View From A Record Store #8
"Ok enough already. Jesus H Christ, how much stuff...... and in how many different formats, and what in gods name, is all this shit."
Having just got off the phone with a rather excellent rep (who shall most definitely remain nameless), he's just told me that an artist his outfit was distributing has just sold 692 LPs. And this was good. 692... I'll say it again. 692. This artist was on the back of every magazine, subject of many, many internet campaigns, had several people working at PR... and he sold 692 LPs.
Thanks god I won one, because in 20 years it'll be worth a bloody fortune. When My Bloody Valentine brought out Loveless 25 years ago, the LP was on its way out. Creation probably only printed 10,000. It did after all chart, and on CD it sold 225,000 copies. I bought the CD. Even though I was collecting LPs at the time, I was buying new music on CD.
What a dick.
I quite liked the record, so about 8 years later, I saw a nearly new copy in a carity shop for £2. Bought it, tucked it away and rarely pulled it out. Playing the CD.
At some point I sold it. I know I got £25 for it, and this was about 6 years ago. Then I thought, I would love to listen to it on LP, and now..... well anything less than £70 would be good. And there are 10,000 odd of these. So owning a 1 of 692 LPs is most definitely going to be a good investment.
But this is a digression. What I simply can not believe is that depsite all the incessant whining from people like me about the price of major label vinyl (£25 for Lana Del Rey... I mean please), here I am in the possession of a 'deluxe version' of the new XX album. £22. Now you can get it for £15 as well; so the label clearly recognises what it is doing. The difference is a nice book, and slightly heavier vinyl, giving you the impression it will improve the sound quality (as it'll be from the same master and master plate, it will be exactly the bloody same).
This all started about a month back. Animal Collective, the XX, Dirty Projectors, Hot Chip...... can you see a theme. I suppose the theory goes, that if less than 700 sell, then better make as much off the 700 that sell. And I can see it. But boy oh boy is it counter productive. Still got the Hot Chip. Sold all the £15 Dirty Projectors. Still got all the deluxe versions (which are retailing at £22).
All this tells me, as a shop owner, is... people don't buy it. Much like my attitude to overpriced major label shit. Seems a crying shame to plump Animal Collective into the same barrel as Lana Del Rey, but there we are.
And the irony here is, as this is going on, the new Bob Dylan has just come out, as has Band of Horses (both Sony), and next is Muse (Warner). I would normally give all of this a body swerve. The last Bob was retailing at £30, the last Muse was £35. I complained bitterly, I got calls telling me I was wrong, I stuck to my guns. I am not going to rip of my customers I said... Now, the Bob is retailing at £19, the Band of Horses and Muse at £18..... getting there guys, getting there. Nice to see them listening...
And then I just got the new Tru Thoughts LP in. £12 retail, in fact I actually sell it for £11! Sold out in 3 hours. Always buy 5, always sell out on the day of release. Why? Well it's a quality label, with a variety of gear, but at £11 for the LP (which comes with the CD), it's worth a punt. Nobody takes a punt at £25.
And finally - just a short reminder to all record companies out there. There is a recession on. People have less money, so please make more of little and improve the quality. You'll do better, the shops will do better, and the customer will be happier. I promise.
That is all.