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Record Store Day Celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary

If your weren’t aware the 22nd April 2017, is Record Store Day, a day that celebrates independent record shops, record collectors, and LP culture. This year is a special year because it’s their ten year anniversary, having become an annual event since its inauguration in 2007.

And in this age when there’s talk of even digital copies (downloads) of music—mp3s and their ilk—dying off, giving way to streaming services, it’s an important day for music lovers and enthusiasts. Record Store Day co-founder Michael Kurtz stated ""Every year we receive an email, typically from a young couple starting their own record store [asking to get involved], and they're the new versions of record stores; they're hybrids, a record store and a cupcake shop, or a barber shop, or a bookstore... any combination of different things," Kurtz says. "To be a part of Record Store Day, we just say, 'Your core business needs to be music.'" 

It also couldn’t be more relevant this year. Because in January the British Phonic Industry (BPI) released statistics stating that in 2016, driven by interest in the late David Bowie, vinyl record sales rose by a staggering 53% on the previous year. It meant 3.2 million LPs were sold, the most since 1991.

Parlophone records has planned two limited edition David Bowie releases to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day. They told Pitchfork "Cracked Actor (Live in Los Angeles 1974 at Universal Amphitheatre on September 5th 1974 during the Philly Dogs Tour) has never been released, while Bowpromo replicates a 1971 small-run pressing of alternate mixes of some of the songs that made it on to Hunky Dory. It recreates a rare 1971 pressing that featured seven Bowie tracks on its A-side, with five songs that ended up on Hunky Dory. 

There are also dozens of other special edition pressings to celebrate Record Store Day from iconic artists to choose from from such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Vangelis, Neil Young, Ramones, The Beatles, Animals, Prince and many more great albums and 7" singles.

To get an update on all the limited releases available get over to DrugStoreGroove to check out their listings.

Cover artwork shot by © Mick Rock for the iconic Queen 2 album released in 1974. Queen II was the second album by the band and featured two different themes – their “white”/emotional side (side A) and their “black”/fantasy side (side B) - (This image is available to buy below)

 

Alternative version of the cover artwork for Pink Floyd's 1994 album 'Division Bell' designed by © Storm Thorgerson and shot in a field near Cambridge. It is very similar to the actual final artwork that was used - (This image is available to buy below)

Whether that steep rise will drop this year or maintain, we shall see. But when music is becoming increasingly more throwaway and immediate, the relevance and reverence surrounding vinyl, and the whole geeky High Fidelity-style culture that surrounds it, is continually defying expectations.

Perhaps it’s not so hard to see why it’s become so popular again though. For one, there’s something ritualistic about putting on an LP to listen to a favorite or new artist. And it moves away from the shuffle-based listening culture of digital, back into the more old school way of listening to an album from beginning to end, following the arcing narrative or concept.

“The manufacturing facility will not only press vinyl records for Third Man Records' label releases (which will also continue to be produced at Nashville's United Record Pressing), but will also fulfill orders from outside labels.” noted a press release from Third Man Records.

It goes on to say “The resurgence in popularity of vinyl records has left many small imprints, ‘bedroom’ labels, and independent artists without the ability to press small runs of records in reasonable amounts of time. Third Man Pressing aims to dedicate a percentage of its capacity each month to pressing records for clients of this ilk, alleviating the bottlenecking of the production caused by major label orders, and bringing more niche, regionally-interesting pressings from inspired individuals onto record shelves worldwide.”

This iconic album cover image for Aladdin Sane was taken in Duffy's London studio in 1973 and was the second session he shot with David Bowie. © Duffy - (This image is available to buy below)

Cover artwork for Raw Power, Iggy Pop's iconic third studio album that was released in February 1973. © Mick Rock - (This image is available to buy below)

Record Store Day is the one day of the year when over 200 independent record shops all across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture. Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day and many shops and cities host artist performances and events to mark the occasion. Thousands more shops celebrate the day around the globe in what’s become one of the biggest annual events on the music calendar.

For all you vinyl lovers out there check out the official Record Store Day website for more information.

And it isn’t just people who remember vinyl from their youth that are buying and listening to it, either—both young and old are digging it. Of course, that doesn’t mean all younger people know what an LP is. As can be seen in the below video, which features a man’s 13-year-old daughter who sees and handles vinyl for the very first time.

Her reaction is, well, pretty bemused to say the least. She also can’t seem to get her head around the whole idea of a needle scratching a record to play it. “But that’ll ruin it.” she notes.

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