Record Store Day Gets Metal

live-at-brixton-Mastodon

The Record Store Day 2014 Announcement has revealed some exciting releases this year for rock and metal fans.

Mastodon lead the pack with a vinyl and DVD release of “Live at Brixton”. Green Day has announced an album of demos and out takes available on LP and cassette.

On the re-release side, there’s Motörhead’s self titled debut album from 1977.

There’s also a terrific tribute to Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman with a 7″ featuring Mandatory Suicide covered by Captor of Sin and At The Gates covering Decapitated. To be honest, you have to be a Slayer fan to know it isn’t Decapitated covering At The Gates…

Bathory have a slew of picture discs, Bis and Slipknot chip in alongside the Black Crowes, Rival Sons, Soundgarden and The Screaming Trees at the quieter end of the rock spectrum, whilst Cannibal Corpse also have a couple of picture discs. Speaking of humorous bands, The Darkness re-release Permission To Land. Finally, there’s a Black Sabbath tribute album by various artists including Cathedral and Godflesh.

That doesn’t sound too bad, right?

It certainly sounds as though the rock community is beginning to take Record Store Day more seriously than in previous years.

This is good news. Over the last couple of years it was starting to look a little grim. Sure, you could get the latest Flaming Lips release, doubtless in a brightly coloured 7″ or contained within a USB stick smothered in jam, and there was always an Arctic Monkeys single and Coldplay comic, but (*peers over spectacles and raises eyebrows*) Indie Record Stores didn’t just sell Indie Music…

Okay, Rock hadn’t been entirely absent on Record Store Day: last year and this, Aerosmith re-released a few of their seventies albums for a rather exorbitant £30 (although original versions are available in all good used record stores for £5) but even this had been an exception rather than the rule. Why had there been less choice for rock fans? It wasn’t that metal fans were not interested in supporting their local independent record shops. Indeed, my sense was the opposite: rock fans in general are the most passionate and vocal about their music, and that translates into their record collections.

So it is heart-warming to see that rock fans have not abandoned their turntables. After all, record players are not only for hipsters, even if no-one really needs a vinyl re-release of “Toys In The Attic” or “Number of the Beast” when you can find original copies of those records for a fiver in most used record stores.mastodon-a-spoonful-weighs-a-ton

The signs were there that rock could play a larger part in Record Store Day, and Mastodon is the band that has perhaps flown the flag for heavy rock the most on Record Store Day. Their 2012 double sided 7″ of “Spoonful Weighs A Ton” alongside The Flaming Lips would have engaged both Mastodon followers and Flaming Lips fans. A perfect embodiment of the spirit of Record Store Day and a great chance for Mastodon to develop a fan base within the indie crowd. Let’s hope similar tie-ins might break down the tribalism that still exists in some pockets of music fans.

However, before we get too excited, there is evidence to suggest a surfeit of pretty vinyl may not be the healthiest thing in the world. Some of us *cough* are of an age where we can look back and say we used to have (or still have) quite the record collection **.

Bon Jovi Wanted Dead or Alive Silver Vinyl 12For such people, cherished rare vinyl may have included the 12″ picture disc of Marillion’s Misplaced Childhood, say, or a 7″ picture disc of Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years”. Perhaps you may have owned a 12″ Guns n Roses “Welcome To The Jungle” with poster and live version of “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Shadow of Your Love”, a 7″ of AC/DC’s “Danger” with “Fly” poster or 12″ “Who Made Who” with a poster of Angus’ guitar. Heck, you may even have the pièce de resistance – Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” on 12″ Silver coloured vinyl (alongside the blue vinyl of “You Give Love A Bad Name” and green vinyl of “Livin’ On A Prayer”).

If you managed any of those, it’s impressive stuff no doubt, and one with potential to astound and delight a 2035 episode of “Antiques Roadshow” (perhaps presented by Nick Grimshaw – “Wow, they only made five thousand of these silver vinyl discs….”).* Or will it? Sadly the vast majority of these artefacts’ value peaked in 1991. Grunge didn’t just wipe out the eighties metal scene, it was also responsible for the biggest fall in asset prices since the Wall Street crash of 1929, if those assets were “picture discs and similar coloured vinyl issued by eighties heavy rock bands in your record collection”.

So where does that leave us metal fans on Record Store Day 2014?

Well, the good news is that Metal is less popular amongst the hipsters of the world, so you can usually avoid the beard-and-brogue-filled 5am queues to get the record you actually want.

The bad news? You’d better like the music, because their resale value is unlikely to appreciate over time. But then that’s not why we buy records is it?

** Apologies: I appreciate there are few things less interesting than hearing someone tell you what’s in their record collection…when they should be listening to what you have in yours…

* OK, I admit it, these weren’t picked at random: I owned all of these. Mercifully, I moved house and one of the removals team nicked them, or lost them, so I claimed on the insurance, making me the only person in history to have actually made money on a coloured Bon Jovi vinyl record (there’s hundreds littering Britain’s used record stores if you are interested).



Categories: Heavy Metal, Music

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15 replies

  1. Never heard of that Bon Jovi silver 12″ before. Cool!

    When it comes to Record Store Day, I’m forced to budget and only buy music that is exclusive to that day. I have a Record Show coming in a little over a week, and if it goes as well as last year, I’ll end up spending over $200 easily. So I need to save and budget.

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  2. And funny story about the Bon Jovi coloured vinyl profit 😉

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  3. Those Aerosmith re-issues from last year that are so high priced must be for those people that won’t ever open and play the record. That’s why they don’t want a second-hand one for much less money.
    It’s goes WAY down in value once it’s opened. They must be looking at the re-sell value.

    I like CDs being issued on RSD too. I see there’s even a few cassettes being released as well!

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    • That’s right! There was even a cassette store day last year.
      I can’t imagine those Aerosmith reissues ever being worth anything whilst the originals can be picked up so inexpensively. There’s no reason to buy from an investment perspective – I can only think it is for the remastering and thus to play.

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      • I used to like to own the original, but when they throw in bonuses with the re-issues…they’re hard to resist.

        Plus LP vinyl only held around 45 minutes of music, while a CD can hold 74 minutes. So when I buy a ‘classic’ release it’s nice to have some b-sides or out-takes or live stuff added to fill in the extra space.

        I do love vinyl, but my record player is on the fritz right now.

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      • True. I just read that Tom Petty’s Wildflowers album will get a re-release at the end of this year. This is exciting for both reasons. First, the original album (which I love) is impossible to find on vinyl (it was released in the early ’90s when vinyl nearly died) for less than £100. Second there will be a second disc of new tracks. Win / win I think.

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  4. I want to know what local store you are talking about! Any time I visit a place I like to know what the good shops are…

    I’m similar to Mike. If it’s new music then that’s great but otherwise it’s just collectibles. I like the event and I don’t mind picking something up as a memento of the day but I don’t go mad just because the vinyl is a different colour or whatever. I don’t buy to resell, just to listen.

    I remember last year being pretty good for Metal too: there was Mayhem, Slayer, Witchfinder General, Anthrax, Napalm Death, UFO. The year before that there was the Metallica Beyond Magnetic vinyl which was that EP’s debut as a physical copy so that was a must-have for me.

    Not sure, this year there doesn’t seem to be anything that I have to have. Anything you especially want?

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