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Author Topic: Sam the Record Man
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 01 November 2001 05:42 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm kinda surprised that nobody's commented on the demise of Sam the Record Man:
http://www.cbc.ca/cgi-bin/templates/view.cgi?/news/2001/10/30/sam301001

From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jared
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posted 01 November 2001 07:47 PM      Profile for Jared     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When I saw the obit piece on the news, I realized that I stopped in there while in Tor a couple of years back. It's too bad; the chain stores are all so sterile and their catalogues are incredibly limited and mundane. There's actually a very good Sams in Van on Seymour St, too.

I feel for Sam himself too...isn't he like eighty or something, and just had hip replacement surgery? Poor guy.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 01 November 2001 08:15 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don’t know. I can’t remember going to the Yonge St store, but they had a Sams in Brampton a few years back. I always went to HMV though. I never really detected a price differential but I found HMV’s selection much better. Of course, I was into the alternative/industrial/techno music, not the pop-rock stuff that every other store carried including Sam. And I found HMV hired the knowledgeable music kids, too. I’d go up to buy a CD and the cashier would go, “like, hey man, you know another awesome band ya might like…” Hehe, it was my connection to the “scene”, man.

Not that I have any ill-will towards Sam, though. I just never became a customer.


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 01 November 2001 08:38 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have to agree with Clockwork. It's unfortunate to see Sam's going after so many years and it must be awful for Sam himself, but there are reasons why I tend to shop at the Dundas HMV rather than Sam's. HMV has the better selection in what I'm interested in and more knowledgeable salespeople. The more modern feel of the store, I have to admit, also helps.
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
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posted 01 November 2001 08:42 PM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Weird. Some anti-business people sad about a corporation like Sam the Record Man going under. Odd. I thought they'd be dancing in the streets because there is one less business to fight.
From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jared
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posted 01 November 2001 08:50 PM      Profile for Jared     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've always found HMV to be lacking myself. There's a great one I went to in downtown Montreal, and maybe the store in Toronto is cool (if it's on Yonge, I may have even been there), but the recently closed Vancouver flagship on Robson was total shite - marginally satisfactory selection and horrifically expensive. The smaller outlets are horrible. Virgin is pricey too, but at least they have a huge variety (not to mention I used to work there and recieved a fat discount ).

[ November 01, 2001: Message edited by: Jared ]


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clockwork
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posted 01 November 2001 09:05 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I could get lost in the Yonge St. HMV. What also helps is that there is always two or three listening stations. I can’t remember Sam’s ever having that.

I don’t really buy CD’s now since all the stuff I want is horrifically expensive. I once paid $35 for a CD. It seems all the CD’s I want are at least $25+ now, which ain’t cool. Mind sharing your discount, Jared?


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 02 November 2001 01:49 AM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Anothe Canadian institution bites the dust, and no one seems to care.

Sam Sniderman is a true music lover, and one of the biggest supporters of Canadian artists in our history. Does anyone think HMV gives a good gawdamn about our culture?


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Doug
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posted 02 November 2001 01:51 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As Scott Adams so excellently titles one of his Dilbert books, "I'm not Anti-Business, I'm Anti-Idiot". As for the $25 CDs, that's industrial - at least the slightly more obscure industrial. I find HMV's prices to be getting increasingly reasonable though. The more popular (in-scene, of course, so its relatively speaking) artists' CDs are available for $17-$19 or so.
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
sherpafish
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posted 02 November 2001 03:02 AM      Profile for sherpafish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We out west have been blessed with A&B sound for many many years. Cheapest CD's in N.America baby! The Calgary store is gigantic and funky too. I'm not sure that their prices are too much lower than HMV's ($7-$19 for mainstream) but the selection kicks ass ('specialy in the jazz section). They also sell everything else music/electronics related, plus a huge book store! I'm a fan.
From: intra-crainial razor dust | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
wagepeace
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posted 02 November 2001 06:11 AM      Profile for wagepeace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am guilty of downloading all of my tunage from various sites.

I am, however, saddened at the loss. I remember a couple of years back when Sam and SOCAN got into a huge scuffle over music sampling. Seems that SOCAN wanted SAM's to pay the union rate.


