Musicology 101 300px-WikiSam_the_Record_Man

Published on April 27th, 2013 | by mark


Musicology 101: My Favorite Music Stores of All Time

With the impending closure of the HMV in Vaughan, I wanted to remember some of my favorite places to purchase music. Institutions of music, holy ground where people rushed to get a hot new release. When you could not wait to tear open that all too familiar plastic that was the only thing between your ears and your new addiction. Every Tuesday (historically has been new release day for electronics of all kinds, video games, movies etc.), I would be at one of these spots.

5) HMV (Highway 7 near Weston Road location): Long before I worked in Woodbridge, my best friend Kris and I would pile into his Neon and carefully navigate from the mean streets of Rexdale into this hallowed of all locations for this franchise. It was away from familiar faces and had some of the best selection compared to the usual digs centered in a mall. Knowledgeable staff, awesome box sets and hard to find classics are some of things that I will miss and forever be grateful for, thank you for all of the memories.

4) Sunrise Records (Woodbine Centre): Man, I use to live here in high school. I always coped the new wrestling DVDs here. I was in amazement as they somehow would have titles before they scheduled release dates. So cool! I was always ahead of the curve. Plus, this was the first chain I have seen incorporate cool extras i.e. predator bobble heads.

3) Music World (Woodbine Centre): This mall had two shrines to music and this was the second. Beside the Footlocker, which is still in existence. This place has given gifts for friends, parents and even my fiancee, whom I have expressed myself to with music bought at this place. When Wrestlemania 18 tickets were sold out and the bad news broke to at the time an 18 year old version of myself was heartbroken standing outside of this store.

2) Sam The Record Man: (Downtown Toronto): The iconic spinning records that will forever spin in my mind. Many movies have this in their background (look at the latest version of The Hulk with Edward Norton in the fight scene with Tim Roth), it is so noticeable. I received one of my first tapes here, bought for me by my favorite Italian Aunt, whom got me the Best of James Brown, so crazy. Sparked my interest for oldies and anything pre-1983, the year of my birth. Thank you for that Zia.

1) Unknown record shop in Albion Mall: My dad bought me my first tape here. It was Tom Cochrane. It had the song, Life Is a Highway, it was 1991. I do not know what store that was but it does not exist anymore. Back when K-MART was located at the Albion Mall. Back when all of my hockey sticks were made out of wood, cost $15 for a good one and you had to buy them based on the lie not the curve. Back when the world made sense and did not feel so weird. A lot of crazy stuff has happened since then (not to mention in the last week, prayers go out to Boston and Texas) but nonetheless the music remains even if the stores close, the memories cannot.

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About the Author


Half Italian, half Trinidadian music lover that appreciates many genres but also the history behind the beats. MUSIC SPEAKS TO ME. I have an eclectic style due to cultural differences but also an open mind, which allows me to enjoy just about any musical form. I have taken courses at the university level focusing on genre classification and theory within Jazz, Rock n Roll, Caribbean and African American (Blues, Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop) to name a few. WHEN MUSIC SPEAKS TO ME, I ALWAYS LISTEN. I always enjoy listening to new artists and sounds to discover what is the latest sound capsule for a specific segment in time. It allows me to go back and compare different soundtracks of different generations. I love debates about music, in all, I LOVE MUSIC!

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