Vinyl collectors and enthusiasts are getting ready to add to their collection on April 18 for record store day.
While the amount of record stores in business have dwindled over the years, the enthusiasm of die-hard collectors has not.
LeAnne Jakubeit, co-owner and operator of The Grooveyard said the big draw for vinyl lovers is the limited edition releases that record companies send to verified independent record stores.
Part of the fun is not knowing which releases will make it to which stores.
“People really never know what’s going to be in any of the stores,” Jakubeit said.
The Grooveyard will have plenty on hand, she said, and the vinyl section of store will be expanding just in time for this year’s record store day.
“We haven’t done the used LPs for quite awhile, we do used CDs and DVDs, but now we’re back into the used LPs,” Jakubeit said.
Jakubeit said collectors from across the Okanagan will generally come later in the day searching for limited release records after they have seen what their local record store has to offer.
“We’re excited about that. It’s just really awesome to see people coming from across the valley, we get a lot of people from Vernon, Kamloops and Kelowna just to see what’s in our store,” she said.
“They make kind of a day of it on record store day and find something that’s a real treasure to them, so it’s good that way.”
Jakubeit said record companies are strict with limited releases, not wanting the records leaked online, so some stores sometimes don’t get their stock in time for the actual day. She said The Grooveyard was fortunate enough to get most of their stock last year, and has received most of the limited releases for this year.
“Other stores, there was so many of them that didn’t get anything (last year), but still even the week after it was worth people’s while to be hunting around in stores like ours and stuff, we got a lot of the releases the week after. It’s kind of a buzz around those couple weeks there, it’s fun,” Jakubeit said.
Dave Del Rizzo, president of the community radio society and organizer of the Okanagan Vinyl Festival, returning for its fourth year in September, is an avid vinyl collector, with a collection that between he and his wife, is approaching 1200 albums.
He feels that the resurgence of vinyl and the popularity of events like record store day is due both to fans and artists.
“It’s grown in popularity and I think it’s the artists driving it, obviously the people who are buying the vinyl are driving it, but the artists are looking at this resurgence in vinyl and looking at their back catalogue and releasing anniversary releases of records or gimmicked coloured vinyl, things like that,” Del Rizzo said.
“It’s kind of cool for collectors, but for the die-hard collector, nothing beats an original pressing,” Del Rizzo said.
Del Rizzo said the tangible qualities of a piece of vinyl are part of the appeal for him, as well as appreciating an album in its entirety, something that can be lost when jumping from song to song digitally.
“It’s the sound quality that you get. It’s just a bit different than a digitally processed piece of music. It’s a little warmer and depending on what kind of system you play it through, with the sound, you can really hear the difference,” he said.
Something else Del Rizzo feels vinyl offers that was lost in the transition of media formats is the grandiose album art and interesting liner notes.
“That’s the whole other aspect of the music that people lost when they went to CDs and cassettes, when you kind of have to have a microscope to read the liner notes,” Del Rizzo said.
For more information on record store day, or to find participating venues in the Okanagan visit www.recordstoreday.com.