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JTW

Amazed by historical cost of records

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To start with, thanks to FunkyMonkey for his link to the historical magazine archive in another post.

I was browsing an early copy of Gramophone and there was a piece correcting the price of a recording

- "We regret that the price of the Sibelius Second Symphony, H.M.V. DB2599-2604, reviewed last month, was given as 36s. ; it should have been 33s., the last single -sided record costing only 3s"

So that is 33 shillings for one symphony, That is £1.65 in January 1936.

According to a website which gives the present value of historical money, i.e. allowing for inflation this is the equivalent of over £117.

I will never complain about the cost of music again.

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It's often been stated that record buying at one time was only for the wealthy as records were so expensive. I think it's the advent of radio that opened up the market, as record manufacturers at first felt threatened that the radio would take their audience away. But then they embraced radio as a way of promoting their music and marketed records to a mass audience which brought the cost down. 

A bit like when mobile phones went from costing a grand to under a hundred quid in the 90s. 

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Super Wammer

When I started buying records back when I was 16, I was on 25p / hour working for Waitrose in Coulsdon at the weekends. At that time an LP cost £1.90 on average, so I would have had to work nearly 8 hours to buy that.

Today a person on minimum wage can buy and LP in 3 hours work, and a CD on 1.5 hours work.

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I remember visiting my gran in the 50s, and she had a large wind-up gramophone with large doors at the front to open for the sound to emerge. My grandad, whom I never knew, had been an avid record buyer and had amassed a lovely collection of records (78s) - a lot of classical music and opera, but some songs of the day too. I remember “Skyliner” among the discs and a great comedy song I fell in love with: “Ain’t It Grand To Be Bloomin’ Well Dead”!

I loved to visit my gran’s mainly because of this treasure trove of music.

Edited by bohemian

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