April 21 is International Record Store Day. And before you laugh at the notion of vinyl being something to celebrate, it’s good to know this: according to market research company Nielsen, 14.32m records were sold worldwide last year. That is roughly the same number of sales as were made in the late 1980s, before the popularity of LPs hit the skids.

The medium is seriously on the up, and both new and old music is being issued on vinyl.

To mark the day, head to participating local bricks and mortar stores like Mr Vinyl in Joburg. Join the queue outside from 9am to get your hands on limited edition releases of collectible albums — and/or those you just love anyway.

We asked Mr Vinyl himself, Bret Dugmore, for the seven tracks he’d take to a desert island. Not an easy task for a man who’s made music his life, but here they are:

Porcupine Tree — ‘Arriving Somewhere But Not Here’ (2005)

I’d imagine that I’d be rather anxious if I were suddenly stranded on a desert island and I’d need to go into "game mode" as fast as possible. This song, for all its progressive rock intricacies and melancholy, has seen me through some of the toughest moments of the past decade of my life. It’s a 12-minute masterpiece of genius that I’d dare say would make even 1970s Pink Floyd jealous.

The Animals — ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ (1964)

My father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly about a month ago. When I was a young boy, I would sneak out of bed at night and hide behind the sofa where he listened to his records. He probably always knew I was there, but I got to listen to some classics and learnt to love music like he did.

When I think of mortality, my dad, and being stuck on a desert island, I’d want to hear this.

The Clash — ‘Rock the Casbah’ (1982)

Punk was given a really bad name by the Sex Pistols and others. It was considered a no-talent all-attitude genre of terrible songwriting and a fad that wouldn’t re-emerge until the skate punk of the 1990s.

There are serious exceptions to this rule, like this classic from The Clash, and the music that I immediately associate with when I think of my own identity is the punk that I learnt to love as a teenager.

Bret Dugmore
Bret Dugmore

Funkadelic — ‘Maggot Brain’ (1971)

As I’m not Bear Grylls, I guess I might need an end-of-world track just in case. This is the slow, super-extended guitar solo of the apocalypse that suddenly makes everything make sense. I need this one in the arsenal just in case, because I’m not going out quietly.

John Carpenter — ‘Escape from New York’ (title theme) (1981)

I can embarrassingly raise my hand as having this on most of my playlists, and honestly the remake for Escape From LA is even better. It took me years to find this on vinyl. It’s extremely rare and valuable, and is by far my favourite soundtrack of all time.

Quasimoto — ‘Real Eyes’ (2000)

I have a fascination with and love for real hip-hop and its jazz and underground influences. My favourite album of all time is The Unseen (2000) by Quasimoto, a hip-hop duo comprising Madlib and his animated alter ego Lord Quas. This is a jazz-infused, left-field hip-hop masterpiece.

Queen — ‘The Show Must Go On’ (1991)

I’m often surprised when this track doesn’t even make it into the Top 10 lists of Queen tracks. "The Show Must Go On" is a musical masterpiece that marks the end of an era. The last of Freddie Mercury. The fact that he even got this out with so much flair at a time when he was so sick is one of the great musical miracles.

For more info visit mrvinyl.co.za

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