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Record Store Day: The Documents They Didn't Want You To See...
David Stubbs , March 15th, 2016 09:12

We've got an exclusive look at the full list of RSD16 releases as well as some sensitive behind the scenes documents...

Taking another of his regular constitutionals, David Stubbs happened to be passing the headquarters of the UK branch of Record Store Day. Spotting a bundle of discarded papers in an adjacent alleyway skip, he thought to himself, “Hello, this is unusual” and decided to investigate further. What he discovered were a copy of the minutes of a planning meeting held by RSD chief, looking ahead to this year’s event. He grabbed the bundle and hastened to Quietus Towers. Here are the minutes, in full, item by item…

RECORD STORE DAY 2016 - The Inside Story

ITEM ONE

PRESS RELEASE (To be circulated in spoken word form on a special flexidisc to all international media)

"Fellow vinyl enthusiasts! It's that time of year when we go out to the barns we all own, look over shelf after shelf groaning with thousands upon thousands of vinyl artefacts, all indispensable, all frequently played and think to ourselves, "You know what we need? Loads more of this stuff."

"That's where Record Store Day comes in. We are dedicated to preserving the independent record shop. We all remember that thrill of going in and pawing through the racks and coming across that Metallica's Greatest Hits Superdeluxe Japanese triple vinyl edition, or that recently reissued Go West 'We Close Our Eyes' picture disc. That's how we used to roll, back in the day, back in 2007 when Record Store Day was launched. Who'd have thought, nine years later, we'd still be standing up for the little guy, making sure there's somewhere in the high street where you can still buy records by Madonna and Johnny Cash, now that Woolworths has closed?

"We've been busy. For 364 days we've block-booked Europe's only pressing plant, Sneaky Vlad's Shed in Bratislava, so that we can bring you releases by a host of up-and-coming, cruelly under-exposed artists like Metallica, The Foo Fighters, Madonna, Metallica, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Metallica and their rare as hens' beaks albums. To say nothing of those quirky, even harder to come by collectors' items and treasures which if it weren't for Record Store Day would be changing hands for tens, twenties, sometimes hundreds of pence at Oxfam shops?

"Sadly, there are the carpers - small indie labels who protest that Record Store Day does them no favours at all and that they've been shunted out by major labels who having initially intended to bury vinyl forever are piggybacking on it now that it's back in fashion and reasserting their monopoly on the format. Well, let me tell you, Hedgehog Scrotum Records or Exploding Pomegranate Records or whatever your name is, hell-OOO! It's about INDEPENDENT SHOPS, not LABELS. It's not about music, it's about BUYING STUFF.

"Anyway, we do deal with independent labels. Take our friends at Universal, for instance, who started back in the 1930s when Ma and Pa Universal sold shellac from a corner shack. Today, they're bigger than most corporate labels - that’s real independence!

"So LET'S GET ACQUIRING! (This press release is sponsored by Cadbury's Boost Music Academy)"

ITEM TWO

PROMOTIONAL IDEAS

Size zero models dressed as LPs in all major towns and cities handing out flyers while wearing hook-on hipster beards. We recommend staff at participating stores also wear these. Those with actual beards should shave them off and wear the fake ones, for brand consistency.

Farmer's vinyl market stalls - pop-up stalls in which farmers from outlying rural areas come in and sell local produce, including records by locally sourced bands, or, if they prefer, agriculture-related discs by The Wurzels, The Farm, or Nicky Minaj's 'Stupid Hoe'.

Health & Safety workshops for teens titled How To Avoid Suffocation While Playing Records. Wish we'd had those when we were kids. I'm surely not the only one who accidentally glued his head into an inner sleeve while inhaling and had to be revived by his younger brother! Great vinyl days.

Lists! Lists. We should print a list. Ten vinyls you should, er, 20 records before you die to die for, or - anyway, a list. Without a list, all is lost.

A short promotional sequel to INDEPENDENCE DAY in which Will Smith, or an equivalent if Will is unavailable, plays a funky dude who saves the planet not by battling aliens but this time by shopping in his local record store, keeping alive the hopes of all humanity.

ITEM THREE

AVOID! AVOID! PITFALLS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS

- THE GREAT GHOSTBUSTER PICTURE DISC MC TUNES TRAMPLING FIASCO

This one is unfortunately as it says on the tin. Last year we drastically underestimated demand for the Ghostbusters II soundtrack picture discs, especially at our Manchester Piccadilly store. This was disastrous for many people but mainly for local atom-splitting rapper MC Tunes, who was there for a signing, but ended up the prime casualty when the stampede for picture discs turned into a full-blown melee. "I realised that rhymes that bite are nothing compared to a vinyl-hungry obsessive sinking his teeth into the ankle of a fellow obsessive. I saw things, terrible things", you'll recall Tunes later said from his hospital bed. People, we don't need this kind of publicity. Tunes is a huge shifter for us. Do you know how much a rainbow-coloured vinyl edition of MC Tunes Vs Freddy & The Dreamers' "You Were Made For Me ‘88" goes for on Record Store Day? £56.99.

