardcore. It appears that Well Rounded Vinyl Vendors who were established in 2012 and closed in 2017, were also quite possibly in residence.
Rave On, 2 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EN.
Rave On was run by Piers Chalmers and Mick Turner. They used to specialise in predominantly 50’s and 60’s rock and roll and soul. It opened in 1984 and closed in 1988.
Rayford Electrics, 22-23 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EN.
Rayfords were an old-style electrical shop that also sold brand new deleted vinyl LP’s, which were stored vertically on shelves along one wall during the 1970’s, so you could only really read spines. From 1959 to 1966 their first shop (which was located at 32 Sydney Street) sold and repaired washing machines. They were trading in numbers 22-23 from 1964 to 1987. In their time they had also occupied number 25 in 1974, and numbers 13-14 in 1975-1977.
Record Hunter, 32 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EP.
Used record shop opened in 1981 and closed in 1986.
Record Round-Up (Hove) Limited, 154 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 2DJH.
The company was incorporated on 2nd November 1965 and lasted until 28th September 1999.
Recordland, 40 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4FT.
Recordland was run for many years by big Geoff Winser, who I believe recently passed away. His business was crammed full on three floors and they specialised in Jazz, Blues, Rock & Roll and Soul.
Red Rat Record Rentals Ltd, 46 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EP.
Opened in 1984 at this site – although there is a notification of a company registration in Kent on 15th September 1980 with the same name – and then moved out in 1986 and relocated (apparently to Upper North Street, although I don’t recall this). They ended up on the Western side of Dyke Road at the Seven Dials end. This mid 80’s shop was run by a guy called Izzy. He didn’t actually sell any vinyl records as they rented them out like Blockbuster did videos. Red Rat did sell cassette tapes and this didn’t go down well with the Record Industry who were running the “Home Taping is Killing Music” campaign. Several lawsuits followed before they threw the towel in.
Red Rat at Sydney Street was followed by Vinyl Demand who had secondhand record shops in most of the streets in the vicinity at one point or other and who later became Music Meltdown at 10 Sydney Street during the 1990’s.
Reminiscing, 39b Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EP.
A second hand record shop that operated from 1980 to 1981. Twenty years later in 2001, Black Grass record shop opened and closed in 2003.
Replay, 179 Edward Street, Brighton, BN2 0JB.
Comes up on a listing as previously being a music and DVD store.
Resident Music, 27-28 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL. Online HERE.
Resident has most certainly taken up the leading independent store mantle from Rounder Records. The store opened in 2004 with just husband and wife duo Derry Watkins and Natasha Youngs on the case! They had met when working for the Virgin/Our Price chain and wanted some frontline action themselves. They have built up their independent record shop that sells new vinyl and CD’s, and now currently are a team of 17 people. They expanded next door late 2015 and thus doubled the size of their shop, half for vinyl and half for CD’s. Natasha runs the ‘Dinked’ vinyl special editions which are proving very popular. They often have in-store performances to coincide with releases. They sell worldwide through their website. It seems Nick Cave is a fan as he has told them “you are the best fu**ing record shop in Britain!!!!”.
Rik’s Records, 422 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5SJ.
One of the furthest West of all of the Brighton & Hove record shop listings, as this was located virtually opposite Portslade Station. Rik Taub started Vinyl Demand in Brighton with Geoff Finch around 1978. The partnership didn’t last long in the scheme of things and Rik opened his own shop in Portslade. This ran for many years and then he moved to 4a Station Street, Lewes, BN7 2DA and became Rik’s Disks. The Lewes store is now Si’s Sounds.
RK Bass Records, Top floor, 104 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ER. Online HERE.
Specialises in Jungle, Drum & Bass and Old Skool Hardcore with all the latest new releases and promos with regular deliveries every week. They also have a huge selection of pre-owned vinyl records for sale. Found on the top floor of
Rarekind Records, with Middle Floor Records occupying the middle floor.
Rotation Records, 46-47 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, BN1 2LN. Online HERE.
Surely the record shop with the best view in Brighton & Hove, as they look out at the West Pier with uninterrupted sea views other than the Upside Down House. This new record shop opened its doors in January 2020. Its’ speciality is Indie/Dance/Hip Hop.
