April 22, 2017 | by Denise Sullivan
Today is the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day, conceived as a celebration of indie record stores but really just another reason for you to open your wallet and lay down some cash for some souped-up vinyl editions of stuff you already possess on another format, are we right?
Record Store Day would like to take credit for resurgence of vinyl (guess that means they get credit for the exorbitant prices and backlog at the pressing plants too). But bitterness aside, in addition to this year's ambassador St. Vincent, the RSD people doubled down and pulled in well-known record hound Elton John to speak to vinyl's charms. John's got his own archival release set for Saturday: An expanded edition of 17-11-70, or as we call it in this land, 11-17-70. Nevermind you have an original copy (or in my case, a used copy with a .50 sticker from Village Music, Mill Valley); we surely all need to crack the seal on a fresh edition because, well, it has bonus tracks. Besides that, the artist claims it's one of the great albums of all time (and we were inclined to believe him until we tracked it front to back: It's…ok).
Elton John (it doesn't feel right calling him just Elton or just John) is a no-nonsense record man: He was known to haunt the aisles every Tuesday (the day of the week records were released back before they were dropped) and his store of choice was Tower Sunset where you could sometimes catch him in-store between 9-10 am, loading up on records by The White Stripes, Ron Sexsmith and The Kills (he says he cried when the store closed).
These days he orders 5-6 vinyl slices from Rough Trade in London and also flips through bins at Wax Trax in Las Vegas; he's amassed something like 7,000 records in the last couple of years alone after selling off his original collection for charity, though he was appalled at what he had to pay for his vinyl pressing of Life Of Pablo. So what do we make of these facts? Well, it turns out EJ is just like the rest of us: Disturbed enough by price gouging to mention it, and fool enough to buy his record collection at least twice over.
So with that, enjoy your Record Store Day, and rest assured we will too.