Record Store Day (RSD) began in 2007 when over 700 independent stores in the USA came together to celebrate music. The UK followed suit, holding its fifth celebration on 21 April this year.
Independently owned record stores come together with artists on this day to celebrate music. Special vinyls, CDs and various other promotional products are made exclusively for the event, and hundreds of artists across the globe make special appearances. Festivities include performances, meet-and-greets with artists, DJs and in-store quizzes.
Public Image Limited (PiL) frontman John Lydon kicked off the countdown to Record Store Day (RSD) 2012 with a secret gig at a launch event in London’s Shoreditch on March 20. The event was streamed live to thousands of fans by Boiler Room TV.
A record 206 stores signed up for RSD 2012 – 197 in the UK and nine in Ireland. Record Store Day UK co-ordinator Spencer Hickman said: “The support of artists and labels and music fans for this annual celebration of the indie record shop has been amazing and is really appreciated. To have PiL and Orbital play at our launch is not only a real honour, but it’s a sign of how much RSD has developed.”
Hickman brought the RSD concept – exclusive releases sold for one day only through indie record shops – to the UK four years ago. Last year, around 180 stores took part. There were 250 exclusive releases available only in participating stores, more than double the previous year’s tally, and over 200 acts performed in record stores around the country.
“Record Store Day has now become an established part of the music calendar,” said Hickman. “And what makes it special is the character and individuality of record stores. There’s nothing to beat the enthusiasm and atmosphere of a great record shop.”
In what he described as a John Rotten Roll, John Lydon said: “The destruction of the music industry is because people can’t buy records easily. A record is for life. A download is a lack of life. A poor substitute for a real wife!”
Record Store Day is sponsored by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA). Director General Kim Bayley said: “However big and glossy and commercialised the entertainment business becomes, it is vital that we support the grassroots stores who day-in, day-out give their support to new talent.”
Paul Quirk, Chairman of ERA, added: “As Chairman of ERA and a music retailer, I have to say for me Record Store Day is the most exciting event of the whole year. I cannot believe how it has grown over the last few years and also how the retailers and the public have embraced it. Each year it moves up another level and I am sure 2012 will be the best ever”.
To find stores that participated this year, log on to the Record Store Day website here.
The 10 biggest selling albums from Saturday’s independent record stores were:
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
Adele – 21
Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
The Black Keys – El Camino
Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood Of Colour
First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral
Emeli Sande – Our Version Of Events
The Maccabees – Given To The Wild
Watch the rise, the fall and the rebirth of record shops here: