clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Here's What Amazon Would Have Looked Like in 1994

If Amazon was around back then. And sold MP3s.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Jeff Bezos is not known as a sentimental guy, and he doesn’t seem to have much interest in history unless it involves old spaceships.

Still, someone at his U.K. branch thought it would be fun/funny to show what the site’s music section would have looked like in 1994 if Amazon and MP3s existed back then. It’s a stunt to promote some stuff promoting the 20th anniversary of Oasis’s “Definitely Maybe,” the album a bunch of people in the U.K. think is amazing.*

amazon 1994

To each his own! The nice thing about 1994 is that there was an astonishing amount of great music put out then.** So you can spend a bunch of time memory laning yourself with albums like “Ill Communication” and “Mellow Gold,” etc., if you’re so inclined.***

And, if you really don’t like music at all, but do like, say, ad tech, take heart! The 20th anniversary of the first banner ad is coming this fall.

* Shrug.
** Another reminder that the “music industry collapsed because it stopped making great records” theory is complete bunk — the music industry collapsed because the model shifted from $15 bundles to songs that cost $1 or nothing at all.
*** The Amazon U.K. look back is heavy on acts that people in the U.K. liked. Here’s a broader retrospective.

This article originally appeared on