Opinion: Is Record Store Day A Joke?
Does anyone remember that Morgan Freeman interview a few years ago? The one where they asked him about how he felt about World Black History Day and he replied “You want to confine my history to one day?” Obviously the music industry and its problems are a thousand miles away from the degradation that Black people have had to put up with for 400 years but I have a similar answer. You want to confine a section of an industry that is in deep trouble to one day?
In Leicester we have 3 choices in terms of where we can purchase our music. They are HMV, our SINGLE local record shop or the internet. I’ve been to our record store a few times and only purchased something once (Blink 182’s Neighbourhoods and that’s only because it came with a totally slamming poster.) On Record Store Day we’re all supposed to give up our bad habits, whether they be buying from the undercutting iTunes or illegal file sharing or borrowing from friends with a more extensive collection and head over to our local record store and purchase CD’s and/or Vinyl from them. If they’re involved in the day they might be selling limited edition Vinyl and CDs to encourage the event.
But then when I look at it, I don’t know why I don’t buy from my local record store. Rather than handing over my money to a massive corporation like HMV or buying songs from iTunes that are a locked file format so that you can only use the damn things on iPods, why don’t I buy the CD from my local record store so that the old music hippie behind the counter can continue to run his resilient store? It comes down to the two things that are causing the decline in the music industry. Price and choice. Like I’ve already said iTunes undercuts all others with £7.99 albums and HMV is always about £2-£3 cheaper than the record store. The other problem I have is the selection. Sometimes I go to HMV to see if I can get the latest hardcore CD and they don’t have it in stock, so I’ll go check the record store. I go to the punk section and I’m faced with EP’s and albums by punk bands that are blindingly obvious (Sex Pistols, The Clash) or bands I’ve never heard of who probably broke up before my existence.
My main point is this. It should be Record Store day, everyday – not just one day of the year. Record stores all over the world are closing down everyday, how can they be expected to give out free stuff or stock up on the special limited edition albums that bands have so whole-heartedly re-released for the occasion (at a not so generous price I’m sure). It’s not realistic and it just gives people who want to be a hipster the opportunity to tweet “Just went to my local record store and picked up the re-released Florence & The Machine Vinyl. #SupportRecordStores” before the next day they’re back on the Tumblr album leak page looking for the rumoured leaked Enter Shikari album. Music fans are the biggest hypocrites you will ever meet and World Record Store Day just allows them to parade that in full view.
Do you think Record Store Day is a good thing? Do you buy local or are you firmly with the internet like me? Leave a comment and we’ll get a discussion going.