Love Record Stores – limited indie vinyl releases

Record shops have selected the top 100 independent albums of 2020 and the list can be seen at the site. The following limited edition items are available to buy/order from 18:00 on Saturday 5th December from Strand Records. There are coloured vinyl versions, picture discs and some with signed prints or other artwork.

Released on 5th December 2020; Tim Burgess “I love the new sky” (180g transparent splatter with exclusive signed print) £25, Thundercat “It is what it is” (Picture disc plus poster) £30, Perfume Genius “Set my heart on fire immediately” (Red gold coloured vinyl) £23, Nap Eyes “Snapshot of a beginner” (coke bottle clear vinyl with art print) £19, Field Music “Making a new world” (180g transparent red vinyl gatefold with signed print) £20, NZCA Lines “Pure luxury” (black vinyl with signed print) £20, Julianna Berwick “Healing is a miracle” (with limited 12″ x 12″ print) £23, Fontaines DC “A Hero’s death” (clear vinyl) £22, Laura Marling “Song for our daughter” (purple vinyl) £22, Pottery “Welcome to Bobby’s Motel” (special limited edition obi strip designed by Paul Jacobs) £20, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever “Sideways To New Italy” (rose coloured vinyl) £20, Rose City Band “Summerlong” (buttercup colour vinyl) £23, Gil Scott Heron “We’re New Again – A Reimagining by Makaya McCraven” (pink vinyl) £19

Released on 18th December 2020; Georgia “Seeking Thrills” (140g neon orange coloured vinyl) £23, LA Priest “Gene” (140g neon orange coloured vinyl) £23, Sorry “925” (140g gold coloured vinyl) £23, Wilma Archer “A western circular” (140g creamy white coloured vinyl) £23

Released on 29th January 2021; Phoebe Bridgers “Punisher” (galaxy red and blue coloured vinyl) £23 *** PLEASE NOTE THAT WE HAVE NOW SOLD OUT OF OUR PRE-ORDER QUOTA. *** APOLOGIES FOR ANY DISAPPOINTMENT ***

Released on 5th February 2021; BC Camplight “Shortly after takeoff” (red coloured vinyl) £22

Released on 5th March 2021; The Orielles “Disco Volador” (soundtrack version of the album, colour vinyl, die cut sleeve – full details to be confirmed) £22, Working Men’s Club “Working Men’s Club” (picture disc) £20, Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini “Illusion Of Time” (clear blue vinyl edition) £22

Please let us know if you would like us to order any of these limited edition titles. As usual, we will be offering free delivery in Stoke-on-Trent or we can post up to three albums for £3.00.

Thanks pop fans!

Indie albums of 2020

Record shops have selected the top 100 independent albums of 2020 and the list will be unveiled at site on Thursday 3rd December 2020.

It is the first time that such a list has been compiled as part of the LOVE RECORD STORES campaign and new vinyl products will be available to buy online or in store on the 5th of December.

Once you have seen the list, please let us know if you would like us to order any titles. As usual, we will be offering free delivery in Stoke-on-Trent or we can post up to three albums for £3.00. Thanks pop fans!

Another Lockdown 2.0 sale – £15 albums

Hi Pop fans, here are some more reduced price titles . . . £15 each. There are limited quanitites available. Free delivery in the Stoke-on-Trent area. Postage for up to 3 albums is only £3.00.

Payment via Paypal.

Please let us know what you need by Friday 27th November.

The Lemon Twigs “Go to school”, Lush “Ciao” (best of), Dead can Dance “Into the Labyrinth”, Dead can Dance “Towards the within”, Dead can Dance “Garden of arcane delights and Peel Sessions”, Yo La Tengo “There’s a riot going on”, Sonic Youth “The Eternal”, Kurt Vile “Walking on a pretty daze”, Soak “Grim town”, Lankum “The Livelong day”, Lankum “Between the Earth and sky”, Belle & Sebastian “Dear Catastrophe Waitress”, The Decemberists “I’ll be your girl”, Prodigy “Music for the jilted generation”, Prodigy “Their law”, New Gen “New Gen”, Powell “Sport”, The XX “I see you”.

