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Our Price - Back in the Day...

It’s hard to imagine the musical landscape of Britain in the 1970s and 80s without conjuring up an image of the ubiquitous red and white logo of Our Price Records adorning every high street in the land. Calling out to music lovers across the country, Our Price filled the void left by the shrinking empire of Woolworths. 

Founded in 1971 by the intrepid Gary Nesbitt, Mike Connor and Eddie Piller, what began as a humble single store on Finchley Road would mushroom into a barnstorming national chain over the following decades, ultimately selling to Virgin for what in today’s money would be the equivalent of £320 million. By the height of its powers in the 1980s, Our Price ruled over the record-buying public as the preeminent purveyor of vinyl, cassette,s and CDs.

For those of us passing through adolescent years in that era, Our Price holds a particular cachet. Many friendships were forged as gaia-clad youths leafed through racks of albums, seeking out the latest release from The Cure or Joy Division. Weekend sojourns to the local branch became almost ceremonial in nature as we rifled through imports hoping to discover the next Bowie or Kate Bush. Chicago House records nestled next to the emerging Acid Jazz scene – Our Price offered a rich tapestry of musical possibility.

With the internet age looming and music uploading onto the ephemeral landscape of ones and zeroes, the foundations of Our Price grew strained. Rebranding efforts stalled, people missed the Our Price brand’s simplicity and stores closed.

For those of us who came of age in the last quarter of the 20th century, the Our Price story reminds us of heady days when music shopping was a tactile, adventurous experience. Flicking through LP sleeves, marveling at artwork that fired the imagination. For a generation of British music lovers, it provided the soundtrack to our lives.

We are very much hoping that as this new home of Our Price is just as loved – with ultimately AI-enhanced vinyl browsing to get you to the sounds you love as fast as possible and that Our Price can one again become the “go-to”  for vinyl, cassettes, merch and more… Watch this space.

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3 Responses

  1. I am a previous OutPrice records employee, working at OP Lewisham back in the day and loved every second of it. It was a sad day when you went but after the mismanagement of WHS and later Virgin (Zaavi) it’s a real boost to get you back. Here is to a successful relaunch and maybe we may see you again on the high street.

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