From: In a fog and on anti-psychotics | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
machiavellian
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posted 02 November 2001 06:22 AM      Profile for machiavellian   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sherpafish - you're a peace loving Hip fan and now I find out you like A&B??? I lived in Calgary for several years and frequented that store!! (The best was that huge sale they have yearly - if memory serves).

Hey, have you ever gone to Hot Wax in Kensington? Another favorite of mine.

Never really liked the Sam stores. The selection just wasn't that great.

wagepeace, since the demise of napster (sort of), I'd like to know where to go to get some good music for cheap or free on the net. Any recommendations?

[ November 02, 2001: Message edited by: machiavellian ]


From: Peace River (no, not actually in the river, silly) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
wagepeace
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posted 02 November 2001 07:54 AM      Profile for wagepeace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You can download music and tonnes of other stuff at:
www.aimster.com
www.limewire.com
www.bearshare.com
www.swapoo.com

[ November 02, 2001: Message edited by: wagepeace ]


From: In a fog and on anti-psychotics | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 02 November 2001 10:30 AM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I despise HMV (Which stands for "his master's voice", the slogan of RCA. Not everyone knows that.) They're way too expensive.

There hasn't been a Sam's in Ottawa for a long time (AFAIK), so I can't really compare the two.

Lately, I've bought my CDs from Chapters.ca, Future Shop, and an awesome independent store called CD Warehouse.

Christmas is my primary time for buying music. While I'm in the store buying gifts I tend to pick up a few for myself as well. Now that Future Shop is owned by Best Buy, I'll no longer be buying music there. CD Warehouse is on the other side of town, so I probably won't go there either. There are a bunch of independent new & used music stores near the bus route I take everyday, so I'll probably be patronizing them this holiday season.

Chapters.ca is fine if you know exactly what you want, but it's lousy for browsing.

I loved browsing through Sam's when I visited Toronto. I bought my very first LP there when I was a kid. It was the cast album for the broadway musical, "Snoopy!". Awesome album. I still listen to it from time to time.

I don't download music, partly because I only have a 33.3 kbps modem, but partly because I feel it's stealing. Ok, I don't feel too much sympathy for folk like Metallica, but I wouldn't be downloading their music anyway. I'm more into the smaller bands who really can't afford to have people ripping them off. I don't think free file-swapping sites should be shut down, but I personally wouldn't patronize them. Instead, I have a subscription to CMJ New Music Monthly. For $50 you get a really good music magazine every month which includes a CD with about 20 songs on it, mostly from new or obscure bands I never would have heard from otherwise.

*end soapbox mode*

[ November 02, 2001: Message edited by: Kneel before MediaBoy ]


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 02 November 2001 11:06 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ít's a sad day. I grew up with Sams, bought my very first record there, and would go down regularly for my CHUM chart.

For classical music fans like myself, the passing of Sams leaves a pretty big hole. HMV doesn't seem interested in that particular market, and their staff know nothing about it at all. The downtown Sams had an incredible selection. If I wanted something by Johann Hummel, but it had to be a particular version by Sir Simon Rattle, and the Birmingham Symphony, Sams would probably carry it. If not, the staff would probably know about it and where to find it. I can't think of another store that comes close.

[ November 02, 2001: Message edited by: oldgoat ]


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Michelle
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posted 02 November 2001 11:10 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
New bands are usually the ones who love Napster and its counterparts because it gets their music out there. It's the big names who have already made a zillion dollars on each song that get upset about it. And actually, from what I understand it's often not even the big name artists that get upset about it - it's their labels.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 02 November 2001 11:10 AM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One of the HMV outlets in Ottawa devotes nearly half the store to classical music. There's even a sound-proof barrier between the two sections of the store so the annoying pop music of the one side doesn't bother the classical customers.

My dad is a huge jazz fan. Whenever he was in Toronto on business he HAD to make a pilgrimage to the Yonge St. Sam's store. I don't think he's been to Toronto in quite a few years, now that he's retired.


Michelle: The variety in opinion amongst artists is one of the reasons I don't support shutting down free file-swapping sites, but I still wouldn't feel right about using them myself.

