Front Page Reviews & AIR
Day in the Life of a Swedish Record Store
In December of 1987 Thorngy Landgren (known to friends and enemies as Togge) opened a record store in the south of Sweden in the small city of Ängelholm. He closed down in September of 2000 under the weight of rising competition from the internet.
PF: What was the name of your record store?
Togge: I named it Änglavax--taking part of the name of Ängelholm (which means half island) and the word vax, which is the material that records were first made out of. The vax records didn't last very long because the material was too soft. After vax records were the "stonecakes" and then came the vinyl!
PF: Running a record store is a dream that many people once had. How did you decide to start Änglavax?
Togge: I decided to start it because of my deep love and interest in music. And because there were no other good record stores in town--it was only big department stores. So I got kind of specialized in music that the others didn't have and which many people hadn't yet heard. And later I started selling merchandise too.
PF: I've heard that you had the coolest looking record store in Sweden.
Togge: I had a lot of fun with the display. I got very good at designing and building elaborate displays for my records, and I won several international awards for this (he says very humbly). The first prize was often to travel. And so I got a chance to travel to many different countries and I would always explore what record stores were like and what music was happening in other parts of the world.
PF: So give us a picture of a day in the life of your store. What records did you sell the most between 1987 and 2000?
Togge: It really varied. One week I would sell a lot of hardrock, the next punk, and always a lot of Swedish music. A normal week could be like this:
1. Suzanne Vega - Luka
2. Alison Moyet - Is This Love?
3. Depeche Mode - Strangelove
4. Johnny Hates Jazz - I don't Want to Be A Hero
5. Robbie Neville - C'est la Vie
6. Peter Gabriel - Big Time
7. Kiss - Crazy Nights
8 Heart - Alone
9. Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up
10. John Farnham - Your the Voice
For Swedish artists it might be:
1. Roxette - Soul Deep
2. Lili & Susie - Oh Mama
3. Gemini - Mio Min Mio (songwriter Benny Andersson of Abba)
4. Marie Fredriksson (from Roxette) - Efter Stormen
5. Susanne alfvengren & Mikael Rickfors (ex-Hollies) - Som Stormen River Oppet Hav
6. Imperiet - 19hundra80sju
7. Millas Mirakel - Rytm av ett Regn
8. Lena philipsson - Dansa i Neon
9. Something by Ratata (feat. Annifrid Lyngstad, one of the A's in ABBA)
10. Triad - Tänd ett Ljus
PF: Do you miss having the store? The smell of vinyl? The window display? Turning people on to good music?
Togge: Everyday. I miss it a lot. People still stop me in the street sometimes and remind me of how I helped them to find an album they couln't find anywhere else. They ask me if I would ever consider opening up Änglavax again. I say, "never say never again".
Togge, then and now