Yet another Record Store Day gem turned up in the post today. And, what’s more, it only cost me face vale from an independent record store here in Australia and meant I could cease my search for a reasonably priced copy through other outlets like eBay and Discogs. Another bonus was not having to fork out for the ever so expensive international postage charges that seem to rise with each and every passing year. It’s almost as if the postage companies around the world are happily seeing how badly they can take the piss! Bastards!
My copy of Welcome To The Blackout set me back $64.95 plus a further $12 for postage and packaging. Not to bad if you ask me. Copies have been floating about for anything between $125 and $300 since the triple vinyl was released just under 3 weeks ago. Most of those copies being sold were likely by the kind of people who flock to RSD every year simply to cash in. It’s been a bug bear of mine for some time and is only helped by those who pay the mental prices being asked. Whilst others don’t mind paying over the odds for these releases, I refuse to play ball with those who want to charge extortionate sums of hard earned money.
So what to make of the album itself? I mean, it’s a classic Bowie concert recorded in London that has been unleashed onto the record buying public we are talking about. Let me begin. It comes in a stunning and visually striking gatefold and heavyweight vinyl. The design itself is quite simplistic which makes a pleasant change from a lot of releases these days. Sometimes less is best and that is most certainly the case with Welcome To The Blackout. I’ve given the show itself a few listens thanks to a vinyl rip that was uploaded to YouTube within days of its original release. Compared to Stage, the band sound much more vibrant and Bowie himself appears to be riding the wave of what was, at the time, the final night of the tour. Of course, they would all reconvene in November and December for a tour to Australia and Japan but for now, Bowie seemed happy to be winding things up. As a whole the show is quite edgy whereas the original recording of Stage always felt a little stiff and suffering from far too much post production by Toni Visconti in the studio. This time around, Dave Richards has nailed the mix beautifully!
I’m actually starting to enjoy this record store day lark for a change. Perhaps it’s down to the ability to pick up most releases at face value still? Of course, this in part comes down to the artists labels realising a healthy number of copies on the market goes a long way to making the fans happy. I can’t tell you the amount of emails I have penned over the years to multiple record labels trying to impress how important it is to look after fans on RSD and allow larger quantities of vinyl into the market. I’m sure I’m not the only one to attempt this approach as it seems the labels are finally listening and allowing a greater circle of fans around the world to be well chuffed with their favourite bands and singers.
There are still a few items I’d very much like to turn up in the coming months from RSD 2018 and thankfully, it appears there is no longer such a great rush and clamour to obtain ones desired releases at disgustingly overwhelming prices. My only hope is the trend will continue into 2019 and beyond. Our fingers and toes are now firmly crossed. Record labels, it’s over to you!