ROCK / If not Whitney, what's really shifting this Christmas?

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The Independent Culture
Woolworth's, Streatham

Olivia Yarid is assistant in the record department: 'Obviously we sell a lot singles at this time of year. On CD, Abba's not bad. But we're selling a lot of compilations - the rave and dance ones. And the It's Christmas compilation is going like wildfire. Guns N' Roses and Iron Maiden seem to sell steadily even when they're not in the chart.'

Dub Vendor, Clapham Junction. Reggae stockists. Gaffer Blue works behind the counter: 'On 12-inch, we've been selling 'Oh Carolina', 'Eye-Spy', which has been No 1 for four or five weeks, and 'Pretty Brown Eyes' by Singing Melody. Then there's Bedwork Sensation, which is like a soul ragamuffin kind of thing. The Shabba Ranks LP is going well, and we're selling a lot of Reggae Hits 13.'

Durrant Records, Shrewsbury.

Specialist classical music shop. Julie Bourne is managing partner: 'This has been a good season for Christmas records. The Taverner Consort Christmas album is going well: it was given a push on Radio 3 recently. There's also the John Rutter Christmas record. Otherwise, it's mostly the old favourites, like the King's College choir albums, and the John Rutter recordings. The Gorecki Symphony is probably the biggest seller.'

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