Jan 15 2013 By Cheryl Mullin
THE demise of HMV will mean the end of an era for music fans who have whiled away hours browsing for nuggets which have gone on to become the soundtrack of their lives.
For generations of teenagers, and those who refuse to let go of their youth, a trip to a record shop to flick through the racks was a weekly or more frequent ritual.
And the loss of HMV will mean a world of musical discovery will now be lost, according to the editor of Q magazine Andrew Harrison.
“It’s a bad thing for the music business because HMV was more or less the gateway drug to the idea of going into a record shop as a regular thing,” he said.
“It’s on the high street, it’s convenient, it’s next to the other places that you’re going and it showed people the value of random browsing where you can just walk along the racks and look and think and just be inspired by something. discover a record you wouldn’t have found another way.
“I loved going to HMV on Mondays when the singles came out and often the first time I discovered something was when it was racked out and you would see a special offer and you would give something a try. You discovered new music like that.
“With digital music, you don’t browse in the same way - you go in with a name in your head and you search by text only. It’s very hard to make those serendipitous discoveries that can sometimes lead to a lifelong love affair with a particular artist.
“Someone once described iTunes as like listening to a spreadsheet, and it kind of is because you are driven by statistics and names, not exciting things like a beautiful album cover or a stunning logo or some unusual packaging.”
Voices were united today as people realised that the last link with a golden age of browsing could soon be gone, although some grumbled online that HMV moved in to kill off their local independent stores.
Broadcaster Danny Baker - who worked in a record store as a teenager - said it was a “shame” about the chain, and even former X Factor winner Joe McElderry called it “very sad”.