The Record Club, in partnership with Bowers & Wilkins, is proud to be celebrating the milestone of its first birthday this week, having aired more than 25 episodes of the new music livestream series since last May.
The digital collaboration was launched at the height of the pandemic by Record Store Day, National Album Day and OfficialCharts.com to support new album releases and independent record stores through the challenges of the UK’s national lockdowns.
Since May 2020, The Record Club has welcomed 25 incredible artist guests on the show, and in just 12 months the initiative has contributed to the promotion and success of no less than 3 Number 1 albums, 18 Top 10s, and 8 of the showcased releases have become best sellers of the week in UK independent record shops - hitting Number 1 on the Official Record Store Chart. Guests have also received critical acclaim, with featured artists shortlisted for the Hyundai Mercury Prize and at The BRIT Awards.
Presented by BBC Music’s Jess Iszatt, The Record Club is a bi-monthly Facebook Live series that offers music fans and record collectors exclusive interviews and album insights from some of the biggest artists in the world.
Since its inception, the “book club for albums” has featured Phoebe Bridgers talking all things Punisher, Tom Grennan taking us through the making of Evering Road, plus Evanescence, Paloma Faith, Rina Sawayama, Pale Waves, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, McFly and many more.
Ahead of each episode, the Official Charts, National Album Day and Record Store Day encourage their 3 million-strong digital audience to pick up a copy of the selected new-release album from their local record shop in person or on home delivery, immerse themselves in it, then tune in to the broadcast for their chance to ask a question to the artist about the record.
In keeping with the initiative’s purpose, artists are also encouraged to wax lyrical about their favourite local record shop, while questions submitted by staff of UK record stores also feature prominently in the show.
Plus the odd surprise was thrown in, including Pale Waves becoming one of the first recipients of Official Charts’ new Specialist Number 1 Award live on the show as their latest album Who Am I? landed at Number 1 on the Official Independent Albums Chart.
BBC Music’s Jess Iszatt, who presents the series, said “I think it's really important to celebrate the album as a body of work - especially these days when music has become so accessible online, nothing beats the hard copy after artists have grafted so hard on creating a project!
"And of course having something tangible for us fans of music is a huge thing. From speaking with some of the biggest artists in the world to acts who are releasing their debut, it's been a total honour and so amazing to meet artists at all points in their journey!'
In October 2020, The Record Club was thrilled to partner with premium audio brand Bowers & Wilkins who amplified the series even further to its 400,000 followers and contributed a set of PX7 over-ear noise-cancelling headphones as a competition prize to every episode.
Giles Pocock, Vice-President of Brand Marketing, Bowers & Wilkins, said: “It's been wonderful to see The Record Club support so many great album releases throughout this challenging year. We are proud to support this great project, celebrating the creativity and craftsmanship of the album format.”
The Record Club series is set to continue every other Wednesday at 6.30pm BST across The Record Club, Official Charts, Record Store Day and National Album Day Facebook channels.