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.
The ska revival of the early 80s brought some great and timeless music, but The Beat’s debut album and associated singles were among the finest slabs of vinyl to emerge from the scene. Part of The Beat’s enduring charm came from great chorus hooks, but for many, the real energy and brilliance came from Ranking Roger.
During the late 80s and early 90s, INXS found themselves in the position of being one of the great arena filling rock-pop bands of the day.
Their 1987 world dominating ‘Kick’ album – boasting no fewer than five hit singles – was reissued in 2002 as a two disc deluxe edition, again in 2012 as a 3CD/DVD box set and yet again in 2017 as a modified version of the previous box, missing a few items but priced far more sensibly. Despite shifting a lot of album units, however, the rest of their back catalogue has been overlooked with regard to the deluxe reissue market.
When Record Store Day first began, it was a great idea. Those who were regulars at independent record shops like Avalanche in Edinbugh and Resident in Brighton could potentially get their hands on very limited, exclusive items. It was a celebration of record buying culture, more than anything. Over the years the event has grown. After all of the major labels sensed a potential cash cow, it increasingly became about reissuing stuff en masse at inflated prices.
Record Store Day has become an event full of mixed feelings. There are now tales of people not actually visiting their local (and favourite) stores on RSD as the crowds of unfamiliar faces have made the experience quite stressful. People queue for hours in the hope of finding one of the many artificially created rarities – a lot of which seem to appear on ebay just hours later at even more inflated prices. In recent years, there have even been dealers “pre-selling” their RSD wares on the internet up to two days before the event that was supposed to get people into their shops.
Previously at this point in December, it has become the custom for Real Gone to issue a free download containing some of the best underground tracks of the year. For the past seven or eight years, these downloads have been a popular fixture on the Real Gone calendar, turning people on to all kinds of artists.
With the changing times, we regret to say the era of the free sampler has come to an end. It seems that people much prefer streaming and with that in mind, we’ve made the decision to highlight some of our favourite tunes in an eighty minute playlist.