Comments about this page

There are two others I remember that are not mentioned. Firstly, but I don't remember the name, opposite Woolworths in London Road, from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Also from the same era, a musical instrument shop on the south side of Western Road, approximately opposite Farm Road, that also sold records downstairs. I can't remember the name of this one either!

By Peter Groves (30/10/2008)

Thanks for this. I don't remember either of these shops. Before my time, I suspect.

By John Lias (08/11/2008)

Exspantion Record Store, 40 Middle Street - this great record store specialised in underground records - hard to find american imports. It closed and reopened as Tiger Moth Records, 25 Meeting House Lane and eventually closed when Virgin opened - the owners emigrated to Australia.

By Arthur Johnson (17/05/2009)

I used to buy albums from Polysound in the early 1970s when I worked in North Street. The shop had a small stock and gained business by undercutting the larger record stores on new releases. The shop also used to print designs on T-shirts.

By Steve Gladwell (30/05/2009)

The one opposite Woolworth's near the entrance to the Open Market was, I'm pretty sure, Diplomat, although I do get confused between that and one at the top of West Street about where the travel agents or Waterstones is today

By Andy Walker (29/06/2009)
Andy: the one at the top of West Street was 'Subway'. It opened during '81, and housed cheap imported vinyl albums, and was excellent for Japanese imports. Shame it closed after about 2 years, as I used to go in there all the time for cheap vinyl. I used to go into Diplomat as well. Great for picture discs. There was a copy of the Bee Gees 'Spirits Having Flown' album above the counter in there. Great shop. Shame we've been left with so few good shops to browse in.
By Darren Stuart (21/07/2009)

I remember Tiger Moth Records very well: it was the hip place for us schoolkids to browse in the early 70s - the opening of Virgin Records dealt it a bit of a death blow. I remember Polysounds well too - a cheap place to buy new releases. One you haven't got was a short-lived shop in Waterloo Street. I can't remember the name but it was run by a guy called Kaz who used to manage Fine Records. It went bust very quickly though.

By Max Cooter (22/01/2010)

I remember Kennylynn, as it was branded, very well indeed. As I recall the chap who used to run the shop had two Garrard turntables behind the counter and upstairs he had a fully kitted out radio studio to teach people how to be presenters. I believe the turntables upstairs were made by Gates. (The really expensive ones as used in Radio 1&2 broadcast suites at the time). I spent many a happy hour in there, and still have an original price label from his shop on a Linda Ronstadt 12" single. Those were the days.

By Davd Miller (14/02/2010)

PS - Further to my earlier comment, the shop was actually branded as "Kennylynn Music Centre".

By David Miller (14/02/2010)

Does anyone remember Soundtracks, Baker Street, Brighton off the London Road? It was at the top, opposite Bardsleys Chip Shop.

By NinaB (11/03/2010)

I think it was Piers Chalmers who used to run 'Rave On' in Sydney Street. In my mind it was a place for Rock n' Roll and Rockabilly collectors. Piers Chalmers can still occasionally be seen at the Brighton Record Fair events. The man to ask about this shop would be Al Berwick the proprietor of the excellent 'Wax Factor' in Trafalgar Street.

By Kevin Cooke (25/03/2010)

Thank you, Kevin. You are correct and have jogged my memory. I would say it was indeed Piers Chalmers who ran ' Rave On '.

By John Lias (29/03/2010)

I used to run Subway Records in West Steet in the early 80s. It was a great place and I had the time of my life - it all seems so long ago! Thanks for reminding me!

By Tony Tydeman (29/05/2010)

Can anyone help me with a piece of research I am trying to do into the running of an independent record shop in the 1960s? What was the layout? How did the booths work? etc Thanks

By Ruth (16/06/2010)

I remember Kenny Lyn records rather well, I would go in there before going to another record shop which was at the other end of London Road nearer Preston Circus, on the first floor of a department store I seem to recall, it specialised in classical records. Another one I remember well was at the back of Churchill Square, on two floors. HMV was on the left hand side and you followed the path round to the back and there it was. Can't remember what it was called though.

By Robert Kirkup (02/07/2010)

Does anyone remember 'Record Roundup'? It was in Portland Road Hove. Mark used to run it but sadly died a few years back - he was such a great guy.

