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Kate Bush says she’s ‘privileged’ to become Record Store Day ambassador

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By Mark Savage

Music correspondent, BBC News

Pop star Kate Bush has been announced as an ambassador for this year’s Record Store Day, on 20 April.

Bush said it was a “great privilege” to support the initiative, which champions independent record shops and vinyl collectors across the UK.

“Isn’t it great to see how the resurgence in vinyl has taken the music industry by surprise?” she said.

“It had decided to leave vinyl far behind, but it would seem that not everyone agrees! I love that!”

She added: “I know there are many, many artists who are just as excited to see the audience turning the tide.”

This year’s Record Store Day will see hundreds of limited edition, one-off albums and singles released, with titles by David Bowie, The 1975, Olivia Rodrigo, Notorious BIG, The Beatles, De La Soul and Gorillas amongst the most sought-after items.

As an ambassador, Bush will help to promote the event – which often generates long queues of record collectors, as well as in-store performances and other special events.

The star will also lend her support by releasing a special 10-inch vinyl of Eat the Music, from her 1993 album Red Shoes.

Initially intended as the album’s lead single, it was scrapped in favour of the more radio-centric Rubber band Girl. The Record Store Day release features the original artwork, printed directly onto the disc, instead of on the record sleeve itself.

“The title, Eat the Music, is meant to be a playful nod to ‘If music be the food of love, play on,’ from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night,” Bush explained in a statement.

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While she has not released new music since 2011, Bush has seen resurgence in popularity thanks to the use of Running up That Hill in hit sci-fi show Stranger Things.

After exploding on TikTok, it went to number one in the UK charts, and gave Bush her first top 10 hit in the US – just 38 years after it was first released.

Announcing her appointment as Record Store Day ambassador, Bush also reflected on the appeal of vinyl records, and the listening experience they fostered.

“In the same way that some people like to read a book on Kindle but also want to have a book as a physical object, a lot of people like vinyl and streaming,” she wrote. “Both have different appeals.

“The added bonus of vinyl is that it encourages people to listen to albums. An art form that I’ve always thought can be treasured in a unique way.

“An album on vinyl is a beautiful thing, given a strong identity by its large-scale artwork. There’s a much more personal connection with the artist and their work.”

She concluded with a message for fans of her music, and Record Store Day itself.

“This year, I hope you have a fantastic time at this very important event, and that you get to celebrate music that’s been specially released for you.

“Very best wishes, Kate”.

This year’s edition of Record Store Day arrives as sales of vinyl hit a 33-year high in the UK.

Sales rose by 11.7% to 5.9 million units in 2023, increasing for the 16th year in a row, according to data from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was the best-selling LP, followed by the Rolling Stones’ Hackney Diamonds.

Record Store Day is supported by BBC 6 Music, and you can read a full list of this year’s exclusives on the campaign’s official website.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS