Monday, February 24, 2014

Record shopping in the early 1980's

My guess would be that this photo was taken after John's death and is in early 1981, when there was a splurge of new Beatles fans and a need for selling more Beatles albums.   From how I see it, this is when I think Beatles fandom when up in numbers:

1964:  When the Beatles came to America
1974:  10th year of the Beatles and rumors of Beatles reunion
1981:  John's death
1995:  Beatles Anthology
2000:  Beatles 1 release
2009:  Beatles Rock Band
2014:  Beatles 50th Anniversary of Beatles in America (hope so!)

So this is just my opinion.   There might be other smaller spikes in fandom (maybe in 1987 when the Cds were first released)  And I am not sure if the Beatles Rock Band really showed a big spike in fandom  or not.  It would be interesting to see record sales for these time periods.    Did you become a fan around the time of these events? 


  1. Hi Sara--I became a fan 1974; the Beatles were constantly on the radio. (I was 14).--Doug

  2. Beatles Rock`n`Roll music Volumes 1 and 2 on the right hand side - the first Beatles LPs I bought. Must have been early 80s. Not sure wether that one was even published as a double-LP in Germany, only ever saw it as two single LPs, so that might be a hint. It was diveded in October 1980 and Beatles Ballads is a October 1980 product too.

  3. I agree that there have been profile releases that may have added some fans to the lot.....however, I must say that it seems like virtually every year there was always some new release of some sort. Plus, I cannot remember a time where the Beatles weren't constantly on the radio. This photo looks like The Beatles section of most record stores throughout my life (when I worked at Tower Records, it was sorted in exactly the way pictured). Plus, the Beatles themselves continued to have hits and kept themselves in the public eye.

    Another release that definitely had a hand in making new fans had to have been the release of the so-called "Red" and "Blue" albums which everyone in the 70s seemed to have. And sometimes that would be the only Beatles album in their collection. 1977 had the Hollywood Bowl and Star Club releases, I remember that being a big deal. People kept covering their songs, there was that horrible tribute special with Tony Randall....even Wings 1976 tour had a hand in it, with "Rock and Roll Music" and "Beatles Love Songs" being released around that time.

    I think "Sgt. Pepper" also brought in a bunch of people to the fray, ones who had perhaps dismissed the Beatles previously! I know there are still lots of people who always make it a qualifier: "I like the Beatles, the late period". High-profile Beatle books, also, I think had a hand. And after John was killed, and practically canonized (who could blame them/us?!), it feels like the 80s had a steady Beatle presence (Ringo's Yellow Submarine radio series, Paul kept having hits, etc....)

    Well, whatever....excellent point....and excellent photograph! And I would definitely agree that the events you described were definitely ones that resulted in more people getting on the bandwagon!

  4. I remember that Tony Randall special! I had completely forgotten about that until you mentioned it! Another big spike in fan numbers might have been around the time of the break up...spring and summer of 1970. There were a lot of tributes in magazines around that time.

    1. Yes indeed, the special that included Anthony Newley covering "Within You Without You"! Good choice, Mister Newley!!