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Name: K Finch
Comment: Fond memories of the shop. I worked in Camden from 1971-1976. This shop helped me through a lot of angst in the 1970s as a teenager, especially through the early commercial Bowie years. The lady in there was a lovely person, who would not only sell me records but swerve me in the direction of discovery. Plenty of Bowie, Lou Reed, Roxy and Iggy, which I would say was the acceptable face of glam. And then I verged off into Big Youth and Dub!

The first record shop in Camden Town was an Irish one, in Arlington Road, that belonged to an Irish family and sold Irish folk music to the large Irish labourers' community that lived in Camden Town in those days. I'm talking about the sixties.

Sound 84 (1969 - 1983) was the second record shop to open in Camden Town. It had a sister shop, for a while, called Camden Music Centre (1973 - 1978?) in Parkway, next to Palmers the pet shop, opposite the Dublin Castle (Pizza Pilgrims? today) where, among others, Madness used to play. I always suspected that Camden Music Machine (what today is Koko) got it's name from Camden Music Centre, though it may just be coincidence.

Speaking of such things, the local teenage lads (men now) that became Madness used to get their records from Sound 84, at least, that's what one of them once said in a radio interview when asked if he remembered the first record he ever bought. (Not sure which one of them gave the interview.)

Ah, those halcyon days! Mick Benoit. (2024)


Mick Benoit
09 Feb 2024 at 04:49
Lovely comment from K Finch. The lady in the shop was Hilary Benoit, my mother, who passed away in may, 2023, just four months short of her ninetieth birthday.
Mick Benoit
13 Feb 2024 at 06:31
Sound 84 was a chart shop and, like all chart shops, its sales were registered and used to compile the weekly UK Top 50 singles and LPs lists. The record companies knew this and would give us records SOR (sale or return) to promote their new signings. Once, some time in the late seventies, we were given a box (25 LPs) of an album by a band playing up the road in Dingwalls, at Camden Lock. Sell them? We couldn't even give them away, and eventually handed them back to the record company with our apologies. The problem was they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. This was Camden Town, punk was in its prime, and they played a kind of bluesy rock. A few months later, we were surprised to hear one of the songs from the album being played on the radio. It was 'Sultans of Swing' and the band was Dire Straits.
David Power
11 Jul 2024 at 03:36
Thank you for the history on Sound 84. I knew Hilary, being a regular young (8 in 1970) customer. Do you have any photos of the store internally/externally? email: [email protected].



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