In the age of mp3s and iTunes, vinyl records are not simply surviving — they’re thriving, according to representatives of Record Store Day.
This Saturday is the eight annual Record Store Day — a record enthusiast’s dream come true, —which takes place annually on the third Saturday of April.
Record Store Day was created by the Department of Record Stores and is organized in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores and the Coalition of Independent Music Stores.
Over the last eight years, Record Store Day has increased in popularity, according to Carrie Colliton, co-founder of Record Store Day.
“The number of stores participating has grown each year. This year, there are about 1,200 stores who’ve signed up to fully participate in the United States. It’s definitely celebrated worldwide — we have organizers in many countries, and there are participating stores on almost every continent,” Colliton said.
In the age of music downloads, records — or vinyl as they are affectionately called — continue to be relevant in today’s music, according to Colliton.
“Records are very relevant in today’s music. A look at the continuing sales growth of vinyl over the past few years is the proof of that. More and more artists are choosing to release their records on vinyl, and more artists are being vocal about how happy they are to see their art (musical and visual) come out on vinyl, their preferred format,” she said.
Records are still sought after, especially in today’s trendy music culture, according to Colliton.
One of the biggest record stores in the country, Amoeba Music, has been a regular participant in Record Store Day. According to Ilene Barg, head of marketing and special projects at Amoeba Music in Los Angeles, the day has increased in popularity.
Barg has been working at Amoeba Music for 13 years — nearly the same time the store opened in Los Angeles.
“Records are probably our top sellers. They do very well for us. Last year for Record Store Day, we had over 15,000 people in the store,” Barg said.
Next to Christmas season shopping, Record Store Day is one of the best days of the year for Amoeba, she said.
“It’s crazy. It’s just packed. Customers sleep on the sidewalk for the door to open. It’s a huge deal for us,” Barg said.
The store is offering hundreds of limited and special edition record releases, including Paul McCartney’s “Family Lost”, The Animals’ “We’re Gonna Howl Tonight” and Johnny Cash’s “Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live)” printed on “Soviet red” vinyl.
Several other record stores will also participate in Record Store Day, such as Vacation Vinyl on Sunset Boulevard, Midnight Records on South Robertson Boulevard as well as dozens of other independent record stores in Los Angeles. For a list of record stores, visit www.recordstoreday.com/venues.
Headline Records on Melrose Avenue is one of the area’s premier punk rock record stores. It has been open for 14 years near Fairfax High School.
For Headline Records owner, Jean Luc Gaudry, vinyl records, with or without Record Store Day, will never go away.
“Vinyl record sales have gone up because it’s a trend right now, but I don’t think that vinyl is ever really going to disappear. It’s very special,” Gaudry said.
Gaudry added that people tend to think of music as a commodity, but the fragility of vinyl makes people care more about it.
“It was a big mistake of the music industry to move away from vinyl when they did CDs. They treated music as a product instead of an art,” Gaudry said.
Headline Records will be giving away tote bags with a store purchase as well as other Record Store Day discounts.
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