Several significant reasons to celebrate today. First, today (Saturday, April 21) is Record Store Day. This is the 11th year that this is cause for celebration which may sound like ancient history to some but having grown up with the concept of ‘the record store’ was an experience that, hopefully, will never go away. Officially, Record Store Day was created in 2007 to insure that this experience will live on for generations to come and ‘celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store’. One has to look no further than the 2000 movie High Fidelity based on the Nick Hornby novel to understand the greatness of the independent record store. John Cusack and Jack Black were brilliant as two self-professed music loving record store geek owner and employee of Championship Vinyl in Chicago.
While a number of records pressed specifically for Record Store Day are only distributed to shops participating in the event, it’s also an opportunity to replace any worn our vinyl you may have in your collection. You’re not replacing the memories that are attached to the scratches on the album you originally purchased years ago, consider it as you are merely preserving them while adding to your vinyl library and, at the same time, keeping the concept of independent record stores alive in a more impersonal, internet-based, consumer society.
Me? I’ll be celebrating this and the upcoming 51st anniversary of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band simultaneously by acquiring a new vinyl copy at, hopefully, Good Records in Dallas, Big Bucks Burnett’s 14 Records on Garland Road, Hit Records in Casa View or Spinster Records in Oak Cliff. The eighth studio album by The Beatles was released on June 1, 1967. Described by many as “the most important and influential rock and roll album ever recorded”, Sgt Pepper was ranked number one in its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” by Rolling Stone Magazine back in 2003.
With Sgt Pepper, the Beatles took music to a whole new level from a stylistic standpoint to where it is considered one that significantly altered the way albums were produced. Lost a bit in the mix was the fact that the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson was so taken with the Beatles’ previous release of Rubber Soul that they released the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds LP. Pet Sounds so inspired both John Lennon and Paul McCartney that they developed Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The influence of Pet Sounds on Sgt Pepper was not lost on long-time Beatles producer George Martin who stated: “…without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper never would have happened … Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds.”
It may have been ’20 years ago today that Sgt Pepper taught the band to play’ but it’s now just north of 50 years that the Beatles changed the face of music forever. Celebrate Record Story Day today and maybe pick up a new vinyl copy at your favorite local independent record store.