It's that time in the calendar for Record Store Day. Since 2007 I have seen this event grow from small beginnings to a large scale operation which promotes record stores, artists, music and vinyl.
The origins of RSD was to bring in the ideals of vinyl and record store culture while promoting a part of the music industry that was beginning to slow down and be slowly forgotten through the build up of the mp3 industry and online purchasing.
Whilst the pleasures of online digging and the ease of Discogs remains for me, the actual RSD project thankfully does promote smaller labels by bringing independent releases into a fold of larger releases that includes music from the likes of Arcade Fire, David Bowie, MTV, Pink Floyd, Motorhead, The National to The Kills, Linkin Park and Hendrix. The list goes on.
I am not always interested in seeing what a major label is doing with an old Abba recording or a Radio One indie band who have re-released their live version of a 7" single. Record stores are about finding the lost records and the unknown records. It would be great to see smaller labels showcased futher and it would be great to also see the labels that are releasing music independently to be featured more.
Soul group Chain Reaction are releasing 'Search For Tomorrow' on Rain and Shine records, a New Zealand based non-profit record label. The original goes for some pretty pennies on Discogs. Now, fully re-mastered (for a respectable price) the label has ensured that the profits get back to Chain Reaction themselves. This can only be a good thing.
Another release that has caught my attention is the ghetto anthem and repress of William De Vaughan's - Be Thankful For What You've Got, a record that never stops being brilliant and has sold over 2 million copies. The original version clocks in at just over 7 minutes long and has, in my opinion, one of the most wonderful middle sections recorded before that tight melody comes back in. Respected by NWA in sampling, covered by Massive Attack too. This will be released on white vinyl, like his gangster white walls of course.
Whatever you are doing on Saturday, do remember to make sure you go through the list and have a consideration for the releases that aren't always the well known releases on the smaller indie labels.
Support labels like "Rain and Shine' who are doing their own thing whilst you also say thank you to your local store that is also doing it's own thing throughout the year too.
After all, isn't that what Record Store Day is all about ?