McGranaghan has proved, like our very own Digger, that there
is life after IT management.
a love of vinyl and having amassed a large record collection,
Chris very early got on eBay and discovered that there was a
good market for quality vinyl. Since those 'pioneering' days,
Chris has built-up Those Old Records into a large and
resourceful online and physical vinyl records store with a big
reputation for quality and expertise.
Can you please tell us a little bit about the background to
Those Old Records?
I had a long career in IT management with a major national
company (RAC) and retired at 50. I had accumulated a
large record collection and hadn't played many of them in
years. Someone suggested that I might sell a few big items on
eBay so I did and it all started from there really. From eBay
I started selling at records fairs, then I got BT to develop
the website. In January 2010, whilst shopping for a chicken, I
stumbled across the shop. We opened in the February and have
expanded twice since then.
Digger: Your definitions of the condition of records are very
clear and obviously based on a lot of experience. I suppose
you would recommend that everyone refer to, and used, those
descriptions before buying or selling used vinyl?
If only; There are international standards, good dealers
adhere strictly to them but they are misused by many buyers
and sellers. I have people trying to sell me records on a
daily basis saying that they are mint. Mint means unplayed,
Digger: Why is Vintage and Retro in all its forms so popular
Because the promise of the digitised age falls very flat. Look
at CD's and downloads, the music is compressed, the sound
quality is very poor (with the exception of ECM CD's) and in
the case of downloads they don't physically exist - it's big
con. A young customer of mine once said "You can't wrap
your arms around a download" - says it all for me.
Digger: Who are your customers, where are they coming from and
what sort of feedback and comments are you getting from
They come from as far afield as Japan, Korea, Poland, Russia
and all over the UK. We only sell records, nothing else, so I
can understand the attraction as a customer. You need to know
your stuff in this business, as the vast majority of your
customer are extremely knowledgeable. The feedback is superb,
always forthright in this business. Records can be very
expensive, you're only as good as your last failure so I
listen very carefully to everything that I'm told and
especially to any gossip about Those Old Records from other
dealers and sellers.
Digger: I suppose you, like I do, bemoan the loss of album
cover art and sleeve notes with the advent of digital. But is
there a throwback taking place to vinyl do you think?
There are new albums with great art work still coming out
every week. They ain't visible because the likes of HMV don't
bother to stock vinyl in their stores. Lady Gaga, Adele, Kate
Bush, Beady Eye and many more bands have all released both
7" singles and albums this year and all sell well. The
digital presentation of music is very poor in comparison to
vinyl and more people are checking it out. It may even become
Digger: What genres and bands tend to be the most sought after
and the biggest sellers?
Rock, Psych, Ska, Acid Folk, Modern Jazz, Classical and more -
Biggest sellers in the shop are Iron Maiden, The Beatles, The
Smiths, Led Zeppelin - all the big names and we also do well
with more abstract stuff like north European jazz and
Digger: Can you tell us any of the Holy Grails of vinyl
The Holy Grail is the record that someone wants and they find
it. It can cost £2 or £2K. Generally, The Beatles - Please
Please Me Stereo on a Gold/Black Parlophone label. Prog rock -
Pussy - Pussy Plays on Morgan. Reggae/Ska, nearly everything
on the Blue-Beat and Doctor Bird labels, Jazz - Tubby Hayes -
Down In the Village on Fontana.
Digger: Please tell us more about the services you offer. Is
there a finders service, do you buy whole collections and so
We buy entire collection from 5 to 5000 albums, no cherry
picking. We professionally clean records and also provide
insurance quotations. All good record shops are always looking
out for new stuff to keep their regulars happy.
Digger: What do you most enjoy about running the Those Old
Meeting people, talking about music, getting to know what the
music means to them. Hearing new music that customers
recommend to me. The craic is always good so there is no
stress, just happy days. I've never been happier.
What impact has The Internet on what you do?
Those Old Records was active on The Internet before we took on
the shop so I suppose that we have taken the opposite approach
to retailers who move away from shop to an on-line
environment. The website and the physical shop are inter-dependent,
we sell records in both and I use the website as a means of
communicating what is happening. It is updated daily even at
Christmas - sad I know!
Digger: Where do you see the future for vinyl and for Those
Vinyl has a very healthy future, sales are increasing annually
whilst the sales of CD's slumped by 29% last year. Downloads
isn't collecting so it shouldn't be considered. Those Old
Records will continue to develop the customer base and expand
the stock. Most of our profit is ploughed back into the
business. To me, the key is in the customer service and the
range of records on offer. It's hard work managing customer
expectations but great fun at the same time.
Those Old Records is a
vinyl only record shop in Rugeley, Staffordshire (nr
Lichfield) with supporting website.
We stock classic
rock, punk/indie, folk, jazz, psych, reggae, classical,
60's, rock & roll and anything that moves the
spirit. Thousands of albums, EP's and 7" singles to
All pre owned records
are professionally cleaned and housed in polythene
outers to protect the sleeve. The emphasis is on quality
rather than quantity. Old school professional service,
satisfaction guaranteed. A regular haunt for collectors,
dealers and the curious.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday 09.30 - 16.30 or by
Vinyl record collections always wanted - anywhere in the
McGranaghan on 07795 548242 or