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I used to work in Wardour Street and I sepnt many interesting hours in Cheapo Cheapo in Rupert Street.
Sadly it has now long been closed. Rave On!...Ian

Loved the record stall @ Cheapo's being outside by the market. Bought loads of r'n'b, doo wop, r'n'roll from here all with no centres. Lots of demos, Advance Copies etc and all with the prices scribbled on the front of the paper wrapper (and sometimes even on the labels themselves.

Just used to pick 'em out on the look of the labels but mostly it was terrific stuff. So the staff may have been gruff and offhand-they were, but their product was ace so who cared?!!! Comment: Lynne Brodie.

(Jan 26, 2014) Lester Owers said:I started buying off Philip when cheapo cheapo was a stall in front of the Chinese shop which later became the cheapo cheapo shop, that must have the late 60s early 70s. They used to have all the promo lp that reviewers or djs did not want. I used to fiddle my way up west and this shop was part of the circuit of stores.

(Feb 5, 2013) Bob Ensell said:I regularly visited through the '70s and '80s, usually making for the basement where the jazz, blues, soul and gospel records were kept. The staff in general were unfriendly but maybe this was the price you had to pay because Cheapo Cheapo lived up to its name and was stuffed with vinyl at the lowest prices in town. They'd also offer a price for pretty well any old records you took in. Best deal was to take a credit note and and use it to buy some new stuff. There was an excitement in thumbing through the racks, anticipating the sudden appearance of a yearned for classic. John Peel often mentioned the shop on his Radio One programme.

(Jan 26, 2013) PJC said:A fascinating shop with a huge amount of stock, most of it apparently in no order whatsoever, so one needed an open mind when browsing. I didn't go there often because the odd character behind the counter was gruff, unhelpful and quite impervious to courtesy. Perhaps he just saved time by taking an instant dislike to me. Nevertheless, it is a great shame that such an interesting store is now gone.

(April 21, 2015) This wonderful second hand record shop where music journo’s took their review copies was also a lunch time haven even allowing for the entirely graceless staff. Comment: David Lawson.

Robert Greenwood Very miserable staff, though. It was like a TV sit-com about selling records but scripted by Samuel Beckett.

Rob Ford Ha ha...I remember checking a Bo Diddley LP at the counter and handing it back to miserable Phil because it was covered in blue paint. He got extremely huffy and snatched the remaining records out of my hands saying "You won't be wanting the other ones then!". The Saturday staff were especially intimidating.

I went immediately to three record companies, announcing myself as 'Chrissie Hynd, NME'. I walked out with a many albums 'to review' as I could carry, took them straight to Cheapo, Cheapo's in Soho, sold the lot and was on the next hovercraft to the city of love. Chrissie Hynde - Reckless

( March 16, 2016) Bought from the stall regularly. The salesman was a little aloof but offered advice and would play things for you on his portable record player. He was an advocate, to me at least, of the merits of Arlester Christian and I bought a number of Dyke and the Blazers singles as a consequence. Never regretted. Happy memories. Comment: Trauts Heytarl

Name michele casadei Comment: Thank you Wolfgang Zink and everyone else who left a comment on this page! Was Phil the owner the guy with the beard? He vaguely looked like Richard Thompson, I am saddened to learn about his passing, I have good memories of that place from the 1990's, when I went there few times a week and bought loads of records! That shop was my youth!!! Cheers! (Nov 26, 2016)

USed to go in there since the early 80s. Phil was very grumpy. There were some other people that worked there also. A guy with glasses and longsih curly hair who I seem to recall was often talking about army related things. There was also a Jamaican or Afro Caribbean lady that used to work there. She was a bit gruff too, at first, but was quite friendly after a while. Latterly , there was an Irish guy (long hair & glasses) who was also quite friendly. A great store for rooting around in. I rarely went into Soho without visiting there and rarely left empty handed! A wonderful store.
Brent Keefe

okay mr cording did not offered me tea like somebody in peckhamdid but their prices were unbeatable and when i asked him about my richard kerr greatest songwriter +performer of all time he said which one do you want somewhere in the night epic 1975!!!!
stephan georgakarakos

I started visiting Cheapo almost as soon as I arrived in London in 1985, and in the early 2000s started buying stock on behalf of an employer. Cheapo closing was a real shock - I have blogged about it here:
Pismo Tality

I grew up and lived in Soho, this was a late night treasure, room after room of vinyl. I discovered Nick Drake here and many others for amazing prices. Some of the staff became friendly if you shopped there enough, some could just be really rude but it all added to the experience. I think it closed around 10pm, you met all sorts in there. There was always someone doing a deal. Fun times.
Mark Lusty

I used to visit the shop whenever I was in London and there were usually a few good items in there at very reasonable prices. But proprietor Phil Cording (who died in 2009) was such a miserable, unfriendly and unhelpful character that I can't say it was ever a very pleasant experience. Basically, you just had to ignore him, find and buy what you wanted and then clear off. Rest in Vinegar Phil.
Julian Stevens

Alan Freeman
Also used to go regularly to Nottingham in the late 70s: Selectadisc, Virgin and other shops, occasionally to Birmingham (a couple of times to Derby, Sheffield, also MLM/Lotus Records, and then throughout the 80s was going to London once a month or so, trekking round the Record & Tape Exchange shops, Cheapo Cheapo and Low-Price in Soho, Rhythm Records, Honest Jon's etc.
I bet Clive Graham remembers well our enterprising days of the later 80s when we used to stay over it his place over a weekend and tie-in Morphogenesis gigs! Sometimes bought too many records to take back home on the train, so parcelled them up and sent them home! Amazing how many rare records we used to buy from R&TE/M&VE at 10p to 50p in their bargain basements. They were the days!

  • Clive Graham
    Yes, I remember waiting in anticipation to see what you would bring back with you. I seem to remember it once included a copy of Limbus 3

  • Steve Freeman
    Clive Graham If I remember right, it was a rather tatty copy of Limbus 3
  • Alan Freeman
    Steve Freeman Quite possibly from Cheapo Cheapo's jazz section in the basement, where most records were tatty and gaining mildew due to the damp!

Cheapo Cheapo bought all my records on a weekly basis in ‘78/79! Singles, Eps, lp’s. They bought the lot, even all the “not to be resold” promo copies in boxes from EMI. This place was wall to wall records on four floors. Just enough space to pigeon step around the shop. The man was quiet, he never said a word while he counted... you held you breath ‘till he gave you the price, always a little under what you hoped for, but never unfair. I wouldn’t have survived if it hadn’t t been for Cheapo, Cheapo paying my teenage rent. Thank you.
Sandra Dean

I recall first visiting Cheapo Cheapo in 1977, when I worked in Our Price on Charing Cross Road. Outside stall sold 45s, inside was a multitude of absolutely everything you could imagine, album wise. Phil was, without a doubt, the grumpiest person I’d ever met, but always fair. Used to spend half my wages there. I remember Tony Rounce, working on the singles stall in the street, and we used to swop stories (I believe he had worked at Stiff Records, for a bit), before he also went to work for Our Price. Very sorry to hear of Phil’s passing, as underneath that gruff exterior, he was very kind to me as I visited more regularly. Great times.
Pete Lyons



53 Rupert Street W1 Soho / London
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