One might think that this is a rap that WalMart doesn’t have to take. After all, have you ever seen the music selection at WalMart? The prices might be good, but if it’s not for music I want they could be giving the stuff away for free and it wouldn’t affect me. Same for Best Buy, Kmart, and Target—they have an extremely limited selection--limited to things I don’t want. Surprisingly, in 2007 big box stores claimed 65% of record sales (actually CDs) and WalMart was the biggest box on the block.
Many things have eroded the hold record shops once had on us. Most of them can be found in the “greed” file. The telecommunications act, the homogenization of music, the limited number of titles played on the radio, soaring rents, and overpriced CDs (with ever-escalating prices) all made a contribution to the decline. Worse is the way record labels look upon the buying public.
Some may think that Amazon and MP3s are to blame, but Amazon gets hardly a mention. MP3s, and especially file sharing, have done their damage, though. Interestingly, 30,000 albums are released every year, yet the big box stores stock about 1000 titles.
Clips from vintage cartoons, movies, and documentaries, and archival footage are used throughout I Need that Record, and it opens with a very cool animation behind the credits. Extra features are over two hours of interviews with Ian MacKaye (Dischord Records), Mike Watt (Minutemen), Thurston Moore, Lenny Kaye, Legs McNeil (punk author), Glenn Branca (composer), Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers), and Pat Carney (Black Keys).