Drop the Needle: The Documentary
Play De Record’s feature-length Drop the Needle features documentary-style footage that details the prolific history of the famous Toronto record shop that was nestled on Toronto’s busy Yonge Street. Directed by Rob Freeman, the documentary details the social and cultural impact Play De Record has had on Toronto’s bustling music scene for over 30 years.
The impressive cast is made up of former Play De Record staff who detail their experiences, as well as a cast of influential Canadians like Russel Peters, Scratch Bastid, Kardinal Offishall, and Sukrates, who speak openly of their fond memories at Play De Record.
However, the star of the film is Eugene Tam, who opened Play De Record’s doors in August of 1990. Born in Trinidad, Eugene credits his love of music to his Caribbean roots. At the time, he opened a record store with the thought that maybe he could get his hands on records at a cheaper price, never imagining the revolutionary success his small record store would have.
The film traces Eugene’s humble beginnings and rise to becoming the go-to vinyl shop for DJs. Play De Record went from being Eugene’s passion project to seriously impacting the Hip-hop, house, dance, electronic, and black music scene of every genre in the city.
Thursdays and Saturdays at Play De Record were a ritual. Play De Record was more than a record shop, it was a place where DJs and producers in the city gathered. And, as the music scene has changed, particularly with the availability of music, Play De Record has weathered the storm and continues to stand strong. The film discusses the changing landscape of music over the past 20-30 years and how Play De Record has evolved, including its move from Yonge and Dundas to Spadina Ave where it exists today.
You can watch our documentary on Amazon Prime to see the full story for yourself.
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