Lockdown 2.0 sale … £13 albums

Hi Pop fans, here are some reduced price titles. There are limited quanitites available. Get them whilst they’re hot!! Free delivery in the Stoke-on-Trent area. Postage for up to 3 albums is £3.00. Payment via Paypal. Please let us know what you need by Friday 27th November.

Aldous Harding “Designer”, Bauhaus “The Sky’s gone out”, Bauhaus “Burning from the inside”, Belle & Sebastian “Days of the Bagnold Summer”, Black Midi “Schlagenheim”, Bon Iver “For Emma forever ago”, British Sea Power “Open season”, Camera Obscura “Desire lines”, Cocteau Twins “Blue Bell Knoll”, Cocteau Twins “Heaven or Las Vegas”, Cocteau Twins ” The Pink Opaque“, Daughter “Not to disappear”, Dead can dance “Dead can dance”, Dead can dance “The Serpents egg”, Efterklang “Altid sammen”, Everything is recorded “Everything is recorded”, FKA Twigs “Magdalene”, Future Islands “The Far field”, Gary Numan “The Pleasure principle”, Grimes “Visions”, Honey Hahs “Dear someone happy something”, Interpol “Marauder”, Jack Penate “After you”, Kim Gordon “No home record”, Sleaford Mods “English Tapas”, Snail Mail “Lush”, Stereolab “pENG!”, Strokes “Is this it”, Strokes “First impressions of Earth!”, Strokes “Angles”, Strokes “Comedown machine”, The Amps “Pacer”, The Breeders “All Nerve”, The Fall “This Nation’s saving grace”, The Libertines “Time for heroes – the best of”, The National “The Virginia EP”, The XX “Coexist”, The XX “I see you”, Torres “Three futures”, Tubeway Army “Replicas”, Tune-Yards “I can feel you creep into my private life”, Tune-Yards “Sorry to bother you” (original score), Vampire Weekend “Vampire weekend”, Vampire Weekend “Contra”

RSD Drop for 29th August 2020


As you know RSD will now take place across 3 dates: August 29th, September 26th and October 24th.  These revised RSD Drops will not be like normal RSD events given the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly, we need to observe social distancing rules in order to keep our customers and staff as safe as possible.

In order that we can maintain the principle of first come first served, but equally ensure responsible social distances practices, we are going to open the STRAND RECORDS’ shop from 08:30am on Saturday 29th August and operate a socially distanced queue.

This approach will consist of the following key elements;

  • Allowing customers to form a socially distanced queue outside of our shop
  • Keeping all customers 1m+ apart and serving on a 1st come 1st served basis as normal
  • Restricting the number of customers in our shop at any 1 time to an appropriate number
  • Asking customers to wear a mask
  • We may restrict the number of customers in the queue on the day if the queue begins to get unwieldy.

Please note that this guidance could change on a local or national level in response to COVID-19 and government guidelines.

Record Store Day – drops for August, September and October

Hi pop fans, you may recall that there will be three RSD Drops for 2020;

  • 29th August 2020 – vinyl listing here
  • 26th September 2020 – vinyl listing here
  • 24th October 2020 – vinyl listing here

RSD drops AUG

We realise that some of you sent lists of RSD vinyl ‘wants’ earlier in the year but please can you take a look at the ‘new’ listings of releases;

Please let us know what you would ideally like us to stock for each of the RSD Drops.

Apologies for the quick turnaround, but ideally could you let us know by Saturday 11th July 2020 so that we can make sufficient requests to suppliers.

As you probably know, we are not allowed to save RSD items for customers but we will try to stock adequate copies of titles based on the interest we receive. No guarantees sadly but the better idea we have of people’s desires, the more informed our order to suppliers will be. Fingers crossed eh!

