Let’s change the record ahead of the next ‘store day’- Kevin Buckle

While vinyl was a popular gift choice this Christmas as well as a favourite buy with Christmas money it was a close run thing having the artists that people wanted. Thankfully the first two Oasis albums appeared just in time and we had a good selection of Arctic Monkeys albums which covered the bands of choice for many youngsters starting their vinyl collections.

By Kevin Buckle
Saturday, 15th January 2022, 6:00 am
Avalanche's Grassmarket shop packed with Frightened Rabbit fans on 2011's Record Store Day
Avalanche's Grassmarket shop packed with Frightened Rabbit fans on 2011's Record Store Day

We do of course carry a wide range of albums covering most tastes but there were more than 300 albums we would have liked to have stocked but couldn’t due to the vinyl shortage meaning many albums are out of stock. Most surprising was probably the lack of Beatles albums but there were shortages across all genres and artists large and small.

The next big time for vinyl will be Record Store Day which is on Saturday April 23 this year. It is hard to believe that there won’t be huge problems having anything like the 500-plus titles normally available and some may think this is not particularly a bad thing.

Maybe this could all be for the good if the organisers widen the appeal of Record Store Day both in terms of products and target audience. Currently the vast majority of those queueing on the big day are older collectors dedicated to certain artists and what would be good to see is more youngsters taking part.

Will the vinyl shortage hit supplies for the upcoming Record Store Day?

In fact we have had a fair number of younger buyers in on Record Store Day since we moved to Waverley Market but most of them had little to no idea what day it was. Certainly the releases that are always available have no appeal to all those who have recently started collections and maybe most importantly of all up until now the day has been totally focused on vinyl.

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The idea when Record Store Day started was to bring people into record shops and at the time there was more focus on bands playing but since that often meant getting in the way of sales shops gradually dropped the idea. Avalanche did buck that trend when in the Grassmarket when we had 500 people squeezed into the shop late afternoon to see Frightened Rabbit and we took no money at all for an hour. Never regretted it though.

Maybe this year instead of so much limited edition vinyl there could be limited edition T-shirts, posters and prints too which would appeal to a different demographic. It is hardly that controversial, given that many albums these days are launched on the artists’ websites as bundles including a T-shirt and signed print .

It would certainly help with the vinyl shortage problem while appealing to a much wider fan base. We would certainly have a queue down Princes Street should we have a limited edition Arctic Monkeys print or a new Gorillaz t-shirt.

I suspect there are too many vested interests in the old ways for such a thing to ever happen but as a worldwide event it would be good to see the UK leading the way and being more innovative improving and widening the appeal of what has become a very tired format.

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