Edinburgh’s forgotten record stores

Bruce Findlay inside his record shop in Edinburgh
Bruce Findlay inside his record shop in Edinburgh
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Back in the day when vinyl was king, Edinburgh was home to a number of thriving record stores. We take a look at the stores that are no longer in business but are still fondly remembered

Gutter Music, 19 Henderson Row, Edinburgh.

A view of Bruce Findlay standing outside his record shop in Edinburgh

A view of Bruce Findlay standing outside his record shop in Edinburgh

Gutter Music was known for its extensive selection of vintage LPs and 45s, at low prices. Its stock also included releases from Postcard label - the Glasgow-based independent record label founded by Alan Horne in 1979 as a vehicle for Orange Juice and Josef K releases.

Bruce’s, Rose Street

Brothers Bruce and Brian Findlay opened their first record shop in Falkirk in 1967 before setting their sites on the capital city. Their second store opened two years later and remained in business until the early 80s.

Bruce’s specialised in US imports and underground rock and carrier bags branded with the ‘I Found It At Bruce’s’ slogan. Sandy McLean, owner of Glasgow’s Love Music store previously worked in the much loved Bruce’s. For thousands of 1970s and 80s teenagers, the music shops were essential meeting points to pick up the latest vinyl and carry it home in an ‘I found it at Bruce’s’ bag.

Owners Brian Findlay and Bruce Findlay with the distinctive red carrier bag 'I Found It At Bruce's' outside Bruce's record shop in Rose Street Edinburgh  in November 1972

Owners Brian Findlay and Bruce Findlay with the distinctive red carrier bag 'I Found It At Bruce's' outside Bruce's record shop in Rose Street Edinburgh in November 1972

“In those days the record shop in the high street enjoyed the same profile in the community as the butcher and the baker. One of the things we did in the shops, particularly in Edinburgh, was to encourage acts to come in to sign autographs and we had some amazing artists – Ian Dury, Tom Petty, Blondie, The Police. The shop became a place where people would come to hang out as well as buy music. It was good times and we had a glorious run”, Bruce Findlay told the Edinburgh Evening News.

Bandparts, Antigua Street

Bandparts was one of the few record stores in Edinburgh that invited customers to listen to the latest albums in 60s-style listening booths. The shop was so integral to the city’s culture that the owner Ronnie Blacklock and his wife Dorothy are mentioned in Irvine Welsh’s 2001 novel, Glue.

Ezy Ryder, Oddfellows’ Hall

Avalanche Record Store. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Avalanche Record Store. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Ezy Ryder shared its space with a clothes retailer but sold masses of second-hand records - some for as little as 2p each. It was situated in the Greyfriars market and sold various items not as popular as its records. The store ended trading in 1984.

Recalling a visit there on The Edinburgh Gig Archive website, Keith Mitchell said: “The main guy at Ezy Rider was a diminutive, volatile chap with a Glasgow-type accent – the crabbiest record salesperson, or any kind of salesperson, I ever encountered.”

The Other Record Shop, High Street, Edinburgh.

This started life in St Mary’s Street and offered a large supply of second hand and deleted 45s upstairs. It shutdown in the mid 80s.

Big shops such as John Menzies store in Princes Street also boasted record departments, April 1979.

Big shops such as John Menzies store in Princes Street also boasted record departments, April 1979.

Children buying records from Blyth's in Earl Grey Street, Edinburgh during its winter sale

Children buying records from Blyth's in Earl Grey Street, Edinburgh during its winter sale

Fan Katy Macdonald meets lead guitarist Charlie Burchill in the Princes Street HMV shop when Scottish band Simple Minds do a record signing in June 1987.

Fan Katy Macdonald meets lead guitarist Charlie Burchill in the Princes Street HMV shop when Scottish band Simple Minds do a record signing in June 1987.

The Other Record Shop moved from the High Street to Princes Street in Edinburgh in December 1985. A man browses the 12" singles.

The Other Record Shop moved from the High Street to Princes Street in Edinburgh in December 1985. A man browses the 12" singles.