25th January: Record Store Day and Classic Album Sundays are pleased to announce the return of Behind The Counter. The 12-part video series celebrates the culture and heritage of independent record stores across the UK.

In partnership with renowned audio brand Bowers & Wilkins, the new series visits 12 of the UK’s best loved independent record shops, shining a light on the passionate and committed owners playing a vital role in bringing music fans together in their local communities.

Despite the pandemic continuing to impact the high street, Behind The Counter reveals how record stores have brought people together through a shared passion for music. A recent report from the Entertainment Retailers Association revealed physical album sales in the UK are at their highest level in over 20 years, making up 23% of all albums purchased in 2021. This unprecedented growth in the vinyl popularity is a testament to the commitment of independent record stores in championing the art of the physical album format.

From store owners championing local music heritage, to shops asking regulars what they want to see on the shelves, the series uncovers how record store culture has become “a collaboration between hundreds of people” (Ben Soothill, Wax & Beans) to help the scene thrive in the face of challenging times.

Behind The Counter transports you into stores across the UK, meeting store owners from Glasgow to Manchester, and down to Brighton on the south coast to discover how the record community has adapted and rallied together to play their part in the resurgence in vinyl and other physical formats.

This year, Bowers & Wilkins returns as our official partner and joins us in celebrating the instrumental role British record stores play in bringing recorded music to fans across the country.

Giles Pocock, Vice-President of Brand Marketing, Bowers & Wilkins, said: “After a few challenging years, it's been great to see the resilience independent record stores have shown and how they have continued to bring to their local communities. We remain proud to play a part in shining a light on these stores and the instrumental role that they play in championing music.”

This year, Behind The Counter visits the following shops:

Black Star Records, New Forest 

Intense Records, Essex

Lion Vibes, London

Loafers, Halifax

Peckham Soul, London

Record Café, Bradford

Resident, Brighton

Some Great Reward, Glasgow 

Vintage and Vinyl, Folkestone

Vinyl Revival, Manchester

Wax & Beans, Bury

World of Echo, London

The stories are told through individual episodes which will go live every Tuesday at 10am in the build-up to Record Store Day on 23rd April across our social channels and websites. Find your local independent record shop

Accompanying videos exploring the importance of high-quality sound to the record listening experience are available from Bowers & Wilkins.