In honour of Record Store Day, I’m posting what is probably one of the best slabs of 7″ vinyl I own—The Slits, I Heard it Through the Grapevine. When I first bought it, it didn’t leave my turntable all day, I had to keep replaying it over and over again as I was so mesmerised with it. It wasn’t until the next day that I discovered the (almost) equally brilliant Typical Girls on the other side.
Independant record stores were important places for me when I was in my teens. I’d go to the major stores and wonder at the LPs I couldn’t afford, then go to an independant store that sold second hand and underground records that I could ‘nearly’ afford. It was always intimidating, the older guy behind the counter—always a guy—whom it was assumed had all the knowledge there possibly was to be had about any musical genre. Teenage insecurities bought worries that they would judge you on your purchase. There I discovered much music, both being played on the in-store record player, and through taking a risk on the album art alone. I made some massive mistakes, but also some wonderful discoveries. Much of my collection at this time was built from money made on my paper round and Saturday Tesco’s job, prior to being on the dole. It therefore consisted of a lot of anarcho-punk, mostly because many of the bands had a ‘pay no more than’ policy printed on their sleeves, and partly because I was aggrieved as a grumpy teenager at just missing out on being old enough to be a first generation punk, so this was the nearest I could get.
Anyway, I won’t be going to my local record store today as I don’t have a turntable anymore and most of my music habits can be satisfied without leaving my home. However, I hope record stores do well out of the event, and survive into the coming year. They helped form a part of me.
If you are in Brighton, I can highly recommend Rounder Records, I always ensure a visit if I’m down that way. Closer to (my) home, and I’m not sure if they are involved in Record Store Day or not, but Out Of Time Records in Ipswich comes highly recommended, especially for all things reggae.