Saturday, April 20, 2013

2013 Record Store Day: British Style!

Today is Record Store Day, an event set up six years ago to promote independent music shops by selling exclusive vinyl recordings to fans.
Record Store Day is considered a success, and the interest of fans reflects an impressive rise in vinyl sales: 78 per cent more vinyl records were sold in the first quarter of 2013 than in the first quarter of 2012. Furthermore, sales of vinyl in 2012 reached 389,000 - the highest since 2004.
Statistics aside, Record Store Day 2013 has plenty to genuinely excite music fans - regardless of whether you've dusted off the turntable recently. Over 500 exclusive records have been produced for the event, from artists including David Bowie (material from The Next Day on white vinyl) and Pink Floyd (a pink pressing of the band's second single See Emily Play with orignal Syd Barret artwork).
In previous years fans have queued up to get their hands on the limited number of rare records available.
This year there are just 500 copies available of a green vinyl of Gil Scott Heron's drink-inspired track, The Bottle, and a red pressing of Echo & The Bunnymen LP Crocodiles Weatherbox, amongst others. Chas N Dave fans might be sharpening their elbows to get hold of one of the 800 7" recordings of their track Rabbit, shaped like the animal itself.
Coldplay have offered up a Mylo Xyloto comic book alongside their 7" picture disc of a live recording of Us Against The World. The comic tells the story behind the band's fifth album, and is the first of a six-part series.
Some participating shops are also hosting gigs. Paul Weller will be playing Rough Trade East in London, after a performance from Irish teenagers The Strypes. Meanwhile, former Million Dead frontman Frank Turner will be one of the acts appearing on an outside stage in Soho's Berwick Street.The five most exciting Record Store Day releases
1. Wigwam - Bob Dylan on 7"
This small-but-mighty record includes two unreleased tracks: one of Wigwam, a track from Dylan's forthcoming The Bootleg Series Vol.10, and the other a cover of Eric Anderson's Thirsty Boots.
2. After You - Pulp on 12"
The Britpop band's new track has been remixed by Soulwax, and the 12" includes the original, which has been produced by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy.
3. Psycho Candy - Jesus and Mary Chain on 12"
One for the vinyl collectors: the indie band's 1985 debut album has been re-pressed on just 970 copies of red and black splattered vinyl.
4. Mirror Song - Kowton Vs Julio Bashmore on 12"
This is the lead track from a forthcoming EP from the Bristol dance musicians, and has been especially released for Record Store Day.
5. Earache: The World's Shortest Album - Various artists on 5"
It's a mere 83 seconds long, but with snippets from Napalm Death and Wormrot The World's Shortest Album packs a punch. Label Earache say it's not a gimmick, but pushing the boundaries of music. You can be the judge.

The five best Record Store Day instores
1. Matthew E. White at Sister Ray, London
2. Gold Panda at Drift Records, Totnes
3. Gabrielle Aplin at Berwick Street Mini Music Festival, London
4. Glasvegas at Avalanche, Edinburgh (2.30pm) and Love Music, Glasgow (5pm)
5. The Wedding Present Truck Store, Oxford

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