Thanks pop fans x

Joy Division – “Unknown pleasures”, “Closer” and three classic 12″ singles


Unknown pleasures landed in 1979. Where the sound came from is anyone’s guess! In all probability, Messrs Curtis, Hook, Morris and Sumner intended to create a noisy punk record. That did not happen. A special kind of magic occured in Strawberry Studios, Stockport in spring ’79. Many words have been used to describe Joy Division’s debut album; bleak, scary, mysterious, austere, industrial, brooding, gloomy, dark, chilling, sad, intense, etc. Ultimately, this astonishing album still sounds like the future despite being released over 40 years ago. Once you have heard Unknown pleasures, you can never forget it.

Ian Curtis’s lyrics are honest and unflinching, the guitars are minimalist and, at times, howling, the bass and drums deeply pulsate. Over this powerful, surging instrumentation is the production of ‘fifth Beatle’, Martin Hannett who generated a unique effects-laden, cavernous sound. Stockport’s Spector displays a brave, imaginative and ‘anything goes’ attitude to production.

Unknown Pleasures gives the listener ten tracks of raw, committed lyrics, disoriented melodies and brutal, dogged rhythms. The futuristic sound makes it feel as though Unknown pleasures is a new release. The album is so full of energy. Oh, and you get Peter Saville’s iconic Factory Records’ sleeve of course.

WE CAN OFFER THE ICONIC “UNKNOWN PLEASURES” ALBUM FOR £15 (free delivery in Stoke-on-Trent or £3 postage for up to three albums outside Stoke-on-Trent). Just contact us via the form below. Payment is via paypal.

Please note that the following Joy Division reissues are all being released on Friday 17th July;

    • Transmission/Novelty 180g 12″ – £12
    • Love will tear us apart/These days 180g 12″ – £12
    • Atmosphere/She’s lost control 180g 12″ – £12
    • Closer 40th reissue 180g LP on Crystal Clear Vinyl – £21

We offer free delivery in Stoke-on-Trent or £3 postage for up to three albums/12″ outside Stoke-on-Trent.

The three non-album singles ‘Transmission,’ ‘Atmosphere‘ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart‘ are being reissued with 2020 remastered audio. Since the demise of Factory records, these singles have never been repressed or reissued before and are cut on 180g vinyl, featuring the original artwork on heavyweight board. ‘Transmission‘ will feature an embossed sleeve.


If you wish to order either Unknown pleasures, Closer or any of the three non-album singles ‘Transmission,’ ‘Atmosphere‘ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart‘, please contact us via the form below. Payment is via Paypal.

Please note that, in addition to our free local (Stoke-on-Trent) delivery and our standard £3 for up to three albums/12″ 2nd class delivery options, we can also offer 1st class postage and next day delivery options. If you require these options, please just let us know.

Thanks x


Kevin Rowland’s “My Beauty”

The Strand boys were big fans of Dexys Midnight Runners back in the 1980s and remain fascinated by the music and trailblazing exploits of Dexys’ main man Kevin Rowland. It’s fair to say that Kev is singular-minded in his approach to life, music, culture and fashion. It’s no exaggeration to say that he is a hero for Strand Records. In fact, the Strand boys used to talk about opening up a record shop and cafe called The Little Nibble in honour of a spoken word moment during the track This is what she’s like from 1985’s mighty album, Don’t stand me down.

Rag Doll

Anyway, why are we discussing Kev now? Well, it’s because of this amazing 2020 video for Kev’s version of Rag Doll which he released on 1999’s My Beauty album of covers. The video features Kev’s grandson Roo. The My Beauty album is being reissued on 25th September via Cherry Red. Rag doll was originally written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio and was first released by the Four Seasons in 1964.

Back in 1999, My beauty was not only dismissed as an artistic and commercial failure but it was ridiculed for the sleeve; Kev wearing a dress and stockings during the ‘macho’ era of  ‘lad rock’. The backlash Kev received was frightening really.

