A young Canadian saves HMV

A young Canadian saves HMV


norman lebrecht

February 05, 2019

The collapsed chain of UK record stores, signified by the dog-and-horn emblem, has been rescued from administration by the Canadian entrepreneur Doug Putman, owner of Sunrise Records.

He will preserve 100 stores and 1,487 jobs. A further 27 stores will close immediately.

Putman, 34, said he was ‘delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK.’

He is a strong believer in vinyl. Slipped Disc would like to suggest that he starts by upgrading the lightbulbs in HMV’s gloomy Oxford Street flagship store.



  • Caravaggio says:

    And good luck to him. On the other hand, if he can influence and push for the banishment of the CD and the resucitation of the LP then it’s a win win.

    • Spenser says:

      I am certainly OK with LPs – I own many of them (my wife would say TOO many).
      But why banish the CD? So much great historical material has been released on CD – very often in superb transfers – that has never been and never will be on LP.
      Long live the LP AND the CD!

  • Ilio says:

    Seen elsewhere. Oxford street is one of the stores slated to close.

  • Bruce says:

    A sweet homage to “The Victor Dog” by the poet James Merrill:

    The Victor Dog

    for Elizabeth Bishop

    Bix to Buxtehude to Boulez,
    The little white dog on the Victor label
    Listens long and hard as he is able.
    It’s all in a day’s work, whatever plays.

    From judgment, it would seem, he has refrained.
    He even listens earnestly to Bloch,
    Then builds a church upon our acid rock.
    He’s man’s–no–he’s the Leiermann’s best friend,

    Or would be if hearing and listening were the same.
    Does he hear? I fancy he rather smells
    Those lemon-gold arpeggios in Ravel’s
    “Les jets d’eau du palais de ceux qui s’aiment.”

    He ponders the Schumann Concerto’s tall willow hit
    By lightning, and stays put. When he surmises
    Through one of Bach’s eternal boxwood mazes
    The oboe pungent as a bitch in heat,

    Or when the calypso decants its raw bay rum
    Or the moon in Wozzeck reddens ripe for murder,
    He doesn’t sneeze or howl; just listens harder.
    Adamant needles bear down on him from

    Whirling of outer space, too black, too near–
    But he was taught as a puppy not to flinch,
    Much less to imitate his bete noire Blanche
    Who barked, fat foolish creature, at King Lear.

    Still others fought in the road’s filth over Jezebel,
    Slavered on hearths of horned and pelted barons.
    His forebears lacked, to say the least, forbearance.
    Can nature change in him? Nothing’s impossible.

    The last chord fades. The night is cold and fine.
    His master’s voice rasps through the grooves’ bare groves.
    Obediently, in silence like the grave’s
    He sleeps there on the still-warm gramophone

    Only to dream he is at the premiere of a Handel
    Opera long thought lost–Il Cane Minore.
    Its allegorical subject is his story!
    A little dog revolving round a spindle

    Gives rise to harmonies beyond belief,
    A cast of stars. . . . Is there in Victor’s heart
    No honey for the vanquished? Art is art.
    The life it asks of us is a dog’s life.

    James Merrill 1972