'Jeremy' and 'Alive' rockers Pearl Jam take the baton from last year’s Run The Jewels to be named Record Store Day Ambassadors 2019. This year’s edition will be held on Saturday 13 April worldwide.
Offering increasing numbers of limited edition releases and attracting such big names to support it, RSD is having a growing influence. Music Week reports that Official Chart Company data says the 2018 edition saw album sales increase by 33% year-on-year.
But one critic of RSD, which has been an annual event since 2007, argues in The Guardian that thousands of gimmicky releases on RSD make it poorly curated and curtail its potential somewhat. As an event to remind people how absurd it is to have abandoned record shops in the first place, courage is needed to change the event argues Ruper Morrison.
But to many - especially Seattle scene legends Pearl Jam – it can do no wrong.
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready says in a press statement: “Pearl Jam is honoured to be Record Store Day’s Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me, and have been ever since I was 12 years-old. Before I even really knew what they were - there was a certain feeling of 'this is a dream come true,' and it's a wonderland and there's so much to learn in here... and it's still that way."
He continued: “Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it. And it helps people who work here and that's important, too. And it kind of takes an effort, you have to look for something that you want; you have to talk to people. I had to talk to people to figure out which Aerosmith record to get first or anything back in the day. It's a place to learn. It's a place to have fun. And it's a place to discover new music. Come out on Record Store Day, but also make it Record Store Year.”
The brains behind this - RSD co-founder/organizer Carrie Colliton - adds: "I've worked in and around record stores for my entire adult life and feel like I've grown up with Pearl Jam because of it. My early, early advance copy of Ten came with me on a free-ranging trek through Europe at an impressionable age, some of my craziest and best midnight sales were for Pearl Jam albums, and any one of their songs makes me think of my favorite record store co-workers. This Ambassadorship is a natural fit - a band that stays true to themselves and the people who love them, and a form of retail that does pretty much the same thing."
This year's releases will be announced at a special launch part on 28 February at Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, London. The night will see a set by Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes as well as guests Izzy Bee Phillips (Black Honey), Barbudo and Banquet.
You can get an idea of the diversity of releases set to be announced by reading this list of top picks from last year.