Who would have thought all those years ago in 2007 that Record Store Day (RSD) would become the phenomenon it has grown into today? I mean each and every year, tens thousands of men, woman & children but let’s face it, mostly middle aged men and poor uni students (I’ll come to them later) line up for hours, even days in some cases to acquire limited release vinyl for their favourite artists. I’m the first to admit, the lure of coloured vinyl and picture discs is, shall we say, almost as good as getting your leg over for the first time with a fit bird when you are a spotty faced teenager sporting pathetically manicured facial hair (if you can call it that?) that you actually think resembles a beard. You know the thrill right. All warm and squishy. It’s that kind of buzz that RSD has tried to recreate over the past decade the world over.
Anyhow, for me, the concept has always smelled a bit fishy. Why you ask? Well, the first problem I faced with the concept was this whole limited release lark. Some releases have been limited in the past to a meagre 1,000 copies world wide! Sure, that makes your copy (if you are that clever enough to secure a copy) a real treat but as with all good things in life there are those who enjoy taking advantage of a gift horse. And that’s when the Uni students come into play.
University students are more often than not, broke beyond their wildest dreams. They have little money and are always looking for an easy out for cash if mum and dad fall short. This is where RSD is their best friend. The little bastards can line up all night outside their local store, use almost all their student loan money buying up the rarest RSD releases before heading home and going straight to eBay to list their gems for ridiculous sums of money. I should add that even once sensible adults have cottoned on to this fast cash scheme in recent times which is even more embarrassing if you ask me. The worst part of it all is that there are collectors out there with either too much money, far too little sense or perhaps both that are desperate enough to pay whatever the asking price is for said item because they simply have to have it all. You know the old theory. Supply, demand and all that jazz. It’s a vicious cycle.
The past couple of years has seen a reverse in this trend because, it seems, many RSD participants and labels seem to have more than enough copies to go around which is really fucking up the little cunts who try and take advantage of collectors desperate bid to “own it all” as they say. Never more so apparent is this for Bowie collectors than that of the past two RSD events.
In 2017, the apparently limited edition 12″ vinyl pressing for No Plan (blue and white mixed vinyl) had fans stressing that they would miss out. Some twelve months later, it is still selling for cost price at a number of record stores. The GEM promo box set (supplied to me by the splendid Bruce Butler in Melbourne) release and the triple vinyl Cracked Actor (both released for RSD 2017) are also floating around in large numbers online. Somebody at Parlaphone got the hint and made sure plenty of copies were pressed. After the initial eBay fleecing rush, prices dropped back down to reasonable rates which allowed the “must own everything” gang to breath a sigh of relief and get their hands on said items without breaking the bank.
I contemplated going this year. Like, I seriously considered lining up for hours just to get my hands on all 4 Bowie releases plus a Cure triple vinyl pressing. Then I realised I didn’t really have the spare cashola to obtain every item so I decided to test my luck online. Sure enough, two days later, I found the David Bowie LP that was released in both stereo and mono for face value ($69 plus postage) via a record store in Melbourne. Apparently, it’s limited to 1,500 copies and comes in blue and red vinyl. The postman delivered it in one piece so now I have popped my RSD cherry all be it through an online option from a RSD retailer but thankfully, I wasn’t forced to pay over the odds for it via some eBay fleecing specialist. What’s more, I opened the packaging! I can hear the groans from the dress circle already but fuck it! I buy vinyl to enjoy it and that means opening it, playing it, reading the liner notes and appreciating it for exactly what it is, a record to play and enjoy.
I must say, the packaging of this release is beautiful and I have thoroughly enjoyed all the other Bowie collectors I know who have picked up their own Bowie treasures from RSD 2018. Who knows, maybe next year, I might join the silly buggers who line up in the wee hours to get a bigger slice of the pie? It only took me 12 cracks but I finally bought my very own RSD release direct from a RSD retailer and I feel quite chuffed about it.