Saturday 14 May 2016

How to do Record Store Day

I didn't do Record Store Day on 16 April 2016. That day I was on a stag do - the groom used to own a record shop. He didn't even know it was RSD. A lot of people really into records aren't that interested in RSD.

You'll have heard a lot of complaints about pressing plant delays in the run-up to RSD, choking supply of new records. The weeks after are no better. I get a lot of emails from record shops about their new stock. Sure enough, the weeks after RSD their 'new stock' is unsold RSD stock. Which is how I find out what I would have wanted if I'd bothered with the farrago.

And which is how I buy what I want at the retail price weeks after the event.

The Hope Sandoval single? Yes, please, I'll have that for £6.99.  You know, that 7" people were paying £30 for on ebay.

Come on, you must remember the Mazzy Star 7" from RSD 2014 that didn't sell out. People were paying £25 for it on ebay, but unsold stock was in the racks a week later for £7.

I've no idea why people were panicking about the Hope Sandoval 7". If the Mazzy Star 7" didn't sell, then there'd definitely be copies of the Hope Sandoval 7" left.

Most RSD 'specials' are released more in hope than expectation. The whole day is really just a bunfight for a few releases by major acts. The rest of it is smaller acts trying to get attention and a lot of heritage acts getting their back catalogue reissued on coloured vinyl. Good luck selling those.

Unless RSD imposes some quality control on its releases and reduces the volume of its output, it's hard to see it carrying on.

You know those pressing plant delays RSD causes? Well, serendipitously this year, two of 2016's best records landed on my doormat  on RSD - Albany by Spinning Coin and Half Hour by City Yelps. Nothing to do with RSD.

Now, if RSD wants what makes records exciting - the thrill of the new, the possibility of future glory, the hunt for the prize - then it should have a long, hard look at its business model.

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