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Before the rise of the strange 'Indies are morally superior and cooler' trend, music fans bought records wherever they were sold - although one might be loyal to a couple of favourite shops in particular, you bought stuff where you found it.

In 1986 I was made redundant (for about a week) and I blew my payoff on a new hifi setup and my first -and best- Sony CD player. Sick of the playback wear that even carefully curated records displayed, I was ready for CD.

Bath Compact Disc not only had a superb range of Classical CD then, but also a fair amount of rock and pop- I bought my first Flying Burrito Brothers CD there (the much underrated 'Live In Tokyo') but I failed to buy a CD EP by the same band which I've never seen since in any discography. They also had CDs by now obscure bands like 1919.

CDs were around £10 then and I once remember blowing a week's wages (more or less) on half a dozen.

The shop was small, immaculately clean and tidy and well laid out. Down the alley beside it was eventually the Jazz shop, which I visited frequently in the late 90s onward. Bath CD moved over entirely to classical as time went on -especially after HMV opened- and finally moved across the road on broad street before it folded. The Jazz shop went the same way. Sad- online shopping is no substitute...

Steve Andrews (2021)


Dave Harwood
26 Sep 2023 at 07:54
I found an article in the ‘Bristol Evening Post’ dated 19th February 1987: “SAY GOODBYE TO THE OLD BLACK VINYL - One of Avon’s three specialist classical record shops has abandoned LPs, changed its name and is now specialising in compact discs and tapes only. Bath Compact Discs, previously Bath Classical Records, is believed to be the first established shop in the area to take the plunge. Assistant manager Pat Hatton is confident that other record shops will soon find themselves having to follow suit because the supply of LPs will dry up. Compact discs and LPs were supposed to live side by side for at least another decade.” ... and also an article dated 11th August 1988: “Bath Compact Disc Centre used to be called Bath Classical Records and sold records, tapes and CDs. A little more than two years ago the shop became the first in the West to abandon black discs and concentrate on CDs and tapes alone. Now cassettes have been dropped too leaving only a very profitable CD business only. Manager John Cervenka says: “We were selling so little black vinyl, less than ten per cent of the total and that was three years ago. CDs have taken over almost completely in the classical field.”



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