Saturday 21st April is International Record Store Day. I wanted to write a little something about my memories and how real records and the shops that sold them were important to me. I decided to open it up and invite people to contribute their memories too.
Below is a collection of various people’s memories of Barnsley record store past. Some passages lengthy, some short. All important and all mention memorable and influencial first singles and albums bought, favourite music shops and experiences.
It appears that the most memorable and influencial were Casa Disco and EGS and I have a great picture here, courtesy of Alan Guest.
Thank you to everyone who contributed…
I’d been interested in music ever since I can remember; whether it be singing I Just Called by Stevie Wonder into my Fisherprice cassette recorder or checking out my Dad’s collection.
must have been around ten years old and EGS Records on Albert Street behind BHS was my favourite place ever, apart from my Nannan Shepherd’s house. I was too young to buy anything myself but I remember being in awe of the place; being swamped by rows and rows of vinyl filled racks and so many cassette tapes. All the wonderful album artwork in there made a ten year old feel like he was in a gallery.
And other than the odd compilation bought for me at Christmas or birthdays I never had my own records to listen to. I was eternally envious of my friend Antony’s Appertite for Destruction and Bat Out of Hell LPs. He also had CDs (the first and only CDs I had ever seen) and Craig Thurman’s The Simpsons album and his 12 inches of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles single and Hale and Pace’s Comic Relief single STONK. And I’ll happily admit listening to New Kids on the Block’s Hanging Tough in his attic and doing the dance routines together before we had a game of Subbuteo.
But as much as I enjoyed listening to my friends’ records, I always wanted my own.
So to satisfy my needs, I always enjoyed looking through the few vinyl records my dad in his record cupboard. I adored the rich, dark artwork that decorated each one. Some of them I never even listened to but I would steal those records and for a few days and hide them in my bedroom, just so that I could look at the artwork.
Uriah Heap’s Demons and Wizards, the enormous demonic snake head with blood dripping from its fangs on the cover of their album Innocent Victim, the apocalyptic landscape of Rainbow’s Rising; AC/DC’s Powerage, Highway to Hell and the immense bloodied cover of If You Want Blood.
Some of the albums I later listened to when I started to be left in the house alone. We Sold Our Souls To Rock and Roll by Black Sabbath, was actually better than any of the studio albums and introduced me to the dark side or rock. Looking at that woman, laid in the coffin in the middle of the fold-out sleeve gave listening to the album a whole new dimension; as did that first Iron maiden album… still my favourite. You cannot get any better than those closing tracks on each side. Iron Maiden and Phantom of the Opera played alongside that artwork of that gaunt, shock haired zombie like creature, who I later found out was called Eddie.
And when I got though all of the rock albums, there was LA Woman by The Doors and Morricone’s soundtracks.
And then there were all of the singles; Madness, Ian Dury, The Boomtown Rats and for some reason lots and lots of cassettes of Queen.
And of my mum’s albums the horrid Bread, Diana Ross, Cliff Richard, Tina Turner, Bay City Rollers… only Gloria Estefan from her collection tickled my fancy.
It was these records and the hours sat in front of my first ever tape deck when I laboriously recorded the Top 40 from four ‘til seven every Sunday (minus the DJ’s commentary of course) and also the Radio One Rock Show with that God-like voice that was Tommy Vance.
I didn’t have my own money but when I did, I knew what I was going to do with it.
Although I loved all of the Now and Monster Hits compilations I got at Christmas and needed to build my own real collection.
EGS closed down for a bit and reopened in the new Alhambra Shopping Centre in around 1991. It wasn’t the same though and closed down as it really couldn’t compete with the new Woolworth’s shop.
Barnsley did however still had Our Price which was in the precinct and my new favourite shop - Andy’s Records which had recently opened. Every Saturday I would go there with my whole-foot-taller-than-me friend David Taylor and spend my paper round money on singles… two every week.
One week I would by Alice Cooper and Pet Shop Boys, the next it would be Janet Jackson and Metallica. Or some early Prodigy and Aerosmith.
This was how we would spend every Saturday. Buy tapes, get threatened by some big lads into stealing some jeans for them and getting a punched nose for it, then later off to practise in Ferrit’s conservatory with our newly formed band.
Without a name, I sang, David played a borrowed drum machine from school, Ferrit played the finest guitar I’d ever heard and Copley played a mean bass. We played Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Def Leppard and Metallica. Copley made me mixtapes of Warrent, Motley Crue, Motorhead, Aerosmith and the Leppard and inspired, we wrote our first song called Terrorizer about an old paedophile preying on local kids. I designed the band uniforms, logos and stage sets the size of Wembley.
I bust my balls trying to get the high notes and David realised he was better off as a groupie, while we recruited Alan; Copley’s cousin who had his own actual real-life drum kit.
