Researching this piece was particularly interesting for me as I’d actually not heard of Record Store Day until it crept up on me and covered my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Held this year on April 18th, I was surprised to find it’s an annual occurrence and began in 2007, founded by a group of record storeowners. As someone who is massively into music (you may have guessed from the ‘Music Editor’ title), often gets teased for being ‘that hipster that owns a record player’ and still cries soft tears of despair when I remember my Ipod classic got stolen, I’m thrilled to hear that a day of promotion for record sales exists. The day includes live performance from various artists and exclusive releases of limited edition vinyl and CDs. Each record store that gets involves basically holds a party, celebrating the culture of music and bringing together likeminded people. Marc Fayd’Herbe, Sales Manager of Universal Music described Record Store Day as “the single best thing that has ever happened” for independent record shops.
The event is immensely popular, with the Facebook community page currently capturing 336000 followers and a huge number of major artists getting involved. James Bay tweeted ‘Finally getting round to listening to all my RecordStoreSay buys! New clear vinyl @Alabama_Shakes sounding sweet!’ and Rolling Stone were live tweeting the event including a mention of Foo Fighters ‘turning Ohio Strip Mall into an intimate stadium’. Foo Fighters fans weren’t the only ones to experience the thrill of a special intimate performance, with crowds outside Schoolkids Records in North Carolina waiting hours in advance for an exclusive All Time Low appearance. #RSD2015 actually became number one trending hashtag in the UK, as radio stations, music magazines and record companies got the word out alongside individuals and artists. The Telegraph even included Record Store Day in an article ‘9 Great Things To Do This Weekend’.
London’s biggest independent record store ‘Rough Trade East’ which I have a feeling I’ve been to before as an excitable fifteen year old, reported having people camp outside the night before, Noreen McShane, five hundred customers greeted the store’s manager as she went to open up! Some of the first collectables to sell out were Faster John Misty picture disc, Mumford and Son’s 7-inch and The 1975, with older artists like Bruce Springsteen also getting significant attention. Rae Morris even popped down to the store to pick up a Denai Moore vinyl. Exclusive releases for the event this year include; A red vinyl edition of Johnny Cash live in Prague, Bob Dylan – The Basement Tapes, Foo Fighters – Songs From The Laundry Room and The Doors – Strange Days. But top place on the Record Store Day sales chart went to Get Behind Me Satan by The White Stripes, closely followed by No Life Til Leather by Metallica.
Overall I am freakishly excited to find out about such a brilliant occasion albeit mourning the fact I missed out a bit this year, not only did one of my favourite new bands, Twenty One Pilots, release three live tracks for the event, but the ability of music to bring people together is really being celebrated. It’s great to know that the feeling behind music is being cultivated, with the organisers of the day reinforcing that they ‘encourage people to use Record Store Day as a way to say thank you to each other: customers to record store employees, record store folks to customers’. Not only is it definitely worth pencilling the third Saturday of April into every year’s calendar, but people should also make sure to check out the new ‘official vinyl chart’ which has been introduced on the back of the success of this year’s Record Store Day. This is massively good news for anyone, like me, who is keen to maintain the fantastic culture surrounding music, that predates the digital age.