Jumbo - On the record: Stimulating debate with our end of year list

Welcome to our first column on the new YP website!

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 15th December 2015, 5:28 pm
Jumbo Records' Adam Gillison.
Jumbo Records' Adam Gillison.

For those of you that don’t know, we are an independent record shop based in Leeds city centre.

Over the coming weeks and months through this online column, we will comment on topical music news, gigs, new releases and other music-related events.

We’re not a specialist shop in the sense of selling a particular type of music, but we like to think that we bring an element of specialism to everything we sell.

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You won’t find a section for Colombian electronic music, country music from Italy, African blues or film soundtracks from India within our walls .... but hopefully all of these are represented somewhere within the range of folk, dance, pop or more experimental music that we sell.

Listen to Adam talk about Jumbo’s Top 20 Albums of 2015 on our latest PostMusic podcast HERE

While this is a new beginning, it is also an end of sorts - of 2015 - and in music, December is traditionally a time for reflecting on the best (and worst) of the past 11 and a half months. Lists!

Jumbo, along with many other (all?) record shops compiles its own chart - or charts - every year. Love them or hate them, they provide us with points of reference and, hopefully, a fair amount of fun.

We often get asked how we produce an overall chart, whether it is fixed, whether one person gets more say than everyone else.

It’s actually a pretty straightforward process, on the whole. Everyone supplies a list of their favourites, and we give albums points accordingly. Sometimes the overall winner comes out top by a mile (as Julia Holter did this year), and other times it is pretty tight, but given the range of tastes represented by staff members you pretty much always get a fairly eclectic Top 20, and it is almost impossible for a clear winner to emerge without getting votes from a few different people.

Customers often ask us why a certain album doesn’t feature in our Top 20. That’s fine, but ultimately the chart is only a snapshot of the hundreds of albums that we collectively enjoy in a year.

An overall winner deserves to be there, but there are also always deserving records that don’t make it into the chart at all.

We sometimes also have the comment that people don’t know many of the albums in there, which to me is a good thing. If we can stimulate a little bit of debate and introduce people to one or two new things that’s much more interesting than simply rubber-stamping stuff that people already know about.

That’s why we also encourage customers to bring in their own charts - we learn about new (and old) records every day from people on the other side of the counter.

So, next time you are passing, come and tell us about your favourites, or write them out, or print them off - we find space for as many of these as we can on our extensive wall space and display them on a rotating basis.

Good luck to The Yorkshire Post with their new website - we hope you will enjoy this regular column.

If you have any questions please send them through this website and we will endeavour to answer whatever we can.

In the meantime, have a happy Christmas and excellent New Year!


For more information on new releases, tickets for gigs and much more head to Jumbo Records’s website HERE