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The following is taken from Morrissey's Autobiography (pp78-79):

"Robinsons Records on Blackfriars Street offers a vast warehouse of extraordinary stock – pristine pressings lovingly racked and dazzlingly stacked, tearfully beyond my budget. I stand for hours flipping each sleeve, examined and memorized, domestic and American, always, always out of reach. On John Dalton Street there is Rare Records, whose records are not rare at all, but whose air is the leathery and old giving way to the young sounds. Rare Records is the last to offer listening booths, yet it is cosmopolitan enough to display the first album by Jobriath […] On Lever Street, the cramped Virgin Records is heavy on prog and student notice boards, and always first with American imports – unaffordable at £5.25 when £2.25 is the general retail ceiling. When HMV appears on Market Street its stock is stylishly shrinkwrapped, and this out-dazzles Virgin’s unvarnished and bending manhandled presentations. Piccadilly Records is awkwardly run-of-the-mill, yet it is here that £2.39 secures the New York Dolls’ first LP as the main window of the shop blazes with thirty Dolls sleeves stapled together in a dramatic traffic-stopping mosaic, 50 million unimpressed shoppers running by with a speed suddenly increased by the sight of Arthur Kane."

Name: Tony Burke
Comment: The famous Robinson's Records. A huge place that sold loads of cut-outs and cheap albums. That's where I bought most of the BB King 'United' albums, the various blues compilations they issued, Howlin' Wolf, Gene Phillips, etc. They were so cheap that some had covers pasted over the original album sleeves, no sleeve notes, just the listing of albums in catalogue, no inner bag. I got a Howlin' Wolf reprocessed stereo album there that wouldn't play on mono equipment!

Name: Steve Carter
Comment: I remember Robinson's, another shop on my regular Saturday morning trips into town. I remember coveting a 1960s beat compilation for ages but not having the money to buy it. About a year later I went back in with my hard-earned cash but it had long gone. I asked the bloke behind the counter and described the cover of the record. He went into the back room and 10 minutes later came out with the record - made my year that did, and I still have that album 30+ years later.
(25 January 2017)

Name: Richard Cooper
Comment: As well as the retail part there was a wholesale section in the basement behind the Jazz and Soundtracks. I ran this for four or five years in the late 1970s. We sold thousands of deleted LPs that Arthur Robinson had amassed over the years to places in Europe and Japan. We also sold US oldies singles to shops in the UK and represented the US Starday and the UK Biggar C&W labels.

It was a fantastic shop and place to work but suffered when the pound fell and the big chains started to discount heavily. There must be a massive number of collectable and valuable records around now that originally came from Robinson's.

I remember huge quantities of UK label reggae and US soul singles in the basement that are fetching high prices today, if only I'd known that then!(2019)

Name: Ian Popplewell
Comment: Robinson's is where I got all my Tony Joe White and Jimmy Reed albums. About the same time the Co-op on Deansgate had a cellar full of US imports and that's where I picked up my Atlantic and Stax collection from. They were so cheap you could literally buy armfuls and take a chance.

As I was going to The Wheel at the time it was a case of buying as many of the good labels as you could find - Stateside, London, plus the Tamla stuff - and dragging it home and seeing what your lucky dip had turned up. Great days indeed. Still have all the good ones except the Stax as I sold my complete set to Tony Davidson years ago.

Name: Jan Godfre
Comment: My mum took me to Robinson's Rare Records for my 12th birthday in 1979. I chose a Sgt Peppers picture disc album by Capitol which I was thrilled with and still have. Happy days.

Name: Philip Deakin
Comment: I used to get the bus from Oldham to Manchester (10p) and walk over the bridge to Robinson's and got so many of my Bee Gees records there (all from the 1960s and 1970s which by then were deleted). It was a fabulous shop with fabulous staff. I can't count the number of times I've been laughed at when buying Bee Gees/Robin Gibb LPs but never at Robinson's. They were friendly, knowledgeable, and never in the least judgemental. Happy days.


Jonathan Eccles
09 Nov 2023 at 03:26
Used to love going there in the mid-1970s I think. An unusual selection but prices were cheap so I could afford to buy on spec. Got a few reggae records which I still have to this day, suspect some were bankrupt stock from Trojan.



26 Blackfriars Street M3 5BE Blackfriars / Manchester
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