Hunter and the hunted

A couple of days ago I was finally putting my vynil records in a cupboard again. On the attic we have created a nice listening and relaxing room with my old audio tower, a television, a DVD player and my old collection of vynil records alongside my collection of music DVD's.

Going through my special singles collection I discoverd that behind every single there's a story. In the mid eighties I organised trips to major Dutch cities with friends to go on record hunting. Those days it wasn't just the big chains of stores you have nowadays. The Free Record Shop, one of the biggest in the Netherlands these days, was a small one those days, which offered the music lover a lot of import 7" and 12" singles, mostly not available elsewhere and sometimes hardly heard on the readio (I bought all my regular Marillion 12" singles there). They only had shops in big cities then like Amsterdam, Haarlem and Utrecht to mention some. Nowadays every small city has one and you find them on railwaystations as well. And while the musical offering was diverse those days, nowadays it's only the titles that sell, so top 40 stuff. Besides that they offer DVD's, books, cell-phones on sale, as long as it sells.

Besides the FRS you had small independent stores with nice collections on sale. I remember a particular one on the Gierstraat on Haarlem. It was a nice store the size of a big livingroom where they sold picture discs, special album pressings, 7" and 12" singles and more collectables. I bought a lot of nice stuff there, including the one from the pictures. I can tell you I spent there a lot of hours and a lot of money. Due to this store I became a big fan of China Crisis. I got most of their 7" singles and a lot of 12 inches as well.

On the Gedempte Oude Gracht, also in Haarlem, there was a store called Elpee. They were more into alternative music. There I got all my records of Toyah. They also had selfmade lyric books on sale. I still have some laying around somewhere.

Those hunts always provided us with new music to listen to. It was exciting to listen to a b-side for the first time. Back then you scrambled through boxes of singles, nowadays you let a computerprogram search the internet. It surely has taken away a lot of excitement and nostalgia.

The music of the pictures can be found here here.


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