[ November 02, 2001: Message edited by: Kneel before MediaBoy ]


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
NDB
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posted 02 November 2001 01:11 PM      Profile for NDB     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
M'Boy:

There are/were Sam's in Ottawa. At least two I know of were in the Bayshore and Calingwood malls respectively (I'm west-end thus my knowledge of these two). Question: did the whole chain go under? This is my imporession, because I heard from a friend that at 5:00 Tuesday someone walked into the Sam's in Carlingwood and said, "don't bother coming to work tomorrow" and padlocked the doors.

It would be lame if all Sam's are gone because they were often very supprotive of young, up and comers. A buddy's band released three independent CD's through Sam's stores in Ottawa. I always thought that was pretty cool.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 02 November 2001 01:30 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The stores that are owned by Sam The Record Man Inc. are bankrupt. There are also franchises that license the Sam's name that are not bankrupt, and are apparently still operating under that name.

Also, some stores are still operating, selling old stock, and honoring gift certificates:

[you can read about it at The Star. Their links don't work. I hate them.]

[ November 02, 2001: Message edited by: audra estrones ]


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jared
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posted 02 November 2001 01:48 PM      Profile for Jared     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
We out west have been blessed with A&B sound for many many years

The best thing about A&B (besides the price tag - FYI, Vancouver actually has the lowest CD prices in North America) is that they mainly display their CDs with the spine facing outwards rather than the entire face of the disc. I think you can stock at least eleven or twelve CDs on the shelf this way for every one facing outward, so it's a cool and pragmatic use of space.

Also in Van, we have two of the more successful and well-known indie stores in Canada: Zulu and Scratch (both have actually spawned record labels, though I think Zulu got out of that particular biz some time ago). I heard somewhere that Zulu's actually buying out the business next door to theirs in order to expand...huzzah! Score one for the little guy!

Agreed that the mall type Sams are as depressing as other music retailers of this size. But the downtown Vancouver Sams is cool; it's in a dumpy building and has stuff crammed into these weird nooks and things over five floors. A big suppporter of independent music too...I think, like, their entire staff is in various bands.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
girlincrisis
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posted 02 November 2001 03:20 PM      Profile for girlincrisis     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
i'm sad about the downtown Sam's closing in particular..it's become like a landmarks in TO..ya know? it is unfortunate though. sorry Sam!!
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machiavellian
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posted 02 November 2001 04:33 PM      Profile for machiavellian   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks, wagepeace.
From: Peace River (no, not actually in the river, silly) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 02 November 2001 07:10 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wagepeace, you da man! I downloaded bear share and it's fantastic. Woo hoo, a new napster for Michelle! Yay!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
alldaybreakfast
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posted 08 November 2001 11:31 AM      Profile for alldaybreakfast     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I dunno, if there have to be businesses (for now... nyah ha ha! etc.) I suppose I prefer them to be Canadian-owned just so the profits don't head south (or in the case of HMV, east).

But Sam's? Well, a friend of mine worked at the Yonge St. store a few years ago, hired under a government youth job creation thingy, where the feds and the employer split the cost of my buddy's $7.50/hr. When the government subsidy expired, they fired him... so that they could go and hire another person at $3.75/hr. This is obviously not the point of the program.

I'd have more sympathy for the Snidermans if they had more sympathy for their poor-arsed employees.

BTW, anyone who thinks HMV/Sam's and so on are overpriced here, you should see the prices at HMV in the UK... thirteen to eighteen pounds a CD (like thirty to forty-three bucks-ish).


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 08 November 2001 11:33 AM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'd have more sympathy for the Snidermans if they had more sympathy for their poor-arsed employees.


Um, considering they just went bankrupt, maybe they couldn't afford to pay their poor-arsed employees more?


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
alldaybreakfast
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posted 08 November 2001 11:48 AM      Profile for alldaybreakfast     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This was three or four years ago...
I don't know if Sam's was in trouble then.

Anyway, I guess I should mention that my friend wasn't warned that he would be canned as soon as the subsidy ran out, which was apparently the standard practice for Sam's(even though the program was meant to create permanent jobs for unemployed 18-24yr olds).

The program was meant to help the employee by giving the employer an incentive to hire; if Sam's wasn't able to keep paying him afterwards, they shouldn't have been participating. Or at least they could have been honest.

My friend turned down another job for that one. From his perspective, Sam's screwed him.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 04 December 2001 05:19 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Frank's take on the Sam melt-down...
http://www.frankmag.net/storydetails.asp?storyid=97

From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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