“It’s uplifting to see people liking what you’re doing”
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Vinyl is making a comeback and music fans from across the county are flocking to Bath to buy their records.
A little shop in Green Park Station has become a "destination" in its own right, as people of all ages get their hands on the newest releases. Resolution Records started off as a market stall and took up a permanent location in 2016.
Owner Mark O'Shaughnessy, 58, told how it all began. He said: "I've worked in the record industry for the last 30 years and my background is actually in production.
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"I lived in London most of my life before moving west in 2008. We started selling records from a market stall in the 2010s but we outgrew that within about a year, and then we opened the shop in Green Park Station.
"Vinyl has been making a comeback for the last 10 or 12 years, I think people want to get out and about and off their phones. People buy records because they like to look at the sleeves, the notes and the artwork."
As a young man growing up in Birmingham, Mark started off collecting Northern Soul records before moving on to jazz. These days he dabbles in electronic music, funk, and even hip-hop. At the store, he stocks the newest Arctic Monkeys and Blur releases, but also some lesser-known African and Latin American artists.
"Working in the shop, I listen to a bit of everything really. People still come in looking for old records by the Beatles, Pink Floyd or Rolling Stones. A Beatles album will go for anything between £25 and £400 these days.
"That's the thing with vinyl, the longer you have it the more value it accrues. There are 13-year-old girls coming in here to buy records for their little turntables, the way they would have done back in the 70s. It's like a return to the good old days," the Widcombe man said.
Vinyl outsold CDs last year for the first time since 1987, the NME reports, and overall music sales increased by three per cent to almost £2 billion – the highest figure since 2003 and nearly double the level of their slump in 2013.
Industry expert Kim Bayley said: "We are approaching a watershed. Thanks to the investment and ingenuity of streaming services on the one hand and to the physical retailers who have driven the vinyl revival on the other, music is within sight of exceeding £2bn in retail sales value for the first time in more than two decades.
"Music has to be great to win people’s attention, but it’s the buying and consumption experience which ultimately persuades people to put their hands in their pockets."
In other words, browsing vinyl has to be an enjoyable process – something Mark knows well, and has perfected over his six years running the store.
He said: "Bath is necessarily a very indie place, but we've become a bit of an indie destination in the South West. Resolution Records has become a bit of a meeting place because we keep it warm and well-lit to attract people in.
"People get lost in the world of music and it's uplifting to them liking what you’re doing. I have got some amazing staff here, but I don’t hire anybody who doesn't collect records themselves.
"It isn’t enough to like music, you've got to really love records. They have so much enthusiasm and some of these 20- or 21-year-olds coming in really know their stuff."
You can browse Resolution Records' collection online here, or pop into the Green Park Station store in Bath.
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