The Day the Music Died

 

A long, long time ago the playing of music was based on the revolutions of a disc, but the children of the digital revolution have brought this cycle to an end. The world of music has always been a helter-skelter of cyclical fashions, but the changes today are so radical that we are still not sure what the musical landscape will look like when we get to the bottom. In the city, the first victims of this revolution have clearly been the independent music retailers. Walking along Rue Linné I see bad news on the doorstep – Jussieu Music has closed. I can’t remember if I cried, but something touched me deep inside.

Being a child of small town suburbia, I grew up thinking that choice was what the major chainstores could provide. Their stock could satisfy my teenage kicks whilst my musical tastes remained mainstream, but when my choices moved more leftfield and I began looking away from current fashions towards the back catalogues, and I began to see that I was lost in the High Street.

Fortunately, around this time I moved to Paris and I discovered a world of small, independent retailers. Each shop had its specialties and idiosyncrasies but all stocked huge ranges of discs, both new and second hand and sometimes more excitingly, dirt cheap pre-release discs sold on to them by music industry insiders. The golden triangle for an afternoon of browsing was Gibert Jeune, Crocodisc, and best of all, Jussieu Music. I rarely went to these shops with specific ideas for purchases in mind, but instead flicked through the rows, boxes and shelves of discs, picking out things that interested me, hunting for elusive 69 Franc bargains. It was only rock and roll, but I liked it.

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