Utopia Records Sydney Celebrates 35 Years

We Are Moving Again.... Just Kidding!

Splurging at Utopia Records is an easy feat. We’ve all sunk a few paychecks into its goodness at one stage or another; dived through barrels of the most unique and hard to come by albums this side of the hemisphere and this year the Home Of Metal; Utopia Records in Sydney Australia turns 35 years old. A very impressive milestone for a retail store in general, let alone one that specializes in selling heavy metal. Utopia is about the fans, the music and always has been exclaims Utopia co-owner, Garry “Utopia was born out of a passion for music and the desire and means to do something with that passion. We don’t take it for granted and believe we have a responsibility to support the local metal and hard rock community and to be an integral part of it”.

The store has survived a flood, the death of glam metal via the birth of grunge, the wane in popularity of heavy music in general in the early 2000’s and is still standing today during heavy music’s resurgence to the mainstream. We asked Garry if he had any memorable occasions with the store “Fuck. Where do we start! It’s really hard to pick out highlights as we’ve had some massive in-stores and a heap of notable people and eccentrics come into the store over the years but it’s probably just some everyday interactions from customers that are the most memorable. Like several years back when a sweet little old grandma came in with a list of CDs she wanted to buy her grandson for Christmas and proceeded to ask 'Ray' ‘Do you have any Blood Duster - Fisting The Dead or Cannibal CorpseTomb of the Mutilated or the guy who came in not that long ago who said ‘I’m looking for a song but don’t know the name of it’ and then proceeded to grunt out the riff to Smoke On The Water”.

With music moving into the digital world, Utopia still stands strong due to metal fans’ total devotion to their genre. It’s not just about the music (files or otherwise), it’s the lifestyle, the camaraderie and the sense of community that Utopia stands for that has kept customers coming back. It’s literally home base for anyone into the stuff your mum warned you about. The shop looks exactly like the fifteen year old customers bedroom at home! Posters of metal heroes line the walls, memorabilia is everywhere, the music’s up loud and the hair is flying on the store TV’s. “We love what we do and hopefully that shows when people have any interaction with Utopia. We really appreciate and are humbled by the loyalty and lengths our customers go to when it comes to supporting us, especially in this day and age when there are so many other alternatives out there”.

Utopia is such an integral part of metal folklore that it is renowned the world over. If you’re old enough to remember any one of the seven locations its had around the city you may remember stories about Lars and James sitting on the floor going through a mountain of records deciding what to buy during their first trip here on the Justice tour. Who could forget the countless in-stores that always ended in Slayer or Sepultura or some other major band signing a skull for the Utopia Trophy Case? The yellow and black shopping bags were also a sign of status once you walked out of the shop. Those who recognised them knew where you had been and gave an approving nod. Or in a case Metal As Fuck were enlightened with “A couple of months ago we had two customers come into the store one Saturday and they said they’d been sitting at home Friday night and decided on the spur of the moment to come and do some metal shopping at Utopia….. Home was Melbourne and they drove overnight to get to the store Saturday and then when they’d finished shopping they turned around and drove back home”.

Utopia’s current location on Kent Street, opposite Town Hall has been their home for the last three years and with the latest and greatest in heavy stuff on offer, it looks set to remain a Sydney institution for another 35 years! What’s next for Utopia Records? Well Garry assures us they won’t be moving again.

Utopia locations over the years

 1978-80 Martin Place Shop 1

1980-90 Martin Place Shop 2

1990-95 Clarence St

1995-2001 George St next to Hungry Jacks

2001-2006 George St under the cinemas

2006-2010 Broadway

2010- Current Kent Street

To celebrate Utopia’s 35th Anniversary, they are having a huge sale both in store and online with everything being heavily discounted. There will be a special WALL OF HISTORY display that will take you for a trip down Metal Lane with photos of the old stores, signings, events and other awesome stuff.

To further enhance their history they’ll be playing a broad range of music from the last 35 years too! One lucky person will also WIN a Mountain Of Metal which includes over 100 items including signed albums, CD’s DVD’s, LP’s, T-Shirts, Motorheadphones, Limited Edition Art and a heap more!

 

Utopia Records 35th Birthday & Mega-Sale!!

Everything is Heavily Discounted both instore AND online

Sale Starts Saturday, Oct 26 @ 10am till Sunday, Nov 3 @ 11pm

WIN a MOUNTAIN OF METAL - Over 100 items!!

For more information check out

www.utopia.com.au or www.facebook.com /UtopiaRecordsOfficial