Friday, 12 November 2010

Album on the run

A new HMV store has opened in my local town centre, two years after the last DVD/CD shop closed. It's tiny, and is dominated by games and DVD box sets. The only CDs are in the two-for-£10 range, apart from a display of the latest chart albums.

On the top shelf of that display sits the £74.95 deluxe edition of Band On The Run, looking more like a photo album (remember those?) than anything I can imagine as a record. If they'd had the cheap edition, I'd have bought it - but it wasn't there.

So I walked down the street to W.H. Smith's, which in my youth was the only shop locally that sold either books or records. The books are still there - but the CD section has gone, apart from a selection of ten random albums on the stairs. And no Paul McCartney.

When Band On The Run was originally released, I had to buy - and return - three vinyl copies at that branch of Smith's, because they all jumped through 'Mamunia'. Eventually I wrote to EMI, who admitted there was a fault with the initial pressing, and sent me another copy - which jumped. So back it went, and almost a month had passed before a working copy finally arrived on my doorstep.

So here we are, more than 35 years later, and I still can't find a copy of Band On The Run. Yes, I can order it online, but the experience isn't the same. I wanted the joy of finding it on the shelf, turning it in my hands, and making the decision to walk towards the till. Clicking a button on my computer doesn't have the same 'romance' about it. But then 'romance' and 'the music business' parted company a long time ago.

1 comment:

  1. It really is depressing, isn't it? The only CDs you can find in a shop these days are the Taylor Swifts of the world. Plus, in order to get a decent price, you pretty much have to buy the thing online.

    Still, I thought the BOTR reissue sounded great. And it did well on the charts for a reissue (No. 17 in the UK and No. 27 in the US). By comparison, the only Lennon reissue that was in the top 30 in the US was his greatest hits compilation at No. 24. ... And the Lennon reissues got a VAST amount of publicity here while BOTR got next to nothing.