Definitely agree that RSD is set up to benefit the record companies more than the stores. I'm lucky
because the store I frequent is tucked away in suburbia but the guy is long-established so he can
(usually) get the items his customers are likely to want. The store doesn't get crowded with smelly
hipsters and other annoying trend-followers, the small line in front is always polite middle-aged
dudes. So I fit right in! There's always a concentrated, focused grab at the RSD item racks, but
people stay in line and cooperate with passing stuff forward and back based on barked out requests.
My friend reported the opposite in Rochester -- large crowd of college-aged hipsters pushing and
shoving toward open tables, with the owner's wife gamely trying to keep order. It never got overly
nasty due to the store personnel's high spirits, he said.
There seem to be two distinct kinds of customers in the vinyl niche. One group gravitates toward the
reissues made with care from high quality source material and pressed on heavy vinyl at good plants.
These folks also like 45RPM double-LP sets retailing for $50 or more. I would say that this
demographic tends to be middle-aged men with high-quality audio gear and on the higher end of
wealth, they are willing to pay extra for perceived high quality. I will sometimes dip into this
market, but the reissue LP has to be vastly superior, sound-wise, to anything else I can buy. There
are very few examples of this, in my opinion based on much listening and comparing over the years.
The other vinyl customer is the hipster kid, stereotypically based in Brooklyn or on a college
campus, and perhaps wearing a porkpie hat. He's the customer for vinyl issues of the latest music,
with a download code slip inside the wrapper. These records tend to retail for $20 or less, tend to
be cut from the exact same digital master as the CD, tend to sound just like the CD, and tend to be
pressed with less care (based on the few examples I've seen and heard -- I'm not a big fan of too
much recent rock or pop). United pressing in TN seems to do a lot of work in this area, and they are
notorious among the audiophile crowd for lousy vinyl and slack QC. In this market, my one weakness
is Daptone modern-retro soul albums -- I like the artwork and the "vibe" of the LP so much that I
usually crank out the extra 2 bucks or so for a vinyl record and a download code. The vinyl tends to
sound equally gritty to the CDs I've heard, so I assume it's all cut from the same master.
One old marketing trick that I'm surprised hasn't been revisited more often in the vinyl niche is
the bonus track. That was the original selling trick for duped cassettes and it carried over in
spades to CD since there was potentially 30 extra minutes to fill. With the new-issue LPs, bands
could (but rarely do) throw in a bonus 45 or fill out a double-LP with extra tracks. Sometimes you
do see lamer stuff like "celebrity remixes" on a 4th side of a 2LP.
Rough Guide had a good idea with including whole bonus albums in the download codes with their RSD
LPs. So you buy "Psychedelic Brazil" and get a download of that whole album plus a bonus album by
Jupiter Maca, a deeper dive into that style of music. A young band could put out vinyl of their
album and, for the extra few bucks, offer as part of the download card something like live tracks or
early demo recordings not on the CD.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Ramm" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 10:20 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Record Store Day
>I live in Philly where we have a dozen used record stores but only ONE
> store that celebrates RSD and it's mostly rock issues. So I don't go.
> I sold my Last Waltz CD set on Amazon about three years ago got bored with
> I got the CD version of the Charlie Poole from Tompkins Square and
> submitted my review for my June column. It's interesting. But- as I point out in
> my review - TSR is trying to get everyone to buy DIGITAL and said there will
> be no more physical copies going out to Media Folks (that kills a lot of
> Folk DJ play for them as DJs want physical CDs.). Go figure. Meanwhile
> Marshall Wyatt who released WONDERFUL "Cluck Old Hen" Cd - is so analog, he
> doesn't accept credit cards, just checks (But you can find the Cd on Amazon that
> does take CCds!).
> My take on RSD is that it's to make money for the record companies, not the
> stores. And the day after RSD, most customers don't return and spend their
> time reselling the stuff on Ebay. In a few years Sound Archives are going
> to have to catalog these "promos" as RSD items.
> Just my take.
> In a message dated 4/23/2013 10:09:57 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> [log in to unmask] writes:
> On the Charlie Poole LP, let me know if "May I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight
> Mister" sounds as wowy as my copy does.
> I highly recommend the Willie Nelson Demo Session LP on Sugar Hill. These
> consist of demos Willie recorded for other artists (including the original
> recording of "Crazy" that was played for Patsy Cline). Nice, complete inner
> liner notes as well.
> Another great piece is a 45 EP of 4 instrumentals recorded by Chet Atkins
> between 1957 and 1960. Three of the four tracks were previously unissued.
> The other is "Blackjack," which is only found on an obscure RCA Camden LP,
> which I don't even have (and I consider myself an Atkins completist). My
> friend John Sellards did the design of the EP picture cover, in the style of
> what RCA was doing at the time. They even use a replica of the early '60s
> RCA label design, although the vinyl is pressed in a brilliant red. I got my
> copy for $13.95, but copies on eBay have been going as high as $52.00. If
> you can score this one, it's a nice pickup.
> I wasn't able to find the Tompkins Square 78 Joe Bussard recorded, but
> that should turn up fairly easily in the next few weeks.
> Cary Ginell
>> Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2013 21:05:32 -0400
>> From: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Record Store Day
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> I was surprised no ARSC List chatter this year. One man's opinion, I
> thought the list was very lame,
>> but there were some surprises in the store. Columbia/Legacy put out
> three Miles Davis albums in
>> mono, and I didn't see them on the RSD website list. I was happy to get
> those, the sound and
>> pressing qualities are excellent. The other interesting items I found
> were from Rough Guides -
>> Psychedelic Brazil and Latin Psychedellia. The LPs were great on their
> own, but the download codes
>> got all the tunes plus bonus albums in both cases.
>> At all the places I checked in the metro NYC are and upstate all the way
> to Rochester, very few
>> copies of The Last Waltz soundtrack. My local record store guy said he
> had tried three different
>> avenues with Warner Music to get copies, all to no avail. His
> demographic is in the bullseye for
>> that album, I was far from the only middle-aged guy grumbling that none
> were available. There were
>> also no copies of the Charlie Poole reissue album down here, but my
> friend in Rochester scored a
>> copy for me. Meanwhile, there were multiple copies of the Flaming Lips
> LP set that sat in the rack
>> unsold. Also the $15 (!!) Jimi Hendrix single (that's right, 15 clams
> for two songs, both of which
>> have been issued elsewhere).
>> Interested to hear what others saw/heard/bought.
>> -- Tom Fine