Sunday 19 April 2015

How to fail at Record Store Day

Did you know that the year's biggest rare soul reissue came out on Record Store Day? Probably not, because Sandra Wright's Wounded Woman got buried in an event that Girls Names have described as setting "a record for [the] most amount of dog shit releases in one single day".

I'm not faulting anything about Soul Brother's reissue of Wounded Woman apart from the timing. Oh, and the price, but if it's on RSD then £22 must be ok.

About 18 months ago I saw a copy of Wounded Woman in a second-hand record shop in London. It had just gone up that morning. I wouldn't stretch to £100. Someone else did, though. Strode in, paid in cash, walked out again. Chat among the regulars was that the buyer ran a shop and label. Fair enough, I thought, Wounded Woman will get reissued soon.

Its reissue would get a lot of attention on any day of the year that isn't RSD or Christmas Day. It's an otherwise massive event in the soul calendar that's been sacrificed to a bigger event in the music industry calendar.

The day before RSD I bought the reissue of Raising Hell by Norma Jean and Ray J - superior funky New Orleans soul, 1974 vintage - from Honest Jon's. There are 1,000 copies of this Japanese pressing; it cost £18. Word is spreading. It'll sell out, no problem.

The more expensive Wounded Woman is in a run of 750, and is pressed in advance of a general CD release. It'll have no trouble selling 750 copies on vinyl even at £22. Press more, release it at a different time and watch the press coverage and sales mount up. And forget the CD release. "I'll have that rare soul record reissue on CD, please," said no-one ever.