Today I visited RPM Records in Marrickville ahead of the 10th Anniversary of International Record Store Day, Saturday 21 April, which recognises the economic and cultural importance of independent record stores worldwide.
In the words of Chuck Berry: “Music is an important part of our culture and record stores play a vital part in keeping the power of music alive.”
Record Store Day is a celebration of the power of music, as well as being an opportunity to promote the role independent record stores play as custodians and curators of contemporary culture.
Physical music sales have had their best year since 2011, when digital trends changed the way we listen to music. The revival is partly attributable to the increase in vinyl sales.
Video may have killed the radio star but streaming has yet to replace the record store.
This is because nothing compares to the experience of actually visiting one. You can buy the full album and hold it in your hands, read the liner notes and enjoy the songs in the order in which they were meant to be played.
Independent record stores often stock music by local artists, particularly new and emerging bands, helping to kick start their careers.
On top of this, they create jobs and stimulate economic activity in local communities.
Last year, I was proud to be the Lead Australian Ambassador for Record Store Day, which takes place in thousands of record stores on every continent in the world, and is widely used by recording artists to release new music and special and souvenir editions of previous works.
In fact, there is a new record by the late David Bowie, Welcome to the Blackout (Live London ’78), coming out on Saturday.
This year I remain an enthusiastic supporter of Record Store Day, which is why I am here at my local, RPM Records, to prepare for the weekend celebrations.
Nearly 150 Australian stores are participating in Record Store Day, with many hosting events, such as The Record Store in Surry Hills, with a performance by Sydney funk outfit, The Goods.