Everything You Need To Know About Record Store Day 20 April 2013

Record Store Day 2013 RSD

Record Store Day is just a week away – on the 20th April.

Although RSD sounds like it should be some form of communicable disease, it is actually one of the most anticipated days of the year for hipsters, music obsessives and general nerdlings throughout the land. It’s right up there with the Bridlington Annual Star-Trek convention in terms of sheer adrenaline-packed excitement.

It is a day when we step back and think about how our High Streets look, and we ask deep and meaningful questions, such as “Since when did our ‘record shops‘ become ‘stores’?”, and “Why are loads of scruffy excited-looking middle aged men lining up in the high street? Is a new Wetherspoons offering free beer?” and (if you are under eighteen) “What’s a ‘Record’? Is that, like, an iPod for old people or something?”

It is also a great day for seeing long queues of (predominantly) men lining up overnight to buy different versions of things they already have, whilst moaning, apparently without irony, about how their wives have bought yet another pair of shoes…

The Record Store Day 2013 release list of releases has been er, released and the first tents have sprung up outside the entrance to London’s finest independent Record Store, Rough Trade East as the keenest vinyl hoarders look to be first in line for that limited edition box set of Ringo Starr 7″ singles. Sadly, any tents that haven’t yet blown away in a gust of wind – because it’s hellishly difficult to stick tent pegs into concrete – have been removed by Brick Lane police in the mistaken belief that they were the return of the “Occupy London” protesters. (“They certainly look like a bunch of protesters” said one policeman, “just look at their beards”).

It is also the one day a year when the plight of an ageing group of people who have been the backbone of the music industry for years, supporting it with little financial reward or acclaim, is deservedly highlighted. That’s right – The Rolling Stones are re-releasing their 5×5 EP. Dig deep folks…

This year expect to see more CDs on the lists of RSD releases – a welcome boost for the retailers who need to coax non-obsessive music fans (or “normal people” as they are sometimes known) from buying their music online or in supermarkets.

I shall certainly be one of the first in line at my local record store, Fives Records in Leigh on Sea.

Fives Records, Leigh on Sea

I say “one of the first”: someone showed up at 2am last year, apparently. I’m not going to miss a night’s sleep for the sake of a copy of The Goat Remix Album, (as lovely as it is) so I shall probably shuffle up ten minutes before they open and hope that no-one else in front of me wanted whatever it was I was after. It’s lucky I have such dreadful taste in music – that usually guarantees strong availability of the stuff I want. And if I miss out on something – well – there’s always next year isn’t there?

There are, of course, irritating things about RSD. There are the eBay flippers who get up early and buy up everything just to make a profit. This is irritating because a) no-one should have to wake up early to buy records – waking up early is about as rock n roll as a Taylor Swift CD; b) it stops me from doing it (just kidding); and c) it lessens my (admittedly very slight) chance of buying a record that might increase in value.

This year, Jack White is the Record Store Day Ambassador. Not sure why you need diplomatic status, plates, immunity and an embassy to sell records, but well done to him for taking on the role. I just hope he pays his parking fines when he leaves the country. He has produced quite a funny video on his appointment which you can see here:

An interesting dilemma that RSD brings is whether to buy re-issues of your favourite records, instead of the originals. Last year a lovely two record set (and booklet) of Iggy Pop’s Raw Power was released – with both the Bowie mix and the Iggy mix – for about £40, which is about the same price as a mint copy of the 1973 original, and £25 more than later re-issues. Tom Petty saw some nice coloured vinyl re-releases, but £30 for Damn The Torpedoes is about £25 more than you’d pay for the original, black vinyl version. On the other hand, The Kinks saw Village Green, Something Else and Face To Face re-issued in coloured vinyl double sets (a mono and stereo version in one package). Any of these would cost about £100 less than the originals, so they were great value…

Best of luck with whatever you plan to buy – if you want a full UK list I have one here at this link and in the meantime I hope you will support your local record store this year – and not just on Record Store Day. Just don’t spoil it for the rest of us and get up too early. I’m sharpening my elbows now just in case I need to barge you out of the way…

Record #178 – The Rolling Stones – Five by Five EP

Categories: Music

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32 replies

  1. I’m an early riser. I always get there about 30 minutes before doors open so I can scope the place out.


  2. I remember getting early to buy concert tickets as a teenager, but as a journalist, I’ve seen so many free shows, with VIP seats, over the years, I can’t justify getting up early to stand on line anymore 🙂


    • It’s just not very rock n roll is it?


