The label’s forward-thinking format calls upon fans each month to determine which of three records — either previously unreleased, out of print, or an entirely new collection compiled from the Warner Music vault — will become available for purchase in a limited run.
“The crate-digging community is steering the ship,” said Billy Fields, vp of sales and account management for WEA, the artist and label services branch of Warner Music Group, in a statement. “We are crowd-sourcing niche but in-demand selections from our vast vault to be pressed on high-quality vinyl, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to see where the community decides to take us.”
Each month, fans will vote on the record they want pressed to vinyl from a trio of selections; the popular vote wins. The record with the most votes will then be available to pre-order for 30 days, and once the window closes the quantity being pressed will be revealed. Run Out Groove already opened operations quietly; its first release was MC5’s The Motor City Five, though its first fan-chosen release was a new collection from Echo & The Bunnymen, It’s All Live Now, recorded in Sweden, which features live covers of “Paint It Black,” “Soul Kitchen” and “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.”
“I am chuffed that our fans came out in droves and voted for us,” Will Sergeant of Echo & The Bunnymen said. “It’s a historical document of another time, another place, another me and a very interesting stop off traveling the road map of the band’s life.”
Once the pre-order window for a particular record closes, fans may still be able to snag the release at local participating retailers. Potential future releases, which can be voted on right now, include Solomon Burke’s Best Of Atlantic Soul 1962-1965, Secret Machines‘ Now Here Is Nowhere and Golden Smog’s Down By The Old Mainstream.
“With LP’s you feel like you have actually got something worth having, to hold and read while you listen,” Sergeant added. “I love the organic visceral nature of the record, a piece of plastic that can bring forth such wondrous sound. It’s all pretty weird when you think about it, some sort of wonderful sonic voodoo.”