Ok, so Record Store Day 2011, the annual event intended to celebrate & hep preserve local record stores, took place two weeks ago. I have never participated before, but this year I had seen an impressive list of records that were being made specially for the day, and realised that I had to get involved. My main point of interest were the Revelation Records reissues, and since I knew that my local store would be getting them in, it was just a matter of what time I should get there to be sure that I could get them. Well, I know that there were a lot of people last year, but I found out from the store that nobody got there before 9am (for a 10am opening). So I figured I would get there at 8am to be safe. So when the day came around I set my alarm for earlier than I would on a work day, got up and drove ten miles, then walked to the store. I took with me a Nintendo to keep me amused for two hours, and a skateboard to sit on. As it turns out, I would have been better to stay in bed. I got there a full two hours before the place opened, but found the biggest gathering of people waiting that I have ever seen. I took this souvenir photo then turned around and went straight back home:
Fortunately, however, I had a couple of friends halfway across the world who were looking out for me. My iphone didn't stop buzzing as both Mike and Doug kept me up to date with where they were & what they had managed to lay their hands on, so I was able to relax a little knowing that I wasn't going to have to resort to ebay and pay five times the store prices. Then it got even better (or worse). Another friend of mine who lives about ten miles away told me that he had been to the exact same store that I tried to go to at 5 in the afternoon, where he had casually walked in & picked up the Revelation releases without a problem. Even better, he told me that they still had copies left. So the next day I was able to go back again and pick up a few bits myself. So here's everything I managed to acquire from Reissue Day 2011...
First up I'm going to deal with the Revelation releases. Now, it was known that there were three 7"s being repressed, with 1,000 of each being made. I figured that this was (is) a large number, and it would therefore be pretty easy to get these. However, just to keep things more interesting, it emerged pretty quickly after people starting buying the things that there was variation in the vinyl colours. There seem to be light and dark colour variations of each 7". Speculation is that these were initially pressed as editions of 500, but then the label decided to make 500 more, and maybe the plant didn't manage to make the same colours for the second run. As far as I can tell, this is just speculation, but it certainly sounds plausible.
First up is the Quicksand 7" on blue vinyl. I was lucky enough to get one of each colour variation. One dark, which includes black swirls, and one light, baby blue. The difference between these two is quite obvious:
Next, the Youth Of Today 7". Again, I managed to get one of each variation. However, this one's a weird one. The difference in colour is quite obvious in real life. One is maroon and one is kinda pink. However, it was almost impossible to get the difference in colour to show up in a picture. I guess it's to do with me having a cheap, crap camera, but also the way the light falls on the things. Still, after taking probably 50 photos, I have managed to get a couple of shots that show the difference:
Now, the BURN 7" was the first record that I almost went insane trying to track down. Back in '92/93 this (on pink vinyl) was by far my most wanted record. It wasn't until late '96 that I managed to track one down. Back then it felt like a huge and impossible task had been completed. So pretty funny that 15 years later I once again had the BURN 7" on colour vinyl at the top of my want list. This is one of the most important records I own, in terms of shaping my life, and this new pressing on yellow vinyl looks fantastic. Shame that I didn't get the light yellow version too, but I'm sure I'll get one eventually.
And the final Revelation release is the Elliott LP. Some thought this a strange choice, given that it is nothing like, and bears no relation to, the other Rev releases. However, in some ways, it does make sense. Firstly, the singer of this band has a new band - Frontier(s) - so there's probably been a bit more interest in Elliott again recently. And secondly, this is apparently Rev's second biggest selling release ever. Not sure where I read that, and I can't confirm that it is 100% true, but I read it somewhere, and I don't disbelieve it.
My copy has a few bits of pinkish red colour in it. Perhaps a clue that it was pressed right after the YOT 7"?
Another classic hardcore reissue - the Bad Brains first 7". I'm not really sure why it has taken this long to repress this record, nor why it was selected to do this for RSD, but hey, since I don't have this record at all I figured it was worth having:
I like how it has a sticker informing us it's a reissue. Presumably this is just in case someone happened to walk into a record store and see a Bad Brains 7" for sale for $5 and shit themselves thinking it was an original.
I also picked up the Rival Schools 7". The store I picked mine up from must have had about 40 copies of this thing on the shelf the day after record store day. I figure they'll be selling this one until the end of time.
And the Off! 'Live At Generation Records' 7" on Vice Records. What I like about this is that it has the same artwork / layout style as the other 7"s they have released on this label. What I don't like is that I realised abut a week after RSD that there was a second Off! 7" made for RSD, on Southern Lorn records, which is far more aesthetically interesting... and which I don't have.
Next up, the Interpol remix 12". This was probably the most limited thing I picked up. Apparently there was only 300 of these things made in total. It seems to sell on ebay for 5 times what I paid for it. I expect this one should at least hold its value for a while, unlike the other items, where the value is likely to fall significantly over the next few weeks/months.
A new Arctic Monkeys 7". I listened to this band's first LP loads when it came out, and the second LP was alright too. But that was probably 4 years ago now & I haven't listened to anything since. I like the minimal packaging on this one.
And finally, one that I now kinda regret buying - the Mastodon / ZZTop split 7". I like Mastodon, and I guess I picked this up because it was there. But it looks cheap and mass produced, and I don't really want anything by ZZTop in my collection to be honest
As much as RSD provided a bit of entertainment for a couple of days, all things considered I have to conclude that it is a bag of shite. I mean, come on, what is the point? To help preserve record stores? Well, if that's the case then why is it only one day a year? Also, I have to say, there's something wrong when, for one day of the year, every fartknocker under the sun gets up a 5am to line up outside a store and buy every record in sight... yet every other day of the year they spend money elsewhere. Seems to me that all RSD is doing is creating hype around a bunch of crappy reissues that most people seem to be trying to buy just so they can sell on ebay to make a fast buck. Plus it seems to now be becoming more about the day itself, and the competition to get their first and buy the rarest piece of crap, that people are losing sight of the point. What should be happening, in my opinion, is that this positive energy towards buying records needs to be re-focused a little. Instead of encouraging people to buy records once a year, stores & labels should be trying to make it more sustainable. So it needs to be a bit more regular. Also, the hype also needs to be about the music, not just the plastic. We need there to be this level of interest in new releases rather than just for reissues. I think we could do with something like this every month, although there is an argument that people might then get bored with it pretty quickly. I don't know. All I do know is there is something wrong when those of us who support vinyl for 365 days a year can't get into our local shop due to 200 people we've never seen before scrambling to buy a Doctor Who picture disc for twenty quid. Morons.