Rounder Records, 19 Brighton Square, Brighton, BN1 1HD.
The nearest to a real life version of the shop in ‘High Fidelity’ that we have had in Brighton. The place where you could get all the tunes you wanted and find stuff that you didn’t know you wanted until you heard it there first. Famously employed Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim behind the counter, and Skint Records boss Damian Harris aka Midfield General. It was a very sad day when they closed on 29th July 2012. Was owned by Phil Barton. Prior to them closing I made a note of their staff’s favourite albums of the year for the whole duration that they were open, from 1966. It was listed inside their store above their front window. They also had a branch for some time at 92 Church Road, Burgess Hill, RH15 9BB, which didn’t quite have the same buzz as the Brighton store. Brighton Rounder was my favourite independent vinyl store in the 80’s and 90’s. I must have spent a fortune in there!
(Update: Graham Gilbert 02.04.20 – “Hi Nick! If Rounder was your favourite shop through the 80’s and 90’s you will know me, I think. I owned Rounder from 1982 till selling up in 2000. Rounder started in 1978 in Church Road, Burgess Hill, about a year after I left Virgin’s Marble Arch branch. We were getting Brighton DJ’s coming up on Saturday’s because of our dance imports. Fine Records and Brighton Square opened in 1966 and I bought it from Ralph(?) in 1982. His record buyer decided to leave. I’d been in Brighton since 1971 and used to buy early punk toons there. Good shop, great position. Because we were in a tourist area we could open 364 days a year! Norman left to join the Housemartins and Damian came on board a little later. He was an excellent photographer and already known to the shop. I remember one of our earliest customers was “King” Jerry and when he saw our dance stuff and was told, as a DJ he’d get a 10% discount, he then went up to HMV and harangued fellow DJ customers till then came down to check us out. I would like to say thanks to Jerry as I have never thanked him properly. In the 80’s Rounder was voted Brighton Record Shop of the Year, which year? Oh, something I picked out from your great listing. Phats and Small’s video of “Can’t Turn Around” was filmed in Rounder. The first shot is the front of Urban Records. They couldn’t get a good enough shot of Rounder. A quick mention of Req, also a Skint artist. Req (Ian) used to breakdance Saturday afternoon’s outside the back of the shop and then became our resident graffiti artist graffitiing album covers or whatever on the back wall every week. His work can now be seen on the end wall of the Prince Albert pub. Your list brought back a lot of memories and reminded me of some old friends and Brighton characters. Izzy from Red Rat, Rick at Attrix and the ever-lovable Dave Minns at Borderline. I have recently finished reading “Going for a Song” by Garth Cartwright which is, “A Chronicle of British Record shops – highly recommended”).
Royce Radio, 89 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ER.
This was essentially a second-hand electronics shop that sold radios, record players and radiograms (as they were called then). They also sold a lot of second-hand records as well, especially 45’s. The shop was run by Mr Royce on his own, it did not belong to any group, he worked there till he died in his 80’s.
S North, 4 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EN
In 1929 4 Sydney Street was briefly registered as a gramophone dealer, but had reverted to an ice cream maker the following year, which it had been prior to this. One can assume that they would have more than likely sold gramophone records to play on units that they sold.
Scott’s, Boundary Road, Hove.
This music shop was around in the 1960’s and 70’s and sold radios, record players and both single records as well as LP’s. It was slightly further up than Vine & Lees motor dealers on the Station Road side and had a dentist above it. The two dentists who ran it were Mr Sidi and Mr Lewis.
Select Records, 31 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AH.
There’s a Select Records Limited showing as being incorporated on 1st January 1970, but whether it is this one, I’m not totally sure. This shop was sold to The Classical Longplayer in the mid 1980’s. Farringdons bought the business along with the Canterbury store in around 2006/7 and they closed a few years later.
Sons Of The Desert, 30a Longridge Avenue, Saltdean, Brighton, BN2 8LJ.
The furthest East of all of the listings. This shop is run by local promoter ‘Fozzy’ and he sells vinyl records amongst the various memorabilia. It has been open around 30 months (as at March 2020).
