Hitting all the Right Notes

This month marks Record Store Day and TW’s music man, Rob Palmer, wants us all to get involved and support our local vinyl shops…

The ‘Christmas Day’ for the over 230 independent record stores is happening on Saturday April 23rd. In reality it’s known as Record Store Day (RSD), and is a must-attend event for all serious – and not so serious – vinyl collectors.

Annually, on RSD, the music industry releases limited edition vinyl that has previously been unavailable and can only be purchased in person from independent music stores. Customers can buy as many titles from the year’s list of over five hundred albums, but only one copy of an individual album. This is on a first-come, first-served basis – no pre-orders and no putting aside in advance. If you’ve ever seen a very large queue at dawn in April in your high street, you now know why.

RSD began in the USA following a brainstorming session of store owners in Baltimore. Their idea was to have one exclusive day a year resulting in the first official Record Store Day on 19th April 2008. Metallica promoted the event with their release plus there were ten exclusive releases from the likes of R.E.M, Stephen Malkmus, Death Cab For Cutie and several more.

News of this forthcoming event reached our shores in the UK, with singer songwriter Billy Bragg being the catalyst for RSD UK; after meeting the USA organisers at an airport in Texas, it was agreed that Bragg would spearhead the campaign in the UK. On the same day that Metallica were launching the state side event with a live performance at Rasputin Music store in California, Billy Bragg was launching the event and performing at Rough Trade East in London. Humble beginnings with only nine record stores taking part.

Record Store Day regular Billy Bragg, who also appears on this year’s list, has seen the event evolve over time. “I was excited to be involved in the first Record Store Day and, 15 years later, I’m amazed to see how this initiative has grown,” he said. 

“But this year it feels more important than ever to be taking part. The pandemic has been tough for retailers and artists alike, causing havoc at vinyl pressing plants and making it difficult for musicians to tour. So it’s crucial that we all get involved and make this year’s RSD the best one so far.”

Well said, Billy.

Rob Palmer is the owner of Roan Records,

12 Church Road, Teddington TW11 8PB.


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