This year’s record store day was, as promised, the biggest yet. More artists, more releases and of course more queues. With too many releases to name here (check the official website for the full list), I thought I would start by having a little flex. These are the releases I managed to get hold of:
Of course, there were many more releases I would have loved to add to my collection but was unable to pick up. Bringing me to the most significant complaint I have with record store day, the releases. The event is a fantastic way to garner attention to the medium and the sellers, driving an immense amount of traffic to local stores. However, when the releases are dictated by studio executives, who, having acknowledged the increase in record sales, jump on the bandwagon putting out un-needed publications year after year. A prime example this year was the re-release of Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits. Originally released on vinyl in 1995 it was issued with the hype sticker stating ‘pressed on red vinyl from the highest quality master recordings’. When ignoring the trashy marketing jargon, it becomes apparent this version is entirely unnecessary and a clear money grab (yes if you cannot tell I am very salty). Another factor that is ultimately unfair for enthusiasts is the lack of awareness regarding the popularity of specific artists. Going back to Springsteen, it had a relatively large (for a record store day release) 5000 copies produced. The Kaleidoscope single, however, only had a run 967 copies made. It is true that Springsteen is infinitely more popular in the contemporary music scene, but I find it unforgivable that record companies would over produce an album in which every song has previously been released multiple time and then under deliver on a single in which either of the tracks has been issued.
In short, over the past few years as the interest in vinyl has seen a resurgence record store day has had to accommodate for this by appealing to the mass consumer. It is no longer an opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to celebrate local businesses and their favourite artists; instead, it has become a bland regurgitation of existing music by companies ceasing a chance to exploit the consumer. None of this means, however, that come April next year my inner nerd still won’t get excited at the prospect of adding more vinyl to my collection.
Peace & Love