Soundtracks, Baker Street, Brighton.
Soundtracks was located in Baker Street off of London Road. It was at the top end , opposite Bardsley’s Chip Shop, so nearer the Ditchling Road side. So likely to have stood in numbers 25a or 26 Baker Street.
Soul Jazz Records, 62 Middle Street, Brighton, BN1 1AR.
This was one of two branches known to have existed from the early to mid 90’s, with the other being 12 Ingestre Place, Soho, London, W1R 3LP. They were previously located in Camden Market.
Sounds Unlimited, 149 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1RE.
This was a mid 70’s Disco and Soul importers run by legendary Brighton DJ King Jerry (real name is Alan Morris) and owned by Tony Monson. One could buy stereo equipment and more ‘general’ records upstairs, but it was the hot, atmospheric little room downstairs, manned by DJ, King Jerry, that was the place to be. ‘King’ was immortalised in the 1979 film ‘Quadrophenia’, where he provided the inspiration for the character ‘Ace Face’, played by Sting. This store then closed and became Connections in around 1977/78.
Stall 7 Records, Snooper’s Paradise, 7-8 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL. Online HERE. Stall 7 Records was set up in Brighton’s large indoor flea market known as Snooper’s Paradise in 2007 by Mark, who sells new and second-hand vinyl records of all kinds, with currently over 300 popular titles in stock.
Stall 83, Snooper’s Paradise, 7-8 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL
Also within the large indoor flea market is Stall 83, which has vintage music memorabilia (mostly Beatles) and a small selection of quality vintage vinyl.
Stack-A-Records, 93 Westbourne Street, Hove, BN3 5FA.
Stack-A-Records was known to have been trading from this address in October 1976. It is these days known as the Autopaints Brighton site.
Street Sounds, 40 Sydney Street, Brighton BN1 4EP.
Street Sounds specialised in new soul releases and second hand records. It opened in about 1978 and kept going until 1980.
Studio Four, Union Street, Brighton, BN1 1HA.
In the early 1960’s this record store might have stood around or at No.4 Union Street next door on the left to the equally groovy Lorelei coffee bar. There were displays of the first Bob Dylan albums in the window, alongside blues albums by Leadbelly, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed and it stocked records not available elsewhere in Brighton at the time. It was run by a married couple, but it closed suddenly and all its trappings languished behind the window until they were stripped out.
Subway Records, 40 West Street, Brighton, BN1 2RE.
I can remember going into Subway Records in West Street, just down from the Clock Tower on the right on a regular basis. It was on our record shop route. In 1981 I purchased ‘Computerworld’ by Kraftwerk there for a mere £3.75. They had them all in the racks on the left hand side of the store and was a memorable sight. They only dealt in new vinyl and were rather keen on shrink wrapping their albums I seem to recall.
Temple Of Vinyl (view by appointment only), Ironworks, 30 Cheapside, Brighton, BN1 4GD.
An online music retailer, specialising in predominantly second hand rare and deleted electronic music on vinyl and CD, such as House, Techno and Electro. One of several that have their stock on Discogs.
The Classical Longplayer, 31 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AH.
The Classical Longplayer opened in the mid 1980’s, having previously been the home of Select Records. They sold new classical vinyl albums and were eventually bought out by Farringdons along with the Canterbury store in around 2006/7 and they closed a few years later.
The Cottage, 111 Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1UD.
The Cottage was run by two brothers up until around 1980, when sadly one of them was murdered in Powis Square or thereabouts when out walking his dog. The culprit was down from London and went on a stabbing rampage starting out from the station. The store closed shortly afterwards. (Update: Alternative Brighton by Noyce & Jarman flagged up by Shelley Guild 30.03.20 – They were a secondhand shop that bought and sold preferably recent stereo LP’s in first class condition and sometimes had review copies in near perfect condition, as well as lots of singles).
The Diskery, 86 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1JB.
The Diskery was known to be trading in 1967 and was located above a pram shop at the Hove end of Western Road. They mainly specialised in singles but did also sell albums. The proprietor was called Maurice and his manager was called Jim. They may or may have not moved to Baker Street in Brighton.
The Record Box, 24a Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AQ.
