Record Store Day

It isn’t exactly an anomaly in the music industry for several albums to be released on the same day. However, when the albums are all mostly vinyl and include the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Public Enemy and more, it becomes a lot more interesting.

The explanation behind this situation is that this past April 19 was the seventh annual Record Store Day, an event which is celebrated not only in just the United States, but also around the globe. The purpose of Record Store Day is to support and celebrate independent record stores, such as the Tunes located in Voorhees.

For years now, record stores have served as libraries of musical content for curious music lovers to discover. A sizable portion of the music found in record stores cannot be found in most major stores, making record stores especially valuable to smaller groups who don’t have as many avenues to get their music out.

On the Record Store Day website, there are a plethora of quotes from musicians and members of the music industry as a whole on the importance of record stores. Two of the more memorable quotes are from the owner of the Gallery of Sound record store chain Joe Nardone Jr. and Grammy-nominated artist Emily King.

“Independent record stores represent the heart, soul and foundation of the recorded music world,” said Nardone Jr.

“The independent retailers have really been an anchor for the presence of music in our communities and a huge support for our musicians,” said King. “They’re irreplaceable.”

Over the years, there has been an uptick in popularity of Record Store Day. Part of the reason for the growth of Record Store Day is due to the support shown by artists, with more and more artists lending their support to the occasion. For instance, Bruce Springsteen and The Pixies are both releasing new albums on Record Store Day, with The Pixies releasing their album over a week in advance of the official release date.

In addition to new albums, several musicians and band’s older material is being released on vinyl for Record Store Day. Some noticeable releases from this past Record Store Day include Creedence Clearwater Revival’s The ’69 Singles, The Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death, Fleetwood Mac’s Dragonfly/The Purple Dancer, and many others.

With that in mind, one can also attribute the rise in popularity of Record Store Day to the rise in vinyl sales over the past few years. For example, according to Nielsen Soundscan, vinyl sales increased from 1.9 million units in 2008 to 3.6 million units in 2011. To add on to this, vinyl sales have increased every year since 2007.

Although this year’s Record Store Day may have passed, it’s never too late to support local independent record stores. Stopping by might be the first step towards discovering a new favorite band or album.