By Marion Bell (nee Long) (06/08/2010)

I used to buy from Polysound and the Cottage regularly. I also remember Tiger Moth Records. They used yellow paper carrier bags with a black and white drawing of a tiger moth plane on them. Environmentally-friendly even in those days! I also remember Bredons and Beals in East Street. One sold second hand records and the other had the record dept downstairs with booths for listening.

By Pauline Coverdale (04/05/2011)

I used to buy records from a stall at the top of Jubilee Market in Gardner Street; they always seemed to have a huge supply of 'bootleg' cassette tapes. I think this would have been around the early to mid-1980's.

By Tom Servo (05/05/2011)

Having read the contribution by Tom Servo I don't remember the name 'Jubilee Market'. Was this the disused supermarket that had various stalls and was on the site of what is now the Komedia? I remember buying many CDs there from a stall that was upstairs in the early 90s. When I returned to this area, having lived in the Midlands for fifteen years, I was walking along Gardner Street and I recognised the guy who used to run the stall, he now runs the excellent Borderline shop just a few doors along. Does anybody remember the first shop in Brighton, in the 1980s, that sold CDs only when they first appeared? It was in New Road, between The Theatre Royal and North Street, and I think was owned and run by a husband and wife.

By Derek Lake (06/05/2011)

I was a frequent visitor to Polysound in Gardner Street when I worked at the Evening Argus and spent most of my dinner hours in there talking to owner John Winstone who I believe had contacts with David who ran Two Way Books in Sydney Street.

By David Tiffin (08/02/2012)

I believe Red Rat originally started in larger premises in Duke Street as "Red Rat Record Rentals" - as the name suggests you could rent a record for a day or so (and listen to it, of course NEVER record it, 'cos that was illegal, wasn't it?). It became evident fairly early on that other customers were not so careful with the vinyl as I was, as a lot of them were fairly badly scratched.

By David Tiffin (08/02/2012)

How about the shop in Church Street just below the Wagon and Horses pub, can't remember the name? Got my first Bob Dylan album there early 70's. Great little shop.

By Ray (08/02/2012)

I was a member of the Red Rat record shop and I used to rent records overnight for listening only, nothing to do with owning a Sony Walkman cassette player! Another record shop was Tilbury Gig in St James's Street. It was located on the right near the bottom as you go up towards Kemp Town.

By Michael Brittain (09/02/2012)

Please do not forget Lyon and Hall in Western Road, almost opposite where Waitrose now is. I remember buying many of my first classical LPs there in the mid-1960s, receiving splendid service from Michael Hayes, who seemed to know everything about serious music.

By Michael Wilkinson (17/02/2012)

Ray, comment 8/2/2012: You are talking about The Cottage. Please see the section on this shop.

By John Lias (20/02/2012)

I remember Jubilee Market in Gardner Street. If I recall a cd stall was run by a guy called Dave Minns. If he's still about in Brighton he could tell you a lot about the other local record stores. I think he may have worked in one or two around Sydney Street as well. Happy days! Cheers 

By Mike Peckett (05/06/2012)

What all of you seem to have forgotten is the very wonderful Studio Four record shop in the Lanes next door on the left to the equally groovy Lorelei coffee bar. There were displays of the first Dylan albums in the window, alongside blues albums by Leadbelly, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed etc. This very hip tone was somewhat altered by the anthologies of rugby songs shouldering them out of the way! It was run by a married couple and I assume they went bankrupt as it closed suddenly and all its trappings languished behind the window until they were stripped out. I bought some superb Sue singles (with the distinctive red and yellow label) there including Homesick James, Jimmy Reed and Willie Mabon. Anyone else remember Studio Four?

By Nick Heath (27/07/2012)

Memories of record shops connects times and songs - like my first epiphanic experience of hearing Bill Haley's 'Rock Around the Clock' in 1955 in the as yet unmentioned record shop just south of Preston Circus (on the right going south). Around 1956 I would browse the 78s in a shop on St. James's Street, just up from Edlin's Southern pub. Rock 'n roll was changing our lives then. For a while there was a very small jazz record shop on the north side of Blatchington Road. Having graduated from Jerry Lee Lewis to Charlie Mingus, I had given up the devil's music and found the Lord. This, of course, was a lapse I have since redressed.

