April 20, 2012
New vinyl album releases give record stores a kick
Think Katy Perry and vinyl, and a hip-hugging dress might come to mind.
The 27-year-old pop artist is among musicians going old school - releasing music on pressed vinyl records to help celebrate Record Store Day.
Perry, who's too young to have thumbed through 45-rpm singles when she was a girl, joins an eclectic mix that includes David Bowie, Paul McCartney, the Misfits, White Stripes, the late James Brown and The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends with special vinyl releases to celebrate the hometown record store on Saturday.
All of that vinyl - more than 300 offerings - represents a bright spot for the roughly 2,000 indie music retailers facing stiff competition from online music sales and streaming music services.
"There would be fewer stores, if it wasn't for the resurgence of vinyl,'' said Chris Brown from Bull Moose, a chain of 10 stores in Maine and New Hampshire, who hatched the idea for Record Store Day.
Now in its fifth year, Record Store Day got off to a raucous start with Metallica in San Francisco in 2008, a year after the idea was tossed out by Brown at a conference of indie retailers.
It's evolved into an annual event that gave an 8 percent sales bump to stores last year and is now being celebrated around the world in countries including Brazil, Australia, Romania and Germany.
For a time, it was unclear whether independent record stores would survive mega stores like Tower Records, and then the move to online sales with the ubiquitous iPod and now the growing popularity online services like Rhapsody, Pandora and Spotify. Indeed, hundreds of mom-and-pop stores did shut their doors.
But about 2,000 stores remain in business today, and the number has been relatively stable over the past few years, said Ken Glaser, vice president of sales for Alliance Entertainment, the nation's largest wholesale distributor of compact discs, DVDs and vinyl record albums.
"I still see a place for a strong indie store in every community that can support one. I just think there's still the lure of people wanting to walk into a store and touch and feel things and talk to people,'' said Joel Oberstein, president of Almighty Institute of Music Retail, a market research firm based in Studio City, Calif.
These days, vinyl records play an increasing role in bringing people through the doors or music stores.
It turns out vinyl records never really died after the compact disc became dominant after its 1980s introduction. These days, a new generation of young hipsters is helping to drive demand along with people who grew up with albums and audio purists who think vinyl albums still sound better than today's digital music.
Last year, vinyl albums sales grew 39 percent, with about 3.9 million albums being sold, and sales are up about 10 percent so far this year, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
Record Store Day last year represented the biggest day of the year for vinyl sales.
Perry, for her part, is releasing a 12-inch pink vinyl single "Part of Me'' with "Tommie Sunshine's Megasix Smash-Up'' on the flipside. Arcade Fire is releasing "Sprawl II'' as a 12-inch vinyl single, and Bowie is releasing a 7-inch "Starman'' picture disc. McCartney is rereleasing a 7-inch single with "Another Day'' and "Oh Woman Oh Why.'' Two never-before-released James Brown tracks from the upcoming "Live at the Apollo 50th Anniversary'' will be released on a single.
Many of the offerings will be unique pressings.
The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends are releasing a swirly-colored double LP featuring collaborations with a number of artists. White Stripes is releasing a red-and-black single with "Handsprings'' and "Red Death at 6:14.'' The Misfits, a punk band, will release the 1982 "Walk Among Us'' on colored vinyl.
David Bakula, senior vice president for analytics at Nielsen, said he thinks there'll always be room for record stores because they cater to hardcore music fans and offer special formats.
"Thank God there are still those music fans out there who're interested in supporting these stores and supporting these formats and supporting these bands. You have a perfect consumer ecosystem there where demand is met by supply,'' he said from his office in Los Angeles.
At Bull Moose in Portland's Old Port, Pat Markley was thumbing through the new and used rock CDs Thursday night. He said he likes shopping at a store because he gets to hear new music, and because there are people to help if he's looking for an obscure music titles.
"I could spend hours looking around here - and I have. I've been with my brother and sister and I've annoyed them to no end,'' Markley said.
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Article List• November 21, 2013 - New York Times - Records Are Dying? Not Here
• March 27, 2013 - Glendale News-Press - It's a matter of record: Burbank's Atomic Records and Backside
• December 30, 2012 - Detroit News - As one record shop closes, vinyl music plays on in another
• April 20, 2012 - Boston.com - New vinyl album releases give record stores a kick
• November 20, 2011 - Salon.com - In an iTunes age, do we need the record store?
