I just read that Fopp music store has gone bankrupt and closed down.
No wonder - they sold CDs and books at bargain prices. My friend Martin introduced me to it, taking me for a stroll at the Tottenham Court Road branch in London last year. I left it with a £5 double Fela Kuti CD (excellent) and a £6 three-disc box set with Van Morrison's first three albums, arguably two of my best purchases last year. Oh and a £3 book, The Undercover Economist, which I didn't bother finishing.
They claim tastes are changing and people don't buy CDs anymore. Too bad - I still prefer albums to isolated songs. I like to listen to them from beginning to end, trying to figure what message the artist wanted to convey. I admit I did a lot of downloading from Bit Torrent and the like, but recently I've been much more keen on walking into a store, browsing around, testing, and leaving with a disc. You can't top that - the means are as pleasant as the ends.
Anyway, farewell to Fopp. All that's left is Virgin and HMV. And Fnac. God bless us.