Ma & Pa Shops Upset W/Jay-Z & Kanye West

Written by on July 29, 2011

Looks like a league of indepedent record shops are a little peeved at how Watch The Throne will be released. Word is that iTunes and Best Buy will get to sell the deluxe version of the album for a two week window, before other retailers can even touch it. And if that isn’t enough, iTunes will sale the downloadable version of the album starting on August 8th, before everyone else’s August 12th date.

In response to the sales tactics by Roc A Fella/ Roc Nation/ Live Nation/ Island Def Jam/ Universal Music Group, brick-and-mortar shops have crafted an open letter hoping to change the minds of Mr. Cater and West.

Dear Jay-Z and Kanye West,

Independent record stores serve our communities. Our passion is music, and we convey this to the millions of customers who come to our stores. That’s what we do.

Four years ago independent music stores across the country banded together to create Record Store Day. Our goal was to counter the negative media coverage about the supposed demise of record stores brought on by the closing of the Tower stores and to respond to the music business practices that fans deemed to be manipulative and onerous.

We reached out to the artist community to see if they would join us, and the response was overwhelming, with words of support coming in from Paul McCartney, Erykah Badu, Tom Waits, Chuck D, the Foo Fighters and countless others. Working with their label partners, many of these musicians created limited edition works of art, including vinyl and CDs made especially for music-specialty retail. Hundreds of these artists took the opportunity to perform, DJ, and interact with their fans in our record stores. Here in the U.S., Record Store Day lifted the entire music business by 8% and contributed to the growth in music sales. Record Store Day is now one of the biggest music events in history, with millions of people participating worldwide. We also continue to work throughout the year with labels, artists and managers and run regular promotions via physical independent retail and

We are responding to the bad news that your new album will not be available to independent record stores until after iTunes gets a window of exclusivity. We also learned that the deluxe version (which is what the true music fans who shop our stores will want, by an overwhelming majority) will only be available at Best Buy exclusively for a period of time. We believe this is a short-sighted strategy, and that your decisions will be doing great damage to over 1,700 independent record stores — stores that have supported you and your music for years.

We know that you are busy, and that you put most of your energies into creating great music, but we are writing to you in the hope that you will hear us and take the time to rectify this matter. As representatives of the independent record store music community, we are asking you to allow record stores and music fans equal access to your new album.

With the utmost respect,

Dedry Jones, The Music Experience Mike Dreese, Newbury Comics Judy Negley, Independent Records Rachelle Friedman, J&R Music World Mike Batt, Silver Platters John Kunz, Waterloo Records Tobago Benito, DBS Sounds Brian Faber, Zia Records Karen Pearson, Amoeba Music Bryan Burkert, The Sound Garden Paul Epstein, Twist and Shout Mike Wise, Monster Rob Roth, Vintage Vinyl Karl Groeger, Looney Tunes Joe Nardone, Jr., Gallery of Sound Jonathan Fernandez, Rasputin Music Mike Fratt, Homers Dilyn Radakovitz, Dimple Records Lisa Teger-Zhen, Uncle Sam’s Music Dustin Hansen, Graywhale Entertainment Bill Kennedy, BK Music Jim Bland and Bob Schick, Plan Nine Steve Wilson, Kiefs Tom King, Central Square Records Alayna Hill Alderman, Richard Storms, Record Archive Nancy Salzer, Salzer’s Records Rick Ziegler, Indy CD Laura, Finders Records Deon Borchard, Nic Fritze, The Long Ear Chuck Oken, Rhino /Mad Platter Allan Miller, John Bevis, Disc Exchange Charlotte Kubat, Magnolia Thunderpussy Chris Avino, Rainbow Records Rich Koch, Off the Record Skip Hermans, Skip’s Record and CD World Jason Patton, Oz Music Quinn Bishop, Cactus Records John Timmons, ear X tacy Lou Russell, Lou’s Records Roger Weiss, Streetlight Records Terry Currier, Music Millenium Andrew Chinnici, Lakeshore Record Exchange Michael Bunnell, The Record Exchange Mike White, Boo Boo Records Steve Baron, CD Central Eric Levin, Criminal Records Pat O’connor, Culture Clash Dan Plunkett, End Of An Ear Paula Kret, Exile On Main St Chris Penn, Good Records Doyle Davis, Grimey’s Travis Searle, Guestroom Records Jim Mcguinn, Hot Poop Isaac Slusarenko, Jackpot Records Jason Nickey & Heath Byers, Landlocked Music Todd Robinson, Luna Music Darren & Jim Blase, Shake It Anna & Chris Brozek, Slowtrain Kimber Lanning, Stinkweeds Tom “Papa” Ray, Vintage Vinyl Jack Dennis and Christopher Ashely, Earshot Lisa Tiger-Zhen, Uncle Sams Dave Zero, Mad City Music Exchange Sarah Hefte, Everyday Music Mike Madrigale, Mr. Suit Records Lance Price, CD Source Bruce Carlock, Cats Music Thomas “Toonz” Predovich, Vinyl Solution Records Neal Becton, Som Records Marc Lasky, Music Box Ryan Shoemaker, Galaxy CDs

