Without album of the year lists, who would know what they missed out on over the past 365 days? That album-from-the-label-you-love, the ‘oh yeah I’m TOTALLY into that band’ record you slept on, or the newby that blew you away the first time you heard it; they’re now all your beloved albums for years to come, but what about the retailers? Do they just bang all the best sellers on the list? Do they do it to please suppliers? Are their obscure choices the tracks you didn’t dare ask about while you flicked through The Cure‘s back catalog before deciding to buy nothing at all?
We asked the good people of LP RECORDS, Glasgow to tell us the ‘secrets’ behind it all. Check out what Lorenzo had to say below:
As a record store, is it difficult to choose between best sellers and personal favourites?
“I think if you’re aware of us at all at this point you should have some faith in us not to treat it too much as a way to punt records. A good bunch of the stuff on there we can’t even sell. Even our number 3 record isn’t even on vinyl.
“I don’t think we can claim to be these amazing curators or a source of music discovery if it’s so immediately conceited as a way to sell you albums we have in stock or whatever. Usually thanks to the way I run LP my favourites end up being the best sellers anyway.”
Are the albums that make the list the ones we can expect to hear in LP Records regularly or do a few guilty pleasures sneak in there?
“I have no guilty pleasures. Tunes are tunes. We made a big deal about not selling stuff we don’t like on RSD and got pelters for it when we were selling Little Mix. I think that Little Mix record is great, deal wae it. Usually after I make the list I just shuffle the playlist in store.”
Running a record store you’re exposed to endless albums across the year – how do you think 2017 ranks in terms of brilliant albums in comparison to the past few years?
“The quantity of class albums this year has been mental. I could have done over 200 albums on that list off the top of my head. It’s all about how invested you are in looking, to be honest.
“If you sit and wait and take what albums come to you then you’re at the mercy of the music press as to how “good a year it’s been for music. If you’re active and looking constantly you’ll find every year is brilliant.”
How do you keep on top of the mass amount of records to remember them at this time of year?
“Most just come off my head from random memory, I look around our stock, I ask on twitter to see if I’ve missed any, I use our last.fm account to see what we’ve been streaming in the shop. I pull from a lot of places just to get a handle, particularly, on things from early on in the year.”
If someone came into the store wanting to buy their first record(s) – which would you recommend?
“God we’d probably end up in a 20 minute discussion. It really depends on how much of a handle I can get on their taste. Failing that, I drop into the LP staples like Julien Baker.”
In relation to question 5, what is the best method to start a record collection?
“Come in and say hi and we’ll go from there. Go talk to your local shop, if they aren’t chatty or interesting to you, then go somewhere else. You should enjoy collecting, you should enjoy going to shop for records. You’ll stop pretty fast if it becomes a slog or an effort. Go in on release days and grab limited edition versions us indies often get, it’ll give you an immediate sense of uniqueness that you’ll end up chasing.”
So there you have it; the LP Records guide to how it all works behind the scenes. If you’re ever in Glasgow be sure to call in and get your record collection off the ground – a lot of what is available can be found online here.