Music News

Would you buy more at Record Store Day if the vinyl was cheaper? Vote at the bottom of the story

Would you buy more at Record Store Day if the vinyl was cheaper? Vote at the bottom of the story
Put the needle back on the record by Nic Howden
The only true advantage of CDs over vinyl LPs, when the shiny little digital discs found a foothold in the mid-1980s, was not having to turn the record over. Damn the aesthetics. 
It’s been convenience over art ever since of course, MP3s and streaming playing to/fostering diminishing attention spans. And while the record company yarn had us paying more for CDs, the virtual world cut the cost, and quality, of listening to music to little or nothing with Spotify, Deezer, YouTube et al. Amazing then that LP records have, to some extent at least, turned the tables. Turntabled. 
Photo by www.whitbyphoto.com
Headlines last December shouted ‘Vinyl sales outstrip digital for the first time’, or words to that effect. Records regularly sell for £20 plus and it was money rather than ‘units’, but it’s an incredible comeback nevertheless, thanks in no small part to Record Store Day (RSD). 
"We launched when there was so much bad news coming out of the record industry," Michael Bunnell, one of the coordinating founders, told Billboard magazine. "Digital piracy was rampant and CD sales were declining at a rapid rate; it's hard to compete with free." 
Conceived in 2007 by a group of record shop owners and employees, when vinyl sales Stateside were just 990,000, total, under RSD’s brilliant light they were up by more than 13 times 10 years later. 
That, surely, is enough of a platform to expand the criteria for the event. To focus more specifically on young people, popping the bubble of buying a record/a vinyl as an item of monetary value/potential monetary value and promoting the idea of listening to it, again and again, instead. Record Store Day does attract a mix of ages but it has to get a bit busier persuading a generation out of the virtual world into the real one. 
Photo by Emma Parlons
Grinderman 2011: “Do yourself a tremendous favour and go to a record store today. The relatively mild exertion of getting off your fat, computer-shackled ass and venturing out to find the object of your desire, the thrill of moving through actual space and time, through row upon row of records, and the tactile ecstasy of fondling the quested treasure—all this will augment and enrich the mental associations the music invokes in you for the rest of your life.”
So how about slashing the cost and, to some degree at least, the exclusivity? Double/quadruple the limited editions run so everyone who wants a copy can pick one up on that single day in April.   
“The nature of limited edition releases in small runs and on special formats subsequently leads to higher manufacturing costs,” Megan Page, co-ordinator of Record Store Day UK, responds via email. Moreover, she adds, if the RSD releases weren’t limited editions they wouldn’t be something special or unique for customers to go to their local record store for.
“We receive relatively little complaints on the price of vinyl,” Page says. “It’s a premium product and I think most vinyl lovers understand why an LP will cost more than that of a CD and would rather pay the higher price.
That’s my point though; Record Store Day should be reaching people who might not be ‘vinyl lovers’ yet. 
Growing up, every day was record store day, no capitals required. You can’t turn back the clock, and with so many great bands out there why would you want to. But, rather than be stuck with identikit high streets full of food shops, clothes shops and coffee shops, every town should want a record shop again. A meeting place for young people, under its own roof, in a venue, in a bar, anywhere with a natural link, where people love music and want to talk about it. Not the supermarket. 
Rather than being sent a quote from 70-year-old Elton John, “I love record stores, I can go to the record store in Vegas and spend 3 hours in there”, I want to see Record Store Day Champions, Slaves (age 23 and 21), taking LPs from the shelves in Resident Records, Brighton, saying what they like, what vinyl means to them, without the polish. That much, at least, I do get:
See below as Slaves talk Record Store Day and then vote in our poll


Previous Story

The Guardians of the Galaxy 2 mix is...

Cassettes were an absolute nightmare. No they were, because while you could hand craft a marvellous mix tape for your beloved...

Next Story

Audioslave’s Chris Cornell tribute is...

Audioslave have their critics, including plenty of people who can’t see past parent bands Soundgarden and Rage Against...