- THE ZEPPELIN STYLUS STREWING DEBACLE

We're not saying it wasn't a great idea. Hire a fleet of Zeppelin airships to hover above towns and cities in the UK and US during peak shopping hours and have T-shirted RSD reps throw out promotional styluses onto the streets below. But a boxed stylus can be a deadly weapon when dropped from 1,500 feet and the 48 serious injuries this incident caused is, unlike Led Zeppelin's In Through The Out Door, not a record to be proud of. This year, we need to liaise with local police forces to see that the streets are fully evacuated for 30 minutes while the promotional distribution takes place, so that casualties can be kept down to a more acceptable level.

- DON'T LET MADONNA NEAR THOSE CRATES!

Strictly confidential, this one. We all know that a Madonna RSD release isn't just yet another example of a superannuated, superstar fashionista parasite attaching herself to the latest bandwagon. Madonna is - and always has been - a vinyl obsessive. She is a dedicated crate digger whose fixation on obscure discs has sometimes come to the point of endangering her health. She has worn her fingernails to the nub, rifling in search of an early, elusive Red Lorry Yellow Lorry test pressing or pragVEC limited edition acetate. The only reason she made all those crappy films in the 80s and 90s was to fund her vinyl habit, which later saw her scour the globe in search of every last Fierce Panda promotional 7-inch. Naturally, she'll be eager to play her part in promoting Record Store Day, coming over and criss-crossing the UK making countless personal appearances but staff are instructed to keep her WELL AWAY from the records themselves; doctors have warned that another marathon bout of crate digging in search of à;GRUMH... poster bag 7"s could see her confined to a bathchair, being wheeled around the grounds of a Swiss clinic occasionally barking the words "70 Gwen Party! I must have 70 Gwen Party rarities!”

ITEM FOUR

RSD RELEASES - The full 2016 list

JOHN CAGE’S 4'33" - THE REMIXES. These include John Cale's '5'26"', Ricardo Villalobos's '17'48"' and The Orb's epic '58'56"'. £76.99

V/A - MUSIC OF BLACK ORIGIN. 1988 album compilation of artists named Black who happen to be white, featuring Big Black, Black Lace, Black, Cilla Black, Black Flag among others. Available on any colour vinyl you like because colour is not an issue. £69.99

SHEEP ON DRUGS - STEEL MAGNOLIAS OST 10". The original soundtrack that was rejected for being "too sexy". £59.99

THE PRETENDERS - Full back catalogue on coloured vinyl; choose between rare, medium and well done. £649.99

HELENA BONHAM-CARTER SINGS THE BLUES. 1993 release in which actress covers songs by Billie Holiday, and Bessie Smith, bringing out some of the harrowing depths of meaning missing from the originals. Comes in 50 shades of blue vinyl. £119.99

INXS - KICK. Brand new, 'vintage look' edition of the classic 80s pop funk album, now complete in cool 'distressed' sleeve containing the words, "This record belongs to Sharon" written on the back in red biro. The vinyl has been through our trademarked, Fair/G++ pre-loved processing, which involves, the disc being cleaned with a pan scrub and then finished off with a sprinkle of cat hair and Lambert & Butler tobacco, to give it that just-bought-from-Scope feel. (Although we take very precaution to ensure your copy of KICK is brand new 'vintage look' vinyl, we cannot guarantee that it was not bought from Scope.) £38.78

HUGH PYM - 'BLOOPERS' 7" EP. Hilarious R4 news outtakes compilation, mainly connected to the veteran presenter's inability to pronounce the word 'labrador' correctly. £19.99

BOB DYLAN - BOB DYLAN SINGS THE SONGS OF BOB DYLAN. 1978 self-released album that saw Guildford painter and decorator Bob Dylan performs a selection of the songs made famous by his namesake and idol. Features an authentic replica of the original “Pay No More Than 99p” sticker. £54.99.

RIGHT SAID FRED - 'BERNARD CRIBBINS'. The too-sexy 90s posters' return tribute to the Carry On funnyman, which reached no. 37 in the UK Top 40. The original 7" is said to have relaunched his career, leading to an audition for a voiceover for a B&Q advert. £29.99

METALLICA - RELOAD. Record Store Day wouldn't be Record Store Day without the reissue of an album you've already got in several formats. This is a must-have, however. Featuring the ORIGINAL track listing only, with no extras of any kind, it also features the unique RECORD STORE DAY SPECIAL EDITION sticker on its front which adds £20 to its value at such prestige events as Record Store Day. £20.99

SOOTY AND SWEEP - THE DISCO YEARS. 1977 outing, in which our loveable duo cover such classics as The Trammps' 'Disco Inferno', The Bee Gees' 'Jive Talking' and Tina Charles' 'I Love To Love' in their inimitable squeaky/completely silent style. It gives the lie to the notion that RSD has become a massive barrel scraping cash grab where outlandishly shit records, that were once available in charity shops for 50p or were never released in the first place for good reason are now being sold for £48. £47.99

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