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Hitman Records was a record shop originally located in Hammersmith which then moved to 2 Lexington Street, London W1. It became even more well known when Horizon Radio started to use the address so listeners could send in their requests via the post. Horizon Radio rose to became London's most succesful unlicensed 24/7 radio station. Hitman Records backed Horizon Radio from the early days by providing the latest 12'' vinyls and import LPs from the USA and across the world.

Hitman Records also sold a lot of Latin/Salsa LPs, which brings me to a Top 10 chart that the record shop compiled based on sales and recommendations from the shop in December 1985.

The first few clubs to play Latin American music in London were El Cantino, Sol y Sombra, and Bass Clef Jazz Club. John Armstrong took up residency at the latter in 1984. Together with Sol y Sombra’s Dave Hucker he was one of the first to hit upon a mix of Latin, Brazilian and African music which was much loved by the growing Latin and African community in the capital.

Armstrong would get his records from well-known record-buying spots such as Berwick Street Market, where vinyl had been smuggled in from New York and France, and Hitman Records, which was a must for Latin music fans. Armstrong also got them from a number he’d been given by a local record shop, as he recalls:

“I ring this guy called Megatron Import/Export, it’s a phone number in Crawley, and he says, ‘What do you want?’, and I say: ‘I’m interested in records’, and he says, ‘Oh yeah, well my main business is importing motor parts to Brazil’. I suppose the exchange rate was so bad he used to take Jaguar spares and bring back records, and sell them to HMV and so on…"


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2 Lexington Street W1F 0LA Soho / London
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Next in London: HMV (Bromley)
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