So to avoid my bullies, we practised every lunch time in the music rooms. Girls would watch, infuriating their boyfriends even more and I’d run home to deliver more papers to buy more records and now sometimes on Saturday’s I’d even meet a girl. Once me and David even went on a double date with two lookers from Shafton; Sharon and Wendy.
One time though, I got real lucky and got a date with Heather; the girl I had a crush on for three years straight. She asked me to meet her at Our Price. She sang Weezer’s Surf Wax America to me while I pretended to know what it was. Needless to say she didn’t want to meet me again, so the following Saturday I bought Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes from Andy’s Records (not Our Price just in case she saw me) because it had Winter on it; a song that Heather sung in assembly once at school. I’ll always remember that as a better version than Tori’s.
CasaDisco was next to some discount shop called Mad Harry’s or something and opposite those underground toilets where I got touched up as a kid.
I’d like to think I started going into CasaDisco when I was much younger; but I’d be lying. I didn’t think I was cool enough to go in there but when I did for the first time after Mr Hunt and Mr Hardacker told me to, I found it the amazing place on earth. The shop itself was a work of art. I wanted to just stand there and look up at the ceiling for hours, but I’d look like a dick. Up there were posters upon posters upon posters. A whole collage of pop history. Siouxsie and the Banshees always stood out for me. What a woman!
Here my tastes change. Therapy? Placebo, Nirvana, Bush, Foo Fighters, Manic Street Preachers…
I wanted to ask the guy behind the counter for recommendations, though I would never speak to him or anyone in there; even though we’d always nod in acknowledgement. Even now, I can walk into a pub and see people I know (eg Sally Lomas. Sorry, I’m not really rude) and I will only smile at them. I’m just not one for talking to people. I’d end up going into Casa every week until it closed down. I also loved the Tuesday market and the music fairs in the library for all of the live bootlegs and old 12 inches.
I took part in Barnsley’s first ever Battle of the bands on a stage outside Woolworths in the summer of 1997. We played our usual Van Halen, Def Leppard and Metallica and came joint first, as the other winners’ alleged manager was allegedly screwing one of the alleged judges and threatened to cut off our new guitarist’s fingers if he pulled off a legendary solo that might outshine her young’n. How could they win anyway? Eric Clapton does not win you anything.
Well, it was there in the back room of Barnsley bank with the other judge where I met her nice and my future virginity thief and with her I would pluck up the courage to visit Our Price again and together we shared our new found love of The Doors and The Rolling Stones and my cassette, cd and vinyl collection grew even quicker.
I left the band and I started a new one with a boy name Moose at college. We played Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains but the band split up after a week allowing me and Fay a year of bliss.
My mum and dad split up. Fay joined a band. We split up too.
…but I still had my records.
And my relationship with those records grew. Each one found new meaning as I put them in order – Genre first; rock, pop, punk, metal, soundtracks. All in alphabetical order and then the mixtapes from Fay. Those old mixtapes Copley did me at school.
And over time, just like the girls, the record shops too would leave me too.
Andy Record’s closed and I had a brief affair with the new MVC upstairs in the shopping centre, while sputting sale labels onto new releases in the last few days of Our Price.
College came and went. So did Claire, Rachel, Helen and Sherine – but from them I gained Jimi Hendrix, Tool, Sex Pistols, Silverchair and Dead kennedy’s.
Then came Jen with her Suede and smoking and old school Manic Street Preachers.
And together, wearing eyeliner and we tackled bouts of depression with the finest record collection ever.
And like MVC, Jen too left.
I had the pleasure of working in Music Zone for six months in 2004. In there I tried to creative with the little we were given, the finest metal section in town. It was the most fun job. I made friends for life there on those themed afternoons; Punks Mondays, 60’s Tuesdays, Old school rock Wednesdays, 90’s Thursdays and Disney Fridays.
And now ten years later, my front room wall is decorated by over two thousand cd’s. My cassettes have long since disappeared (apart from those mixtapes) and have been replaced by an itunes library of 20,000 songs.
In them I find comfort and stability and growth and every emotion and experience I have had in the last 31 years.
Those record shops and girlfriends were as important as each other – each came with new records to treasure.
- JASON WHITE
Casa disco was so small and when busy, got rather intimate!! It always had a fab selection of alternative stuff!
I went in [Casa Disco] looking through all the cassette tapes of the rock music that I liked, they were always on the front counter and I used to spend all my babysitting money in there. :-) hahaha I loved the atmosphere in Casa Disco, it was quite dark and gloomy in there, but it felt ‘cool’ (how old does that make me sound).
