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Those Old Records - Keeping Vinyl Alive








Chris McGranaghan has proved, like our very own Digger, that there is life after IT management.

With 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. 



Digger: Can you please tell us a little bit about the background to Those Old Records?

Chris: 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?

Chris: 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, preferably sealed.

Digger: Why is Vintage and Retro in all its forms so popular these days?

Chris: 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 clients?

Chris: 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?

Chris: 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 cool......

Digger: What genres and bands tend to be the most sought after and the biggest sellers?

Chris: 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 classical.

Digger: Can you tell us any of the Holy Grails of vinyl collecting?

Chris: 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 on?

Chris: 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 Records business?

Chris: 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.

Digger: What impact has The Internet on what you do?

Chris: 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 Old Records?

Chris: 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 choose from.

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. 

Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 09.30 - 16.30 or by appointment.

Vinyl record collections always wanted - anywhere in the UK.

Call Chris McGranaghan on 07795 548242 or








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