In 2020, hopefully we can all celebrate the music of My Beauty and the spirit of the Rag Doll video. All of us are authentic. Many of us may have had to hide elements of ourselves for fear of ridicule or victimisation. We each have an identity. The wonderful music Kev creates is borne of his love, yearnings, defiance, honesty, frailties and passion. His very soul.

We all need to acknowledge the importance of humanity and acceptance.




It’s Frank’s world . . . we just live in it

Sunday 21st June 2020 marks the tenth anniversary of Chris Sievey’s death (21st June 2020). There is now a tremendous video tibute to Chris on the Old Courts’ YouTube channel

Anyway, the boys from Strand Records wanted to mark the anniversary with some memories of Chris’s alter ego . . .


Back in the mid-1980s, the Strand Record’s boys started to see gig reviews of an artist called Frank Sidebottom in the NME. The reviews described a rather chaotic spectacle of an entertainer still living with his mum and appearing to be incapable of growing up. That really resonated with the Strand Records’ boys . . . although I am not sure we entertained anyone!

Being based in Stoke-on-Trent, we didn’t get to hear any of Frank’s appearances on Radio Timperley and we received Central Television rather than Granada so we missed out on Frank’s appearances on Granada Reports. We did start buying the records though, both on Marc Riley’s In-Tape label and on EMI’s Regal Zonophone imprint. We also started going to Frank’s gigs during 1987-88. The below photo shows Dave Strand prior to a gig at Hull’s Adelphi Club in October 1988. It is fair to say that we were enchanted by Frank’s world. ‘That’ keyboard sound, his fear of incurring his Mum’s wrath for not tidying his room or doing her shopping, the focus on Timperley, his overall quaint nature (as we saw it and meant as a compliment), ‘that’ voice and his hilarious take on the ‘showbiz’ world. Oh, and what other contemporary performer was referencing blow football!


We were also receiving Frank’s COM updates through the post which detailed the various swag you could buy. Apart from vinyl, we ‘filled our boots’ with badges, tapes and t-shirts although we never had enough money to invest in a ‘Sidie’ – Frank’s version of an Oscar. This was because it was the 1980s and when we were not students we were on the dole and when we were not on the dole we were studying. We still dream of owning a Sidie today (despite being in our, erm, 50s) and here is a picture of a Sidie from the Bobbins! exhibition held at Manchester Public Library in 2019.

Frank Sidie

Anyway, the gigs and record releases continued and our love for Frank’s world grew and grew. We would sit in Ken Strand’s bedroom listening to Frank’s vinyl version of the Saturday afternoon football results being read out – this version was edited with a bacon slicer with genuinely hilarious results. We adored Franks fascination with Subbuteo, The Beatles and Gerry Anderson’s TV shows. At a similar time we were getting into Viz comic and Frank’s world seemed to chime with elements of Viz’s world to us. A big moment for us was when Frank covered the Fab Four’s Being for the benefit of Mr Kite on NME’s Sgt Pepper knew my father compilation album released in 1987.

Franks collection

Frank’s public profile started to heighten towards the late 1980s/early 1990s. In 1989 he introduced NME’s Carry on disarming video which we watched and watched and watached and watched. Frank even got his own TV show in 1992 called Frank Sidebottom’s Fantastic Shed Show. He also appeared on Channel 4 in Tony Wilson’s Remote Control game show as well as ITV’s Saturday morning kids show, no. 73.

By around 1994 or so, the Strand boy’s seemed to lose touch with Frank. I guess it was that age old issue of life getting in the way? As a character, Frank was not as active in the late 1990s and, for us, it seemed as if Frank’s world had come to an end.

BUT . . .

In 2006, Dave Strand happened to notice that Frank was unveiling a mural dedicated to his world on the side of Afflecks Palace in Manchester. Frank was accompanied by the artist Mark Kennedy. Dave Strand popped across town on his lunch hour to watch the unveiling and get a photo with Frank. Dave Strand was so excited and he couldn’t wait to phone Ken Strand to tell him (in all seriousness) that Frank, “had not changed a bit“. With that statement, we guess the inability to mature/’grow up’ was still there in all of us!! Of course, for the next 4 years or so the Strand Records’ boys became Frank obssessives again as can be seen by the below, erm, montage of Dave Strand and Frank from 2006-2009. The photo outside Afflecks Palace in 2006 is middle right.

