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14 April 2010 5,594 views One Comment

Above – The way they were : Zep filled window at Our Price Record Shop Bedford October 1990. 

This Saturday April 17th is World Record Store Day. This is the day independent record shops the world over celebrate their importance as key outlets for the distribution and selling of music.  Much has been written in recent times about the diminishing role of record shops (not least Graham Jones book ‘’Last Shop Standing’’) – hundreds of stores have closed their doors in the last few years buckling under the threat of downloading, supermarkets and increasing rents. Having been a victim of such closure and having spent many a happy year behind the counter of various record outlets (W.H Smith, Sound Affects, Music Market, Our Price, V.Shop, Virgin Megastore, Zavvi) it’s encouraging to see such an effort being made to promote all that is good about independent record shops.

This year’s event has been galvanized by a large amount of instore live performances plus the pressing of a quite staggering line up of rare limited edition vinyl one off releases that will only be available in participating record stores on the day. This includes the previously reported Them Crooked Vultures ten inch picture disc release Mind Eraser, No Chaser/Highway 1/Vulture Speak (Interview)  allegedly in a run of just 100.

There is also The Rolling Stones limited edition 7 inch single that features Plundered My Soul a previously unreleased track from the Exile On Main Street sessions, A Bruce Springsteen limited edition 10 inch Wrecking Ball recorded live at Giants Stadium, a ten inch Gorillaz single, a 7 inch single from Blur – their first new material since 2003. The Flaming Lips will present their version of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of  The Moon on vinyl. The Mercury label has announced 1,000 picture discs containing an alternate take of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid backed with a rare UNKLE remix of Metallica’s Frantic.  

Other Record Store Day one –offs include a white vinyl release by Nick Cave, a new Jimi Hendrix pressing, Soundgarden’s Hunted Down and a re issue of The Beatles Paperback Writer/Rain.

All in all this is a fantastic celebration of those emporiums we have loved, lost and loved again over the past few decades. As Nick Hornby said ‘’Record shops can’t save your life. But they can give you a better one’’

So try to get out to one of the participating stores on Record Store Day to snap up those limited editions and revel in the art of vinyl and CD consumerism where talking and listening to music can seriously enhance your life. Even if you can’t get out, why not have an ipod/CD free weekend and get that old black matter out and relive the thrill of stylus against vinyl. I’ve already earmarked some low key LP delights including Frank Sinatra’s A Man Alone, Miles Davis Kind Of Blue (on blue vinyl naturally),Fairport Convention’s What We Did On Our Holidays and Led Zeppelin 3 (‘’play the album then play the wheel’’ as the original advert advised) to spin at thirty three and a third this weekend . Do the same and celebrate World Record Store Day (DL)

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One Comment »

  • Chris Wright said:

    Heartily endorse your views here Dave, including the suggestion to break out the black stuff, except that all of mine is currently 5000 miles away in storage in England 🙁 I fully embrace innovations like Spotify, but the impending and, I fear, inevitable extinction of record shops is a sad prospect indeed. In an age where the computer attempts to find us music that we will like based on previous selections, I much preferred stumbling across stuff by accident in store racks and purchasing on gut feel and impulse, which undoubtedly led to my ultra-wide musical taste spectrum. Shops were an extremely tangible connection with the music industry and its artists, in every town, just about anywhere. Whereas I accept that its progress to be able to instantly find and listen online to that hitherto elusive Van Der Graaf Generator rarity, or whatever, something has been lost in the process. A world that I will only be able to tell my kids about, rather than one they are ever likely to experience for themselves.

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