Do you still collect records? Tameside Radio presenter Dave Sweetmore celebrates local independent record stores in his latest column.

In November this year it will be 70 years since the first ever UK singles chart was published.

The very first number one was the Al Martino classic “Here In My Heart”.

Celebrating 70 years of the charts is something I look forward to doing in this column later, but talking about it recently got me thinking about how important the charts are now and if they still matter, and sadly I don’t don’t’ I don’t think they are.

Having a chart hit is always a huge achievement for any artist, and should be rightly celebrated, but with music being so easy to find and accessible, the days of relying on Top Of The Pops and all the songs that radio stations used to play to listen to new music, are long gone.

There’s a whole world of amazing music that can be discovered online, which is awesome in so many ways.

Last Saturday was the annual Record Store Day – a day when artists release special edition vinyl records, and music fans are encouraged to support local independent record stores.

Collecting vinyl is popular and trendy again, it’s something I’ve always done and never stopped doing, and it’s great to see it so popular again.

But the downside of online music is not only that musicians, songwriters, artists, producers and people involved in music don’t make a lot of money from it, but in my opinion, it also takes a lot of the excitement out of the music.

I’ve always collected records, and music has always been the most important thing in my life, and even now, when I get a new record, CD, or tape, and I can hold the physical product in my hand, admiring the artwork, reading the liner notes, and owning a piece of musical history, I’m as excited as when I was a kid.

Whether it’s by the biggest band in the world, your hero or an up-and-coming brand new band.

Noel Gallagher once said that owning an album that will last forever can even change your mood and your life, for the price of two fancy coffees that will only last ten minutes. It is surely worth spending that money and supporting the artist. He is absolutely right.

Record Store Days are great for raising awareness and raising funds for independent stores, but as a music fan, every day is a record day for me.

I love listening to new music online and discovering new artists, it’s a great thing that we are now able to do.

But then, owning and being able to own that physical copy of a disc that you enjoy, nothing can really beat that. Long live the record stores.

You can listen to Dave on Tameside Radio 103.6FM on Monday evenings from 7-9pm. Click here to subscribe and follow previous broadcasts.

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