And thus the habit of nearly 30 years is ended by the whims of the record industry…
Ever since I was old enough to understand the concept of album release dates and been able to find them out, Monday has been THE day. It must have been somewhere around 14-15 when I started actually buying music magazines and perusing every page rather than just glancing through them in the library or newsagent if someone I knew was on the cover. Up to then I would have just bought new music when I happened to see it (Or make a note of it for Christmas and birthday lists). But getting an album or single the day it came out and thus being among the first to hear it was a thrill to make starting a new week of school/college/work somewhat more bearable.
After school walks or bike rides in to town (Welwyn Garden City) to visit Our Price or Woolworths or an outing to Stevenage or Hatfield for variety or school clothes giving an opportunity to visit the independent shops there. Or their branches of OP and WW. Heck, Hatfield even had an enormous Woolco store where I distinctly remember obtaining the Belle Stars album on cassette.
College bus journeys back to halls/shared houses taken via the town centre (Derby) to stake out Way Ahead, Woollies or HMV.
Mid-morning wandering in to town (Felixstowe) to pop into Ian’s Records or yet another branch of F.W.’s empire during the summer after I graduated when I was unemployed (and handy that I had to sign-on on a Monday so was forced into town once a fortnight). And then dropped back to lunch time when I got a job in town.
Promotion to Ipswich bringing with it the variety of another Our Price, HMV, Virgin, John Menzies, Woollies and most importantly Compact Music. They were a wonderful independent that gave a voucher with every disc purchased. Collected enough of them for several free albums over the years.
A couple of years in Newmarket with yet another Woollies and another indie I can no longer remember the name of (last time I looked it was a branch of Costa). Woollies again in Stowmarket with a back-up ASDA, and then back to Ipswich where I have been ever since and the options have whittled themselves down to just HMV.
But always, that Monday journey to obtain the eagerly anticipated or the unexpected surprises. The scrutiny of sleeves and booklets and reading of lyrics and credits while eating lunch or in stolen moments during the afternoon. The building anticipation on the journey home. The first crackling kiss of stylus touching vinyl, the clunk of the cassette player or the whirr of the CD player and then the sounds themselves. Something to discuss at school/college/work the next day. A joy to be repeated daily or a disappointment to try and find the good in until the next batch of newness arrived. The re-arranging of shelves to fit the new arrivals in. Even the addition of entries to a database - all elements of the start of the week.
And now we have to transfer that feeling onto a Friday, with the weekend beckoning - full of its own entertainments and putting off the Monday drabness that new music helps to dispel.
I'll enjoy today's purchases over the weekend I'm sure but it just doesn't seem right. (And before anyone wants to get pedantic yes, I know the Motorhead came out last week but I was off work and enjoying a day in the garden with MrsB).