When Record Store Day celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, it was a testament to the continuing revival of the vinyl form. Now, the popular online audio recording database Discogs is taking things a step further by announcing the first ever indie record store month, which will run throughout June.
Taking its position as the online home of independent record stores very seriously, the authorities behind Discogs.com feel a responsibility to strengthen the record store community through awareness, education, awareness and representation. That’s why the inaugural Independent Record Store Month was launched, along with a series of virtual events connecting music fans with independent record stores around the world and honoring the contributions of independent record stores to vinyl culture.
Throughout the month-long celebration, there will be a number of goals the company aims to achieve, including making record stores easier to find and support for music lovers. Discogs Marketplace is home to thousands of independent sellers around the world and a new digital badge verifies those sellers who are physical record stores
Discogs has created a global directory of independent record stores designed to inspire music fans to visit local stores in person or search the badge to find stores that sell online. The guide provides an extraordinary insight into what makes each record store unique while also showing trends across borders.
At the time of publication of this report, there were over 1,000 record stores registered in the directory with nearly 40 countries represented. More than half of all registered stores are located outside the United States.
The celebration doesn’t stop at collectors, either. Independent Record Store Month will culminate with a virtual conference for participating record stores. All stores that have registered in the new directory will receive an invitation to the online event as well as exclusive data about the record selling business that only Discogs can provide.
Through knowledge sharing and an open marketplace, Discogs has built a global community of fans, sellers, collectors, archivists, and others looking for a high-profile relationship with music. These new initiatives, which will be launched in conjunction with Independent Record Store Month, will continue to highlight unique stores, explore trends in the vinyl industry, and encourage music fans to support independent record stores in June and beyond.
vinyl of the week
Keep an eye on this spot as every week we’ll be looking for new or soon-to-be-released vinyl from a variety of artists. It could be a re-compression of a historical record, a special edition, or a new collection of a legendary work. This week, it’s the first-ever release of an important LP duo from the late 1960s.
NANCY SINATRA and LEE HAZELWOOD: “NANCY & LEE”
When Nancy Sinatra – Frank Sinatra’s eldest daughter – first met Lee Hazlewood in 1965, she was a stoic 25-year-old divorced, struggling to find her place as an artist amid the changing music scene. However, as the couple hail from completely different worlds, they are about to embark on a partnership that will change the course of their lives.
A few months after meeting her, Sinatra recorded her first #1 hit with the song “This Boots Are Made for Walkin”.
Written and produced by Hazlewood, the song became her signature tune – and transformed her into a confident and commanding feminist icon. Before long, it seemed only natural that the two of them would release an entire album together.
Now, archival company Light in the Attic has released the first official release of “Nancy & Lee,” the highly influential 1968 duo album from Sinatra and Hazlewood. It’s the definitive version of the record, featuring freshly remastered audio, and a selection of exclusive content, including a new interview with Sinatra and never-before-seen visuals. There are also two additional tracks from the album sessions; An ethereal cover of The Kinks “Tired of Waiting for You” and a contemporary version of “Love Is Strange”, first made famous by Mickey & Sylvia in 1956.
Upon its release in the spring of 1968, Nancy & Lee became a commercial and an eclectic success on both sides of the Atlantic, peaking at number 13 on the Billboard 200 and number 17 in the UK. Two years later, the album was certified gold by the RIAA. Over the decades, the LP’s appeal only grew, while the album gained an enduring cult status that few titles achieve. Multiple generations of artists, including Sonic Youth, Lana Del Rey, and Jesus & Mary Chain, have been cited as an influence.
The “Nancy & Lee” version is available in a variety of formats, including vinyl, cassette, CD, 8-track, and digital. The vinyl is presented in an expanded Gatefold jacket and features the iconic original cover image by Ron Joy. Inside, a 20-page booklet offers a selection of photos from Sinatra’s character collection, as well as in-depth questions and answers.
In addition to the classic black vinyl compression, a selection of color variants – including narcotic “sand wax” and translucent gold and metallic “Sundown, Sundown” – can be found exclusively from sites such as NancySinatra.com, LightintheAttic.net, independent record stores and select sellers Online retail.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email [email protected] Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com.