EDITORIAL COMMENT: Record Store Day 2019 – Was it worth it?

…And so ends Record Store Day for another year.

As with previous events, we enjoyed the build up more than the event itself. There’s a pleasure in perusing the list of releases, wondering if any of your favourite bands will issue a must-have coloured vinyl LP, or keeping your ear to the ground for oddities that might even be too obscure or limited to make the main list. We’ve enjoyed sharing our top picks for the day with fans and readers…and as always, we’ve raised eyebrows and a wry smile at photos on social media of middle aged men who’ve abandoned their families to sit on a fishing stool under a blanket outside of their favourite stores at 6 AM. You’ve got to admire that kind of tenacity – especially on what turned out to be a particularly Arctic April, weather wise.

As always, though, the aftermath reveals lots of the potentially bad things about such an event. What feels like a grand celebration of fandom and vinyl reveals itself to be a media induced hangover.

Just over forty eight hours after the last shops closed their doors on one of their busiest days, there were no fewer than 3,500 Record Store Day items to be found on eBay, most at grossly inflated prices and an alarming amount of those being sold on by business sellers. It only leads to the conclusion that so many people out on the day are only there to make a quick buck and then deprive the true fans of their chosen “collector’s item”.

Within hours after the event, the Sleeper live 12” was changing hands for £60 – presumably at least twice the original value; the Madness 7” shaped picture disc was being offered for an eye-watering similar amount, aimed squarely at those people that never leave their living rooms. Rather depressingly, the Thin Lizzy ‘Black Rose’ double LP could be found at vastly inflated prices – and truly going against the spirit of the treasure hunt – could even be purchased online as a pre-order! So much for RSD’s focus being about bricks and mortar sales.

Within hours of purchase, recreated Dylan test pressings are selling for almost £400 and 7” box sets by indie legends The Charlatans can be yours for just £200. The world’s favourite auction site now hosts an alarming number of Queen, Bowie and U2 picture discs each at a suitably alarming price.

What happened to the fans? What happened to buying something for keeps?

We assume you’re out there… Let’s hear from you.

How was your day? Did you find that thing you’d hoped for? Is it now on a shelf with all the other things you love? Let’s hear some positive stories – the scalpers and dealers take up too much online space during the inevitable comedown…

Lee Realgone
15.04.19

2 thoughts on “EDITORIAL COMMENT: Record Store Day 2019 – Was it worth it?

  1. Went in just before 8am – bit of a queue but not too bad, picked up Basil Kirchin’s ‘Worlds within Worlds’ and Davies / Sylvian / Wastell’s ‘There is no love’ LPs from a record shop I’d requested them from. Went home and listened to them. Great stuff!
    Not your more mainstream stuff grant you, but RSD seems to have become the excuse to issue / reissue stuff like this, and if that’s what it takes then I’m ok with that. I can see how the rest of it could get very annoying though!

  2. I popped down to Vinyl Head in Ramsgate and found it to be RSD free, which was both disappointing and refreshing at the same time. I had hoped they might have the James Brown reissues but, alas, not.

    I did find one “RSD release”, The Mo-dettes, albeit an original LP with a horrible crack in it (yes, a crack) selling for £7. Very disappointing, bit like RSD. 😎

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