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Mike Scott@MickPuck
The hole-in-the-wall record store off Carnaby Street, "SOUNDS AHEAD", run by a genial Floydhead named Derek, where I used to buy bootlegs circa 1975 The Amazing Kornyfone Label Homing in on the earliest days of vinyl bootlegs, this is likely one for those who were teenagers and older in the seventies.
Box and linage ads in the back pages of the NME and Melody Maker early in the decade started to mention ‘live albums’ and though
I can’t remember whether I ever took a punt on any of them through this route I’m fairly sure the first place I found bootlegs
‘in person’ was at a small record shop in Marlborough Court, just off Carnaby Street in London, ’74-’75ish… and I still have
their business card. 🙂

Sounds Ahead business card - 41 Rooms

The manufacturers and dealers coined it in and the artists unfortunately never saw a penny, but I’ll guarantee most buyers back
then grabbed bootlegs as additions to – not instead of – the official releases. David Bowie, Led Zep, Beatles and Lenny
Bruce were early purchases for me and with everything readily available and ‘out there’ these days it’s hard to get across
the excitement of getting, say, Bowie’s ‘1980 Floor Show – Dollars In Drag‘ home and on to the turntable in the mid 70s to
hear not only live renditions but sometimes tracks you’d never even heard before. By the time I was buying Joy Division bootlegs in the early 80s though, things had changed. Live tapes were commonplace, so there was less of an impact; the decision then was maybe solely for any aesthetic value perceived in the vinyl artefact. And on that Joy Division front, I should have name-checked these guys’ sterling work ages ago. Joy Division Central


Mick Puck
18 Aug 2023 at 12:38
I bought bootlegs from Derek at Sounds Ahead from 1973 to 1977 or so and always found great stuff there. Some included:
Stones Winter Tour 73
Stones Bright Lights Big City
Bowie Hammersmith farewell Show
Bowie 1980 Floor Show
Beatles Tokyo 66
Beatles Hot As Sun
Led Zep BBC Sessions
Floyd Ohm Suite Ohm
Derek who ran the shop was a heavy Floyd fan and sold the Syd fanzine Terrapin - a pile was always on the counter. I wonder where he is now.
Dave Harwood
29 Nov 2023 at 08:02
I found this advert in the 'Marylebone Mercury' dated 17th December 1976: “Buying records at Christmas? All LP's at 10% off List price! … and many top names as low as £1.99. SOUNDS AHEAD - ROCK AND UNDERGROUND SPECIALISTS, 5 Marlborough Court, Carnaby Street.”


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