About Me

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I'm Chris. I'm 22 years old and I'm into a large variety of music, from Metal in its many forms (mostly the extreme ones) to Goth and Postpunk, Reggae, Jazz, Prog, Techno, Ambient and Film Scores. This is where I rave about albums I really like, and other stuff.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Record Store Day sucks and so do you: a (somewhat) tongue in cheek rant

So, its that time of year again. The one official day in the year where you're supposed to make a huge deal about independent record shops. Personally I care about them on much more of a regular basis than that, so to me its kind of pointless: why can't every day potentially be a "record store day"? I don't need you to tell me when my "record store day" is supposed to happen, thanks. But this isn't the main issue. The main issue is: its a fucking stupid gimmick. Today, at popular indie stores all around the world (Rough Trade in London for example), vinyl obsessives and hipsters will be queuing round the block to purchase such things as an "exclusive" Nirvana 7", a 12" reissue of the first Oasis single (Christ, who the hell wants that anyway?), or a limited edition Sex Pistols 7" box set. I dunno how the hell much any of that costs at retail (probably too much!), but one thing is constant where RSD is concerned: as early as the following day, many of these releases will be showing up on ebay at stupidly inflated prices as "rare" items. Yeah, they're rare because some guy bought 5 copies of an already limited thing to sell on at a later date. A couple of years ago, an exclusive split 12" between Joy Division and New Order came out for Record Store Day (limited of 800 copies, of course), featuring both band's versions of "Ceremony" and "In A Lonely Place". Bearing in mind that the few recorded Joy Division demos and live recordings of both those songs sound like complete shit, and an original copy of the New Order version can be had for not too much cash, its pretty absurd and frankly disturbing to see something like that floating around on eBay with an £80 price tag on it. I mean come the fuck on. Ok, yeah, on one hand its pretty genius. Buy overpriced, limited edition, inferior modern repress. Sell it on eBay at ridiculously inflated price. Its a good way to make some cash, because you can guarantee that some idiot out there will fall for it. Not me though. Its like those people who scalp tickets for a concert and sell them at increased prices to people in the queue outside the venue 10 minutes before the band goes on. Yes yes, very clever. Making a tidy profit, I'm sure. I'd probably feel like a bit of a cunt doing that. Bow to my moral superiority.

Can you say the same? Don't you want to?

Modern vinyl. Its a bit of a funny subject to me. I refer you now to a hilarious moment during which I came across a brand new, 180g, "remastered from the original analogue tapes" blah fucking blah and all the rest of it, copy of "Nursery Cryme" by Genesis in the "was there for years-then suddenly disappeared for several years-oh look now its back again because vinyl is trendy now" wax racks of my nearest HMV, the ones that used to be stuffed with Hip Hop and DnB records and is now full of these classic represses because that's what's cool now so of course, we're going along with it....but I digress. So, Nursery Cryme. You know, one of, if not the best, prog albums of its era. It was all new, shiny, and loaded with these gimmicks that the sticker on the front was so damn EAGER to make a big (selling) point of. Sure, sounds good. Timeless classic album, brand new and shiny, all yours for a meager £25. Bollocks. Not ten minutes prior to this encounter I had flicked past an excellent condition copy of an ORIGINAL press of said album in a nearby independent (who will of course be joining in with today's festivities) for £3. A perfectly serviceable, above average example of an original artifact for £3 vs. a brand spanking shiny new "180g remastered from the original ANALOGUE (wow, where do i sign?!?!..) tapes" blah...just had to laugh, really. What would you choose? I'll give them one thing, at least they're not just sticking a CD master on it like some bastard reissue labels (Back on Black, some Earache releases before they fessed up and started doing "full dynamic range" versions...) have freely admitted to in the past. That's like buying a huge black CD/frisbee at two to three times the cost of buying a normal sized, silver CD. Yet all this "remastered from the original tapes" is still effectively a sales gimmick when you can snag an original copy, also mastered "from the original analogue tapes" for a fraction of the price....and come on, we're talking things like Genesis and Floyd here, classic rock that sold/ still sells millions of units and is still readily available 2nd hand in all the 200 editions that have been made over 30 odd years. Its all gotten a bit stupid these days. Classic albums that are still readily available in either superior or perfectly adequate editions, are being cranked out as ridiculous modern editions which are criticized time and time again by people who actually know their shit. Take your 90 quid "Immersion" box set of Dark Side of the Moon and shove it up your arse, coffee table book and all. I'd rather have an mp3, plus you should know A Saucerful of Secrets is miles better anyway. That 1994, one disc (!!!) "definitive remaster" of Selling England By the Pound (they must have forgotten about that when doing the 2007 "definitive" double disc collector's editions, I guess) suits me just fine.

In my past life I was Peter Gabriel's shaved forehead.

So, Record Store Day. In theory? Not a bad idea. In practice? More like a bad joke. As a huge music lover, it does piss me off and irritate a few of my sensibilities. Not massively, just enough for me to write a descriptive and hopefully humorous article poking fun at its perceived faults. Like it? Go and get involved. Personally I won't be bothering. I'll be laughing while you spend £30 on a limited edition 7" on eBay tomorrow cause you didn't make it down quick enough. Don't worry though. You've still got another 365 days to work on your timing.

ADDENDUM: Well well well, 26 quid at the time of posting this update.


In the SAME day even. What did I fucking tell you? The highest buy it now at the moment is £49.99. Haha! Enjoy you twats!

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