By Ian Tracy (29/07/2012)

Jubilee Market had all sorts of vinyl, CD's and memorabilia. I recall picking up a Kraftwerk fly poster there relatively cheap, Polysound as well. I purchased Trans-Europe Express in there, along with cheap 7" singles, including Lori Anderson's 'O Superman'. The fella behind the counter was a nice chap. I miss all these shops. And now Rounders is gone, it's all rather sad.

By Darren Stuart (16/09/2012)

I used to buy CDs in the Classical Long Player quite regularly. It was a great place to browse on a Saturday morning and the owner was very helpful and stocked the best recordings. It was in Duke Street and the good thing was the selection of "New Releases" which meant you could just browse what was new since you last went along.

By Bruce L (04/12/2012)

During the petrol rationing due to the Suez Crisis at the tail end of 1956 I left the motor trade for a while as no-one was using their cars and work was slack and went to work for Goodsells in Dorset Street. Goodsells made quality radios and amplifiers both for retail and a range for schools. Many of their models were revamped designs from Wireless World. Hence I made my own amp, an MA5, (Medium Amplifier 5 watts output) to go with an old deck I had. I remember going into Barnards record shop in St Georges Road and asking for the 'loudest record you've got', to test this amp. He gave me a 78rpm of Bill Haley's 'Rock around the Clock'. I think it was about 3/6d!

By Tim Sargeant (05/12/2012)

I remember both Tiger Records and Red Rat; Tiger Moth, I still have a label from there that used to adorn a carrier bag, which I can email copy of or upload but not sure how to do that on this page.. I bought quite a few records there around 1970ish. For some reason my recollection is that it originally was where Fine/Rounder Records were later. Red Rat in Sydney street, later of Upper North Street and later still Dyke Road was not really a record shop but somewhere you loaned records (LPs) took home, recorded and returned. No guesses why that closed down.

By Alex Robertson (09/01/2013)

Does any one remember (John Beal & son) in East Street- it was a stationery shop but you went down stairs to buy records. I remember buying my Beatles records from there.

By Stephen Raynsford (07/03/2013)

Wow! How about that Stephen, what a coincidence that I should post a message on the 'East Street' page about the John Beals store on the same day. Yes, I do remember it very well and as I said on the other page, I bought my first LP there 'Always Yours' by 'John Leyton'. I was sefven years old in 1964 and had saved up my pocket money (33s 11d). I do remember the stairs going down to the record department and it stayed the same from my first visit in the early 60s right up to the early 80s. I expect it is just a store cupboard now but it certainly holds memories for me and probably a lot of other people who bought their records there.

By Paul Clarkson (08/03/2013)

I remember Beals very well. Always a great shop to potter around in - upstairs was like a precursor to Paperchase! As you say, downstairs was a very impressive record department. For such an old-fashioned style of shop, they must have had a very hip buyer for the records - their stock was always current and quite often had albums that weren't available elsewhere. I seem to remember they had listening booths, too.

By Marc Turner (08/03/2013)

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, but I too like Darren Stuart (16/9/12) had one of these three years earlier in 1975, I think 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 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 North 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, 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 lookalike) 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 see no-one has mentioned 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 Costeau". There was also a second-hand record shop in Lewes Road 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!

By Nick Linazasoro (13/05/2013)

I have just remembered that there used to be a small compact record shop right next door to the Brighton Tec where the car park entrance was at the Trafalgar Street end. It had records on the ground floor and then you had to go down these dodgy old stairs to the underground basement to look at the rest of the stock. Alas I can't remember what it was called.

By Nick Linazasoro (15/05/2013)

Nick, the shop you are thinking of was called Vinyl Demand. Please see my write-up about it.

By John Lias (06/08/2013)

I seem to remember a small record shop in London Road around 1970 opposite the Co-op. It was where the Superdrug store is now. I know it was that year because I was in there one day and this little old lady was buying most of the top 10, she asked for 'In the Summertime' by Mungo Jerry; 'Question' by the Moody Blues and 'Lola' by the Kinks amongst others. I though how strange for someone that age to buy such up to date records, I was only 13 myself. Does anyone else remember this shop, it was very short lived as it wasn't there for long.

