Limited edition releases of Tumbleweed’s 7” single Daddy Longlegs and The Polish Club’s EP on baby pink vinyl were top picks by Wollongong music fans for Record Store Day on Saturday.
More than 180 indie music stores across the country took part in the 12th annual day by throwing parties, barbecues and selling special releases.
At Music Farmers in Wollongong, Tumbleweed delighted fans with a free concert, playing their first album from start to finish.
“It’s a resurgence in vinyl. Everyone’s jumping on board again its good,” said Rich Mikic, who had lined up before store opening to buy rare records before coming back in the afternoon for the live music.
“It’s the whole theatre of [owning a record], the opening up and reading where it was recorded, you can spend a good 35 minutes just away in another world reading through it.”
Co-owner of the store Jeb Taylor believed the globally celebrated day had helped revive what was thought to be a dying phenomenon – of going to a shop and flicking through the racks to decide on a new purchase.
It’s kind of reminding people that record shops are here and connecting with local communities to celebrate itJeb Taylor
Music Farmers has been operating in some shape or form in Wollongong for the past 13 years. In line with recent national music sales figures, Taylor said in recent years they have seen an incline in physical music sales – especially vinyl.
“There was a little period in 2010 where we just drew the line – we did have a location but didn’t have it open all the time. The last three to four years have been a pretty steady, pretty stable kind of business, before it was way more erratic,” he told the Mercury.
“It’s probably been a really big part in vinyl reviving and record shops actually starting to open up rather than closing everywhere.
“Now it’s kind of reminding people that record shops are here and connecting with local communities to celebrate it. Before it was definitely a thing to save the very few that were left.”
In Australia alone, sales have been on the increase for the seventh straight year, according to music sales data released by the Australian Recording Industry Association.
While all physical sales declined over 2017, revenue from vinyl albums sales jumped 19.5 per cent to $18.1 million.
Overall, ARIA reported the music industry had its biggest year of growth in more than two decades with total sales up by 10.5 per cent to $391 million in 2017 compared to $353 million in 2016.
This is the largest growth since 1996, pre-dating the advent of Napster which sent the global sector into a downward spiral.
Nearly half of ARIA sales came from streaming services, both ad-funded and subscription, with a combined $189 million.
"In five years, the industry has been completely transformed and we've embraced this business model which is returning us to growth. It's an exciting time, and it feels like it's sustainable growth, but we're hopeful the next wave of growth will come from smart speakers." ARIA chief executive Dan Rosen told Fairfax Media.
While it’s a similar scenario in America – the biggest export of music stars – with the Recording Industry Association of America reporting revenue their music industry experienced double digit growth for the second year in a row. Music sales in 2017 rose 16.5 per cent on the previous year to $8.72 billion.
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