Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened To Record Shops? and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a 1.09 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened To Record Shops? on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops? [Paperback]

Graham Jones
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.95
Price: 12.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: 0.86 (7%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 2 Sept.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 6.23  
Paperback 12.09  
Trade In this Item for up to 1.09
Trade in Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops? for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 1.09, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more
There is a newer edition of this item:
Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops? Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops? 3.3 out of 5 stars (30)
Currently unavailable

Book Description

6 April 2009
Not long ago there was a record shop in every high street, but an astonishing 540 of them closed down between 2004 and 2008. 'Last Shop Standing' lifts the lid on an industry in tatters.

Frequently Bought Together

Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops? + Last Shop Standing: The Rise, Fall And Rebirth Of The Independent Record Shop [DVD] [2012] + Vinyl Junkies: Adventures in Record Collecting
Price For All Three: 33.16

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Proper Music Publishing Ltd; 3rd edition (6 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956121209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956121202
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Book Description


There is a romantic image of the local record shop which Nick Hornby captures with exquisite detail in his novel High Fidelity. "The shop smells of stale smoke, damp and plastic dust-covers, and it's narrow and dingy and dirty and overcrowded....this is what record shops should look like, and only Phil Collins' fans bother with those that look as clean and wholesome as a suburban Habitat."

The shop in Hornby's book is staffed by a bunch of oddballs, united by an obsessive love of recorded music and committed with an almost missionary zeal to the business of supplying it to the public. The owner measures out his life in an endless succession of music-related lists – everything from his Favourite Records (Singles) to his Top Five Dream Jobs.

Graham Jones, one of the founders of Proper Music Distribution has been doing his dream job – or variations on it – for most of his life, and the true story of his time spent working in and around the world of independent record retailing is every bit as colourful, funny, strange, and occasionally sad as any fictional yarn.

Graham has some lists of his own, and in Last Shop Standing he has amassed many extraordinary tales of the best shops he has done business with over the years and hilarious accounts of the worst. He reveals the truth about chart hyping and shines a light on some of the extraordinary shenanigans that have regularly gone on behind the scenes as record companies go about promoting some of their biggest hits (and misses).

But the most shocking list is the one that begins and defines Last Shop Standing: a roll call of some of the 540 record shops that have closed in the last four years alone. For record retailing is an industry in crisis. Beset by the onward march of the supermarkets, the growing popularity of music downloading and a host of other rapidly emerging market trends, the traditional record shop has become an endangered species.

While Graham recognises such problems, and explains them with an insider's knowledge and eye for detail, he remains committed to the future of the industry that he loves. As well as being a eulogy to an era that is fast fading into history, Last Shop Standing is also a celebration of the unique spirit of comradeship and entrepreneurial ingenuity that has enabled so many shops to keep operating successfully in such a harsh trading environment. All of which makes this a most timely and important book.

Graham has amassed a fantastic collection of anecdotes on his travels around the record shops of Britain, and Last Shop Standing is a unique slice of social history and record industry folklore. It is also a damn good laugh.

David Sinclair November 2008

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but needed editing badly 10 May 2010
By SueBee
I enjoyed this book on the whole, it was entertaining even if I had the suspicion that some of the anecdotes were apocryphal!
It was rather 'anoraky' in that it went into great detail about the workings of the record industry - highly suspect on the whole and I was surprised at some of the things that went on. However, it badly needed proof-reading and editing. It was chock-full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. I had the feeling it had been rather rushed.
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining memoir by record industry insider 30 Jun 2009
This book is fascinating reading for anyone interested in the sad decline of the local record store, and the cataclysmic changes to the record industry as a whole, over the past few decades.

From the title I'd expected a journalistic analysis, and I must admit I was a bit disappointed when I started reading and realised this book was a memoir. But the warmth and humour of Graham Jones' anecdotes soon won me over - he's a natural writer - and I loved the first few chapters, where he describes his early forays into the music business, including managing a band in Liverpool.

The majority of the book thereafter follows the author's travels up and down the country, as he embarks on a farewell tour of his favourite record shops (the ones still open), from his many years in business as a retail distributor. In between anecdotes from the characters running these stores, we get an overview of how the record industry runs, and how it has changed in response to changes in technology and society. It's not always a pretty picture - the industry is shown as a lumbering beast which has been slow to adapt to these changes, and the independent record store has been squeezed harder and harder. Most independent record shops (and more than a few chains) have now gone, but the shops the author visits are those he feels have adapted to the changing market and will still be around for years to come - the last shops standing.

