It’s come around already; the calendar event for music and vinyl enthusiasts to get up at a god-awful time, queue on a desolate street, to (hopefully) get their hands on some cherished pieces. After launching in 2007, Record Store Day’s cultural impact has been on a upward trajectory, with across the nation avid music fans pausing their usual Saturday schedules in place of vinyl frenzy. A 2013 study found these avid vinyl fans most prominent in 18-24 year olds, 14% purchasing vinyl compared to 5% if 35-44. Indeed, I have been one of the many young ‘RSD goers’ queuing at a ridiculous time (a.k.a 5am) to snatch up Biffy Clyro’s previously unrealised Puzzle on vinyl in 2015, and a glossy 12-inch of Manic Street Preachers’ ‘A Design for Life’ last year.
A 2013 study found these avid vinyl fans most prominent in 18-24 year olds
This year, RSD does not disappoint. The list is extensively rich, from classic album re-issues, live albums, and new vinyl releases of contemporary artists. Bruce Springsteen’s 1975 live album at Hammersmith Odeon is sure to be whipped up instantly, alongside a new vinyl edition of The Cure’s Acoustic Hits (This really is must for any music collection shelf, I promise you, you will not regret this purchase if you manage to get your hands on it. If not, buy the CD whilst you are in your local record shop…). More live album releases included The Doors Live at the Matrix 1967, on a ‘potentially’ black vinyl, as well as Laura Marling’s Live From York Minster. For David Bowie fans, there are some highly rare and sensational options; No Plan on a 12-inch vinyl, and either a picture disk or a live album of Bowie’s collaboration with Placebo on ‘Without You I’m Nothing’. The list continues with a highly-limited Bowie BOWPROMO, a black heavy-weight vinyl, packaged alongside five Bowie prints, as well as Bowie’s Cracked Actor, on a triple vinyl live album from 1974, previously unreleased. Reminiscence is beautifully filling RSD, with Live at George’s Club 20, 1965 and 1966, including raw recordings of Jimi Hendrix performing with Curtis Knight, as well as Prince’s Little Red Corvette/1999 on 7-inch picture disc. A personal key piece in the release list includes The Smiths’ 7-inch of The Boy With the Thorn in His Side, offering us a demo mix, and alternate versions of both ‘The Boy With the Thorn in His Side’ and ‘Rubber Ring’.
Other gems include Gerard Ways’ ‘Into the Cave We Wander’ and Katanonia’s Proscenium both on a 12-inch release. From their release of Cleopatra in April 2016, The Lumineers have been on an upward trajectory, now releasing for RSD a new EP on a 10-inch format, Song Seeds. After touring Everything Must Go on their 20th Anniversary of the album, the Manic Street Preachers have kindly treated their fans to vinyl re-issue of well-loved single of ‘Your Love Alone is Not Enough’. The 12-inch includes the original track featuring Nina Persson, the demo recorded at Faster Studios, James Dean Bradfield’s solo home acoustic demo and Nicky Wire’s home acoustic demo.
Perhaps there are some more obscure gems waiting to be discovered, and I advise you to find the official list on RSD’s website for these. I feel a warning must be included in this article, regarding purchasing RSD releases, from anywhere but legitimised participatory stores, so let’s have one from Johnny Marr himself; “Do not pay inflated prices for ‘I Feel You’ on eBay. It’s a rip off & not in the spirit of RSD.” Johnny speaks bluntly and wisely. Yet, whether you queue (like myself) at 5am to ensure you are satisfied, or pop in to a participating store at the end of the day to see what is left, it cannot be denied that RSD has music fans in the palm of its hands.