Record Store Day 22nd April
April 22nd is Record Store Day celebrating the small, independent record stores that offer in-store shopping for classic and newly released vinyl records. Although we now mostly listen to music through streaming services, until the 1980’s vinyl was the preferred method. When the compact disc arrived in 1982 it spelt trouble for vinyl records. Improved sound and portability meant that purchases of vinyl records plummeted. There was still a small market for vinyl-DJs who preferred the sound and found it easier to mix tracks on vinyl, and collectors who wanted to own as many releases as possible from their favourite artist. Without the convenience of Internet shopping, collectors had to visit shops in person or use mail-order facilities if available.
Some artists persisted with vinyl. In 1983 New Order released Blue Monday on 12-inch vinyl despite the huge popularity of CDs. The track has gone on to become the best-selling 12-inch single of all time. Despite this, vinyl sales were still badly in decline. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, sales of vinyl albums tumbled from a peak of 1.1 billion worldwide in 1981 to 450 million in 1989; 109 million in 1993; and just 33 million in 1995. By 1997, they were down to 17 million, and they plunged as low as 3 million in 2006. Many independent record stores closed, but some managed to stay open thanks to their loyal customers.
By 2020 however, vinyl sales had taken off again with over 27.5 million sales in America. Why the rise in popularity? According to Robert Palmer of Roan Records in London:
“There is definitely something to be said for the tangibility of vinyl. Anyone can stream music any time they want, but for those looking for a deeper connection to music, you can’t match a physical record you can hold in your hands and go through the ritual of putting it on and listening.”
Then there’s the artwork. There are many iconic album covers which are often more collectable than the album itself.
As part of the resurgence of vinyl, the inaugural Record Store Day was held in 2007. It’s a day when small independent record shops celebrate their culture and role in in their communities. The shops put on special promotions such as limited editions of vinyl records by well-known and lesser-known artists in colour or 12-inch format and they may also have live music in-store. The aim is to shine a spotlight on independent record stores and hopefully increase revenue as well as try to introduce people to new music. Business students may find it interesting to note the different marketing strategies used.
Edinburgh and Records
Going along on the day is a great way to meet people and make friends with a shared interest in music, get to know some new music or begin a new hobby collecting vinyl or album artwork.
Click on the link below to find a list of Edinburgh independent record stores:
Edinburgh record stores.
We contacted local independent record stores to find out what they are doing for RSD. Here’s what the ones who replied told us:
Thorne Records Will be open 8am-8pm and have beers, good vibes and all the releases.
Underground Solu’shn Will be open from 8am and will have a selection of DJs and live performances in the afternoon. Will stock all the RSD releases.
Assai Records Will be open from 8am and have most of the releases. Also hoping to have live music.
Whether it’s grunge or jazz, Britpop or hip hop we all have our go-to music to help with study, and chores or to listen to when socializing with friends. Listening to music can also have psychological benefits which can improve mental health. Click on the link below for more information:
In the library, we are promoting our Spotify playlist and in our relaxation spaces, we have posters explaining how listening to music benefits mental health and well-being.
Craiglockhart campus relaxation space has a small number of artist biographies available from Ozzy Osborne to Freddie Mercury.
You can use Library Search to find music books, music scores and CDs in the Edinburgh Napier collection.
By Vivienne Hamiliton
You can read more in our about World Music Day in this post