Bye Bye HMV

So, this month we had to say goodbye to yet another high street giant, HMV. We did it collectively with the same guilty feeling as putting a neglected, old family dog down, after spending years devoted to a newer, livelier puppy. Ok, so that’s probably the first time anyone has compared the online/digital music industry to a puppy, but you get the idea.


When I first heard that HMV had gone into administration, my initial reaction was overwhelming nostalgia and sentimentality – more a fond “That was where I bought my first CD”, than a panicky “Where will I get my CDs from now?!”. When something that has existed your whole life, camouflaged of the high street, unappreciated, suddenly disappears, it brings up a mental inventory of all the purchases you’ve made there over the years.

My first ever CD, I’m ashamed to admit, was the Crazy Frog single, circa 2004. The early noughties was a bad enough time for music already, without a creepy, semi-naked babbling frog in. Although, it did have some benefits, as it knocked Coldplay’s Speed of Sound off number 1. I really wish I could say that my first CD was a lot cooler than a jokey ringtone song, but when you’re about 8, Crazy Frog is probably the coolest thing you can imagine.

But if I had to make a serious choice, the first proper song I liked was Dirty Harry by Gorillaz. I think it was a combination of my older brother’s influence and the fact that it was always on our music channels. There’s something about Jamie Hewlett’s animations that particularly appeal to a tomboyish 10 year old, and the fact that the chorus is sung by children’s voices gives it extra relatability points.

Around the age of 11, I bought my first ‘proper’ CD, which was London Calling by The Clash, although some of it’s political messages were wasted on me – I probably didn’t even know what the word capitalism meant at the time. I must have thought the cover was cool.

But I do think that children (most of the time), have quite a reliable sense of judgement. The proof is, that I still love Gorillaz and The Clash.

What were your first favourite songs and CDs, embarrassing or not?