#884: 1985, The Three Johns, Death of The European

by George_East on April 20, 2014

Yesterday was Record Store Day – a global celebration of the independent record shop, that vital life blood for new music.   Although the record shop like vinyl seemed to be inexorable decline over the last couple of decades, recent years have seen something of a revival.   As vinyl sales have reached their highest in a decade, so too there has been a new found enthusiasm for shopping in a place with like minded music fans, staffed by workers who genuinely no their stuff.

Rough Trade’s recent opening of a third shop in hipster heaven, Williamsburg in  Brooklyn to join their two London shops suggests that managed decline is no longer the strategy, at least for the best known of all of the independent record shops.    Many artists and small labels have also recognised how vital the survival of these shops is to their own business by releasing exclusive records and limited editions through independents, and not letting the all-encompassing and all-destroying Amazon near their product.

Record Store Day, held on the third April of every year, started in Baltimore in 2007 and has grown to such a phenomenon that this year Jack White recorded the fastest record in the world (recording a new single straight to vinyl and selling it there and then for one day only in his Third Man record store in Nashville) and record shops across the world hosted live bands  and limited edition releases that sold out in seconds.

It also reminded me of my own experience as a teen in the 1980s growing up in a seaside town which had its own small record shop, Acorn Records, like all towns did in those days.   However, it was when I  had the chance to visit London that I had the chance to buy those singles I heard on John Peel’s radio shows as I trailed round the likes of Rough Trade, Sister Ray, Reckless Records, Vinyl Experience and the like.   Those shops, not al of which have survived, formed part of my musical education.  This was one of the great singles I picked up back then after it appeared in John Peel’s Festive 50 in 1985.

Support independent record shops (most now have great web sites now, so you don’t have to give yet more money to Amazon).   Support Record Store Day.

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