This weekend marked the 7th annual national Record Store Day, designed to promote independent record stores.
While we are now close to a decade into stories about the vinyl music revival, slightly less attention has been paid to the renewed interest in tape cassettes.
Although sales of these remain difficult to track, we now have further evidence that the cassette revival is not only real, it may have already peaked, at least in terms of cred: The second most popular item from this weekend, according to BuzzAngle Music, was a reissued cassette version of "No Life Til Leather," the original demo tape from Metallica, a band that to many may now be known as much for its highly un-metal litigiousness as for its role in helping create Record Store Day itself.
Here are BuzzAngle's sales volume data for the top-3 sellers, from more than 225 independent record stores. More than half of all indy stores don't report their sales, so the actual figures are likely larger.
- White Stripes, "Get Behind Me Satan": 2,500+ units
- Metallica, "No Life Til Leather": 2,500+ units
- Run The Jewels, "Bust No Moves": 2,000+ units
And here's the art for the "Leather" release:
The tape features one of the band's earliest lineups, including future Megadeath founder Dave Mustaine on lead guitar and human trivia question Ron McGovney on bass.
Of course, the demo has long ago been uploaded to YouTube…
…So we'll just say we're really curious to know who was buying all these copies. BuzzAngle did not say how many units were shifted.
There is now in fact a cassette store day, begun two years ago, (most of its locations were actually record stores), and hundreds of thousands have likely been sold since at least 2007, according to Vice, around which time the Recording Industry Association of America basically stopped counting.
So we can probably expect more news like this in the future.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.