HMV in administration

Photo of HMV Oxford Street taken 24 September 2005 by Edward

Tony May… Not in the least surprised about this! HMV’s prices are ridiculous a lot of the time and most of their music sections are way too ‘safe’ making it impossible to pick up latest releases by ‘fringe’ artists. Back in the day (80’s) chain shops like HMV had their pulse more on the ‘beat’ of what was going on now they have become a ‘safe haven’ for classic back catalogue items and new chart releases…

David Wilkinson… Didn’t they go bust a few years back ?

Jim Breeds… Yes. They were bought for £50M and the new owners took on the pre-existing debts and liabilities.

Ali Whitehouse… Again. Is a perfect example of how poor online presence can tank a business. Twice.

Jim Breeds…  I do like to browse in HMV but as Tony May says, the choice on offer is too safe. And if I look at a particular artist’s or band’s section, too often they only have one title, even where the artist has a large back-catalogue. Record stores were always impulse-buying land for me. More often than not I would go in without any particular intention and come out with a couple of speculative buys. It’s not easy to do that any more because they just don’t have the range or depth of records. They no longer seem to do boxsets either, at least not in the Hastings branch. They are particularly popular at present, yet when I was in there last week, I couldn’t see any. The last time I recall making an impulse buy in HMV was when I spotted the Bowie “Who Can I Be Now” boxset a couple of years ago. I tend to buy records direct from the publisher or Amazon these days. It’s very sad. They seem more concerned with selling headphones, mugs and bobble heads these days. I guess that’s where the margins are.

Andrew Clifton… I believe that Hastings has last shop left.

David Wilkinson… There’s one in Poole and two in Bournemouth, and one in Brighton.

Jim Breeds… There’s loads still, nationally. Over 2,000 staff work in them

Kev Carleonis… It’s official as of 1pm

Andy Pilkington… amazing they announced it AFTER Christmas when people already bought store cards as presents! same happened when it was Zavvi

Dave Nattress… A great shame – from a buyer of physicals, bought 6 CD’s this month, in fact 7 inc. a present for a family member. HMV in Hastings was not so good, top 20 and new releases and escapes and a few more, but the one in Brighton used to have some good stuff – going back a few years I suppose, and Oxford Street, London had some really interesting stuff although this tailed off a few years ago. I read that HMV has done it’s sums for 2019 and projected further reduced sales of physicals – CD’s, DVD’s and Blu-Rays mainly, although apparently 2018 has been a reasonable year for their DVD sales in particular, and their calculations show that 2019 is not gonna work so they’ve maybe “pulled the plug” whilst the decision was still for them to make. Must confess, my purchases were a combination of Tesco and Amazon, so OK I don’t download etc. and buy the albums but I have not bought anything from HMV for a couple of years. I did buy a lot from Music’s Not Dead in Bexhill wherever possible until they closed a couple of months back and they had a fantastic selection of CD’s which remains my favourite. Don’t forget they’re back on the scene in the De La Warr Pavilion now doing predominantly Vinyls and have a great collection of these at good prices. They will order CD’s for you if this is the preferance.

Jan Warren… Yeah Dave, it seems a sad and sorry state that its getting more and more difficult to buy records, tapes, cds etc in (what used to be) shops??!! – “Music’s Not Dead” was a great asset to our High Street in Bexhill until its sad closure earlier this year, but as you said they have now commenced to run their business from the De La Warr Pavilion which is great news!! – we also have “Second Spin” in Sackville Road which has been there for many years and caters for more (can I say) elderly/classical/maybe folk/foreign tastes, but Dave have you yet visited “Platform One Records” in Town Hall Square, Bexhill?! – I recommend this small, but interesting record shop that deals mainly in vinyl from 60s/70s, lots of lovely albums, EPs and singles, reasonably priced and they even have “decks” where you can listen to the records, just like the old days!! – its run by a very nice “musician” man (I say that ’cause he looks so familiar …….. like someone you know from a band, somewhere, sometime, somehow?? ….. haha??) – he is actually a musician!! – anyway Dave, if you haven’t already, check out “Platform One Records”?!! 🙂<3p.s I forgot to mention, they’re only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11am- 4pm

Dave Nattress… Hi Jan, thanks for the tip on Platform One Records – I will definitely look in. Second Spin I must admit I haven’t been in often but it’s worth another look. Also opposite is the guy who used to be in Little Common on the roundabout I think and he has some interesting stuff. Right now I am hitting Be Bop Deluxe’s remastered “Sunburst Finish” double CD hard, what a wonderful writer/performer/guitarist Bill Nelson is. Just beautiful arrangements and seriously clever guitar, this double has just been released and also a 4 CD box set with some live BBC radio performances – which I already have on previously issued BBC CD’s. Hard to believe Sunburst Finish is 42 years old! I have the vinyl and previous CD.

Jan Warren… Yeah Dave, Be Bop Deluxe, love ’em, superb guitarist and songs, I really love some tracks from the album “Live in the Air Age”, especially “Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape”, brilliant stuff!! – by the way, that little shop opposite Second Spin is very interesting, good music and some nice retro stereo systems, plus other music memorabilia!! – glad to hear you’re gonna visit Platform One Records!!

Dave Nattress… Well, Bill Nelson and Be Bop Deluxe were way into the future in some ways, maybe many ways, but then also, Bill looked way back to the famous cult film “Metropolis”. On the cover of “Modern Music” Bill Nelson is showing a small video or TV screen on a wristwatch – a picture of “Axe Victim” in fact. The video-screen watch being maybe an example of science fiction becoming science fact, as you can get now watches with screens etc. but then “Modern Music” was released in 1976. Where are Iain Cobby and Sarah Harvey on this. Iain and I (Damaris) loved Be Bop deluxe, often a topic for conversation at college and then I was in Samisen with Sarah H, Mick Bridgeland, Dave Kent and Stephen Turner, and we did a very passable version of Ships in the Night.