Norway`s first progressive record store and label

The Compendium Watering Hole by Hans Voigt

The Compendium Watering Hole

By Hans Voigt

Progressive rock flourished in the early 1970s but the chance to acquire the newest and most exciting releases was entirely dependent on what you found in the commercial music stores in Oslo. The most famous bands were to be found on the shelves, but after a few trips to London it was easy to see that the selection of records here across the North Sea was considerably lacking.

The Compedium shop came about then as a watering hole for thirsty music lovers, giving them access to a richer variety in prog rock, Canterbury Music, more alternative rock, jazz rock and, most importantly of all, at a lower price than the music chains offered.

I worked in the shop for about a year and remember well the very special environment that quickly established itself there. People came from all over the country and visited the store, not only as customers but also to chat with like-minded music lovers. Record players were on all the time, often with music requested by whoever was present. When there was a lot of people still there closing time was extended and we would like to jam on any instruments brought along. A small and distinctive alternative to what was then Club 7.

The music enivornment would have been poorer without Compendium!