And Finally Artist News Business News HMV Timeline Releases Retail

Turns out HMV actually DID want to sell those Smiths records

By | Published on Wednesday 21 June 2017


HMV has responded to Morrissey’s recent accusation that the retailer was attempting to suppress sales of two vinyl reissues of The Smiths’ ‘The Queen Is Dead’ single. And, hey, BIG SURPRISE, HMV says that isn’t the case.

As previously reported, the twelve-inch and seven-inch limited edition represses of the band’s 1986 single were made available exclusively through record shops last Friday. HMV sold the records as part of its Vinyl Week promotion, which saw it put various other limited vinyl releases on sale over the weekend.

Morrissey popped in to HMV to find The Smiths records on sale but with a sticker announcing that only one could be purchased per customer. This, decided Moz, was an attempt to stop his fans from buying up multiple copies in order to spread the song’s message to The Kids.

Describing the stickering as “an attempt to freeze sales”, he said: “Over 30 years since their death, and The Smiths are still thought too radical for the slow reader! It is evident, to me at least, that music audiences must only feel and think the very same thing at all times”.

In a statement to Pitchfork, HMV responded: “Our stores are encouraged to use these stickers where a release is known to be extremely limited in order to prevent bulk buying and online resales at inflated prices. This approach gives genuine fans as much chance as possible to find and buy a copy. Over 90% of the allocation we were given across both formats had sold before Morrissey posted his comments on Saturday evening”.

Morrissey suggested in his post that fans put on “seven variable wigs, false noses, multiple-sized plastic clip-on ears, a nurse outfit, a set of stilts, a Superman cape, and a variety of oddly shaped spectacles” in order to buy up “as many copies ​of ‘The Queen Is Dead’ ​a​t HMV as​ you ​desire”. Though as the two records were almost sold out by that point, the use of quite so many costumes may not have been possible.

Still, I’m sure Morrissey will be pleased to know that the saturation of eBay with copies of the records has now meant that their average prices have dropped since the beginning of the week. Fans can perhaps wear their spare costumes as they pay only slightly over the odds to buy multiple copies of the records.