In this Blog post, I hope to address my resentment/love of Record Store Day. Essentially, it is my thoughts on Record Store Day. You will not find an opinion other than my own here – I will not go and re-post this article on my record label’s site – this is just a personal opinion.
As someone who runs a music label and is a recording artist and (more importantly) someone who hordes records – I believe I am entitled to my opinion.
I will work through these taxonomies in a reverse fashion.
Thoughts On Record Store Day: As A Customer
Well, it is win-win for this way. A ton of vinyl is pressed for record store day – some severely limited in supply. The record shops stock up on pressings that are released for the day and, as a collector, my local record shops become alive – as if One Direction hadn’t happened. I admit I did not take up my local shop on its offer of Sun Ra (I really hope they are still there come Monday) but it adds to the excitement that there is only a small quantity of what you are holding in your hand.
Thoughts On Record Store Day: As A Recording Artist
Mmmmmmm, don’t know why I have put this in here – My music will never be of the calibre that a record label will want to cough up the £1000 or so for a minimum number pressed …. which brings me on to my next point:
Thoughts On Record Store Day: As The Owner Of A Record Label
This is what gets my goat. I run Artapes Productions – a small boutique label that deals with electronic, improvised music. We are not a ‘record’ label as such – in that we release on cassette and as a download. Still, I would like to think that I have put my money where my mouth is and lost a small fortune trying to help artists. But this is the thing – I was never in a position to press vinyl. Okay; it is the Monarch of mediums. Listening to an album on vinyl is infinitely better than any other format. But, it costs £1000 for a minimum run at the cheapest pressing plant, Breed Media. I was never in a position to do that. I have heard of some small, boutique record labels going under due to the fact that they could not keep up with the vinyl resurgence.
However, I would now like to talk about something that was not in the brief: Thoughts on Record Store day from the point of view of a record shop. Record store day will have been the busiest day that my local record shop, P & C Music, will have in 2016. Record Store Day is the reason these guys get out of bed each and every day.
Because Record Store Day is about the Record Stores. Not anything else – and more power to them. I would hate it if things in my town, Harrogate, went back to what they were ten years ago – with only an HMV selling One Direction and not much else. Record store day is a great thing for the records shops. It keeps them afloat I reckon. But, shouldn’t every day be Record Shop Day?