There was reference of John Desborough purchasing ‘Singing The Blues’ by Tommy Steele, there in January 1957, and Dave Crockatt buying ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ there in the late 1960’s.
The Record Album, 8 Terminus Road, Brighton, BN1 3PE. Online HERE.
Until his retirement in 2018, George Ginn was Brighton’s longest established record dealer with the little blue-fronted shop at 8 Terminus Road, the third premises it has occupied. Originally The Record Album was at 27 Gardner Street, Brighton BN1 1UP from 1954 to 1958. After Gardner Street it moved to 34 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YB, where it opened in 1948, then in the very early ’80s it moved to Queen’s Road, Brighton, but it was only there for a very short time before moving to Terminus Road. The Record Album has passed to new owners, Keith Blackmore and David Chappell. The shop has always dealt exclusively in vinyl, specialising in mostly film, stage and musical soundtrack LP’s. Late in 2019, they had £1000 worth of stock stolen, which made the news.
The Singles Bar, 28-29 Tidy Street, Brighton, BN1 4EL. Online HERE.
This is located just off of Trafalgar Street in Brighton and is connected to The Wax Factor on 24 Trafalgar Street. Not surprisingly The Singles Bar specialise in 7” and 12” singles, which are bought and sold.
The Vinyl Curtain (view by appointment only), 2 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4EZ. Online HERE.
This boutique record shop opened in April 2014 and is situated in Brighton and owned by DJ Billy Nasty (Tortured & Electrix Records). They specialise in rare and hard to find vinyl in all forms of dance music from House, Techno, Electro, Minimal, Electronica, Drum and Bass, Dubstep through to Reggae and Ska.
The Wax Factor, 24 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4EQ. Online HERE.
It seems like The Wax Factor has been around for eons. I can recall going in there many moons ago and ferreting around in their basement for obscure and forgotten gems. One time even coming up with a decent copy of Rupie Edwards ‘Ire Feelings’ as a surprise present for my mate. They buy and sell used records, CD’s and books. They are joined to The Singles Bar in Tidy Street.
Tiger Moth Records, 25 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 1HB.
This was a late 1960’s Hippie hangout. However there’s a Tiger Moth Records Limited that is showing as incorporated on 1st January 1970. I’am not sure if this is the same business though. (Update: Pauline Coverdale 30.03.20 –“Tiger Moth Records had a drawing of a Tiger Moth biplane on their paper carrier bags”).
Tilbury Gig, 123 St James’s Street, Brighton, BN2 1TH.
This was initially owned and run by Steve Tilbury-Warden and later by Peter Sellars. It opened in the early 1970’s and closed down at the end of the 1980’s. They used to sell new vinyl records. I used to regularly visit the store in 1978 to 1981 and it didn’t seem to have the same vibe as the other record shops in town.
Two Way Books, 54 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN.
This store opened up on this site in 1971 and by the end of the 1970’s they also sold second-hand LP’s as well as many books. This popular shop sadly closed in 2014.
Ugly Records, 38 Sydney Street, Brighton BN1 4EP.
Ugly Records was an independent dance music specialist that was on this site from 1993 to 1997. It was owned by Tony Lee and they had moved from Gloucester Road, Brighton. (Update: amended thanks to Tony Lee 31.03.20).
University of Sussex Bookshop, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.
The University of Sussex was established in 1961. It had a bookshop on campus that was based in Falmer House, the initial part of the modern building, and was managed by Harry Hunter. They apparently had an ‘uninspiring’ collection of records. From 1970 the bookshop moved to the Refectory Building, later Bramber House and in 2007 was sold to John Smith & Son. The bookshop later moved into the university library and closed down in 2012. (Update: Alternative Brighton by Noyce & Jarman flagged up by Shelley Guild 30.03.20).
‘Unknown’ 1: Waterloo Street, Hove.
There was apparently a short-lived shop in Waterloo Street, that was run by a guy called Kaz who used to manage Fine Records. It went bust very quickly though.
‘Unknown’ 2: Western Road, Brighton.