• June 9, 2011 - NJ.com - Curmudgeon Records closes its doors for good
• April 16, 2011 - Wall Street Journal - One-Day Record-Store Revival
• February 1, 2011 - Charlottesville News & Arts - Plan 9 Changes Location
• August 13, 2010 - The Tennesean - Anita Wadhwani: Nashville indie record stores' sales spin in right direction
• January 3, 2010 - Delaware News Journal - Delaware music shops get creative to compete with downloads, chain music stores
• September 24, 2009 - Los Angeles Times - L.A. independent record shop is still in a groove
• August 20, 2009 - CNN Money - You can make money off online music
• June 14, 2009 - New York Times - Retailing Era Closes With Music Megastore
• May 13, 2009 - Medill Reports - Resurgence in vinyl helps record store in recession
• April 26, 2009 - Los Angeles Times - In a digital age, vinyl albums are making a comeback
• April 18, 2009 - Charlotte Observer - Record stores band together
• April 17, 2009 - Detroit News - Record Store Day spins profits and good beats at Metro Detroit shops
• April 17, 2009 - Associated Press - Record Store Day celebrates indie retailers
• April 10, 2009 - Detroit News - Street Corner Music moving to Oak Park plaza
• April 10, 2009 - Toledo Free Press - New record store shakes up Adams Street
• January 8, 2009 - OC Register - Closing date for Virgin Megastore at The Block
• October 28, 2008 - Reuters - AC/DC back in "Black" with global smash
• September 23, 2008 - Chicago Daily Herald - Independent music stores haven't yet disappeared from suburbia
• June 23, 2008 - New York Times - For Tom Petty Fans, the True Sound of Vinyl, Also Captured on a CD
• April 19, 2008 - Lafayette Journal Courier - For some, record stores live on
• April 19, 2008 - New Jersey Star Ledger - It's Record Store Day. Play it again, Sam!
• April 18, 2008 - New York Times - Record Stores Fight to Be Long-Playing
• April 18, 2008 - Dallas Morning News - Retailers hope Record Store Day turns up volume at mom-and-pop shops
• April 16, 2008 - Timeout New York - Platter Up
• December 27, 2007 - Los Angeles Times - Virgin Megastore to close shop
• December 16, 2007 - New York Times - For a "Dinosaur," an Exuberant Second Life (Looney Tunes Reopens)
• December 3, 2007 - Detroit Free Press - The same old song: Music store closing
• November 7, 2007 - Washington Post - Eagles soar past Britney to top of charts
• November 4, 2007 - The Ledger - Two Young Entrepreneurs Unafraid of Risk of Going on Records
• August 20, 2007 - Billboard - Almighty Taps Hans As VP
• June 29, 2007 - ABC News - Long Live the Record Store
• June 28, 2007 - Orange County Weekly - Locals Only
• June 13, 2007 - Reuters - McCartney's Starbucks album heats up U.S. charts
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• May 9, 2007 - Columbia Free Times - High Fidelity
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• March 16, 2007 - Chortler - Shout! Factory Has Revamped Its Website
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• March 4, 2007 - Sacramento Bee - New groove for Solomon
• February 28, 2007 - USA Today - Exclusives aim to pull music fans into stores
• February 28, 2007 - New York Newsday - Latin record shops thrive despite changes in music business
• February 23, 2007 - Montpelier Bridge - Buch Spieler Sails On Despite a Music Industry Decline
• November 20, 2006 - Austin 360 - In Austin, Niche Indies Rule
• October 20, 2006 - Sacramento Bee - Tower brand could survive
• October 15, 2006 - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Tables have turned on record stores
• October 14, 2006 - Sacramento Bee - Small labels lose valuable ally in Tower
• October 6, 2006 - Desert Sun - Record Alley remodels
• September 27, 2006 - Music & Copyright - Niche Marketing of CD albums continues to rise in the US and Physical Sales overall decline
• September 22, 2006 - CNN.com - Indie stores confront a new era
• September 19, 2006 - New York Newsday - 34 years, and that's not all, folks
• August 18, 2006 - The Roanoke Times - Plan 9 Music puts new spin on 5 Record Exchange stores
• August 3, 2006 - The Hollywood Reporter - Nervous music retailers face hazy digital future
• July 16, 2006 - New York Times - The Graying of the Record Store
• July 13, 2006 - Rolling Stone - The iTunes Holdouts
• July 11, 2006 - Roanoke Times - Record store's "last dance"
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• December 1, 2005 - Rolling Stone - Fall Sales Dry Up
• October 13, 2005 - Desert Sun - Music snobs rejoice: Independent record stores still thrive in desert
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• June 18, 2005 - Billboard - NARM Noms Announced
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