News March 22, 2018

Lead Record Store Day Ambassador Michael Chugg isn’t surprised by vinyl’s resurgence because “it’s no longer uncool to like your dad’s favourite band”

Staff Writer
Lead Record Store Day Ambassador Michael Chugg isn’t surprised by vinyl’s resurgence because “it’s no longer uncool to like your dad’s favourite band”

Legendary Aussie music promoter Michael Chugg was yesterday unveiled as the lead ambassador for Australian Record Store Day at Red Eye Records in Sydney, alongside musicians Amber Lawrence and Dan Sultan (the latter of whom wasn’t able to attend).

The launch also marked the ceremonial handing over of the ambassadorship from last year’s ambassador Anthony ‘DJ Albo’ Albanese.

“There’s nothing quite like vinyl and like putting the needle on a piece of vinyl and hearing that authentic music as it was meant to be heard,” said Albanese as he introduced the new ambassadors for 2018.

The past few years have seen a renaissance for vinyl, not just in Australia but around the Western World, and talking to TMN at the launch Chugg said that he wasn’t surprised by the resurgence in the medium.

“It’s no longer uncool to like your dad’s favourite band,” he said.

“Young people might hear the music their dad, mum or sister are listening to, and they can head into their local store and start discovering new music.”

As for how that is translating into physical sales? Chugg says that curiosity for more information about the process and the band, outside of just a single, is driving them to purchase vinyl records.

“People are actually buying physical because they want to know more about the band.

“It’s not just the music, it’s about the people that make the music, why they make the music – and vinyl, and also CDs, are resurging because of that.”

Record Store Day Australia will be held on April 21 for the eleventh time, and reminds consumers and the rest of the music industry at the important role that record stores play in the discovery of new music.

Each year 180 independent stores (head to the website for the full list) will bring in customers with special releases, bargains, in-store live sets and signings, BBQs, vinyl crate searches and mini-street parties

Since the vinyl renaissance, artists and labels have eagerly waited for the day to grab copies of second hand and newly released vinyl long players.

There are re-issued releases by the Black Sorrows, Dragon,  U2, Taylor Swift, Jebediah and Eurogliders in that format.

A David Bowie live album from 40 years ago finally sees the light of day while Wollongong power trio Tumbleweed’s debut album will be available on vinyl for the first time.

Courtney Barnett has a 12 inch of ‘City Looks Pretty’ with unreleased track ‘Sunday Roast’.

Among some retailers, the move has begun to stretch Record Store Day Australia to a full year with constant reissues and campaigns.

Last year, a ring-around of stores by TMN found that some claimed business went up on the day by up to 50%. Others put it at 25% while some only claimed a small sales surge.

Record Store Day began in the US in 2007 and now expanded to 30 countries.

This year’s US ambassadors are Run The Jewels who will on the day release a deluxe edition box set – ostensibly of their last album, Run the Jewels 3 – as well as a 12-inch single featuring remixes and new material.

Killer Mike recalled running to his neighbourhood stores to “buy the record that Tipper Gore (one-time high profile rock censorship activist) wanted to ban.”

El-P emphasised, “When I became a part of the music scene, I knew that I wanted to be someone who was a part of that culture.

“Because places like Fat Beats Records in New York City were cornerstones of the community – and that’s what we appreciate about the record stores.

“You’re not just some place to press a button to get a song.”

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