Saturday, August 06, 2005

The beginning of the end

Back in June of 2002 the Europadisk record pressing plant had this to say after filing for chapter 11:

"Business is still not that bad," president Jim Shelton maintains, reporting that vinyl mastering and manufacturing remains "very strong."

Who are we kidding? Every week the need to produce cds and vinyl diminishes as downloading music continues to sweep the world. On Friday July 23, 2005 after 28 years in business, Europadisk officially closed it doors for good. For vinyl fans, labels, and bands around the world this is it...the beginning of the end to a product that for over half a century has helped to shape the music industry and defined these places we call record stores. Remember them? Enjoy them while you can because let's face it, with the death of cds and records comes a ripple effect which could turn these places into downloading kiosks and music accessory palaces…or in reality remove the need for them to exist at all.

I can’t even begin to count the number of once upon a time top notch record stores who have had to start selling hair dye, band shirts, and flavored rolling papers just to stay afloat. Not sure if I am remembering this correctly but I believe the small privately owned books and record chain Olsson’s in Washington DC almost went out of business years ago but the sale of Beenie Babies (during the BB peak) allowed them to climb out of their financial hole. Ugh. This the kind of reality ma and pa stores all over the world are facing.

For all of us involved in this dying part of the industry, maybe we should start sending resumes to Apple* / itunes or Starbucks who are already on their way to being the next big music industry moguls.

I wonder, do we get all the free coffee we can drink and free ipod with that collective selling of our indie souls?

* Ha ha, there was already an Apple records so in your face, find yourself another “record” label name. Then again knowing the money and power behind this mega-giant corporation I bet they could buy the rights to the name. Sigh.