Save the Records: Save the Stores


Brian Myrick / Idaho Press

Nousha Aldhefery, Associate Editor In Chief

The record store era. Late 90s through the mid-2000s, not many people know what I’m talking about, frankly, I don’t really know either considering I was born only a couple years before record stores were at their peak. But to the older people who have experienced the feeling of going to these stores as a teenager, when I type out the word ‘Record Store’, what do you think? I can tell you, it’s probably something along the lines of nostalgia, reminiscence, and youthful.


My generation is filled with multiple resources to streaming platforms of music. Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, name the song, and we could access it. However, I fear that the generation is missing out on how much fun it is to collect records, exchange records, entering a record store, discovering music, and anything else record stores could offer. Which is why we need to save them.

Remember when Blockbuster closed? It devastated every teenager who grew up around buying movies, and I’m sure if we knew the possibility of Blockbuster coming back for the sake of our own personal nostalgia, we would confirm that possibility with whatever means. Consider it this, record stores are dying, and we have a chance to save it; bring records back.

Records are the heart of music. The A and B side of the vinyl makes the track list so important. It inspired artists to go more in depth with music besides the sound. So when you review an album, you review the lyrics, the sound, and the track-list. There were records where one side had a mood, and the other side contrasted it.

The feeling of discovering music you wouldn’t normally look out for is amazing. Walking into a record store, with a free and open mind, and allowing yourself to take a risk of buying an album not knowing if it’s your thing or not. It discovers something not only in music, but in yourself. I mean, who would have known I was a fan of Barbra Streisand when just the other day I was listening to Iggy Pop.


Now, let’s say all record stores do close down, the industry dies, and vinyls as we know it fade away; it would be an abomination to music. Once the world shifts into online shopping, forcing record collectors to sell and buy online, it will create everything to be more expensive. For example, during this pandemic I was unable to go to a store, so I was forced to order online. To which in my surprise, I found a David Bowie album for $20 when back in the day, they used to be $5. Now this could be because of the capitalization off of Bowie’s death, or it could be because record stores are better in all forms.

Record stores are a completely different experience from buying them online. And having a collection is a completely different experience from using Apple Music. It is the soul we give to an album when we take it home; it is the feeling you ignite when you realize that you’re carrying something you love; it is the connection between you and the artist. Save the industry, buy a record player; buy a record. Because playing ‘Purple Rain’ on an iPhone isn’t the same as blasting it through your house.