20 March 2012: Public Image Limited (PiL) frontman John Lydon this evening kicked off the countdown to Record Store Day 2012 with a secret gig and launch event in London’s Shoreditch and a DJ set from Orbital. The event was streamed live to thousands of fans by Boiler Room TV.
It is just four weeks to go to the annual celebrations taking place this year on Saturday April 21. Already a record 206 stores have signed up – 197 in the UK and nine in Ireland.
The initial list of over 350 exclusive Record Store Day releases was also unveiled at the event.
Record Store Day UK coordinator Spencer Hickman said, “The support of artists and labels and music fans for this annual celebration of the indie record shop has been amazing and is really appreciated. To have PiL and Orbital play at our launch is not only a real honour, but it’s a sign of how much Record Store Day has developed.”
Hickman brought the RSD concept of exclusive releases sold only for one day through indie record shops to the UK four years ago. Last year around 180 stores took part. There were around 250 exclusive releases only available in participating stores, more than double the previous year’s tally and more than 200 artists and bands played in record stores around the country.
Many stores had queues hundreds deep when they opened on last year’s Record Store Day. Some were still operating a “one-in-one-out” policy late into the afternoon.
“Record Store Day has now become an established part of the music calendar,” said Hickman. “And what makes it special is the character and individuality of record stores. There’s nothing to beat the enthusiasm and atmosphere of a great record shop. The reason great indie stores succeed is that they love music as much as their customers do. Record Store Day is like one huge festival taking place in every part of the UK. It’s primarily about the record stores and the events, not just the products available”
In what he described as a John Rotten Roll, John Lydon said in support of Record Store Day, “The destruction of the music industry is because people can't buy records easily. A record is for life. A download is a lack of life. A poor substitute for a real wife!"
Paul Hartnoll from Orbital said, “It’s a privilege to be asked to be involved and to promote local record stores up and down the country.”
Record Store Day is sponsored by the Entertainment Retailers Association. Director General Kim Bayley said, “However big and glossy and commercialised the entertainment business becomes, it is vital that we support the grassroots stores who day-in, day-out give their support to new talent.”
Paul Quirk Chairman of ERA added “As Chairman of ERA and a music retailer I have to say for me Record Store Day is the most exciting event of the whole year. I cannot believe how it has grown over the last few years and also how the retailers and the public have embraced it. Each year it moves up another level and I am sure 2012 will be the best ever”.