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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Dec 2018 > Liverpool


Mark Elliott takes a trip to Liverpool and looks beyond the Fab Four for vinyl delights

When John Lennon was murdered in December 1980, it accelerated my obsession with music. True, I’d already been seduced by the soundtrack to Grease and had started buying the odd 7" single, but the avalanche of Beatles books and magazines launched off the back of the tragedy offered something different. this was a band – the band – with a backstory and a back catalogue like no other. I had their discography memorised in weeks. When it came to a birthday-gift choice between K-Tel’s Chart Explosion or a re-press of Sgt. Pepper’s…, pop’s greatest LP was the one I picked (despite the temptation of Madness and Kelly Marie).

So Liverpool, for me – as for so many – is somewhere truly special. One of the world’s most-famous musical cities, I have been a handful of times over the years. Ferried across the Mersey? You bet; grabbed a pint at a reimagined the Cavern? Certainly; but cratedigging hadn’t been an option until this trip.

I didn’t know what to expect. Some locals will tell you they feel somewhat overshadowed by their bigger neighbour, but Manchester’s buzzy vinyl scene isn’t truly spectacular when measured against destinations such as Amsterdam, so surely a city this steeped in music could hold its own against its nearby rival.

I wondered whether the interest from more casual visitors in the Fab Four would push up Merseybeat prices and, in truth, where I could find it, that proved to be the case.

Almost every shop (like most record stores worldwide, actually) has a section devoted to the Beatles and their associated or solo releases. But they weren’t rammed full of first-pressing copies of Revolver, as you might imagine. there’s actually rather less of that stuff here than you’d expect (although a lot of new reissues; no doubt stocked to satisfy the more casual tourist after a memento).

What there’s no shortage of, however, is Beatles. the influence of that magical era is everywhere and I’d challenge anyone not to get swept along in the nostalgia. I joined a National Trust tour of the childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney, which was simply fantastic. It’s absolutely my top recommendation of ‘other stuff ’, if you can bag one of the limited slots.

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About Long Live Vinyl

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Issue 21 of Long Live Vinyl celebrates the moment 50 years ago when the two biggest bands on earth went head to head on record-shop shelves. Our cover story tells the inside story of the making of The White Album and Beggars Banquet, while taking a look inside the new Deluxe Editions of both albums – you’ve never heard The White Album like this before! And our special collector’s edition covers enable you to choose either a Beatles or Stones edition – or buy both! Elsewhere this issue, we meet two of the most outspoken characters in the current musical landscape – Richard Ashcroft and Baxter Dury – to hear about their extraordinary new albums, and Heavenly Records founder Jeff Barrett talks us through his remarkable life in music, selecting the records that have soundtracked his career. Tim Burgess sits down for a chat about his O Genesis record label, The Trip visits Liverpool, our Classic Album is A Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 hip-hop masterpiece Midnight Marauders and we round up 40 Essential Laurel Canyon records that should be residing in your collection. If all that’s not enough, we bring you the most extensive range of new album, reissue and hardware reviews anywhere on the newsstand.