Deutsche Grammophon

Used record stores (or any kind of record store) are so rare nowadays that I always try to track them down whenever I’m on my travels. On my recent trip to Germany, I found myself with a few hours to kill in Nuremberg. After a quick search on the internet I saw that there were no fewer than three situated on a street called Jakobstrasse. I found the street quite easily (a rarity for me) and the first shop I made it to was the one you see above, Copacabana Records. The store was longer than it was wide and with a high ceiling, but it was nicely laid out and very tidy. The main area was given over to loads of vinyl records and these seemed to be quite reasonably priced. Unfortunately, I had to ignore these as I wouldn’t have been able to fit them into my luggage. I found the CDs in the corner and these were as neatly arranged as the records. There were lots of jazz, rock & roll, blues and soul and I found a few bargains amongst these. Live in Dublin by Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band is a nicely packaged double CD with a DVD and was the most expensive album I bought on this excursion, though it was still good value at two euro below a tenner. The other four I bought here cost that much between them and, having listened to them, some proved to be better value than others. Brook Benton was mostly known for A Rainy Night in Georgia and it’s the best song on Fools Rush In. Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs had a big hit with the hilarious Woolly Bully and, listening to their Greatest Hits, it’s easy to see why they didn’t have any more. I only knew J.B. Lenoir from Elvis Costello’s version of Eisenhower Blues from his King of America album and that’s not even the best song on this collection. I’ve already got far too many collections of northern soul, but that didn’t stop me picking up After Hours 2: More Northern Soul Masters. I found it hard to pick one track from the album but eventually plumped for Archie Bell & the Drells

I popped into another shop across the road from Copacabana Records that had a nice selection but was a bit over-priced. So, I headed down to the self-explanatory Music and Books at the end of the street. Normally I would’ve spent some time browsing the books, but I merely glanced at them as they all appeared to be in German. Well, I was in Germany, after all. Fortunately, the majority of the music was in English and I spent some time browsing through that. Unlike the other store, and most record stores, the CDs here were stacked in crates and boxes. They certainly weren’t arranged alphabetically, though they did seem to be sorted by genre. There were a few dozen crates and boxes piled up in the middle of the floor and each vessel contained a few dozen discs. My plan was to go through each box in sequence. I must admit I was pretty daunted by this prospect, but I was also looking forward to it. It had been a while since I’d done this and, in truth, I find it relaxing. Most of the CDs were between one and three euro and, by the time I’d finished, I had nine more albums and my wallet was lighter by one blue note

Half the albums I picked up were by acts I already like and the rest were new to me. I’m a big fan of Pulp and the only reason I didn’t have This is Hardcore was that this was my first time seeing it in a used store. Boys of Summer is one of the season’s best songs and its appearance on Don Henley’s Building the Perfect Beast was reason enough to check out an album that was amongst Rolling Stone’s best albums of the eighties. I have all of Patti Smith’s early album and now I have Gone Again as well. Previously, I’ve picked up albums by The Walkabouts in the USA, Scotland and Italy and this time I managed to pick up a copy of Nighttown. I’ve liked what I’ve heard from Runrig and Boo Hewerdine and I’ve liked what I’ve heard so far on In Search of Angels and Ignorance. My German friends are always introducing me to music from their country and Die Fantastischen Vier is one that I’ve heard more than once. More Modern Short Stories From Hello Saferide is the title of the third album from Swedish singer-songwriter Annika Norlin. I quite like her voice and lyrics. I came across an intriguingly packaged recording called Bob & Veronica Ride Again by Morton Valence. I picked this up not knowing if the disc contained music or was an audio recording. It was packaged more like a book and was even accompanied by a booklet that appeared to be a short novel. A novella, if you will. It turns out it’s both. I haven’t read the book yet, but the music is quite literate and reminiscent of a favourite of mine, Black Box Recorder. Here’s a song from each of these albums

If I Should Fall Behind – Bruce Springsteen

You’re Not Drinking Enough – Don Henley

I Remember/The Ship Song (Nick Cave cover) – Boo Hewerdine

Wicked Messenger (Bob Dylan cover) – Patti Smith

25 Days – Hello Saferide

Go To Sleep – Morten Valence

Unwind – The Walkabouts

Party Hard – Pulp

All Things Must Change – Runrig

Geboren – Die Fantastischen Vier

Here I Go Again – Archie Bell & the Drells

Woolly Bully – Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs

When I Am Drinking – J.B. Lenoir

Rainy Night In Georgia – Brook Benton


2 thoughts on “Deutsche Grammophon

  1. Thanks, I like the Archie Bell & the Drells song, which I had not heard before. That’s also a great idea about visiting CD stores while traveling. I’ve spent so much enjoyable time browsing CD stores that it is sad that it is so hard to find places for that any more.

    • Yes, indeed, Chimes. I’ve just returned from Scotland and I got to do some more browsing in a couple of stores there. It is a pity that there are not so many record stores anymore, but I guess that’s one of the downsides of the digital age. I bet there are still a few nice record shops in New York, though

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