I seem to recall being reasonably shocked when I first saw The Damned debut album, as I was initially under the impression that they had smeared themselves in something unsavoury on the cover. The record was in an ‘allsorts’ shop on the North side of Western Road, nearly opposite Hanningtons around 139 Codrington Mansion. The shop had various vinyl albums at the back of the shop that was up a couple or steps or so.
Uptight Records, 178 Sackville Road, Hove, BN3 7AL. Online HERE.
Bob Smith has built up an extensive knowledge over 30 years of record buying and collecting which enables him to deliver the best in Soul, Jazz and Funk. He uses Discogs.
Urban Records, 24 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UP.
Urban Records opened in 1997 and closed in 2005. They were a popular dance music specialists and starred in Phats & Small’s 1999 video for ‘Turn Around’ – watch the video HERE. The demise of house music coupled with the growth of downloading spelt the end for the shop and was replaced by a couple of takeaways specialising in Cornish pasties.
Vinyl Demand, 92a Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ER.
Vinyl Demand second hand record shop came into being when Geoff Finch started trading in Redcross Street, Brighton in 1978. He then expanded his operation by moving into new premises at 92a Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ER. He then relocated to 46 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EP from 1987 to 1995, where he had taken over the site from Red Rat. Vinyl Demand later became Music Meltdown.
Interestingly enough, Geoff started the popular Vinylman Record Fairs with Rik Taub. More information HERE.
(Update: Geoff Finch 30.03.20 – “Hello, thankyou for all your efforts on the Brighton Record shop scene. In 1978, Rik Taub and Geoff Finch started stalling out in Upper Gardner Street Market selling records alongside a few other Vinyl traders including the legendary Piers Chalmer’s. Rik and I started our shop Vinyl Demand in 1979 92a Trafalgar Street which is in Redcross Street. We ran that shop together till 83ish then went our separate ways. l moved to 46 Sydney Street in 85 as you mentioned, Red Rat ran a short lived Record hire business from that address. Ps I’ve got pictures if you can use them, well done and thanks Vinylman”).
Vinyl Revolution, 33 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AG.
Vinyl Revolution was co-owned by Simon Parker and Rachel Lowe and founded in July 2016, but sadly closed on 13th July 2019. Their bright and vibrant pink painted store was unmissable and included a basement as well as street level store. They used to stock new and vintage records, record players, their own range of clothing, art and cool things for the home. They occasionally had in-store performances including The Slow Readers Club, as well as pop up shops.
Virgin, 126 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1RE and other locations.
It might be open to debate as to whether the curved Virgin branch that was located opposite the Jubilee Clock Tower at 126 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1RE which opened in 1971 and closed in 1977, was in fact the ‘original’ Brighton store. In 2012 a chap called Ray posted “Before Virgin opened the shop at the Clock Tower, they had a small shop in The Lanes, opposite the Bath Arms…this proved too small and they took over the vacant shop at the Clock Tower which used to be a 24 hour vending machine place called The Automat”. Then three months later in October 2012, a chap called Nick added “I am reassured by Ray’s comment as I remember in early the ’70s a Virgin record store at the junction of Union Street and Meeting House Lane, by the church now a bar (The Font?). Scruffy place, bearded soul in an Afghan coat that looked like a young Branson”.
The North Street branch certainly had some notoriety with the back of the shop littered with bootleg albums, and hippies lounging around on beanbag cushions all day. Apparently, Gong played in the store to maybe 15 people, with Steve Hillage sporting a long knitted bobble hat and sleeveless afghan coat.
My fondest memories were during their punk and post-punk days, when they moved across the road to the more compact 5 Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3WA, branch which was originally Hayden’s Tailor Shop. I was always in there and the staff got to know me. I remember tall Vic who had a massive smile and was studying at Sussex University and also a guy called Steve. Steve was pretty good at pointing me in the right direction of the latest releases as he knew my taste. I can remember being invited up to the staff room upstairs on occasions. I was most envious of the Tubeway Army 7” ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ picture disc adorning the wall, as I didn’t have one at the time. I have known people buy records just because of the covers. The only time I have ever done so was in this store, when I discovered ‘Europa & The Pirate Twins’ 12” by Thomas Dolby. I loved the boffin cover. When I got it home, I loved the record even more – result!
