Quality Records + is a faithful amalgamation of second-hand and brand new vinyl
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Quality Records + is a faithful amalgamation of second-hand and brand new vinyl

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Quality Records + is a faithful amalgamation of these two concepts. Sitting just off the corner of Glenferrie Road and High Street, Malvern, the store has a familiar feeling to it, left over from its unchanged 1970s architecture from when it was called Pet Sounds. The store’s stocked records don’t really have a theme either, ranging from classical to opera, all the way to Miles Davis to The Beatles to Kendrick Lamar and Arctic Monkeys. 

Kelly Griffiths, who co-manages the store with her husband Tom, has a key part in what labels and artists Quality Records+ sell, and she says this is an important draw for the store’s resurging community. 

“It’s very different,” Griffiths says. “We don’t have any Top 40; it’s all about that old, jazz, classic, old-school tunes.” 

The “old-school” vibe that Quality Records+ had before the Griffiths took over has remained consistent throughout their year-or-so-long management. You can still find second-hand Blu-rays and DVDs lining the back of the store, not to mention a seemingly endless supply of CDs, classic and modern. 

But one subtle change that Kelly and Matt brought to the store was an adjustment to the genres they stock. Both having an adoration for New Orleans and its endemic sound of music, the pair endeavoured to provide a range of genres that reflected their own love for music, to positive results with customers.

“At home, we’ve probably got four to five thousand records, I wouldn’t know. We’ve got a lot. But it’s very, very diverse,” Griffiths says. “We love our classics. We love everything from classical jazz to funk, soul, everything. As far as classics go, I’m a big Paul McCartney fan.”

Siphoning their own music tastes into what they sell has had an interesting effect on their best-selling records. A self-compiled top-ten sellers list personifies their love for classics and jazz with Kamasi Washington leading the pack. 

To this date in 2018, the store’s more popular records for the year have been: 

Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth (Deluxe 5xLP)

Paul McCartney – Egypt Station (Deluxe 2xLP)

John Coltrane – Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album (Deluxe 2xLP)

Kamaal Williams – The Return (LP)

Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water (2xLP Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Ultra Disc Special Edition)

Chris Bowden – Time Capsule (2xLP)

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (LP)

Various Artists – Boombox (Early Independent Hip Hop, Electro & Disco Rap)

Kiefer – Happysad (LP)

Aretha Franklin – Aretha’s Gold (2xLP Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Special Edition) 

There’s seemingly no specific correlation between the best-sellers, but Kamasi Washington’s most recent album, the five LP-long, Heaven & Earth, was a favourite of Kelly’s which seems to have rubbed off onto customers.

“People come in and they’re like, ‘thank you so much for introducing me to Kamasi. You’ve changed my life’. It’s really interesting how that flowed on to our customers, our own tastes.” 

The kind of customers you can find rummaging through the store’s centuries of music is diverse too. 

“Younger, up to 80, 90-year-olds come in every week. That’s what I think is different [about Quality Records+] – the one point of difference to me has been the people that come in. I think it’s about being a place that’s non-pretentious and really open for anyone that loves music and not just feel like it matters what type of music they like,” Kelly says.

“The customers that we’ve got are just amazing. They literally just come and sit and listen to records. It’s just something really special and we feel proud of being able to build it like that and turn it into somewhere that’s more unique.”