Day 6

Record Store Day: Why music streaming will never replace the quest for vinyl

The Day 6 music panellists share their most memorable quests for elusive vinyl records, from obscure movie soundtracks to long-forgotten cover songs.

The Day 6 music panel share their favourite record store finds

April 21, 2018 is World Record Store Day. (Ben Curtis/The Associated Press)

These days, most music is available online at the click of a button.

But for diehard music fans, heading to the record store to track down elusive recordings and decades-old songs will never go out of style.

In honour of World Record Store Day, the Day 6 music panel — Maura Johnston, Andrea Warner and Nate Sloan — came together to celebrate record stores and talk about the vinyl they've had the most difficulty tracking down.

Maura Johnston on the original soundtrack for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

The original soundtrack for the film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. (Cleopatra Records)

Maura Johnston still remembers buying records at the local grocery store as a kid.

Now, after many years of collecting and buying albums on vinyl, Maura Johnston's record collection numbers in the hundreds.

But her quest to find one record in particular still stands out: the original soundtrack for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, the 1970 film directed by Russ Meyer and written by Roger Ebert.

"I just fell in love with music, and it was really hard to find the soundtrack," she says, adding that it she spent months searching for it in the '90s.

"I finally did find it in Chicago, and it was $35 for the original pressings."

According to Johnston, the record was in perfect condition, with the jacket "beautifully preserved."

She was surprised to find that the vocals on the record versions of the songs were different from those in the movie. But she remembers the album fondly.

"It was awesome because I could sing along whenever I wanted to without having to hit fast forward on the VCR," Johnston says.

"In the years that have ensued, the soundtrack has been reissued over and over and over again, but I still have my copy and I still have that price tag on it."

Maura Johnston is music writer and journalism instructor at Boston College.

Andrea Warner on Loretta Lynn's I Remember Patsy

Loretta Lynn's 1977 record, I Remember Patsy. (MCA Records)

Growing up, Andrea Warner recalls living in small apartments where her family owned a giant record player. But when her parents split up, she parted ways with the player.

It was only five years ago that her interest in vinyl records was reignited after she was gifted with two record players by her husband and her in-laws.

Since then, Warner has been frequenting record shops everywhere she goes. In Montreal, she stumbled on what's since become an all-time favourite record: Loretta Lynn's 1977 I Remember Patsy.

"It's so beautiful," Warner says. "Patsy died very young, and so Loretta made this record as a tribute to her best friend." 

Finding the record was personal for Warner, as it made her feel closer to her grandmother, who she describes as one of her own best friends. Warner's grandmother also happened to be a big fan of Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline.

"I bought this record, I brought it home and I saved it until [my grandma] came over to my house and we sat and listened to it like all afternoon," Warner says.

Warner says the tactile experience of playing records brings back memories of her childhood.

"I really do love the sort of interaction with it," she says. 

"I hear the click of the static of the vinyl connecting with the needle and I just immediately remember being a kid and all the records ... that my parents had, like Michael Jackson and Corey Hart."

Andrea Warner is a Vancouver-based writer with CBC Music and the co-host of Pop This.

Nate Sloan on Eddie Hazel's Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs

Eddie Hazel's 1977 record, Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs. (Universal Music Canada)

Nate Sloan recalls being fixated on finding a copy of Eddie Hazel's 1977 record Game, Dames & Guitar Thangs.

"Eddie Hazel was the guitarist for Parliament-Funkadelic and also co-wrote The Temptations song Shakey Ground," Sloan says.

"This was a time in my life when I was consumed by the pursuit of the funk and Eddie Hazel was the holy grail, the kind of missing link in my otherwise complete Funkadelic discography."

Sloan waded through music stores and dusty record jackets looking for the record for years before he finally stumbled on it at Grooves Records in San Francisco.

"It was probably $9 or $10," he says. "It was very beat up, very poor condition but it was there, I got it, I brought it home, I put it on the turntable — and it wasn't very good."

Still, he says the experience made him love collecting records even more.

"I like that random element of chance that you can discover within the dusty halls of a record store," he says.

"Maybe it's something you never listen to again. But maybe it's something that kind of changes your whole perspective on music forever."

Nate Sloan is a musicologist based in Detroit and the co-host of the podcast Switched on Pop.

To hear more from Maura Johnston, Andrea Warner and Nate Sloan, download our podcast or click the 'Listen' button at the top of this page.