Next Saturday, 23 April sees the return of the annual cash cow that is Record Store Day at your local record store or online if you don’t want the hassle of queues but will pay beyond the price of it.
My last blog was on the subject two years ago. You can read the previous blog here.
Hard to believe that two years ago we were still in the pandemic and not going to shops. However, as 2020 progressed stores were opening with socially distanced queues and limited amounts of people in the actual shops.
During 2020 it was delayed from its original April drop to later on in the year with three separate drops to prevent large queues from forming. The new dates that year were to be the end of August, September and October.
For the first time since I started going to Record Store Day, the 2020 list was kinder on my wallet as there weren’t too many releases that year that sparked my interest.
Overall there were three records I wanted:
Bob Mould Circle of Friends LP and Refused Not Fit For Broadcasting (Live at the BBC) and Dinosaur Jr. Swedish Fist (Live in Stockholm) LP
Not wanting to travel too far to buy records, I settled for Starr Records in Belfast not queuing up but going down later on in the day to see if I would get lucky. Sadly none of what I wanted was available and 2020 was the year I went away empty-handed. The bank manager probably thanked me though.
However, all was not lost as I searched for the above records online. I know it defeats the purpose of Record Store Day but the likelihood of getting these locally was pretty remote so online was the best option and that’s where Discogs becomes your friend.
Two years later and I managed to get both Bob Mould and Refused records at a reasonable good price. Both albums were still sealed and I was really pleased to get them even if it took two years!
The Dinosaur Jr. album is still on the wants list but prices online are a bit silly for it so I am going to hold off on that.
2021 was also a barren year regarding releases. Nothing from 2021 apart from releases by Rage Against The Machine and Ash.
The Rage Against The Machine was an interesting one as The Battle of Mexico City had only been released on DVD previously. Being a fan of the band I definitely wanted to get it as it came in coloured vinyl. This came out in the first drop in April but I had no luck in getting it at all.
This was released on vinyl for the first time and the track listing is identical apart from the end of the concert. On the DVD the last two songs are Zapata’s Blood and Freedom.
On vinyl it is listed along with Township Rebellion but I don’t think this is the full track. It’s sounds more like it has been tagged onto Freedom.
For the second drop in July, I took a chance to go down early to Starr Records to get the Ash BBC Sessions album. It came in a pink sleeve and pink vinyl featuring recordings from 1994-99 on the Peel Session and Evening Sessions. Numbered at 1,000 this was a pretty limited edition.
The queue was still socially distanced of course with face coverings still required. I met a fellow Ash fan in the queue ahead of me and we talked about hoping to bag this edition. But sadly it wasn’t to be as it sold out quite quickly when the store started asking what everybody was hoping to get. No point staying in a queue if they haven’t got what you are after.
All was not lost though as with all Record Store Days; unsold products go online at 6pm on Saturday evening. I got very lucky and managed to pick it up via Rough Trade records at the same price it was released that day. Looking on eBay later that night it was selling for silly money. My copy was no. 171.
I was also able to pick the Rage Against The Machine album that way too without paying over the odds.
For 2022 this year it goes back to its original day in April. However, there are some manufacturing delays at pressing plants so other titles will be able available in June.
You can download the full list of releases here.
Quite a few interesting ones on the list for me but the top of the pile is Pixies Live at Coachella 2004. I am going to prioritise getting that one ahead of anything else on the day. I expect it will sell very well so I may get up early!
Also on my radar are releases by Alice in Chains, Stiff Little Fingers, Superchunk and Warrior Soul. Pearl Jam’s Live on Two Legs isn’t getting released until June.
Record Shops in Northern Ireland taking part this year will be at the following:
Fairhill Records, Ballymena, Bending Sound, Bangor, Starr Records Belfast and Cool Discs, Derry.