Written by Charlie Morel
Saturday the 22nd April 2017 was the 10th annual Record Store Day, a worldwide celebration of independent record shops, supported by artists and fans alike internationally.
Each year has seen huge names release exclusive limited edition vinyl, with this year perhaps being the biggest yet. The Beatles, David Bowie, Madonna and Prince were just some of the enormous acts among the 500 who released efforts in the UK alone, with several of these appearing on sites like eBay for over £200.
The exclusivity and celebration of the day means thousands of people across the country get involved, queuing up at their local stores and attending events throughout the day. Like many eager vinyl fans, I was keen to get my hands on a number of these releases, having missed out last year, and so woke up excessively early (4:30) in order to secure my place in the line and avoid disappointment.
While many may consider this insane, particularly when I had travelled 25 miles already for one particular record shop, I see it as all part of the spirit of the day. The fact that so many are willing to queue so early and support their stores in this way not only helps keeps these shops open but also maintains the enjoyment of vinyl, with many younger fans getting involved in the event.
After queuing from 5AM, I was rewarded for my efforts with a sausage roll from the opposite bakery, an exclusive Fred Perry tote bag for being one of the first twenty in the line, but most importantly the three releases I had been desperately hoping for. In fact, I had to restrain myself from spending too much, such was the excitement I had when flicking through those records, so I send my sincerest apologies to Elastica, Cabbage, Deee-Lite, Sex Pistols and Slaves, I’ll try and find your release online.
Whereas last year I had queued for disappointment and stood alongside others who had their hopes crushed, everyone at this year’s event was joyous and left with their new prized possessions.
My experience in Whitstable was one shared by countless others all over the country, and one that I hope will continue for many years to come. Whilst some will have left disappointed, this is the unfortunate consequence of exclusivity. Some small comfort may be found in online purchases of these releases, but I would urge anyone looking to do so not to be ripped off by these internet dealers, who mark up the prices to excessive and unnecessary levels, ruining it for genuine collectors.
I’m still waiting five years on for Arctic Monkeys’ 2012 exclusive release of ‘R U Mine?’ because lets be honest, £170 for one song is a joke.
For anyone thinking of getting into vinyl, events like Record Store Day are fantastic opportunities to fall in love with the whole experience the format brings. Queuing up to hold that exclusive physical release only you have is truly magical, and worth the early wake up.
Now excuse me, I have The Cure’s Greatest Hits waiting to be played, I’ve been up since 4:30 for it.