This mixture of anecdote and analysis works really well, and the book moves along at a lively pace. My only criticism is that the book could probably have done with a bit of editing - the prose is a bit unpolished at times, and the structure of the record shop visits becomes repetitive. And my favourite record shop isn't included, presumably because the author didn't do business there (although they were selling this book....hmmmm). Anyway - Monorail records in Glasgow - go there today and pick up a copy of this book.
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A. Hill
An enjoyable peek behind the curtain of the music business. The author's knowledge and experience of working in various parts of the record industry make this an amusing and sometimes tragic insight into just why the bubble has burst for all but a handful of record shops.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 24 Nov 2012
By Kuma
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was expecting something a little more... academic, serious at least. The book is a series of reminisces of a failed band manager, record shop assistant and successful record company rep (and not a particularly good writer) which unless you were there are not particularly exciting or funny. I've quit reading it half way through but it seems to be progressing along very repetitive lines and I feel I know how it will progress through the other half. Generally this is what you get: the writer mentions some scenario (at least a quarter way in he starts talking about record shops!), slaps a few backs, gives a potted history of his chosen shop, tell a story usually about someone eccentric who comes into a record shop (a smelly person, a lady who only buys CDs with birds on the cover etc), tells a story about someone asking for something in a funny way, plugs his distribution company, says he hopes this will be one of the last shops standing, repeats ad infinitum or so it seems. Like someone else said, I really wanted to like this book but it completely disappoints.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting yet frustrating read 29 Aug 2011
Having spent like many others some considerable years browsing and buying all formats of music in shops I was looking forward to reading this book.Yes,it is very interesting especially the parts detailing the workings of the industry.However some parts are obvious;the rise of Amazon and downloading causing a downturn in retail sales.The book could certainly have done with editing,it was too long for what it wanted to say.Regarding shops covered in my own area(south London),I used to go to Beanos and their decline was very sad,yet their prices for secondhand cds were sometimes more than the local HMV!However,it was a great shop for buying jazz.There exists in Croydon a shop not mentioned.Memory Lane,near where Beanos used to be,a nice secondhand shop which is always forgotten. I don't know why it wasn't mentioned in the book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm 10 Mar 2014
By bob
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Maybe I expected too much....but as a record collector who has haunted small record shops for many years...I found this a disappointment. No mention of long gone shops - my old favourite being One Stop Records at Manchester Piccadilly approach. When this opened as an outpost of the London music world expanded..
No mention of a great second-hand record shop still thriving in Guildford - Ben's records. In fact...I don't recall much about second-hand shops at all - a major omission,
Poor literary style.
If you're new to the subject - its probably OK. But if you're a serious collector...I think you'll find a lot missing..
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read 27 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book gives a great insight in to the decline in the UK Record Industry, to the greed and incompetence of the big five major Record Companies and how the Supermarkets went out to undermine and destroy a whole industry by using their muscle to manipulate and abuse the greed of the major Record Companies. Greed of aggressive Landlords and later the uncontrolled and ill managed access of product availability on the Internet all contributed to the probable terminal decline of an industry that brought fantastic enjoyment to millions of people over generations, not to forget the loss of hundreds of good jobs and livelihoods of the people who worked at the Companies, Distributors and Shops.
It's well written in an easy style by somebody who obviously knows his subject inside out.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous, tremendous, tremendous read...thank you!!
Tremendous, tremendous, tremendous read...thank you!!
Published 3 days ago by P. Robinson
1.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish and weak
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I buy 'Record Collector' magazine every month and have done for many years (I've even written for it). Read more
Published 11 months ago by Stephen E. Andrews
3.0 out of 5 stars Self indulgent repetitiveness :-(
This subject matter for this book is genuinely interesting: The rise and fall of the music store, and the manipulation of the music chart by record label promoters. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Matthew Cameron
4.0 out of 5 stars Last Shop Standing is a must read for everyone who bought into the...
This is a fabulous book for all those that used to frequent record shops whether as business owners, staff, artists or good old customers. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Steve Jennings
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, witty read
I really enjoyed reading this, a very amusing, witty insight into the inner workings of the record industry. A must for any music fan, would make a superb gift. Read more
Published on 11 Mar 2012 by Greenman
5.0 out of 5 stars you don't know what you've got till its gone.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well researched book. I ordered a further copy for my brother in law for his fiftieth birthday because like me we spent hours traipsing around... Read more
Published on 2 April 2011 by zedman
3.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I dont think the story of record shops is over yet, but this book is a wonderful romp through some UK record stores over the last 20 years, in the hands of a rep who has done it... Read more
Published on 16 Feb 2011 by P. A. Rusling
2.0 out of 5 stars Really wanted to like this
It started really, really well and I found myself picturing the Liverpool of the authors youth, the Cilla Black anecdote was amusing as was his work with the Cherry Boys. Read more
Published on 9 Nov 2010 by M. Robbins
3.0 out of 5 stars double 4 records
realy enjoyed the book and its sad to see so many idependent record shops gone to the wall although some mentioned are still trading and going strong after 25years(double 4... Read more
Published on 11 Oct 2010 by double 4 records
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category