It’s that time of year again! We are so excited about Record Store Day 2013. This has not been written by our publicist and there is not a hint of sarcasm. We are genuinely very excited indeed. The year has come around really quickly. Like Easter eggs, the hype will soon start just after Christmas. Record Store Day hype for a full 4 months! Someone shake me!
Every day in VoxBox feels to me like record shop day. Ahh, Surrounded by iconic albums. Each one a limited edition at one time. OK some were a limited edition of 100,000, then repressed in a limited edition of 15,000 and so on. A great example of the mass produced limited edtion is The Beatles White Album, which came as a numbered limited edition of 3,000,000 or so (no-one really knows fer sure) before being repressed again and again.
Check out this link for a man who buys only the White Album:
I love this guy. I have a collection of 2 White Albums. Both are top opening Mono copies. One pretty wrecked with badly scratched vinyl and a torn cover but with the prints and poster, the other a strong VG+ but without the poster bumf. It just seems wrong to marry them together then flog the knackered copy sans prints and poster to Mr Chang. I’m a bit of a record geek you see. Not as much as the collector who insisted I smell the inside cover of White Album No. 0132397 though. He became excited and he was right to be. It got me excited too. The smell of vintage ink, card, vinyl, paper, plastic and dust. There is some otherworldly thing of 1968 still stuck to those 2 records and their inner and outer sleeves you see that gives it an extra oomph.
A record is not just a means of playing music and that’s why records are so great.
I’m still a sucker for limited editions. Picture discs? Yessir! Coloured vinyl? Oh boy! Splatter effect vinyl? Erm there’s no need for the splatter effect vinyl platters.
Whether they’re coloured, decorated or just plain shiny black vinyl, with RSD comes the limited edition records and that in itself is something to get excited about.
Record Store Day has always had a few problems. Overpriced. Too limited. Not limited enough. This year sponsored by a shoe company that uses child labour. Others over the years have listed RSD’s many faults and I won’t repeat the arguments here. The main factor is that the music industry does not know how to handle the growing interest in records. They are caught between marketing very expensive box sets to a worldwide handful of audiophiles who own very high end stereos and will pay a premium for a re-mastered reissue. Or alternatively, to the youthful masses with much less disposable money and to whom records are new technology. It’s a peculiar time and it’s certainly an odd niche to be involved in just now.
I have only one gripe. I overheard someone say that ‘RSD was never meant for second hand shops like VoxBox’. I’d like to answer that briefly as it hurt my feelings.
I take the contrary view. I think Record Shop Day has everything to do with all record shops, and especially second hand shops. This is because a good record shop must sell a lot of second hand stock. Record buyers tend to want originals and so many classic titles have been criminally out of print for a such a long time that new copies of fantastic albums simply don’t exist (eg Ziggy Stardust). RSD helps second hand shops reach out to bands, record labels and distributors, it helps shops to find out about new releases and also encourages them to try something different on the shelf. To put PAWS next to original Clash albums or Adele next to Aretha or Bassey or something. Or why not Rick Redbeard next to maybe Tom Rush?
There has been such a terribly large white gap.
If the record companies kept making enough records from 1990-2008 to keep up with the demand, some second hand shops would have moved into the market and been selling them too. From our point of view, as a predominantly second hand shop, it is only natural to start selling some select records. Second hand Stooges, Velvet Underground and Scott Walker LPs are hard to find. So we found the distributor and sell recent reissues as well as Scott’s new album too and some other bits and pieces. Thanks to Record Shop Day, we are involved in new vinyl and because of that, this year David Bowie’s new vinyl album will be able to sit proudly on our shelf beside his magnificent pre-owned and pre-loved back catalogue.
So back to Record Store Day and the excitement!
This year it falls on Saturday April 20th and sadly for us, shop favourites PAWS who played for us last year, will be tearing up Europe that week. So we had been looking for a suitable local artist(s) to entertain our record shoppers. I’m very proud to say that we have found many. Full details will be released shortly.
For me, the purpose of Record Shop Day is to get music loving people together to celebrate their favourite record shops and for the fans of the bands to shop somewhere they’ve maybe never been before. It is to mix the elusive exclusive product with inclusive in-store events. It is a fantastic opportunity for the record industry at all levels (and I use the term record industry literally) from our friends at tiny labels Cath Tapes, Gerry Loves Records and Song, by Toad through the larger Fence Records and Chemikal Underground to the behemoth EMI and Universal.
On the day, some youngster looking for a RSD Jake Bugg 7″ single may even browse our second hand stuff and for the first time discover an original 1968 copy of The Beatles self-titled double album complete with its embossed and individually numbered minimalistic white gatefold cover, now very slightly yellowed by 44 years of musical time. Poster and 4 prints included. They may take their first step into the vast world of records old and new, and lean in to have a tentative first sniff…
The RSD list is released Thursday. Needless to say, we’ll get in everything we can.