Lots of people will recognise Marty Willson-Piper as having been an important member of All About Eve, joining the band for their third LP ‘Touched By Jesus’ and subsequently adding his talents to a couple of their more overlooked records. You might also know Marty from his extensive work with Aussie alternative rock legends The Church.
Much less celebrated is Willson-Piper’s solo career. Between 1987-2008 he released six solo discs, all of which have gained a cult fanbase.
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.
Some good news for fans of Tom Waits, especially those in the US. The legendary singer-songwriter will have his first seven albums reissued on vinyl throughout 2018. Each title will be re-pressed on 180g vinyl.
Created with the idea of encouraging people back into independent record shops by issuing limited vinyl items by smaller cult bands, it wasn’t long before Record Store Day got utterly hijacked by major labels keen to milk a giant cash cow. Worse still, RSD stocks have actually been sold by dealers at inflated prices on ebay the day before the event. It’s hard not to see it as a giant sham.
As every music fan is aware by now, Record Store Day is held every April supposedly to encourage music buyers to visit their local independent store. In practice, this is a great idea – but the reality often means frustration for many. For every fan who seeks that special edition issued to mark the occasion, the event is often spoilt by chancers and dealers buying stuff up to hock on ebay later in the day. In some cases, these items appear on the world-famous internet auction site hours before the stores open, hours before the event has even begun, leading to the question of how many stores are even playing by the rules.