Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Record Store Day – the plaster for the severed artery…..

Well this Saturday sees the third Record Store Day an annual event designed to make us all head back into the record shops we have so shamelessly turned our backs on. As an industry that so famously reacts rather than plans I can’t help but think the horse has bolted boys?

So how are they tempting us back into their beloved outlets? By releasing God knows how many ultra-limited edition instant rarities available only in the shops on Saturday. Simple really can’t think why they never thought of it earlier. Like about 10 years earlier when the writing first appeared on the wall maybe.

The problem I have with all this is it really is just a total reaction to shops closing but it is not stopping them closing throughout the year. Perhaps if the record companies had looked after these shops when they were still a viable proposition things might have panned out differently. But no a Faustian pact was made with the supermarkets and there was I’m afraid to say no going back on that one. I remember when we had our shop it was actually cheaper for us to buy cd’s from Tesco than to stock them direct from EMI or BMG so frankly a 7” limited edition of Layla is too little too late. If they want to help shops give them exclusives all year round and give them fair deals.

Now whilst I appreciate it must be nice for the shops to be guaranteed at least one bumper day a year we all know that most of these releases are gonna end up on e-bay like the Blur 45 did last year within an hour of the shops opening. The queues are gonna be full of dealers and their little cohorts getting all giddy ‘cos they bagged one of the Seeds 10” and though they know nothing of what the Seeds actually sound like they do know that they sell well and are collectable. Why don’t they just go and collect stamps or phone cards not music that actually means something to people and take their Thatcherite principles of first come first served with them?

Ultimately Record Store Day is a bit like Mother’s Day it’s nice to buy her a card and let her know she’s appreciated but would she not prefer it if you told her all year round? 


  1. A great piece, Phil

    For further reading on this matter, click on the link below


  2. Interesting article. That blog from the NME made me well fucking angry! (However I see where you lifted the ‘Mothers Day’ bit from).

    I prefer to think of Record Store Day as Christmas for the non-church goer: I don’t have to buy into all that limited edition/first pressing/only 12 copies in the world and 11 are on cassette/religious crap to celebrate/get pissed on sherry/shag on a photocopier/revel in the greatness of a Record Store.
    Well that doesn’t make sense- but neither does having a go at record stores like that prick from the NME. I still buy most of my music on vinyl. Aside from the obvious superior sound and visual quality that comes with a nice record most new vinyl albums have a download code/CD copy included so you can bung it on your phone/computer/Mp3 player anyway. And having places that specialise in stocking such objects is utterly paramount. If you don’t have records what else are you going to put in your house anyway?

    Sure it’s cheaper in Tesco but they are not likely to stock much beyond the most mainstream of indie. Fairly sure I wouldn’t have been able to sample and purchase the latest Holy Fuck album at Somerfield. And your music is even cheaper on Amazon but leaving the house, meeting people, having conversations, exchanging musical opinions, looking at/hearing new stuff, realising what you have bought is shit/will take 10 years to get into/is going straight back, is surely good for you.

    My local Record Store when growing up (Sonic Sounds, Lincoln) and the guy who ran it (Jim) introduced me to loads of great music and an appreciation for finding new sounds. Firstly keep buying Records and secondly buy Records from Record Shops. You wouldn't get bread from the florists...(But don't get a boner over a Manics picture disc)

    Anyhow it looks like someone (ATP) has taken note of the Leeds/Norwich Velvet Owl work and rewarded them with this treat- http://www.atpfestival.com/newsview/1104121140.php
    tis’ gonna be fucking brilliant...