By Paul Clarkson (07/08/2013)

Well this site is fun. I have been, and always will be, Vinylman. My friend Rik Taub worked at the Argus and sold me a pair of record decks and about 3,000 non-hit singles going back to the 60s. This got me started in 77/78 as a record dealer and DJ Rik and I both had a dream to open a record shop and so we did: Vinyl Demand, 92a Trafalgar Street. Riding in on a crest of a punky new wave, we had a pooled knowledge of music and not much business sense but we learned fast. The kids were alright and vinyl was king. We had a 'we like it, we buy it' policy, and a 'we are running out of space, we sell it cheaper' attitude too. It was so great on a Saturday with all the punks, goths, retro and real rockers and mods waiting to get into a shop 12 by 10ft - barely big enough to swing a single in. We were the old guys behind the counter - but we were living the dream. We didn't know it then but we were having the time of our lives. Geoff Finch and Rik Taub, record shop keepers, Vinylmen

By Geoff Finch Vinylman (18/08/2013)

Re: Rave On. Yes, it was run by Piers Chalmers... and also Mick Turner who people may remember (he passed away 10+ years ago). His wife Anne used to work in David's Books. A bit ramshackle but great for rockin 50s gear. I also bought practically a whole Curtis Mayfield 7" collection in one go in there... and my first Back From The Grave comp of US 60s garage punk... so it did stock other stuff as well. I used to go in there just to look at the Capitol Esquerita album sleeve with his mile-high pompadour hair. 

The Cottage was always good with its crazy 'damaged' section out the back - where even the slightest mark on an LP would designate it 'damaged' and therefore £1. In the main section of the shop I got an original Raw Power by Iggy & The Stooges for about £3 in about 1977. When I tried to tell the guy it was rare he said he didn't care.

 

By M Bradshaw (24/12/2013)

RE: Polysound. This was a chart return shop run by a nice guy called John who I still see around (in fact I call him 'John Polysound'). The other shop which is referred to as 'evolving into another shop' was possibly Brighton Book and Record World which was further along Gardner St on the same side as Polysound but way past ... past even where Urban was - towards the end of the st. It had a basement with a very low ceiling which was a bit too claustrophobic for me. It was 2nd hand with a lot of good stuff. This would be early/ mid 80s. It didn't last long in the scheme of things tho. My memory is that it was run by Gary Wizard - but actually my memory may be playing tricks. Gary  DID have a record shop in Sydney St 'Wizard Records' which didn't last long - it was where that large gallery type place is now on the corner of Gloucester St. Who remembers Gary Wizard anyway? Long blond hair and a very red face. Friendly guy who sometimes did unconventional deals.

By M Bradshaw (25/12/2013)

I remember a record shop on the corner of Bristol Road & Bedford Street. In the late 1950s, I can't remember the year, I went in and asked for a record called 'Blue Jean Bop' by Jean Vincent. Two shop assistants standing behind the counter looked at me as if I was mad. Actually bought my first record, a 78rpm,  at Lyon & Hall in Western Road; it was 'Hound Dog' by Elvis. The flip side was 'Don't be Cruel'.

By Graham Sharp (26/12/2014)

Further to my previous comment; I have just discovered that I still have this original record. Still plays great on my retro record player

By Graham Sharp (28/12/2014)

I came across this thread purely by chance whilst trying to settle a dispute amongst 50-something friends (age, not quantity of people!). So I'm trying to find out the name of a record shop in Camden High Street in the 1960s/70s/80s. It was on the lower end of High Street, more towards Mornington Crescent station but not quite that far, fairly near to the corner of Pratt Street. I think it may have been called Sounds 45? Across the road was Woolworths and I think there was a Halifax Building Society branch opened next door to it in the early 80s. I actually worked in Camden Town at the time and bought loads of vinyl in the shop in question so this is really killing me. Thanks in advance for any inspiration.

By Christina (06/09/2015)

Can anyone remember the name of the folk/roots-y CD shop in East Street, late 1980s? I'm not sure how long it lasted. It was during that era when vinyl versions of albums weren't being issued as often (though occasionally you'd get cassette versions as well as CDs). I remember buying at least one issue of Folk Roots magazine there, but CDs were then prohibitively expensive and I couldn't afford a player either. I rather wish it could magically reappear now I have something to play the things on, with numerous discs of great music from around the world.

