Record Store Day celebrates vinyl and independent outlets

 Tim McPhee  is preparing for the annual Record Store Day on Saturday.   Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Tim McPhee is preparing for the annual Record Store Day on Saturday. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

THE early bird catches the worm – or in this case, the record.

That’s the advice of Tim McPhee, owner of music and fashion store Abicus on Darby Street, who is preparing for the annual Record Store Day on Saturday.

McPhee has this week been unpacking boxes of limited edition records which have been pressed specifically to co-incide with the international event which first launched in the US in 2007 to celebrate the culture of independent record stores.

Abicus has hosted the event since it launched in Australia in 2011.

‘‘We really loved the concept, celebrating the art and culture of all that is bricks and mortar record stores, and loved the way that all these exclusive one-off releases are made especially for the day,’’ McPhee said.

 According to McPhee, Metallica is one of the most sought-after items this year, with Abicus handling several enquiries as to whether they will have the tape for sale.

Abicus has five copies which  are expect to be snapped up quickly.

‘‘It’s Metallica’s 1982 demos and it’s a replica of an original cassette the band has personally made.

‘‘It’s the one that we’ve definitely had the most calls about.’’

Other in-demand releases include copies of The Saints’ Eternally Yours, The Doors’ Strange Days and a series of Bruce Springsteen re-issues.

Abicus began placing orders in January but McPhee said they remain unaware of which stock they have been allocated until the records arrive in store.

‘‘There’s no guarantee that we will get even one unit of a particular title because certain releases are limited to 500 copies worldwide.

‘‘We honestly haven’t found out what we were getting until last week.’’

McPhee said he has to resist the urge to keep the records for himself.

‘‘My personal pile, I’m gonna have to cull. There’s some really great stuff this year and it’s so easy to get carried away.’’

Record Store Day has been recognised as playing a part in the resurgence in the popularity of vinyl.

According to the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), vinyl sales have more than doubled in the past financial year – up 127 per cent.

This week, Britain’s chart compiler launched the country’s first official chart of vinyl records, reflecting a 20-year high in sales.

Since Abicus began stocking records when it opened in 2000, McPhee said they had noticed many younger buyers gravitating toward vinyl.

‘‘It’s quite remarkable to see just how many young folk are starting up their record collection for the first time.

‘‘I think that while there is a massive push on streaming, more and more people are realising that albums aren’t just about the sound. It is about he experience of putting it on, sitting down to listen to it, not just streaming it off your computer.’’

Abicus will open at 9am on Saturday for Record Store Day and will also hand out rock’n’roll-inspired bagels from Paper Bagel to the first 50 customers.

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