Record Store Day returns to Manchester, but is it good for the industry?

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MANCHESTER’S Northern Quarter saw people queuing around the block as Record Store Day returned to the city for yet another year.

With over 521,000 vinyl albums sold during the week, it proved to be the best response for vinyls since the first Record Store Day (RSD) in 2008.

It is a day for record shops to gain profit and popularity by selling new releases brought out by musicians especially for the event.

This year, Noel Gallagher released a limited edition 12” picture disc. He showed his support for the occasion and the independent stores by saying: “Record shops are as important as the records themselves.”

Joel Nicholson, avid record collector and employee at Vinyl Exchange, Oldham Street, said: “This was only my second year experiencing RSD, it felt quieter this year but I’m pretty sure we sold more, not sure what happened there.

“It was great anyway, it’s like Christmas Day for record shops.

“Maybe it’s become less of a spectacle now? It’s still a nice reminder for those who don’t frequent record shops to maybe pay a visit.”

Statistics show that as a result of RSD, sales in record shops went up 131% than the previous week.


Joel, 30, added: “It’s the biggest day of the year, even if we didn’t stock any RSD releases it’d be a good day, but now that we do order certain items, it increases potential for spontaneous sales.

“It could also remind people of our existence and that we stock new releases as well as being a place to pick up rarities.

“Some customers just want to be a part of the celebrations, so can likely feel encouraged to buy an item they weren’t necessarily initially interested in or even aware of, as well as digging around while they’re there.”

As well as RSD providing a helping hand for independent shops, Joel says this event is also something for musicians to be excited about.

“The extent to which file sharing affected the music industry might be permanent and irreparable, but people listen to and discover music in different ways now.

“If people are buying more music then it can only have a positive effect for the music industry.”

“Maybe the idea of having the freedom to access almost anything digitally, for free in most cases, has become boring or the novelty has worn off.

“Buying a handful of records here and there and really listening to them is far more rewarding than having endless streams off MP3s on a hard drive.

“I think you’re more likely to listen to, and enjoy, a physical record you’ve paid for.”

Nevertheless, John Robb, acclaimed music journalist and lead singer of the 1970s punk band The Membranes, sees another side to RSD’s impact on the music industry.

“It is great for the shops, however rubbish for smaller bands whose records get lost in the deluge of Beatles box sets. But, the day is about the shops and not the bands.

“For me, I think RSD has really helped people start to get into vinyl again, but as long as society buy music in any format it makes music making easier and makes starving a more unlikely option.

“Every record sold means a band can get back in the studio to make more music or stay on the road.”

Even though the number of record purchases were high on the day, recent studies show that half of the people who bought these albums to support the bands do not actually play them.

John commented on this, saying: “For many, vinyl is like collecting antiques. A warm fuzzy nostalgic glow like buying a grandfather clock instead of a digital watch.

“I still love vinyl, but don’t fetishise it.”

Although John supports the vinyl scene, with his busy lifestyle he said he finds downloads and streaming a lot more convenient.

“Vinyl is aesthetically perfect, and the 7 inch single is the perfect pop artefact… But I’m hardly ever at home so I love streaming. Having millions of songs in my pocket is really cool and I can listen to so much varied music as an adventure.

“A great set of headphones listening to a download, is as good as anything.”

Hear some of the releases of the day on this Spotify playlist.

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  1. Pingback: Record Store Day returns to Manchester, but is it good for the industry? | Abigail Gillibrand

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