John Thominet, Rainbow Records Rick Linie, Creative Leisure Chris, Young Ones Morrison Agen, Neat Neat Neat Records and Music Peter Gianakopoulos, The Old School Records Reid Robinson, Co-Op Records, Moline Carol Copfer, Movie Trading Company, Vintage Stock John Anderson, Reverberation Vinyl Rob Kimple, Ramalama Records Randy Wagner, Radio KAOS Records Sam Lock, CD.Game Exchange Rob Bourqu, Music Matters Steve Hyland, Down In the Valley Melanie Cade, Mojo Books and Music Tony Cicalese, We Got The Beats Andy Schneidkraut, Albums on the Hill Robert Stapleton, Southwest Sound Sharon & Shirley Bechor, Rock and Soul Records Rich and Sue Graves, Budget Tapes & Records Todd Fundaro, Flipside Records Adam Hirzel, Saki Records Kelly, Patrick and Robby, Back Door Records Stacey Pepper, Vertigo Music Josh Castleberry, Toxic Beauty Records Lou Romanelli, Music Masters Worldwide Bill Prue, Metro City Records Jon Bauer, Budget Music and Video Russell Reitz, Listen Up Music Steve Kessler, CD City Paul MacDougall, PMac Music John Aleman, Piranha Records Elle Quintana, Record Breakers Mark Matarozzo, Spun Music Gerry Stumbaugh, The Last Record Store Heather Frarey, The Record Lounge Scott Wishart, Lunchbox Records Joe Smith, Joe’s Records Patrick Bailey, Endangered Species Mary Radakovits, Compact Disc Center Anaii Lee-Ender & Norbert Ender, Speaking Volumes Tim Williams, Any Frequency Doug and Michelle Williams, Bananas Music Gary Scotti, Scotti’s Records Rick Sinkiewicz and Josh Carlson, Redscroll Records Pete Majors, Vacation Vinyl Tom Sampson, Karma Scott Chase & Lacey Ritter, Renfield Record Exchange Kurt Jellinek, Slackers Music, Movies, Games Travis Searle & Justin Sowers, Guestroom Records Terry and Deon Borchard, The Long Ear Manny Alferez, Black Pancake Records Steven Alejandro, Hogwild Records Jeffrey Burke, The Record Connection Kurt & Leigh Legler, Warbler Records Anthony Tedeschi and Chip Heuisler, Tunes Dal Basi, Phono Select Records Brian and Sean Reisman, Hideaway Music Dave Wilkins, Wax Trax Billy and Melissa Yergensen, Rock Candy Music And More Jack Dreznes, Beverly Records Richard G Terzieff, A B CDs/Recorded Memories Jim Paddock, Size Records Carl Nordmeier, Tune Town Dan Matheson, Repo Records Greg Ellis, Sundance Records Matt Mona, KA-CHUNK!! Records Ken Kosta, Spin Records

Bobbie Lewis, Newtown Book & Record Exchange Ernie Scholl, Everyday Music, Maine Reed Lappin, In Your Ear Chris and Bob Roets, Wooden Nickel Music Warren Hudson, Decatur CD and Vinyl Tim Cretsinger, Groovacious Gary Holzenthal, Odyssey Records Marvin Phillips, Heavenly Daze CDs and Records Barry Lazarus, Red Devil Records Scotty Hagan, UHF Music Rick Tyner, M-Theory Music Matt and Rock Cesario, Triple Play Records Maria Armstrong, Lost and Found Records Brendan Smith, Requests Music Shirani Rea, Peaches Records David Elliot, Replay Records Michael and Denise Roumbanis, dig! Music Rand Cabus, Mojo Vinyl Pete Beaudoin, That’s Entertainment Michael Schildgen, Moondog Music Al Steele, Wyatt Earp Records Mitch Kirsner, Fantasy Eve Monsees, Antone’s Record Shop Mik Davis, T-Bones Records & Caf√© Bernard Vasek, Musicmania Pete Gulyas, Blue Arrow Records Alicia Schultz, Sound Revolution Tom Robbins, Eagle Valley Music & Comics Brad Richman, Spazz Records Leonard Silver, Record Theatre Greg Larsen, Music to the Maxx Lance Barresi & Liz Tooley, Permanent Records Mark Kessler, Recycled Records Aaron Marquez, 360 Vinyl Jarrett Noel, DiHi Records Glen Velger, Harmony Records Ron Hill, Basement Mix Sanders Henderson, Nikki’s Music Tim Henderson, Joy Of Music Bernard Vasek, MusicMania Kelvin Anderson, VIP Records Dennie Chong & Ward Yamashita, Hungry Ear Records

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