Branson’s empire had by now outgrown this site and so business was transferred to Unit 2, 157-162, Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2BB from 1985 to 1998. This new store included the two floors above street level as was initially occupied by DIY chain Fads until the mid 1980’s. Virgin was now solidly in competition with HMV. They were selling CD’s, books, posters etc. I can recall being late back to work one day as I got carried away flicking through the rows of music and immediately outside the store was to my surprise Björk with two older ladies in fur coats. I was a fan, but didn’t stop to talk – I wish I had. She was going out with Goldie at the time and he was playing in Brighton that night, I found out later, so it definitely was her.
Brighton’s final Virgin Megastore was at M S U 5, Churchill Square, Brighton, BN1 2TB, which was nearly opposite HMV on the ground level. The store had several levels and certainly was the business. It became one of their Zavvi stores. T.H. Baker Brighton jewellers now occupies part of the old site.
Viva-Vinyl, 63 Queen Victoria Avenue, Hove nr Hangleton, BN3 6XA. Online HERE.
Viva-Vinyl was established in 2017 by Julie and Brian Rosehill who manage the cafe, restaurant and pop-up record shop. They buy and sell rare vinyl and mainly specialise in progressive, psychedelic, blues, folk and folk rock, rock and pop mainly from the mid 60’s to the mid 70’s.
W.H. Smith & Son – various addresses including 69 Churchill Square, Brighton, BN1 2TA.
Back in the day, W.H. Smith used to sell records and cassettes along with a lot of accessories like PVC sleeves, record cleaners, 7″ record sleeves and cassette racks from their Brighton and Hove stores. In fact some stores had quite large record departments.
W.J. East, 22 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UP.
This shop used to sell gramophones and 78rpm records around 100 years ago. (Update: listing added thanks to Josh Dean 16.04.20).
Wadmans, 99 St Georges Road, Brighton, BN2 1EE.
Wadmans was known to have existed pre war.
Well Rounded Vinyl Vendors, 104 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ER.
Established in 2012 and closed in 2017. They were underground 12” vinyl dance music specialists, who also liked to do some pop-up shops. Were based at the same premises as Rarekind Records.
Wickham Kimber & Oakley Ltd, 8 George Street, Hove, BN3 3YA.
In 1935 a music shop opened at number 8 that was later known as Wickham, Kimber and Oakley. Richard Wickham and Ernest Kimber worked for several years at Godfrey & Co., 88 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1JB, before making the decision to branch out on their own. Mr Wickham had been a pre-war dance band pianist and the stock reflected this. They used to sell sheet music as well as records.
In the 1940’s they opened their second shop in George Street at numbers 95 and 95a, at the same time taking Harold Oakley into partnership. From the late 1940’s, Saturday afternoons there became a regular meeting place for Jazz and Blues lovers. Derrick Stewart-Baxter, who wrote a column in Jazz Journal called ‘Preachin’ The Blues,’ was paid a retainer and sat in an upstairs room, acting as an adviser on the quality of the latest (American) jazz and blues records that were available in store. Apart from his work at the shop, Derrick was a frequent compere at Brighton Dome when it was graced by a Jazz or Blues evening, so it was at the Dome that many folks were able to hear American bluesmen like Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Lightnin’ Hopkins, plus of course all the British Trad and New Orleans jazz bands of the time.
In 1966 at number 8 Mr Wickham had a total record stock of 30,000 items and the BBC used to buy some items for their sound archive. This shop closed on 31st March 1974.
Winchester’s, 20 George Street, Hove, BN3 3YA.
“The sleeves look older with a picture of an inter – war radiogram on them and the additional information of ‘Authorised Columbia Dealer’, or even better ‘Columbia, Zonophone, Regal and Winner Records.’ The last mention I could find in the Directories was in 1936………in the 1930’s it was normally recorded as Walter Frank Winchester, Gramophone Dealer. Going further back it is recorded as John Winchester during the 1920’s; possibly the father. I was surprised that the shop had been established before the First World War, as early as 1910 and 1912, it was recorded as “Phonograph Stores”,. The first mention of J. Winchester is 1910. The first mention of a shop at the same premises is as early as 1906 , with the descriptor “Mrs. Wallis – Phonograph and Incandescent Company”.It is a fabulous name. The MHMS entry for George Street in 1908 is HERE.” (Update: listing added thanks to Chris Nichols 13.04.20).