I did my trident at Andy’s Records in 1995/6 and loved it. Just a shame I was a bit too young to appreciate all the different genres of music. The boss was ace; he loved Pulp. I used to buy from there, EGSW and Casa Disco too. My first record purchased was Billy Joel’s Up Town Girl and second record was Kenny Rogers’ and Dolly Parton’s Islands In The Stream. Hahaha… VERY uncool but even more uncool was my Keith Harris & Orville and Smurfs singles - I still have ALL my 7” singles.
EGS, Casa Disco and Our Price!!! Bought my first casette from EGS which was Rick Astley!!!!!! :-/ x
Andys Records………every Saturday afternoon me and my mates were in there with our spendo….in fact still got all my ELO singles I bought.
I worked in egs. Best time of my working life!
SARAH RILEY (the S in EGS?)
I remember the opening of EGS. I got my t-shirt signed by the guests of honour - BLACK LACE !! (My Mam went mental !)
EGS n Casa Disco n I can also remember goin n buy my concert ticket there. Noneof this this ordering over the internet. Best feelin is queueing and holding your tickets in your hand!! X
I think some of these may have been a little before my time but I spent many a happy hour looking for bargains in MVC in my student days. I may have been guilty of altering the charts ever so slightly and placing my favourite indie bands in the number one position. Before that as a kid, I’d spendOur Price vouchers on the latest Manic Street Preachers, Pulp and Space releases (on cassette). My first ever purchase was Pulp’s different Class. I was almost 10 at the time and I still listen to the album now (not the original that became unplayable some time ago). I suppose my most memorable purchase after that would have to be a Beatles boxset I got from MVC, bargain price of a tenner for their first four album, and that began my love of the fab four.
I used to go to EGS, Casa, Andy’s… My fave memory tho is the music dept at old Woolworths when it was on ground floor. I used to love traipsing through all the LPs n singles
Casa Disco was barnsley’s only real record shop. HMV and all the others only appeared when records were on their way out. I bought many a tune from Casa Disco. They didn’t have everything but they had a bit of everything. Mary’s Records upstairs in the market was a goldmine for ex-juke box tunes. She didn’t sell new tunes, just second-hand/unplayed shop stock. I bought most of my Trojan Records tunes from there. After years of CDs and MP3s, I’m now back collecting vinyl again. The concept of the “single” doesn’t really exist/work on CD/MP3
I was really intimidated by Casa Disco. Mostly because social interaction when I was that age was difficult! But it got me interested in more music and these days I have hundreds of CDs and vinyl. I live with a collector ;p
Casa Disco and EGS were fab shops. I got a few Iron Maiden picture discs from them \m/
I bought my first cd’s when they came out from Andys Records which was 2 Unlimited’s No Limit. But loved Casa Disco & EGS too.
PUNK CASADISCO PIC Alan Guest
Casa Disco in Peel Square. There was also second hand records at bottom of Graham’s Orchard for ex-duke box records and Woolworths but Neals in The Arcade was the true music shop where you could even buy new needles for your dansette!
Me and my hubby loved Casa. Steve was brill, knew all his regulars, and built up good relationships. I still have an Ozzy Osbourne promo cutout from Shot In The Dark that Steve gave us. We miss Casa!!
Andy’s Records and Our Price! I used to spend my £5 pocket money in there nearly every week! I would be gutted if HMV shut because that is the only shop in Barnsley now you can buy cds from! I’m not one for downloads, I prefer my albums on cd format!
I loved all the record shops, especially Casa Disco. I bought my first concert ticket for Michael Jackson at EGS and always bought my Northern Soul and Disco from Andy’s. What a great atmosphere all the shops had and I still have every single and LP I bought. Happy memories. x
I got my very first single, Return to Sender by Elvis Presley at Neals shop up Sheffield Road in the 1960s.
Spent many happy hours in EGS browsing n buying mainy 12” remixes. My first 7” bought was Words by Fr David from Woolworths and my first album was Dark Side of the Moon probably from Casa but my most treasured purchase was Michael Jackson 1988 Bad tour ticket and a 12” Limited edition advent calendar of Smooth Criminal; both from EGS. That shop was the business for music in Barnsley.
I bought my first record from hoyland market. New Seekers’ I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony) 1970/1972? It took a long time to save up for it as well!!!!!!
Aaaaahhh you young folk, you never had the pleasure of the juke box singles shop where I bought Crocodile Rock, John I’m Only Dancing, Slade, The Sweet, Gilbert O and t’others I can’t mention. All with removable middles. The shop was located where the Coop bank is now. A treat like no other on a saturday aft. Cost about 2 bob each. Other gems long gone. Neals record shop was for LP’s and located down The Arcade; right hand side, near top. Scene and Heard was where M&S is and there was also WH Smith and not forgetting the new Woolworths (the 9th wonder of the world) with the record section located at the then known centre of the universe. Ask Bri Shaunessy and The Black Lamps about Scene and Heard.
