“I can’t do anything but records and music,” John Stapleton admitted when I visited his record shop on the High Street in Bristol city centre. Those who still listen to music on a record player will be well-acquainted with Wanted Records, and since expanding from a small unit in St Nicks Market to a shop just yards away it has become even more popular.

But moving to a busy street isn’t the only reason John and his team are busier than ever. Change is afoot in the industry where music streaming giants like Spotify have dominated for years: in 2022, the UK posted its highest vinyl sales volume since 1990 with 5.5 million units sold. This helped turn previously struggling HMV into its highest profit in years.

Of course, this number is solely new releases, which represent less than five percent of Wanted Records’ shares. Since it first opened in 2009, it’s always been about buying, trading and selling second-hand records, starting with John’s own vinyl collection from his DJing days, which has taken him all over the world.

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The owner, John, has lived many lives – as a DJ, club promoter and album compiler – over the years. “Since I was a very young teenager I have been obsessed with records and music,” he said. His career in the record store began in the 1980s working for Tony’s Records on Park Street, where he got his first job just “hanging around all the time.”

His entry points into music included David Bowie and Roxy Music, but his world changed after seeing George Lucas. american graffitiwhich has an illustrious soundtrack that epochs in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. John found many of the tracks as singles for pennies in junk shops, forming the start of his own collection.

Second-hand records make up 95 percent of the store.(Image: Bristol Live)

“I started doing booths at record fairs with all the spare parts and multiple copies of stuff I had and thought why not make a store?” she told me she


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