Wizard Records, Sydney Street or Gardner Street or Queens Road, Brighton.
There seems to be some confusion as to exactly where this shop was. I have found mention of this record shop, which didn’t last long, when it was located in Sydney Street, by the corner of Gloucester Street, and being run by a guy called Gary with long blond hair. There are other mentions of it in Gardner Street, Brighton and also near Brighton Station on Queens Road.
Woolworths (F.W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd.) various locations.
In the late 1970’s and 1980’s Woolworths was always a good store to visit immediately after the new music charts had been announced as those singles and albums that had dropped out of the Top 40 (as from 1978) would be greatly reduced. They weren’t as cred as Virgin or HMV, but if they were quite a bit cheaper, then it didn’t matter.
Their 181-185 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2BA was the first Brighton store. It opened on 5th August 1916 and in 1968 it was modernised and reduced in size, with the right side being sold to Clinton Cards. It closed on 30th December 2008. I have a fond memory of my Brighton Technical College mate Mark Brady, running into this store and yelling ‘Warrior In Woolworths’ and legging it out. The tune was found on the X-Ray Spex November 1978 album ‘Germfree Adolescents’ – it was a very punk thing to do back then.
Two further Brighton stores were opened in 1927, namely London Road and 26-28a St James Street, Brighton, BN2 1RF branches. The London Road store opened on 29th October 1927 and was located on the corner of Cheapside at 1-2 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JH. On 8th June 1934, the store was extended. There’s a post from Horace Harris who recounts “I bought my first gramophone records from a branch of F. W. Woolworth in London Road, Brighton, in 1937. They exclusively sold Crown records, which were 78 rpm speed but 9 inches in diameter, rather than the usual 10 inches. They cost six pence each. My favourite was “Is It True What They Say About Dixie?” by The Swing Rhythm Boys, which was a pseudonym for London dance band musicians”. In 1965 Woolworths left the premises at 1-2. Sainsbury’s, who were next door at No.3, took it over to become a larger self-service supermarket at 1-4. It is now occupied by Aldi.
Woolworths relocated up the road to 27-31 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4LE, a larger Art Deco building (a former department store called Roslings) with 3 floors, and started trading from 28th May 1965. The store was re-modernised in the 1980’s, and then there was an arson fire in the basement in 1987 – so they had to close temporarily. The basement was never reopened, with the stairs covered up with a large display. They too closed on 30th December 2008. The premises are now a Poundland.
The 26-28a St James Street, Brighton, BN2 1RF ‘Woolies’ branch opened in 1927 and In the 1950’s the store extended to the left, taking over the old Dairy shop. Then in either the 1960’s or 70’s, the store halved in size and traded from the right side. Then this Woolworths closed down in June 1986.
(Update: ‘bekis’ 1.4.20 – “Don’t forget Woolworths in Blatchington Road, Hove. Bought my first single in there, my friend worked on the pick n mix and used to sneak us the odd free sweet while we checked out the records”).
XS Music & Video, The Waterfront, Brighton Marina, Brighton, BN2 5WA.
I seem to recall a CD and DVD shop located at The Waterfront on the ground floor along from the petrol station. The newer shopping area opened in 2002 and has the ‘Walk Of Fame’ stars on the pavement. (Update: David McLaughlin 03.04.20 – “XS Music & Video on The Waterfront. Think it was a v.Shop previous or one of the failed Virgin phone music hybrids”). This was originally posted as ‘Unknown’, but thanks to David’s assistance is now listed under the shop name.
Zavvi, Unit M S U 5, Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton, BN1 2TB.
This was the former Virgin Megastore chain, which was one of the last 18 stores that closed just before Friday 20th February 2009, with the loss of 446 jobs.The chain went into administration on Christmas Eve 2008 after it was crippled by the collapse of Woolworths‘ Entertainment UK wholesaling division. It was the country’s largest independent entertainment retailer, with 114 stores in the UK and 11 in Ireland and more than 2,300 full-time staff.
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