By Stephen Drennan (13/12/2015)

I remember towards the end of its life Wizard Records being near Brighton station (Queen's Rd.). Apparently Gary Wizard died some years ago. Piers Chalmers had a little independent record label circa 1970, Injun, reissuing old long-lost rockabilly - the name later got changed to Spade. There's a listing of releases on the Discogs site. I remember Diplomat in London Road - if I recall correctly it stocked stationery downstairs and records upstairs and there was a spinner where they'd put ex-chart hits to retail at half price, from which I'd pick up the odd '79-era punk 45 like The Ruts' 'Babylon's Burning'. I loved those cut-price ex-chart/non-hit singles boxes in my teens, got some gems from them, like the Fine Records one. Also there was Cloake's in Churchill Square, near Sainsbury's. I still have my '75 Island Records catalogue I got free from there in my very early teens. I loved the label so felt thrilled to get that for nothing and remember those days of lovely giveaway printed catalogues with the album sleeves in miniature to study. I remember that Lewes Rd. shop with the records and wool in, mentioned by Nick Linazasoro - they sold secondhand paperbacks too, I think. I still have a (broken-handled) plastic carrier from Attrix with blue and white stripes in emulation of the Tesco supermarket bag, but with the name of The Piranhas instead! I remember getting my titchy Raincoats Booklet (their lyrics and philosophy) at Attrix for 20p. Also a secondhand record shop called The Diskery which was above a pram shop in Western Road (Hove end, I think). They used to have a weekly classified ad in the back of the music weeklies. There was one called Megawattz (sp ?) which might have been near the top of Preston Street, '77 maybe, which sold Stiff label 45s. I remember Borderline being upstairs in Jubilee Shopping Hall - Robert Crumb designed at least three different carrier bags for them after they moved a little way along the road, or else they got permission to use his artwork - they certainly stocked records/CDs he was involved with; there was another artist who designed at least three, maybe four carrier bags for them, black and white illustrations with a flash of colour for the store's name. Towards the end of its run Dave's partner Sian(?) had her lovely rock/psychedelic poster collection displayed on its walls. It was the place to go during that '80s reissue/compilation boom, stocking plenty of once-rare material reactivated by labels like Edsel and Bam-Caruso. I remember the tall chap who used to manage(?) Virgin when it was at 5 Queen's Road, saw him a few times in the street in very recent years and he was instantly recognisable. I still have a 1976 Virgin carrier from when it was at 126(?) North Street, with the Roger Dean illustration on - same artwork as on the other stores' bags - they'd get the individual shop addresses/locations added; not sure if Dean was living in Brighton then.

By Stephen Drennan (13/12/2015)

Three more names for the list:  Wickham Kimber & Oakley in George Street, Hove,  Kemp & Turner in Carlton Terrace, Portslade, and Averys in St James' Street, Brighton.  I purchased records in all of these during the 60s.

By Barbara Etherton (13/12/2015)

There was also Scott's in Boundary Road, Hove in the 1960s and 70s?.

By Alan Phillips (15/12/2015)

A record shop missing from this page was in Guildford Road, just up the hill from Brighton Station. On 09/03/2014 I wrote about this shop and at the time I didn't know the name of the lady proprietor. I have just found it in 1960 Kelly's at 1 Guildford Road, Mrs E.J.Roberts, Music Shop. Seeing this name has brought the memories back, including the fact that in addition to records, she specialised in sheet music. A friend of mine was playing the piano and he bought many of the top songs from her. We used to go there from about 1953 to buy our 78s. I do not remember the shop having a name and Kelly's doesn't give one.

By Peter Guy (15/12/2015)

The shop in Guildford Road was the only shop that sold Buddy Holly records when he first started, on the Coral label. They would order anything for you. I never went anywhere else.

By Terry Hyde (17/12/2015)

I'm sure I spent a lot of time in the late 60s in a second hand record shop called 107 and I think it was in Church St. Also had old pier type machines and stuff.

By Ham (19/08/2017)

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