Franks world

During 2006, Frank appeared on Manchester’s Channel M in his Frank Sidebottom’s Proper Telly Show in B/W. In 2007, Ken and Dave Strand took some friends who were Frank virgins along to a gig in Wolverhampton. It’s fair to say that they were very doubtful about Frank’s act and feared that the gig would be a night wasted for them. It was so rewarding for Ken and Dave to see their friends’ frowns turn upside down within the first ten minutes of the gig. At the end, they were buying as much merchandise as they could lay their hands on, getting selfies with Frank and singing Great big zoo scrapbook very loudly in the car on the way home. This photo of Ken Strand with Frank is from that ‘wonderful night in Wolverhampton’ (how often has that phrase been uttered!).

Franks world KEN

The gigs continued and Dave Strand went on the Magical Timperley Tour which was a total hoot. By 2009, Frank was playing a monthly residency at the LMRCA in Altrincham. These shows were truly amazing and the crowds were generally quite small which allowed Frank to really indulge himself, e.g. Dave Strand played two games of Subbuteo against Frank during LMRCA shows. Dave lost both times!! These gigs are etched in the memory. So many great people were met at these gigs, including Dave Arnold, Martin Green, Martin Unsworth, Dave Hudson, Kev Jones, Simon and Susie Zaccagni. At the final LMRCA gig in December 2009, Dave Strand tried to sing Close encounters of the third kind at Frank’s behest whilst on stage (are there any words? Nope!).

Dave Strand was at the final Frank appearance on Friday 11th June 2010 at the Salutation pub in Manchester. It may seem a funny thing to write now but, at the time, Dave had never knowingly seen a photograph of Chris Sievey. He had been a bit too young for The Freshies (Chris’s post-punk combo) and had never really wanted to know what went on under the papier mache head. On that night, Dave stepped into the Salutation’s beer garden and looked at a man having a pint and a fag. The man looked back at Dave and they gazed into eachother’s eyes for a moment in a way that only two men who have met over a Subbuteo table can! At the end of this final gig, Frank placed his gaffer tape Elvis sideburns/Freddie Mercury moustache on to Dave’s head and that was that. Dave still has the gaffer tape (see below photo).

Frank last gig

Very sadly, Chris passed away 10 days later. It was so hard coming to terms with the premature death of a perfomer so unique and so incredibly creative. Frank had been forever young and the character never changed. That seemed to make Chris’s early passing even harder to take. The Strand boys have been to Frank’s statue to pay tribute and we have continued to listen to Frank’s music and laugh at his jokes and his wonderful on-stage observations about the world as he saw it.

Franks statue

For the release of Steve Sullivan’s truly amazing Being Frank documentary film, the Strand Records’ shop was covered in posters for the film. It made us feel better. In fact, the posters stayed on the windows for a long time. We could not bear to take them down.

Franks posters

Chris Sievey AKA Frank Sidebottom, the boys of Strand records salute you. You will never be forgotten.

Love Record Stores Day – limited edition releases for 20/06/20

Hi pop fans, please find below the listing of #LRSD stock that we are able to provide from 09:00am on Saturday 20th June 2020. Due to pressing plant time constraints, there is a mixture of “pre-order” and “basket” (in stock) items.

All items are strictly ONE PER PERSON. They are available on a FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS, ONLINE ONLY.

As items are purchased through the day, we will be posting a SOLD OUT note next to those titles that become out of stock. We will also publicise the out of stock items asap on Twitter and Facebook.

If you are interested in a particular item(s), please contact us via the form at the foot of this post and we will invoice you accordingly . . . providing the item(s) you are interested in are still in stock of course. The invoice will detail postage costs too. Payment is via Paypal.

LRSD sale
Please note that the prices quoted below do not include postage.

A Certain Ratio – Friends around us White vinyl 7” £12 SOLD OUT

Alvvays – Alvvays Light Blue vinyl LP. (Pre-order release date 26/6) £22 SOLD OUT

Alvvays – Antisocialites Yellow vinyl LP. (Pre-order release date 26/6) £22 SOLD OUT

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility base hotel and casino Silver vinyl LP £22

Beach House – Teen Dream Clear vinyl LP £22 SOLD OUT

Belle & Sebastian – Tigermilk Baby Blue Vinyl LP (Pre-order release date 26/6) £20 SOLD OUT

Matt Berry – Television Themes White Vinyl LP £20 SOLD OUT

Black Pumas – Black Pumas Tri-colour vinyl Edition LP £22

Blanc Mass – Blanc Mass Green/Blue starburst colour vinyl LP. £26

Bon Iver – 22, A Million Translucent Red Vinyl LP £22 SOLD OUT

Boygenius – Boygenius Clear Red Vinyl LP £13 SOLD OUT

Richard Brown – Sweet and Kind Soul Jazz Records Black Vinyl 7” £10

Tim Burgess – Oh no I love you Green vinyl LP (Pre-order release date 03/07) £20 SOLD OUT

Caribou – Swim Orange and red marbled vinyl 2LP £26

Cherry Ghost – Beneath this burning shoreline Black vinyl LP £22

Serge Gainsbourg – A la maison de la radio Blk vinyl LP £14 SOLD OUT

Gang of Four – Anti hero/Gil music Coloured vinyl. (Pre Order August release) £14

John Grant – Queen of Denmark Pink vinyl LP £22 SOLD OUT

Jungle – Jungle Gold vinyl LP £19 SOLD OUT

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Flying notional banana Recycled vinyl LP. (Carbon offset product) £22

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Gumboot soup Recycled vinyl LP. (Carbon offset product) £22

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Head on/pill Recycled vinyl LP. (Carbon offset product) £22 SOLD OUT

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – I’m in your mind fuzz Recycled vinyl LP. (Carbon offset product) £22

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Murder of the universe Recycled vinyl LP. (Carbon offset product) £22

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon infinity Recycled vinyl LP. (Carbon offset product) £22

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Paper mache dream balloon Recycled vinyl LP. (Carbon offset product) £22 SOLD OUT

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Polygondwanaland Recycled vinyl LP. (Carbon offset product) £22

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Quarters Recycled vinyl LP. (Carbon offset product) £22

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Sketches of Brunswick east Recycled vinyl LP. (Carbon offset product) (pre order release date 26/6) £22

The Libertines – Up the Bracket Orange vinyl LP £19 SOLD OUT

Mogwai – Mr Beast Yellow vinyl. 2LP. £26 SOLD OUT

My Life story – World citizen CD EP signed by the band. £7

New Order – Music complete Orange vinyl 2LP £24 SOLD OUT

Nirvana – Bleach Yellow vinyl LP. £20 SOLD OUT

Oasis – Definitely maybe Picture disc 2LP £32 SOLD OUT

Iggy Pop & the Stooges – Russia melodia translucent red vinyl 7” £12

Radiohead – A moon shaped pool White vinyl LP £23 SOLD OUT

Sleeper – At the BBC Translucent blue vinyl LP £19 SOLD OUT

We are scientists – With love and squalor live in woodstock 1969 Pink, blue and green tri-colour vinyl. £24 SOLD OUT

Ryley Walker – The Lilywhite sessions Brown vinyl LP £20

Whitney – Light above the lake Picture disc LP £22 SOLD OUT

Inell Young – The next ball game Soul Jazz Records 7” vinyl £10

Various artists – The ladies of too slow to disco Volume 2. Green vinyl LP £25 SOLD OUT

Various artists – Warm leatherette (re covered) black vinyl 12” £18