Record Store Day “is dying”, say independent labels

The event is "not beneficial" to small labels

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Two independent labels, Sonic Cathedral and Howling Owl, have claimed that Record Store Day is “not beneficial to small labels.”

The labels have joined forces to release a new split single – Spectres and Lorelle Meets The Obsolete covering each others’ songs – one copy of which will be released every day for the next year.

Their intention is highlight the way Record Store Day has become co-opted into the music industry calender to the detriment of smaller labels.


The labels have released a joint statement which list their motive as trying to illustrate “how every day should be record store day” and that the current Record Store Day “rules and regulations” mean that it’s “not beneficial to small, backs to the wall labels”.

Read the full statement below:

“We are releasing one copy a day for a whole year via selected shops and to make some sort of point about how every day should be record store day, and because it seemed like an amusing, foolhardy thing to do. Make no mistake, though, this is not a protest against record shops, because we love record shops (some copies of this record will actually be available in them). It’s not even really a protest against Record Store Day, which is essentially a good idea, or was when it began in 2007, even if it is far too focused on ‘product’ rather than the actual shop spaces and their role in the communities they serve.”


“If it’s a protest against anything, it’s what Record Store Day has become: just another event in the annual music industry circus that begins with the BBC Sound Of… list and ends with the Mercury Prize, co-opted by major labels and used as another marketing stepping stone, like an appearance on ‘Later… With Jools Holland’ or bagging the sunset slot at Glasto. If you want to queue up from the early hours of April 18 to buy Mumford & Sons’ 7” or an overpriced Noel Gallagher 12” to flip on eBay, then fine, but what the hell has it got to do with us? U2 have already shat their album into our iTunes, why should they constipate the world’s pressing plants with it too? And there’s a picture disc of A-ha’s ‘Take On Me’ as well. Of course it’s a fine pop single, but there’s bound to be a copy in the Oxfam around the corner.”

“No, because of the rules and regulations (minimum pressing amounts, no direct to customer sales, blah blah blah) Record Store Day really isn’t fun, and it’s certainly not beneficial to small, backs to the wall labels like Sonic Cathedral and Howling Owl. But we are still affected by it. Badly. There are currently no copies of Spectres’ album ‘Dying’ on vinyl in the shops because the repress is somewhere towards the back of the queue after some Foo Fighters studio scrapings, a host of EPs by The 1975 and about a million heavyweight ‘heritage rock’ reissues that no-one really needs. Less Cheap Trick, more bloody expensive con.”

“The final irony was getting a call to say that this very 7” was going to be delayed and might not be shipped until after Record Store Day. We’ve switched plants, and fingers crossed they will appear on time for the first copy to go on sale on April 18. If they don’t, well, there are 364 other days on which to buy and release records…”

This year, Record Store Day takes place on April 18.


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