All around the world, music lovers gathered at their favorite record stores on Saturday, April 18, 2015 to celebrate Record Store Day.
In this digital age, people tend to listen to music on their smart phones and computers instead of on CDs, cassette tapes, and vinyls. Because of this, it is increasingly difficult for independently owned record stores to stay alive. Record Store Day highlights the importance of such stores, and brings in flocks of eager customers.
The event was founded by a company called Bull Moose Music in 2007 when head of marketing Chris Brown (no, not that Chris Brown) had an idea about a day for music similar to Free Comic Book Day.
But what exactly is Record Store Day? Why, on Record Store Day, are record stores any more magical than they are any other day of the year?
Well, every year on the third Saturday of April, a group of specially-pressed, exclusive records are released in participating stores. It is also a great opportunity to meet tons of people with the same interests as you. The list could go on forever.
And speaking of going on forever, if you hate waiting in long lines, Record Store Day is not for you.
Among the exclusive releases of this year were Cypress Hill’s “The Funky One/How I Could Just Kill a Man”, Foo Fighter’s “Songs From The Laundry Room”, and Dolly Parton’s “The Grass Is Blue” (a 1999 LP on vinyl for the first time). The best-selling release was The White Stripe’s “Get Behind Me Satan” followed by Metallica’s demo cassette tape “No Life Til Leather”.
Some U2 fans purchased the band’s 2014 album “Songs of Innocence” and found in the sleeves copies of Tool’s 1992 album “Opiate”. This caused quite an uproar of angry emails and phone calls. Scandal of the year, I know.
“I bought a Dr. Acula CD, ‘Nation’, and I thought it was pretty good, heavy, and meaningful,” said sophomore Emilio Vega.
In the Monroe area, a number of record stores participated, including Spina Records in New Brunswick, NJ; Princeton Record Exchange in Princeton, NJ; and Vintage Vinyl Records in Fords, NJ.
“I went to Princeton Record Exchange and I found a limited edition new single on vinyl, and I knew I would be one of the first 3,000 to hear it. So that was pretty cool, and it felt like a good experience for anyone who likes music,” said junior Mark Rodriguez.
Record Store Day has come a long way since its formation. Stores on every continent, except Antarctica, now participate in the celebration. This year’s sales even went up 45 percent from last year’s since vinyl is making a huge comeback.
Record Store Day reminds us all how important it is to get out of your house, talk to other people face-to-face, and support indie record shops!
Paul McCartney of The Beatles said it best: “There’s nothing as glamorous to me as a record store. When I recently played Amoeba in LA, I realised what fantastic memories such a collection of music brings back when you see it all in one place. This is why I’m more than happy to support Record Store Day and I hope that these kinds of stores will be there for us all for many years to come. Cheers!”
What do you love about record stores?