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.
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 **.
For 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).