The story goes that the locals had a tough time lifting their dropped jaws when MW first opened. This was a 2-storeyed mega-store, spread over 8,000 sq. ft., selling music. With a whole floor dedicated to international music. In Hyderabad.
If that is not vision, it's hard to say what is. As it turned out, the vision was rather misplaced. While for as long as it was there, that mezzanine floor retailing "International Music" was paradise on earth for many music lovers, 3 years later it morphed into a restaurant, and the "International Music" is now five racks of cassettes in a gloomy corner of the store. As wise men put it, good things never last.
Music World is still perhaps the swankiest godown in this part of the globe. Admittedly, a fortune was spent on the wooden finishing, the Bose speakers, the hi-tech Nakamichi listening posts and the 80-inch TV that is occasionally switched on. Run by the RPG Group, the store now has branches in 10 other Indian cities. Obviously, it all fits in.
A department store equivalent of the "audio" shop 'round the corner, MW operates on the assumption that man shall not live by music alone. Occasionally he must also have DVDs, chocolates, coffee and maybe even a magazine to flip through. Not to mention, celebrity-spottings, ear-splitting 'live' performances and even a smattering of art for your walls. No, no kitchen sink. Not yet, anyway.
Despite all the rampant commercialism, though, the store does have a decent collection of albums, if your tastes are fairly mainstream. You'll find most chart-busters here - evident by the humungous Indi-Pop range. There are very few real surprises, and MW scores over other other stores primarily in terms of size. Categories include Jazz & Blues, International Rock, Global Music, Pop, and Original Sound Tracks.
They're not as creative as they could be, but they do allow you to place orders for music you want, and promise to source it for you through their country-wide network. And the salespeople are willing and helpful - even if one of them refused to believe there was a singer by the name of Ella Fitzgerald. In spite of that, their assortment of Jazz is pretty good for the uninitiated, as is the selection of Indian music artists, from Trilok Guru to the newest vibe on the block.
Another aspect that MW scores on is its exhaustive range of Indian music - regional, devotional, ghazals, contemporary and, of course, film. You'll find all the latest releases here, plus, VCDs and DVDs of Telugu, Hindi and English blockbusters. The six listening posts play the latest hits of the season.
Perhaps the best thing about MW is that they leave you alone to browse. This is still the best place in town for music, until something better comes along. Like a big store with a brilliant collection. We can always hope.
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