Buying music has changed so much in the last 30 years.  Most people aren’t even buying it at all anymore just renting it. Long before Spotify, iTunes or CD’s, buying an album was an experience.  A rite of passage.

Queen, “News Of The World”


I hopped on the Gordon Head bus for downtown Victoria and A&B Sound.  I’d been to A&B with my dad before but never by myself. Paper route money was burning a hole in my pocket. I loved music but didn’t own any. That was about to change. The entire first floor of the store was lined with record racks.  I had a few albums in mind but the adventure wasn’t going to take me straight to the checkout.  I started at AC/DC and worked my way to ZZ Top in an hour, maybe more.

The album that grabbed me was right in the alphabetical middle. Queen, News of the World. I wasn’t as passionate about Queen at the time as I was about AC/DC, ZZ Top or a number of other bands but News of the World had the coolest album cover in the rack. Frank the robot, a drop of blood on his metal finger, holding humans in his other hand, one falling to certain death. The cover art sold me the album.

Not to get too nostalgic but that part of the musical experience is gone. It’s all about the single now. Buying a full album, even the download, is rare. Cover art, inside images and liner notes are basically things of the past, something my kids won’t experience. They won’t have that first solo trip to the record store memory either.

I guess your first music download memory will have to do. “I’ll never forget clicking ‘Buy’ on my old iPhone 5 and listening to Carly Rae Jepson, Call Me Maybe. I played it like 10 times in an hour. The radio was only playing it like 5 times an hour. That was epic.”


October 28th, 2017 Queen’s News of the World  turns 40 years old! This was the band’s sixth studio album, released in 1977.

What was your first album, or the experience that surrounded it?

Let me know on Twitter!

~Michael Kuss

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