Ep 02: Independent Record Stores – Show Notes

Show notes, links, videos and music from for Episode 02 – Independent Record Store. Includes various interview sources and more information about the stores in the 90s.

Ep 02: Got Sold On Heaven – Independent Record Stores

Just Ace: A podcast about the 90s Australian alternative music scene
Just Ace: A podcast about the 90s Australian alternative music scene
Ep 02: Got Sold On Heaven - Independent Record Stores

The name of this episode is Got Sold On Heaven, a Snout song.

The audio for this episode is taken from a couple of YouTube interviews with store owners. There was a couple I didn’t use. But find out about these stores below. Oh, and of course, some of the clips come from the 2000 film High Fidelity.

Sydney stores

Before he became PM, Anthony Albanese talked about Phantom Records.

Phantom Records ad taken from street press. Image from AMMP. Note that tag line – the big beat in the heart of the vinyl jungle.

Red Eye Records still exists, having moved several locations and down from having three stores in Sydney at one point. Here’s a more recent video with Matt talking about the store.

An old Red Eye bag with various Sydney locations listed.

Great old photo of a Red Eye instore at the King St location. Looks like it was Ash and I think I was there. Taken from Time Out.

Waterfront Records came to a bit of a sad demise. It was rebranded Whammo Records, and tried to be an early online retailer. You can see an old Getty Image of the store. Note The Cruel Sea – The Honeymoon Is Over poster on the door.

Waterfront’s Chris Dunn runs a store in Newcastle called Rudderless Records. Here’s an interview he did with Maynard, who was on JJJ in the 90s.

Utopia Records still exists, and also moved a few times around the city. Nice little history on the store by Paul Murphy, who sold me plenty of records over the years below, as well as a podcast interview with him.

I couldn’t find any photos of Utopia from its location in 1996 when I first walked in there. It was on George St, near the corner of of Liverpool St.

Melbourne stores

I took some audio from this Gaslight Music: A Short Documentary.

I loved this store and I would go there every time I visited Melbourne. Mel would sell me lots of box sets. The ABC did a little audio doco about the store recently.

Here’s an interview with Bruce Milne of Au Go Go (the interviewer is Jane Gazzo, who played an important role in the 90s scene, not least of which being a presenter on Recovery).

There’s a nice history of the store is in the Fantastic Mess blog.

Missing Link was also remembered by Fantastic Mess. It also moved a few times. Note the photo – the display for street press Inpress at the front of the store.

I love Greville Records, who are very much still around. The argument about Paul McCartney I mentioned was one I witnessed between Warwick Brown and a customer. Years later when I was doing imports, I would visit Warwick and had many nice chats with him. He liked to talk.

Here’s a nice doco.

Along with Warwick, Bruce Milne now works there. Long time staffer Steve Morgan passed away in 2019. He was always very nice to me. Photo below is (l-r) Steve, Bruce and Warwick.

Polyester Records closed down in 2020, although Chris Crouch sold it many years earlier. I have a lot more to say about Polyester in later episodes, especially when we talk about Candle Records.

The bookshop across the road probably had more impact on culture. it was strange and weird and I was too afraid to ever buy anything. It closed in 2016. here’s a story about that from The Age.

Brisbane Stores

Rocking Horse Records is still going. Here’s an interview with Warwick Vere, and in it he tells the story of that raid by the police. There’s differing stories about which particular albums were the ones that caused the controversy. But the best story is the Guns ‘n’ Roses one, so I went with that.

Skinny’s closed in 2007. Here’s a Brisbane Times article about the closure.

Perth stores

Article about 78s Records closing in 2019. There’s some footage of the store, with a Henry Rollins stunt in their window, in 2001.

Dada Records in Perth is still around. Their website is incredible.

I also found a couple of personal artefacts. A glasses case from my younger days, with stickers taken from a record store trip to Adelaide and Perth. Also a card sent to me by a friend who worked at Gaslight, a card of record store silliness. And a photo of me at 78s.

Music and clips

Not a lot of songs this episode, but there were various audio clips from the film High Fidelity, which is, of course, about record store culture. The film came out in 2000, based on a book from 1995. The story feels very late 80s and early 90s to me. There’s references to The Smiths and stuff, and that was the culture at the time. I would say by 2000, Record Stores were already different.

There’s one song at the end.

  • Record Store by Darren Hanlon (from his 2004 album Little Chills)

Background music:

  • Idiot Box 1 by You Am I (from the Idiot Box soundtrack)
  • Instrumental version of Heavy Heart by You Am I.
  • Instrumental version of The Guns Of Brixton by The Clash.
  • Instrumental version of Alone With You by The Sunnyboys