- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 06 April 2016
- Written by JACOB TURCHI | STAFF WRITER
The third Saturday of every April marks an annual event that is well known to every novelty collector and hipster across the country: Record Store Day. Record Store Day is a celebration of purchasing vinyl recordings, the oldest and most official way of collecting music. On Record Store Day, musicians and record labels release exclusive copies of their work on vinyl (either a 12-inch or a 7-inch), CDs, or even taped recordings. Musicians will also make appearances, host Q&As, and even perform at local store in celebration of this event. The first Record Store Day occurred on April 19, 2008, and has been a massive success in the following years. It has expanded to over 1,400 independent record stores in the United States and has been catching on across several continents.
It is worth noting that all stores that participate on this day are independently owned, meaning they are not under control by any major record label. The stores partake in this event because of their passion for music and their love of this format. That being said, not all record stores will have every release that is mentioned on the official list, which turns the event into an Easter egg hunt with everyone going in to search for the most exclusive of releases.
The idea of Record Store Day was conceived by groups of independent record stores in the country after the big vinyl revival in 2006. Music labels have seen a dramatic spike in vinyl and record sales in the past 10 years. In 2006, it was estimated that only around 900,000 vinyl records were sold in the United States, taking in an estimate of $36 million. Every year since, the number of sales and the amount of money generated has only gone up. In 2015, it was calculated that over 12 million records were sold in the U.S., which is a 30 percent increase from the 9.19 million that were sold the year prior.
Many believe that the growing popularity and sales of records is due to the new integrated “hipster” culture, as the time of their arrival to mainstream culture is similar to the time that vinyl sales saw their first big jump 10 years ago. And why do hipsters love to buy vinyl? Because hipster culture values two things predominantly: first, dedication, to any type of art form whether it be music, film, or literature; and second, being ‘retro.’ And since music is one of the biggest labels to hipster culture, vinyl saw a huge growth in popularity. In fact, last year the new Jack White album, Lazaretto, was the first album in 22 years to hit number one on the Billboard Top 100 due to vinyl record sales. The last album to do so was Vitalogy by Pearl Jam in 1994.
With all of this being said, I am an avid music lover and I also love to add to my own personal record collection when possible. So here are just some of the releases that I will be looking out for this upcoming Record Store Day and what I consider to be the highlights of the release list.
• The French psychedelic pop group “AIR” is putting out a 12-inch of their single “Casanova 70” from one of their very first EPs.
• Multiple David Bowie works are being put out, but the best one by far is a picture disk record of his album The Man Who Sold the World.
• Scottish Synth-pop trio “CHVRCHES” is putting out a 12-inch remix of their latest album Every Open Eye.
• Classic experimental rock band “Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention” are releasing for the first time a 7-inch of two songs “My Guitar” and “Dog Breath.”
• Patti Smith, one of the most important women in punk history, did an entire recreation of her album Horses live at the Electric Lady Studios; the performance will be released on a double LP.
• A 7-inch release of “Happy Together” by the Turtles.
• The classic old school hip-hop track “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force is being put out on a 12-inch.
• One of the greatest psychedelic bands from the 1960s, “The 13th Floor Elevators,” has a 10-inch of their single “You’re Gonna Miss Me” with a B-side track “Tried to Hide.”
• A picture 12-inch disk of “Never Mind the Bollocks” by the Sex Pistols.
• The 10-year anniversary of one of my favorite punk rock albums of the 21st century, Blood Visions by Jay Retard, is being put out on LP.
• “At Last,” the classic jazz tune and album by Etta James is getting a 12-inch release.
If any of these releases interest you, you should check out the complete list of albums on www.recordstoreday.com, and get out to one of the 45 record stores in the state of New Jersey that will be participating on this day.
IMAGE COURTESY of www.jambase.com