Record Store Day took place over the weekend, with the annual celebration of vinyl and local record stores becoming a fun holiday of sorts for music lovers. If you look forward to RSD every year, you may have to thank Metallica for it.
During a panel at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles moderated by Variety, RSD co-founder Michael Kurtz gave massive props to the metal icons for the popularity of the event. Kurtz recalled RSD’s inaugural celebration in 2007 saying, “In the beginning, it was very hard, because almost nobody carried vinyl unless it was used, and most used vinyl was 25 or 50 cents…So when I talked to record store owners to get on board, the initial response was pretty negative.”
But then, thanks to some connections, Metallica then got on board.
“From the feedback we got from the band, the reaction was ‘Hell yeah, let’s do that, that would be fun,'” said Kurtz. “It really was like a big explosion for everybody involved, because Tower [Records] had just gone out of business, and everybody was a little bit down, uncertain about everything. And then Metallica comes in and goes, ‘F— all that. Let’s have a party.’ And they put out their records on vinyl for that first Record Store Day, and then it just exploded from there.”
Record Store Day may just be the driving force behind vinyl’s increasing sales in recent years. Per Fortune, “[Vinyl record] sales jumped 61% last year to $1 billion, the most since 1986, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).”