The first record I ever owned was a complitation called 25 Rock N Roll reats which was bought for me on Christmas Day 1972 along with a Bush record player. This record player was probably the most influential present I received in my life….
The first record I ever bought was Can the Can by Suzi Quatro. This was from Vickers record shop on Hoyland Common who used to stock chart singles but only one of each !!, so I would listen to the Top 40 on a Sunday night and if any glam stuff (Slade, Sweet etc) got in the charts I would go round after school and hope they hadn’t sold it.
I remember buying Spin The Black Circle” 7” by Pearl Jam from Casa Disco and at the same time as my best friend at the time, Jonathan Scaife bought a PJ and Duncan single and Wigfield’s Saturday Night single. We then went on that Hollywood fairground ride out side and nearly sicked up our Mc Donalds.
There haven’t been any record stores in Barnsley as long as I’ve lived here but I did buy Strangeways, Here We Come on the market for a fiver!! I remember visiting family here before I moved here for good and seeing that place [Casadisco] covered in the Mechanical Animals album promo poster but I was too young to have any money to spend there :(
November 5th 1991… remember clearly going into Casa Disco and rooting through their fine collection of ‘proper’ records. One definitely caught my eye just because of a) the cover and b) the price (a mere £2.99 and in mint condition too).
The album cover features a big Iron Man-esque robot on the cover, clutching the bodies of four clearly dead members of the band… Queen’s awesome 1977 effort ‘News Of The World’.
I always liked Queen, but had never seen or heard this album, and bought it for my steadily growing collection (I was 12!).
Remember getting home, putting it on, and getting to ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ before realising that in the year punk broke Queen didn’t give a shit and just did their own thing.
Less than 20 days later I remember the news announcing Freddie Mercury had died. Gutted is not the word. True story.
In a nutshell… My love of vinyl started when I was quite young. My dad used to work on the bins for South Yorkshire Country Council at Birdwell until Margaret Thatcher shut it down. He was a bit of a magpie in those days and foraged for 7 inch singles other people threw in the bin, mainly from the 70’s. Examples are: David Bowie, Sparks, Nazareth, Ian Drury and the Blockheads and the Sex Pistols. I still have them although many have seen better days due to them not having any sleeves and being played constant over the years.
I was mainly bought cassettes when I was aged 8 or 9 but the first record I purchased myself was Star Trekkin’ by The Firm in 1987 from EGS records. I was aged 10. At that time novelty records seemed to be the ‘in thing’ as my friend Tracy (who was 2 years older than me) had bought the Chicken Song by Spitting Image the year before.
The vinyl collecting started the following year in 1987 when Michael Jackson’s Bad album was released. I would shop in EGS and Casa Disco’s mainly. I bought all his releases on every format 7”, 12”, CD singles and cassettes. Every Saturday I’d go into town with my pocket money and spend time browsing through the racks. My favourite place was Casa Disco’s as the staff were really friendly and helpful. I would ask Nigel who worked behind the counter to put my name down for the big promo cardboard cut out displays. When he was ready to take them down he’d give me a ring to collect them. I would be a tad embarrassed walking through town to the bus station!
I was a serious collector a few years after that until my early teens. I went to the big VIP record Fairs at Ponds Forge in Sheffield and also smaller ones in Barnsley Library, Queens Hotel and the YMCA.
The most collectible item I have in my collection is the ET Storybook narrated by Michael Jackson and produced by Steven Spielberg for the motion picture E.T which was released in 1982. It was quickly withdrawn from sale after a contract dispute between Michael Jackson’s record company Epic/CBS and the film’s record company MCA. In 1994, MTV’s Coca Cola Report estimated it being worth $10,000 dollars but I think that’s vastly inflated. Not sure of it’s real value. I picked it up from Barnsley 2nd Hand market for £40.
In my mid-teens my music buying tastes broadened to match my altering musical tastes. I bought mainly Indie/Rock CD albums and singles from Andy’s records, EGS, Casa Disco and Our price. I also used to browse in the 2nd hand shop in the upstairs market.
I remember purchasing concert and coach tickets from Our Price to see the Smashing Pumpkins in Birmingham. Our Price used to have free promo stuff to give away with album releases, one example being Presidents of the USA T-shirt.
I used to get so into a band I’d buy all CD singles and different version of them such as CD1 and CD2 with different songs and versions of songs on them.
I stopped buying them as much when money increasingly began to go on beer, clothes and trips away. MVC was a bit of a turning point when I used to have more of an excuse to go in. I got loads of goodies such as promos and limited edition CD’s. I got box sets for Christmas and birthdays, of which I’d still like to receive but never do.
There are many great artciles and websites out there about old record shops and Record Store Day. Here’s a few…