Record Shop Tour

Photo:Formerly Recordland, 40 Trafalgar Street, Brighton

Formerly Recordland, 40 Trafalgar Street, Brighton

Photo by Debbie Lias

Recordland, 40 Trafalgar Street

By John Lias

Possibly the last of all the stores within this list to close, I believe I'm right in saying it was still open for business as recently as 2001 or 2002.

I hadn't gone there for a while though as, whereas it always sold some in-demand singles, it never really specialised in soul LPs and I only ever picked up a handful over a long period of time.

This page was added on 21/10/2008.
Comments about this page
I sold a lot of my best vinyl here whenever I got skint. Just before I moved to Spain in the early 2000's, they bought a Michael Jackson picture disc of Thriller from me for a fiver. To be fair, it was the sort of place where I went in to make a few quid, and ended up spending it all back.
By Paul Hubbard. (26/07/2009)

You are right John Lias, not a lot of Soul in general, but excellent for Motown, especially upstairs. I have a few rare LPs which I wouldn't have but for Recordland. The owner was very helpful as I recall.

By David Wilkinson (30/12/2010)

Geoff Windsor (Fat Geoff) ran Recordland. He was a specialist in jazz/ big band/ vocal and shows but stocked most types of music. I never ventured onto the upper floors much but the ground floor held good stuff at good prices. Geoff could be a bit prickly at times. I once went in there to do a trade with a load of promo LPs. I was after a copy of Tony Conrad & Faust 'Outside the Dream Syndicate' I'd seen in there. He eyed my albums suspiciously "Are these promos? I don't want no promos" he muttered. "No, they aren't promos" I lied and he consented to the deal. Geoff retired but I believe he took all his stock away and still did, or indeed, does some buying and selling from his home. Like a lot of dealers - it's in his blood and he can't kick the habit. I know of one semi-retired record dealer who filled his entire house with thousands of records even though he was working another job full time. I mean - filled it - you could hardly get in the door. I know of other dealers and collectors who have not only filled their houses but lock-ups and storage units too. 

By M Bradshaw (25/12/2013)

I called him Big Geoff. I bought many Sun records from Geoff. Sorry for my poor English but I'm from Belgium. Is he still alive? I saw him once in Belgium and a few times in Nederland, at records fairs. I'm writing now of the 70s and 80s. A great time for records and record fairs.

By Rocking Rudy from Juke Box Records (10/04/2017)

I worked for Geoff (Winser) for a while. The shop was on several floors including a basement which I only found out was damp when looking through a box of unfortunately soggy-sleeved 45s. There was a little room at the very top where Geoff kept a tank of fish. The shop had a hand-painted signboard that fitted into slots on the wall by the door and was inserted and removed and brought inside at the different ends of the day. The shop sold a bit of everything - classical, big band, jazz, easy, soundtracks, and rock and pop that felt rather past its sell-by date - I'm sure there was a Cufflinks album, the Archies-related group. Generally Geoff would look in the Record Collector guide and maybe halve what that gospel book said the price should be. 45s were a couple of pounds each and filed by label. Sometimes I'd turn up repro doo-wop singles, nice. I was there during that big Incredibly Strange Music boom and the easy listening craze, and found my first Martin Denny record there, an E.P. with chunk missing from the sleeve - that was pre-Internet when you just had to buy things in whatever shape they miraculously turned up in or else possibly never get to hear them. If I sold an L.P. from the window display, which consisted of a series of those long strips of joined-together clear plastic L.P. outers, I'd fill the gap with something ridiculous, an album with a stupid sleeve or a Mrs. Mills, to give passers-by a chuckle. My best finds included a Dissevelt and Baltan electronic album that seemed very cheap - I'm not sure Geoff knew how in old electronic music was becoming; also an early '60s Ivor Cutler E.P. I'd been after for ages; and the little Polydor six-track E.P. of Komeda's soundtrack to Polanski's Cul de Sac which I discovered much later was pressed in a much more titchy quantity than you'd expect from a big label. Also I got some of my Tiny Tim and Lee Hazlewood from Geoff; and a beautiful Yma Sumac album spread across a bunch of brown paper-sleeved 7"s and housed in a box, which he brought back from his Stateside buying trip. One day all I sold was one single - admittedly I was playing a compilation CD of Japanese noise in the shop, but really it wasn't my fault as the weather was atrocious. The worst aspect was if the disc of a CD someone wanted to buy got misfiled and wasn't in the designated numbered card cover behind the counter (for security reasons)... I had to go through the whole stock to see where it had been put. Before me, a nice chap, now sadly departed, called Mike Gill was Geoff's assistant - he was the brother of Geoff Gill whose band The Smoke were '67 near-hit wonders (My Friend Jack).

By Stephen Drennan (27/07/2018)