It’s Record Store Day this Saturday!
Music geeks and vinyl junkies rejoice, for this Saturday (19th April) is Record Store Day. Better than Christmas, Easter, Passover, Chinese New Year, Thanksgiving, Ramadan and even Groundhog Day, RSD is a celebration of independent record stores and the joy they bring to us music obsessives.
Record Store Day was founded in 2007 with 700 independent US record stores and has spread worldwide since then. The day sees 100s of artists making special appearances in record stores across the world but the main draw has become the 100s of special limited releases that are made available on record store day each year many of which go on to become much sought after collector’s items. This year sees over 600 releases in the UK market alone. Some of the records set to become the most sought after this year are:
- 12” reissue of Joy Division’s debut EP ‘An Ideal For Living’
- 7” of ‘Hollow Ponds/Lonely Press Play’ from Damon Albarn’s soon-to-be-released debut solo album
- 7” picture disc of Bowie’s classic ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide’
- 5 LP set of LCD Soundsystem’s final show
- Reissue of Outkast’s 1994 debut ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik’
- Soundgarden release Superunknown: The Singles on 5 10”
I am particularly excited about the 2LP Gram Parsons release of outtakes from his country rock classics ‘GP’ and ‘Grievous Angel’, and when I say excited I mean I am willing to kill for a copy!
I spoke to Chris King, the owner of my local record store, The Vinyl Frontier in Eastbourne (in the south of England) about their involvement in RSD.
What does Record Store Day mean for small independent shops like The Vinyl Frontier?
It’s crucial for us, as a genuinely independent vinyl record shop in that it builds shop awareness and potentially translates into lots of new and – hopefully – regular customers. Record Store Day is an ideal opportunity for small shops like The Vinyl Frontier to create awareness that they even exist with the record buying public. There is a vast body of vinyl collectors out there but many of them don’t even know of the existence of some of the smaller independent record shops. Record Store Day is one way of generating publicity for the shop and bringing new customers down to see our vast array of new and used vinyl.
Do you have any special events or plans lined up for Record Store Day?
Absolutely. We are simply thrilled honey to have Chris Difford of legendary band Squeeze – it was Chris that penned all those genius lyrics! – perform a solo acoustic in-store at Midday! We also are hosting a special RSD DJ event billed as Oscillate Wildly (as in The Smiths instrumental) in the evening. Myself and co-owner Rhydd will be spinning an eclectically Magpiedelic mix of vinyl tunes – think Bowie to Gorillaz & anything in between – at our local Old Town hostelry The Counting House. 8pm to late with free entry.
What RSD releases do you think people will be the most sought after this year?
One of the best aspects of Record Store Day is the wide variety of exclusives that are pressed, not only by the majors but by smaller labels and distributors. As you’d expect, we’re expecting a lot of interest in a range of artists including Nirvana, Damon Albarn, Suede, London Grammar, LCD Soundsystem, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Paul Weller. Additionally, we’ve had a lot of enquiries about Clint Mansell, all the Death Waltz soundtrack releases, Dinosaur Jr, T Rex, David Lynch, Curved Air, REM, Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys amongst others.
What RSD releases are you most excited about?
The One Direction single. JOKING! (Although we do have it in the shop). Speaking purely aesthetically, the Temples/Jagwar Ma is simply stunning, a picture disc with a day-glo swirl, psychedelic design. It’ll look A.Ma.Zing spinning on a record deck! Musically, the singles box-sets from original Mod combos The Action and Creation are ace, as are those by The Dead Kennedy’s and Sex Pistols. Also, the Sun Ra, Amorphous Androgynous, Captain Beefheart and William Onyeabor LPs are bound to be intriguingly beguiling and Edwyn Collin’s Gorgeous George is a bona fide criminally under-rated classic. Singles wise, the Suede, Paul Weller, Damon Albarn, Jon Martyn, Specials, Stranglers, Mystery Side by Side (two versions of the same track by two Mystery Artists), Parquet Courts, Marianne Faithfull, Al Hudson, Hackney Colliery Band, Peter Hook/Nova Mob, Jon Hopkins/Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes) and Matt Berry, Regina Spektor and Dans Le Sac are all way cool.
So get yourself down to your local record store on Saturday, support local independent retailers and look out for special events in your area.
Words by Neil Martin.