Tomorrow is Record Store Day 2016 and retailers up and down the land are preparing for a stampede through the doors from vinyl lovers from six to 80.
At Tower Records in Dawson Street, Dublin, this afternoon, a boy of six-years-old proudly held aloft his first Beatles LP.
“I’m trying to give him the best start to his musical education,” beamed the boy’s proud dad.
When the young music lover enquired about a certain Rob Zombie release, parental guidance was advised. “He’ll have to wait a few years before he can listen to “Hellbilly Deluxe.” Stated his dad with a smile.
According to Clive Brannigan, the store manager, scenes like these are quite the norm now. Vinyl is hip and if you want to be down with the kids, you really should think about dusting down that old record player.
If we’re helping young people discover the joy of music, I’m happy with that, said Clive, who took a break from an in-store interview with TXFM’s Clare Beck to chat with Ireland Today about the day ahead.
Clive gave us his thoughts on the recent resurgence in vinyl sales. “I’d say nostalgia plays a big part in the revival,” he said.
“We have customers in their 30s that may love albums they were too young to experience first time around, so getting the chance to own a vinyl recording of something they cherish is very appealing.
“Also for older people who remember when a particular album was released, its nice to have the option of discovering it again in its original format.”
Clive is proud to see the survival and popularity of the vinyl record, especially given the analogue to digital music era we live in.
He believes independent retailers have played their part in the enduring success of the format.
“Of course the major record labels are not slow to jump on the vinyl bandwagon, said Clive.
“Every solo artist and band release their material on vinyl because they know the market exists for it.
“But I like to think these companies took the lead from ourselves in the independent record retail market.
“Nothing beats the experience of chilling out to a vinyl record. We have a generation now that flick through tracks like its the most natural thing to do. But they’re missing out on the best way to hear music.”
This Tower Records store has a core of devoted customers and a distinct sense of community is apparent.
“We have a real mixture of customers,” said Clive. “People of all ages come in and share their thoughts on releases and recommend what to buy, what’s good, what’s not. There is that sense of community, yes.”
So what are the big sellers?
“PJ Harvey is very big, so too is Nirvana and homegrown stuff like Christy Moore,” said Clive.
“There will be an eclectic mix of material going on sale tomorrow, some extremely rare.
“Original and remastered work by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, S lade, and…Alan Partridge.
“Doors are open from 8am, we’re anticipating queues round the block, ” said Clive. “Everything is on a first come first serve basis so get along as early as you can.”