Electric & Musical Industries was formed in 1931, initially releasing classical music, but went on to launch the Beatles, who changed the record label's operations and funded the company for years and years. The label's recording rules were further broadened by Queen and Pink Floyd. EMI ushered punk into the mainstream with Sex Pistols, and then embraced the New Romanticism and the polished excesses of Duran Duran. They made music videos big with Pet Shop Boys and made Brit Pop a thing with Blur, and were home to Radiohead. This is the inside story of EMI, one of the greatest British brands in recording history, as told by people involved with the record label's storied history, augmented by company and performance footage. [more inside]
Minnesota engineer Dave Edmonson won the Society of Automotive Engineers MPG contest in 1977 and 1978 with a lightweight three-wheel vehicle that he soon put into production and sold as the HMV Free-Way, weighing 750 lbs and producing 12 to 16 hp. An electric model was available. Only around 700 Free-ways were ever made and many have been modified. Within less than five years the company went bankrupt. The last models appear to have been given away in repayment of outstanding debts. Online ephemera include charmingly rough newsletters and the original order form.
HMVs across the world have been closing and losing their business to online retailers so they have been letting a lot of people go. Recently, they fired someone who had access to twitter. They live-tweeted the whole event.
Last One Falling - photographer Amy Connolly documented the last days of a Liverpool branch of HMV whilst working there in 2011, a stark contrast to the images of the flagship store in the sixties and seventies (previously). The chain yesterday announced it was entering administration after 91 years on the high street. [more inside]
British high-street games retailer Game - who also own their once-rival chain, Gamestation - files for administration. After a tense few months involving supply chain issues and cutting prices to stay afloat, the options for purchasing physical games are dwindling, leaving the also-beleagured HMV, the music chain hoping to stay afloat by concentrating on gaming, and the all-powerful supermarkets.
A look inside HMV's flagship store on London's Oxford Street. 1960s. 1970s. After a troubled year for the record chain, here's how the same building looks today.
...The Rolling Stones released their Four Flicks DVD in Canada on an exclusive distribution basis, limiting availability of the Four Flicks DVD to only one retailer, thereby excluding HMV and all other retailers from making this product available to their consumers....HMV responded by indicating that if its consumers were not good enough to have access to the Rolling Stones new product in HMV stores, then the Rolling Stones were not worthy of having ANY of its products in HMV’s stores...HMV would now like to solicit your opinion as it decides its next steps with regards to its position...