Friday was Record Store Day.
Well, one of an increasing number of Record Store Days. Soon, every day will be Record Store Day. As well it should be.
So far, there have been no reports of people being trampled to death while awaiting the opening of an independent record store Friday morning. Which is welcome news.
As is this timely endorsement, courtesy of the Beeb. It seems record sales (in the UK, at least) in 2014 have hit an 18-year high. That’s likely true in North America as well, given that 18 years ago it was all but impossible to find a shiny new domestic vinyl pressing.
So, fellow vinyl enthusiasts, let us rejoice. To a point. But consider this: the recent explosion in vinyl sales has seen the new Pink Floyd album fly off shelves. The top-selling vinyl release of the moment, the Floyd’s LP has reportedly sold a massive 6,000 copies to date. That’s enough to make it far and away the chart-topper of the moment, vinyl-wise.
Again, the most popular new vinyl offering is by Pink Floyd.
Now, let us take a moment to digest that reality as we check the ol’ calendar to confirm that this is, indeed, 1975.
Hmm… says here 2014.
To quote Billy Bragg, who took to the Twitter after reading the very same BBC article: “A better headline would be ‘Old People Still Buying Vinyl.'”
And not old people like Billy Bragg, either.
Pink Floyd ruling the charts. Again. Has punk taught us nothing?
Well, not much, really. But then, punk wasn’t about education, man! After all, wasn’t it punks who defiantly chanted, “We don’t need no edu…” uh, wait, that doesn’t sound right.
Still, I’m all for breaking out the vinyl to celebrate. I mean, one million sales! Moreover, it says here buyers actually listen to 85 per cent of those records!
Chances are the remaining 15 per cent are copies of the new Pink Floyd record.
In fairness, that 15 per cent of purchases never listened to, includes digital formats. So it’s not just vinyl-collecting hipsters, if that’s what you’re thinking. I know it’s what I was thinking.
But then, as I glance over at a selection of my LPs and 45s, I am struck by words my Dad would occasionally utter, upon doing likewise: “You can’t possibly listen to all of those!”
Pardon? Of course I listen to all my records. Why would I buy a record if I have no intention of listening to it? Pshaw, I say to you, Dad!
Though, sometimes, I cast a wary eye over dark corners of said collection, and quietly consider the likelihood that Dad was right. Can it be that I’m part of the 15 per cent?
Well, no more, say I! (And pshaw, again!) In the coming weeks, I intend to boldly go where I have never been before, and to report my findings to you, dear reader. Perhaps, together, we can discover some great lost music.
After all, why else would I own it?
So come along with me. Fun will be had. I hope.
Now, where to begin…