Fine Records, 19 Brighton Square

Formerly Fine Records, 19 Brighton Square, Brighton | Photo by Debbie Lias
Formerly Fine Records, 19 Brighton Square, Brighton
Photo by Debbie Lias

Fine Records was in exactly the same spot that Rounder Records occupies today so this is possibly the oldest site for a record shop in all of Brighton – about 40 years now.

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  • I first started buying from Rounder Records when it was Fine Records at the beginning of the 80s. When Rounder moved in, Norman Cook had a spell working in there, and I’m quite sure he served me when I bought ‘Relax’ on 12″ at the end of 1983. I’ve still got it. I still go in there every now and again, if time allows. Still a favourite shop of mine.

    By Darren Stuart (04/12/2008)
  • Did this used to be called ‘Brighton Records’ in the late 70s? I distinctly recall that it was the only record shop in Brighton that stocked all the new punk rock 45s in the first half of 1977. I managed to obtain an under-the-counter, quick-before-it-got-recalled, copy of the Sex Pistols’ ‘Anarchy in the UK’ (in the black sleeve) on EMI for 45p from HMV in Churchill Square, but could not find The Damned’s ‘New Rose’ anywhere. ‘Brighton (Fine or Rounder) Records’ had a whole window festooned with the picture sleeves of the new punk records which I just bought based on the sleeve art, all of which I loved. Of course before then, unlike the continent, (other than rare EPs by big name bands in the 60s), British singles only ever came in paper company sleeves or plain white paper sleeves (remember how dull the display of the top 30 looked laid out in rows in Boots record dept?). The sudden explosion of picture sleeves was enough to attract any emergent teen with an ear for loud guitars. I spent every penny I had in that shop over a 12 month period just soaking up these esoteric and otherwise hard to source 45s, Buzzcocks’ ‘Spiral Scratch EP on New Hormones’ for instance, The Adverts’ ‘One Chord Wonders’, Damned’s ‘Neat, Neat, Neat’, Chelsea’s ‘Right To Work’ (which was playing when I went in there one day ‘what’s this called? I’ll take it!’), etc. Then I’d go to the Top Rank or the New Regent (when run by Fox’s) on a Friday / Saturday night and see the actual bands play, amazing!

    By Paul Martin (07/05/2009)
  • I remember going to Rounder Records religiously every Saturday with my friends, looking for music we’d heard in the clubs. Trying to get everything on white label.That was around 1983/4/5. I remember Norman Cook working there too. I’m sure he left and went to work for HMV in Churchill Square afterwards.

    By Carol Homewood (08/08/2009)
  • Ah what a history … yes, Fine Records was the first punk shop in Brighton, in fact it was one of the first record shops anywhere – it sold Buzzcock’s NUMBERED Spiral Scratch EPs before the Crypt gig (now who remembers that?!), and was the first record shop outside London to sell any punk singles. What most people don’t realise was the shop was the most influential in town for many years. It opened on the day ‘Sgt Peppers’ was released in 1967, when The Lanes area wasn’t even properly open, and over 500 people trod over the planks over unset concrete to buy it!

    By Dirigible Dave (12/11/2012)
  • Fine Records was where I really learned about music. I got a Saturday job in the shop opposite (Worldwide Butterflies) and used to spend my lunch hour browsing the racks in FR. When I got paid, I’d rush out to spend it in on vinyl. I remember my very first purchase there was El Pea – a double sampler album from Island. The guys who worked there were extremely knowledgeable and Kaz, in particular, would offer advice on what was “trending”. A great store, of a type that no longer exists. I think the world is a sadder place for not having Fine Records any more.

    By Marc Turner (28/02/2013)
  • From September 1978 a gang of us Brighton Tec students used to religiously go around as many record shops in Brighton as possible, especially on a Monday as it was new releases day! This was one of the places to frequent each week. I too can recall Norman Cook working here. It is such a shame that this gem has gone. Prior to Rounder Records announcing that they were closing, I asked a member of staff if I could borrow a piece of paper and a pen and I stood below the front window and looked up and wrote down all of their top songs of the year as voted by the members of staff who had been working there at the time. I still have that list as a homage to this wonderful place.

    By Nick Linazasoro (12/05/2013)
  • I can remember that there were two Fine Records in the town, one in The Lanes (Rounder Records) and one in George Street, Hove. I frequented the Hove one less often but do remember the guys were knowledgeable about older records which were not my bag maaan.

    By Nick Linazasoro (12/05/2013)
  • It isn’t the oldest record shop site in Brighton though. That honour lies with The Record Album by the station. It opened in 1948 and has had the same owner since 1962.

    By Jason (26/04/2014)
  • In the 1960s Saturday mornings were spent in and around the Lanes and Brighton Square and we often spent time in the record shop. I remember the shop owner/ manager was called Stuart and one day he introduced us to a singer who was promoting her new single. We went for a walk with Millie and her Staffordshire bull terrier. The record was called ‘My Boy Lollipop’.

    By Jill T (19/03/2016)
  • Re: Jason’s comment about The Record Album. Actually it hasn’t been there for that long in the scheme of things. Originally The Record Album was in North Rd, then in the very early ’80s it moved to Queen’s Rd, but it was only there for a very short time. It quickly moved to Terminus Rd where it resides now. I believe Fine/Rounder was at the Brighton Sq site from 1969. George Ginn of The Record Album may well be the oldest record dealer in the country (although I think he may have just retired). He set up his first shop in 1948 I believe. I’ve no idea if that was in North Road. Only George knows the answer to that one.

    By M Bradshaw (25/08/2018)
  • I bought the Sultans of Ping FC single Where’s ME Jumper while an exchange student at Sussex in 91-92.

    By James C Grabowski (20/04/2020)
  • Late to the game, but …
    Thanks people for remembering Fine Records, which should have a major place in developing the UK history of independent music through punk (cheers Robbie and Paul for the workmate support back then!).

    Sadly Jill T’s memories are corrupted. There was no shop in the Lanes in 1964 when the single came out.
    Millie’s Smile Bazaar was near the Technical College on Grand Parade c1967.

    Before my time,as Fine Records opened the shop in 1967,but too late for Millie (her hits were 1974 -5) and before Millie’s Smile Bazaar (look elsewhere).

    By paull.k (22/09/2020)
  • Er, Millie’s singles hits were 10 years earlier. Transcription error!

    By paul.k (22/09/2020)

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