Has Record Store Day got too big?Record Store Day is a fine thing.


It turned around things for a lot of the key shops up and down the country and put the focus back on the front line in a time when the pirates were making things difficult for the people that really care about the music.


For this alone Record Store Day is to be treasured.


Anything that puts the focus back onto the people that make this whole damn thing work is worthwhile and it’s great for the shops to receive the attention and the love of the music fan.


For this alone is is to be celebrated but for us, it’s a double edge sword, with the mainstream success of the event -which is to be applauded, comes the mighty weight of the industry. At one time Record Store Day was a great opportunity for the quirky and the interesting and what, was once termed John Peel type of bands to have an opportunity to get their music heard and sold but this has now become nearly impossible in the avalanche of releases, with all manner of heavyweight major names on major labels flogging limited runs of vinyl whilst promoting their bigger releases.


Not that there is anything wrong with this in the context of the day, as it gets people into the record shops and this, hopefully forges a new long term relationship with the shops and the great people that work in them but it does seem a shame that the left field and the up and coming have been brushed aside in what is just another marketing opportunity for the big name acts who have probably not been in a record shop themselves for decades…


What do you think?

Does it matter what gets released as long as the shop profits

Is it a shame that the interesting is getting lost in the avalanche?

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. You could argue that it’s quality above quantity but as highlighted if it’s getting people back into record shops again (myself included, off to Jumbo in Leeds tomorrow) then it’s a good thing. I’m guessing there will be some bandwagon jumping going on, I’d guess that if certain pop acts got in on the act (the JLS’s of the world etc) then there’d be uproar. Still, if such acts did get involved in RSD then surely we’d need hasten any potential judgemental opinions on what and whom can take part.

  2. i guess those who were always loyal to these shops will feel this way. it is the same scenario as a football club having 10 thousand season ticket holders yet 40 thousand turn out for a cup final. those loyal to the cause will moan where are they the rest of the year. however, these people need to realise that other people do other things which are more of a priority. RSD is a special day, a brilliant day and most shops probably take more money in one morning than they do all week. this is a great thing. those loyal supporters should be rejoicing that their mecca is thriving and is in the spotlight for the day

  3. whilst record SHOP day is a good thing – i do wonder whether now it has become a vehicle for those people who want to buy extremely limited items to then hawk on ebay at inflated costs?

    • Clearly! I was out of town and visiting a shop I wasn’t familiar with, Toxic Beauty in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I overheard the clerk saying that a record he’d sold out of that morning was already being listed for 10x’s the price on ebay.

  4. Well, in my opinion, the whole point of RSD is to make physical records cool again like how it used to be in the 50s, 60s, 70s and the 80s. At that time, major names and major labels were also dominating the industry. We can’t selfishly repeat the era just for small bands/ labels/ stores. It’s something people should have already predicted at the beginning.

  5. It’s got away from it’s original purpose which was to highlight what record shops can offer ALL the time. It’s not meant to be ALL about reviving vinyl, don’t get me wrong, I bloody love it and will be buying sheds of it tomorrow, but they should be doing more CD’s, and even books or DVDs, and in fact get ‘normal’ new releases out on RSD as well to capitalise on the buzz. I heard Stephen Pastel (Mono Records in Glasgow) saying that the majors have Ltd stock ridiculously, so that basically means the shops have less to sell and make less money and encourages scalpers to show up, buy what they can to stick on Ebay by 12pm tomorrow. Oh yeah, and guess what, didn’t take long for aforementioned majors to f*** it up totally, apparently Universal are to start selling so called ‘Ltd’ stuff on their website afterwards, i.e. just print up more of whatever they think they can flog the most of. So much for record STORE day eh. Personally, I’m more bothered about the other 364 record store days of the year.

  6. It’s definitely good for the shops. For many of them it’s the busiest day of the year. Whereas Christmas used to be the big season, that no longer has the impact it used too, at least here in Ohio. On the other hand, it does seem to appeal to a lot of collector types with limited addition, particularly reissues being the favorites of the day. It doesn’t seem to be that great for the less known artists who are usually the shops bread and butter. When it first started, I believe it was a Napster idea (could be wrong here) sorta to make up for all of their file-sharing and didn’t have much impact. I was working in a shop at the time, and we hadn’t even heard of it until a customer we’d never seen before mentioned it. At the time many independent stores were going out of business as documented in the movie “I Need That Record!” This seems to have changed, with the ones that survived doing much better and many new ones having started up. I don’t think that all can be credited to Record Store Day, but it doesn’t hurt.


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