His Masters Voice (Goodbye HMV)

I fell in love with the girl at the rock show. With the girl at the rock show.

I’ll never forget tonight. With the girl at the rock show. I’ll never forget tonight. With the girl at rock show.

I’ll never forget, tonight.

Remember that song? It came out way back in 2001. The year that I first began to buy my own music and slowly building up my record collection (read: cd collection). From DMX, to Jimmy Eat World, Weezer (the green album), No Doubt, Nickelback and yes, Blink 182, this was a stellar year for me.

I can’t believe that I’m about to lose it on account of a store closing.

End of an Era

Here’s the thing dear readers, that record store closing is not just one store, but a chain of over one hundred stores across the country. The parent company will still be there when it’s all said and done, but for a number of reasons, HMV Canada, of HMV UK lineage will be gone after April of 2017.

Seriously though, I’m having a hard time accepting the fact that something which has been a central part of my life for almost two decades is about to go the way of the dodo. Something which allowed me to carefully collect almost six hundred albums by way of aisle browsing, slowly researching, and interacting with employees that each had a love of music all their own.

Seeing the engine of the closeout move at full steam ahead, via representations like the banner below on their website have continued to push my heart to break, because while HMV (rarely known as His Masters Voice) had plenty of deals, it was their broad catalogue of music and film which drew in true collectors and lovers of the treasure hunt.

Closing Time

I would spend hours perusing the stacks of the HMV West Edmonton Mall location, and as I got older, I started to branch out and visit locations in Southgate, South Edmonton Common, Kingsway, and Bonnie Doon to find albums I wanted but couldn’t afford at the time of initial release.

Youth of today are likely not going to experience music in the same way that I did, nor did I versus generation x’ers and baby boomers before me, and while that does make me sad in a way, I hope it opens us all up to a more diverse mix of music overall. Acceptance and celebration of cultural differences was accomplished for me by testing out new music regularly.

It can be difficult to “stumble upon” a random artist unless you are diving through the bins, but what’s a teenager to do when that option no longer exists? I guess you just evolve and start using Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play like the rest of the mix?

theories Summarized

This isn’t the first time I’ve said goodbye to something I loved, nor will it be the last.

Yet, there is a glimmer of hope.

The music junkie culture of years past is likely gone, but that doesn’t mean music consumption is altogether deleted. How we consume music is changing, there are more methods now, and buying online will likely be a primary one. But people still want a physical item, and Sunshine Records might have the cure.

I think this might be start of something beautiful, a resurgence of the musical treasure hunt, and this time Sunshine Records promises to offer a mix of vinyl, cds, musical merchandise, and apparel. Hopefully they’re not too late to the game. And that’s my theory.



One comment

  1. Georg Rockall-Schmidt really wrote his real name. · March 23, 2017

    Well I had no idea HMV existed outside of the UK… and no idea it still existed inside the UK any more. HMV, it seems to me, has been dying for the last fifteen years – all music stores have since the surge of MP3. Well, a silver lining: At the end of 2016 in the UK vinyl sales hit £2.5m (for one week) compared with £2.1m for digital (for the same week), but I’d bet in the UK those sales were more in indie stores. Great piece!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s