Friday, January 11, 2008

Anthem This, Wankers!

One of the first stores I hit when I arrived in London is my favorite music store, Fopp, near Seven Dials/Covent Garden. Fopp is a small UK chain and has a truly amazing selection of CDs, DVDs and books (that sadly almost went bankrupt earlier this year) and their Covent Garden location is tiny but filled with great shit.

They do a good job with their displays that make it easy to find and discover new music. When I was "living" in London a few years back I frequented the store a few times a week and pretty much any music I discovered when I was living there was thanks to Fopp. Also, most of the discs were between 3 and 6 pounds, which is cheaper than back in the States (discs from Fopp were about the only thing cheaper than back in the States, actually).

Anyway, this post isn't about Fopp as much as it is about the great compilation CDs you can buy in the UK, of which Fopp had a particularly good selection of. If the US sold compliation albums of the same quality, I have not seen them (but then again, I'm not in record stores much these days). Last week I picked up a few pretty solid ones - Radio 1, Soulwax's "2 Many DJs" and some others (I had to stop at 5 since I wouldn't be able to fit much more into my already full suitcase).

One gripe that I have about these and all the compilation CDs I've bought in the UK is the way they keep recycling some of the same music over and over. As much as I love Stereophonics (Kelly Jones - yum), I really don't need "Dakota" on Every. Single. Compliation CD I buy. Same with the La's "There She Goes" - the song is about 20 years old and it is time to give it a rest.

This gripe was exacerbated when I bought "The Anthems 07" thinking it would be a sort of "best of" the year double CD. I didn't lookcarefully enough at the song list until too late, but sure enough the album contains great songs from 2007 such as Pulp's "Common People", Cranberries' "Dreams", Travis' "Why Does It Always Rain on Me" and, yep, even "Dakota."

Makers of UK compilation CDs, I ask you: Is it too much to ask that a disc called "Anthems 07" actually has only songs that were released in 2007?

[This is a photo of the exterior of Fopp in London. So pretty, no?]


Loaf said...

The Radio 1 est. 1967 album is great, they were playing it over the anniversary week and I still need to buy it properly.

But to be honest, I gave up on buying compilation albums towards the end of the "Now That's What I Call Music #..." series. Do they even still do those?

Mr. Shain said...


CHW said...

If you dig world music, two great compilations I just picked up are "Ghana Soundz Vol. 2" (Afrobeat funk); and "Studio 1 DJs" (early reggae).

Mighty Dyckerson said...

The UK has a similiar store called FAP. All they sell is tissues and lube.

JUSTIN said...

Hmmm, I just downloaded a UK comp called "Talcom Soul 6". Soul Power!

KAZ said...

I was in Fopp (Manchester) only yesterday. Thank goodness it was saved.
I do my own compilations and they still annoy me.

RevRee said...

I LOVE compilation CDs!!!!

Next time you go to London, let me know, I'll have you pick me up a few CDs...OH and a case of crunchy bars too!

ReckenRoll said...

Did you go to the really big Fopp store on Tottenham Court Road? It's like 4 bus stops further down and freaking HUGE...which I always thought was weird. Why have 2 stores, in London, that are like 7 minutes walking distance apart?

Did you happen to run into your friend Jessica there?

5 of 9er said...

I will put it on my list of places to go.