These will be in chronological order.
1. Simple Minds- New Gold Dream
Blame this band and this album for my opening a record shop. I was mildly obsessed with Simple Minds and wanted access to all the imports LPs, and singles. Glad I did it.
2. Echo & The Bunnymen- Ocean Rain
Biggest band in the shop, at least thru the Southfield years. Any Bunnymen news was huge. Especially tour news. Ocean Rain was the biggest selling Bunnymen record in the shop.
3. Jesus & Mary Chain- Upside Down UK 7″
This is where things took a giant left turn. John Huston scoured the NME & Melody Maker every week. He asked me to order this. Then the Segal brothers came in and asked about it. Eventually I hired Michael and he and John took the store in a totally different direction then I would have. I have them to thank and blame(ha ha) for this. This is where the whole UK Indie thing started in the shop.
4. The Smiths- Hatful Of Hollow
The Smiths were obviously big news in the shop. The first few singles, This Charming Man and its gazillion mixes and then Accept Yourself, but the first album was just so underwhelming at least production wise. Then Hatful Of Hollow was released and at a really fair price for a gatefold import. This is where things really took off for the Smiths at the shop. The production was more stripped down and the effect was immediate.
It was also the Smiths that introduced us to the Warner Brothers Alternative Marketing department. These folks made it so much fun to work in the shop. Countless promos, meals, travel and lifelong friends. Jo, Bruce and Cathy who had she not locked her keys in the car outside my shop we may have never bonded like we did.
5. Spacemen 3- Playing With Fire
This was the first Spacemen 3 record we could get in on a regular basis. It used to bum me out to constantly have to tell people we were out of Perfect Prescription or Sound Of Confusion never knowing when we would see them back in stock. This is also a fantastic record. Which helps.
6. Mercury Rev- Yerself Is Steam
I remember the day this came in. Michael immediately put it on and I though to myself out loud this may be too noisy. Then track by track I just loved it. It was at this point I realized to keep my mouth shut and listen to my employees. Eventually we sold shitloads of Mercury Rev records. Only to be screwed every time they toured they stopped before Detroit.
7. My Bloody Valentine- Loveless
This could easily have been Isn’t Anything and maybe it should. We sponsored that Isn’t Anything tour at St Andrews. See flyer on top of page. I hope the roughly 100 people liked it. While Isn’t Anything has this beautiful yet brutal sound Loveless has a more feminine pretty sound. Soon anyone?
8. Primal Scream- Screamadelica
I suppose this was the shop’s foray into dance music sort of. Such a happy record. It reminds me of the scene in High Fidelity where John Cusack says “watch me sell three copies of the Beta Bands’s 3 EPs”. You could do that with Screamadelica.
9. Spiritualized- Lazer Guided Melodies
Not sure what to add to just how important this record was to the shop. It still is to me. So much so I wrote an entire blog on Spiritualized on this site. We all fawned all over this record. We became friends with the band too. I would say this was thee most important record in the history of the store.
10. Verve- Voyager 1
The story. 1000 pressed by Hut. Made to look like a bootleg. 400 destroyed by heat in a warehouse. We wound up selling 275 copies of this or nearly half the entire pressing. Why are there no used ones floating around Detroit? Too damn good probably.
There are some honorable mentions:
Another HUGE band in the shop. Those early singles were so good. That built up to this. Massively popular. So much so we had a nickname for a customer Ride Girl.
House Of Love- Destroy The Heart 12″
Another great UK band who’s early singles sold well but this one exploded out of the box. We were so into it we chose sides over the b-sides. Blind or Mr. Jo.
Primitives- Really Stupid 12″
Sounds nuts doesn’t it? Well this was a massive single in the store. We were so into this band we had all their UK tour shirts for sale hanging like flags from the ceiling in Southfield.
Flaming Lips- Hit To Death In The Futre Head
First major label release by the Lips. What a great record this is. That Ronald Jones era was amazing. Played the hell out of it at the store.
Screaming Tres- Buzz Factory
Pre grunge. Anyone could sell Nirvana records or Sub Pop stuff. I always loved Screaming Trees and it started with Buzz Factory. They knew how to add the right elements of psych and hooks yet still retaining that heavyiosity.
Pixies- Surfer Rosa
Another record I thought might be a bit too noisy and they just took off. I recall taking Michael to a Red Wings game where he kept pulling the tape out of his pocket and looking at it.
Galaxie 500- Today
I wasn’t sure what to make of this when it came in and got a lot of play. Eventually it crept into my subconscious and I became a fan. I love this record and it was certainly different than what was huge at this point.
Verve- She’s A Superstar 12″
This is one magnifcent 12″. The extended version of this could go on forever as far as I am concerned. We sold a lot of it because this was the only way you could get it. That edited version on the Verve EP just doesn’t cut it. Nice try.
Spiritualized- Fucked Up Inside
This is where my OCD got a little out of hand. Someone saw a blurb about this mail order only live LP/CD. I must have sent Dedicated’s office in London so many letters(pre email for the shop) and made way too many calls. Eventually we got the CDs and sold over 100. Then I found a shop in London that had them on vinyl and every trip I would buy 10 copies. This went on for 3 or 4 years. Could be the most beautiful sleeve ever.
Stereolab- Low Fi 10″
Stereolab deserve to be on this list somewhere and this is my favorite release by them. They were an important band in the late stages of the shop. With all those limited edtion things they did. Collectors heaven.
You Cant Hide Your Love Forever fanzine.
John Huston, Dave Segal & Michael Segal.
If you want a glimpse into just how much these guys knew and how passionate they were about music look no further than this fanzine. It still ranks as some of the best music writing I have ever read. To have it associated with the shop in any way was a huge feather in Play It Again’s cap.