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This store arose from the ashes of Sounds Unlimited in about 1977 or 1978 and for a while was the biggest import store in Brighton. It sold clothes in the front and records in the back and was on the left hand side of North Street as one walked up towards the Clock Tower.
Technically Sounds Unlimited was a hi-fil shop with King Jerry’s record domain in the basement. Sounds Unlimited was the go-to place for hi-end hi-fi – Bang and Olufsen, Bose, etc etc.
However, King Jerry’s basement was a revelation and deserves much more recognition for its place in Brighton’s music scene. Jerry ran the tiny, steamy, disco lit room like a club. Constant flow of wonderful music, endless streams of DJs and other buyers would flock there from miles around. Saturdays were manic and more like a rave (although the DJs preferred Friday afternoon’s to pick up the new imports in time for the weekend sessions).
Rare music and styles, mostly imports, and always streets before anyone else. I couldn’t obtain most of it (he always joked about it when I came in for the week’s funk fix – once sold a record to the guy behind me, joking ‘No problem, he’ll buy something else and you look like you need it more’). Jerry introduced most of us to deep soul artists like Jerry Butler we’d never have heard of otherwise (though his predilection for tack/smut like Blowfly never quite made sense).
According to the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame ( owner Tony Monson has been a highly respected dj since the 60’s) Sounds Unlimited opened in 1971, and was still open in late 1977. Tony had quietly been working on getting me on board to change the shop in August to something more like Megawatz, which was never publicly discussed, but I chose to move to Virgin in London instead. Tony is very much an unsung hero of Brighton’s music scene and Soul music in general. Fascinating man.
The Alternative Brighton entry says: Sound (sic) Unlimited best feature a singles basement with 2nd hand ‘oldies but goodies’ + US Imports.
Sounds Unlimited, 149 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1RE.
This was a mid 70’s Disco and Soul importers run by legendary Brighton DJ King Jerry (real name is Alan Morris) and owned by Tony Monson. One could buy stereo equipment and more ‘general’ records upstairs, but it was the hot, atmospheric little room downstairs, manned by DJ, King Jerry, that was the place to be. ‘King’ was immortalised in the 1979 film ‘Quadrophenia’, where he provided the inspiration for the character ‘Ace Face’, played by Sting. This store then closed and became Connections in around 1977/78.