Saturday Deluxe / 14 March 2020

Record Store Day delayed as Corona Virus impacts the music industry

This year’s Record Store Day has been pushed back from 18 April to a 20 June as the music industry starts to feel the impact of the Corona virus pandemic. The organisers of RSD pondered how to react to the ever changing situation and in a statement on their website said: “There is no perfect solution. There is no easy answer. We’ve decided that the best of all possible moves is to change the date of Record Store Day this year to Saturday, June 20”.

We think this gives stores around the world the best chance to have a profitable, successful Record Store Day, while taking into consideration the recommendations of doctors, scientists, the World Health Organisation, Centres for Disease Control, and the need to be good citizens of both local and worldwide communities.

Artists are also reacting, cancelling gigs and tours for the sake of public safety. New Order, Howard Jones, The Who, Pixies, Underworld, Rage Against The Machine and Madonna are amongst some of the many artists cancelling or postponing touring commitments.

Not everyone feels that is the right course of action. Tony Visconti had a rock ‘n’ roll the-show-must-go-on attitude as he arrived in the UK on Friday 6 March and subsequently played two almost sold out shows this week with Bowie tribute band Holy Holy.  “F***ing corona virus be damned!” he said.

With the women of Holy Holy backstage at the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm.

Posted by Tony Visconti on Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Many operations in the music industry, like other businesses, are encouraging staff to work from home, with Universal Music closing their Kings Cross HQ for two weeks as a precaution.

Record Store Day aside, it remains to be seen how this pandemic might impact the industry that delivers physical music releases over the next six months to a year. Any supply chains for product that include China or Italy will clearly have a problem. Lots of expensive super deluxe edition box sets are manufactured in the Far East for, example.

Now 5 omits David Bowie

It seems I spoke to soon regarding the new two-CD edition of Now That’s What I Call Music 5. On Thursday I said “if the track listing on Amazon UK proves correct, then there are no omissions”. Well since then, the track listing on Amazon has been amended and ‘This Is Not America’, David Bowie’s excellent collaboration with the Pat Metheny Group – a top 20 hit in the UK in 1985 – has now been removed. It’s not an error either, since there is now an image on the Amazon listing with ‘David Bowie’ surreptitiously removed from the cover!

While this is disappointing, what I find more annoying is the ‘let’s not mention it’ attitude of the record label. Actually it’s worse than that, they are actively misleading music fans. The notes on Amazon (supplied by the label) claim this reissue features “the original track list and cover from 1985.” Really? It doesn’t look like it from here.

Anyway, I think I’m correct in saying that five volumes in, none of the Now That’s What I Call Music CD reissues exactly match the audio of the originals.

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