Record Store Day and the Random Route

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LAST SHOP STANDING – RICHARD HAWLEY from Record Store Day on Vimeo.

Record Store Day

Week before last I was browsing through the collection of compact discs at Lakewood Public Library and a patron is doing the same a few rows over. She was probably forty-something, and she turns to me and tells me, “I remember vinyl and how good it sounds.”

Not being sentimental–anymore–about vinyl, I responded, “Yeah, but then it gets played a lot and worn down and scratchy.”

She had the last word, “Even then it sounds better.”

I thought to myself, ‘No, worn out records don’t sound better.’

I think I know, I possess many thousands of worn records filling half of a large basement room.

Last year, vinyl albums sales grew 39 percent, with about 3.9 million albums being sold, and sales are up about 10 percent so far this year, according to Nielsen Soundscan. HP

I presume Soundscan doesn’t capture the magnitude of the vinyl market. If it were closer to 40 million albums, this would represent a moment’s worth of worldwide unit sales from, say, 1990. 3.9 million. on the other hand, is not much; who knows how many million downloads of any type happen every hour?

Yet, I get the romance and appeal and the gist of the inspiring fundamentals of the rubber record revival. My own mild bragging rights accrue from spending seventeen years on the front lines, although I was thankful to walk away in 2000.

A nice video from the first Record Store Day year.

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