      • I think everything is rock ‘n’ roll. I actually had a blast as a teen getting up early to get tickets. One time my sister and I walked in a snowstorm to get Aerosmith tickets because I was afraid to drive in the snow. We were young and cute, we always met friends or guys on line. One time a guy brought us these big cookies for breakfast. And that early, especially in some of the larger cities, you’d see the craziest shit. One time we saw a homeless woman stripping. It was hilarious, but also scary to a teenager. Good times — but it is better to have your name on a VIP seat 🙂


    • Maryanne, is that a Pharaoh T-shirt your hubby is wearing in a photo on your blog? I remember doing a piece on them in ‘Metal Forces’ magazine back in the day. Great band!


      • Yes, Dave. My husband is the bassist for Pharoah, Dennis Lords. Cool to meet you! I must have seen the article since he saves everything 🙂


      • P.S. – Dave, what is the link to your blog? I just saw an interview with you and see you’re an Angel fan — they are one of my all time favorites too. I’d love to read more about your experiences in music journalism.


      • Maryanne,

        No blog – yet – but a rather neglected website at http://www.reyno-roxx.com. Angel will always be my favourite band, closely followed by the likes of Starz, Legs Diamond, Trigger and a plethora of other 70s and 80s hard rock bands! I still have the Pharoah demo tape I obtained from a lady by the name of Teri Fantino (if memory serves), but my album went missing (possibly stolen) some years ago.


  3. Fives is my local record shop and I’ve been in the queue for the last few RSDs. Unfortunately I’m in Cornwall this year so I’m not gonna make it. I have to say I felt decidedly underwhelmed at the 2013 RSD list. Maybe I’ll see what they have left when I get back home. Enjoyed the blog.


    • Thank you – I was in Cornwall / Devon a couple of years back for Record Store Day – there are a couple of shops but the one I found had decided not to participate at the last minute! They were lovely though, and gave me a free RSD BBC radio 6 album of mixes by Jarvis Cocker and others…


  4. I don’t want to be Mr Negative here but I’m not so sure it hasn’t just descended slightly (as you mention) into people trying to just snatch up as much as they can to ebay for a, hopefully, huge profit later on. I may just be a bit jaundiced about the whole thing since I’ll be spending it supervising children in remote bits of North Wales, far away from my beloved Probe Records!


    • Take them with you! Kids love going to record stores!
      (Note: No they don’t, if my kids are anything to go by).


    • I have to agree to a certain extent here. It’s a bit like the ‘scalpers’ in the States who frequent the likes of K-Mart whenever they have ‘Hot Wheels’ days and the majority of the limited editions end up being offered at wallet busting prices on e-Bay.

      There certainly needs to be more recognition for the stores that remain open, but the whole event needs to be looked at a little deeper. For example, HMV needs to be embrace this event. Or at least Fopp should, which is the better of the two outlets under that umbrella. Lord knows they need the custom. It does bemuse me that with all the trouble they’ve been in, they have resorted to having exactly the same pricing policy – if not higher in some respects – than they did before they went into administration. They should be encouraging people to buy their stock for heaven’s sake. The labels are, to a great degree, still to blame. £17 for a 2CD version of Bon Jovi’s latest album is waaaay over the top.


      • I wonder about HMV for RSD. I like the fact it helps the truly independent stores rather than a chain – and you point out HMV’s failings very well. You’re right about the labels too. About ten years ago a record shop owner told me that supermarkets sold CDs for less than he could buy them direct. That’s just ridiculous…


  5. Good to see Witchfinder General’s Death Penalty getting a vinyl re release. Just what the world has been waiting for!


  6. Hmmm… I must see if there is something like this in Holland… I think not, and if there is, it certainly has no effect on me, because there is no vinyl record store in the neighbourhood!
    And by the way… not all persons under 18 don’t know what a record is. I’m 16 and know it very good!


  7. I suppose there’s some curiosity value in hearing David Gedge sing in German.…


  8. Jeez, I don’t think we even have a “Record Store Day” here in California, but we damn well oughta….I’m just going to replace the name “Saturday” with “Record Store Day”….
    Good thing Berkeley is nearby; the vinyl is still plentiful there.
    Oh, and don’t forget my “Rejected Record Ideas” post; I thought of you guys when I made it up!


  9. Damn…won’t be able to make RSD this year. Already have plans.
    Oh well…there’s always next year.

    Great Jack White video BTW!



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