Love it or hate it, Record Store Day has become an important fixture on the music-related calendar. From humble beginnings with a few bits and bobs to entice people into independent record shops, it’s now become a huge business tool, giving major labels an excuse to reissue all kinds of stuff. While it now seems more about a money making venture than to highlight small business, there’s still some cool stuff to be found. Never more so than for the 2020 event, where there are a truckload of artificially created rarities that look like lovely items for the keener fan.
A couple of days ago, it was confirmed there would be a multi-disc ‘Later Years’ box set coming from Pink Floyd. Although the general contents were known – with some differing reports regarding the inclusion of ‘The Division Bell’, somewhat oddly – the final contents have now been confirmed.
A newly remixed vinyl version of Pink Floyd’s 1987 LP ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ is something that’s been long rumoured for release at some point, but fans are soon going to receive more than they ever hoped for with a multi-disc, multi-format box set rounding up a whole host of late 80s recordings.
Dubbed ‘Later Years’, the huge box is set to truly be the ultimate release for fans of the band’s first post-Waters work.
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.
One of the more overlooked items within Richard Wright’s back-catalogue, perhaps even more so than his two solo recordings (1978’s ‘Wet Dream’ and 1996’s ‘Broken China’), ZEE was a one-off project. A collaboration with Fashion’s Dave Harris, the band only released one album, but 1984’s ‘Fashion’ is an album that’s continued to be ignored over the years. Perhaps this is due to it not sounding like anything his fans were used to, but maybe it’s place as the elephant in the room of Floyd history runs deeper. Even Wright himself later considered ZEE “an expensive mistake“.