‘Io compro in un negozio dischi perché’… (I buy from record stores because…) – a poster and shopping bag designed for Casa del Disco  by local musician, Mattia Zani.

The statistics given in Last Shop Standing,  the official movie of this year’s Record Store Day speak volumes.

In the 1980s there were over 2,200 UK independent record shops but by 2009 there were only 269.

In some respects it is remarkable that any stores survive given the fact that music is now almost universally consumed via downloads or on streaming sites.

The resurgence of interest in vinyl for its tactile appeal and more human (i.e. flawed) sound has tapped into the needs of a minority of fans but even the most committed vinyl junkie is still likely to be frustrated since new singles and albums in this old format are only produced in limited editions.

Contributors to the documentary speak in nostalgic terms about how these old shops were meeting points as well as a pre-google source of information.

I’m more encouraged when I see a younger generation bucking the trend and buying physical products rather than the digital alternative.

A couple of years ago, I blogged about Casa de Disco in Faenza which is an inspiring example of how these stores can survive.

I visited today and it was heartwarming to see that proprietors Livia and Serena remain as enthusiastic and committed as ever.

To mark the day the shop has a marvellous poster and bag with a design by Mattia Zani of the local folk/hip-hop project Dulcamara (you can check him out on a video of the song Epoca).

The design is in the form of  a manifesto that elegantly sums up why these last shops standing deserve the gratitude and support of all true music fans:

  • they have a unique character.
  • they are friendly places where you can discover something new.
  • they help keep musicians solvent.
  • they help keep local shopping zones alive

Long may they run!