So I was in Greenville this weekend and had some time to kill so I made my way over to Horizon Records. If you are from Greenville you are surely familiar with Horizon, but I’m not sure that people outside of Greenville are.
Horizon Records is the best record store in the state. I say that with confidence. It really takes something special to be an independently owned record store and stay in business these days. Horizon has been doing it for 33 years now.
What did they figure out?
In my opinion quality, caring and community.
Horizon Records can best be described as a “musical community center.” The last time I was in Horizon before last Saturday was years ago when they were located off Pleasantburg. At that time it was a good record store, but it could have been better. By better I mean moving it to downtown Greenville into an arts district, putting it across the street from the main music venue in Greenville, The Handlebar and pairing it with a cafe. Now you have a great record store.
When I walked in I kind of did that spin around gaze like where do I start? Actually it took me 5 minutes to get past the community music board outside of the door. I was like how did I miss this many events on my website, then I realized a lot of them were in Asheville and Atlanta. Greenville doesn’t get a lot of good shows, but I don’t have time to start on that now. Anyways, I started out by looking at the staff recommendations and new releases. I felt proud to have owned about 25 percent of them and at least listened to a good many of the other artists. I tried to make a mental note of some of the ones I needed to check out, but I forgot them all until I found their online store.
I was like a kid in a candy shop, but I limited myself to buying one thing. I browsed through used CD’s, most of which I have owned and lost over the years, until I finally made the decision to buy vinyl.
I read an article last week saying that vinyl sales are the only part of the music industry to increase over the last 3 years. Something like CD sales dropped 17 percent while LP’s shipped 36 percent more. I can’t find the article so don’t quote me on that. I did write down those numbers in my notebook thought so I would remember them so they are correct. The point of the article was that stores like Best Buy were going to start selling Vinyl with digital downloads. I’ve seen this a lot lately and it is a great idea. It just pisses me off that the big retailers are doing that, but business is business.
If I were Horizon I wouldn’t worry too much about Best Buy stealing their vinyl sales. The great thing about vinyl isn’t the first time it is sold, but the second. Also I don’t think I would really feel comfortable asking a Best Buy employee what they think about the latest Band of Horses album.
These guys know about their product, they shoot for the edges, they are connected to the music scene, they know their niche and they exist to help you find the music that you need to hear.
Oh yeah and they have live afternoon acoustic concerts. Beat that.
So what did I end up buying?
I bought Drive-By Truckers “Brighter than Creation’s Dark” on vinyl and Charleston’s own The Explorers Club. Track 3 The EC. : )