Today is World Record Day – an international celebration of the culture of the independently owned record store and vinyl. It is celebrated annually on the third Saturday of April. Founded in 2007 it has gained momentum around the world. According to its official website, there are three categories of special release made available on this day.
- Exclusive Releases – only available at participating stores. Will not be available anywhere else in the same format.
- Limited Run/Regional Focus Releases – also only available at participating stores, but may not be distributed nationally, or the quantities of these titles are Extremely limited.
- First Release – titles that you can find at participating stores. So if you’re a fan of the artist, you get first listen prior to general distribution to the public.
The resurgence of vinyl-loving music aficionados reminds me of another once-great annual event which was celebrated in Melbourne, at the former Gaslight Records – Nude Day.
Gaslight was one of Melbourne’s oldest independent music retailers, situated up in Bourke Street, in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Each summer, its annual in-store Nude Day event would go off ‘without a stitch’. The theme was simple. Leave your clothes at the door and shop for your favourite artists for a bare, stripped-down totally awesome discount. It was the cheapest way to obtain your totally independent bare-necessities for your ears!
Apart from the aural pleasure, for some vinyl collectors there was the visual euphoria of the record cover and/or the excitement of seeing the ‘picture disc’ which had a transfer of the cover, the theme or the artist pressed onto the actual vinyl disc. These are now considered vinyl collector’s items.
This brings me to my ‘art’ side of LP vinyl records and what I have seen lately from local ‘pavement artists’. I understand art. I understand music. I understand the Collector’s Limited Edition picture vinyl discs, but I don’t quite see the value of the pavement street vendor who sells vinyl discs which they have painted and decorated (even if it has a depiction of a particular recording artist) – you cannot play it, so you frame it on a wall – but you can also do this with other forms of art.
To me, it’s simple, isn’t it? Records are for playing and pictures are for hanging, right? And I do understand the wonderful artwork which is created for record covers. That is why I have created a Cover Art page which caters for their wonderful graphic imagery. Then again, maybe these are the new generation of recording artists?