It’s funny how much impact a child’s surroundings and interests can have later on in life and really reconnect them with what makes them happy. I still remember sitting on the floor of my parents living room listening to the Return Of The Jedi 7″ record, the one filled with narration of the movie and came with the read-along/photo book. Now, 20 years later, my label I Am Shark is releasing the Episode I, II, and III soundtracks on vinyl for the first time? I’m back to being my giddy, little, kid-self again.
I started working pretty heavily in the music industry at an early age, doing everything from press work to tour management, and even dealing with some publishing work by putting songs in TV and film. Over the last few years of being a manager, I really wanted to transition into a full on record label. At the time, I mostly worked with an array of punk and indie rock bands. I knew this label had to be something refreshing for myself and wanted to work closer with films/TV/games, because those always captivated me in every way with the visuals, the minute details, storylines, and mostly the music. This was a way I could give other people music to stimulate and isolate those feelings, and why not try and start with the movie series that shaped who I am? Sure, why not? Haha. It took a little over a year to get all of the business details shaped to where it is right now, but pre-orders have been launched and we are now deep in the manufacturing process. It’s been a long road getting to this point, but all of this work has been very much worth it. Even if I’m stuck with thousands of copies, I’ll be happy just to say that I did this and it was all about Star Wars. I’ll make a wall collage out of them!
When these soundtracks and films were originally released in the early/mid 2000s, there was definitely a large sway in the music industry to focus on the digital release of music. Which is absolutely great; it’s convenient, quick, and I can literally listen to any record at any time with streaming services like Spotify. The vinyl format really got left behind during that time: audiophiles were experiencing large gaps in their collection, very few new releases were making their way to record players. There is a very different interaction with the music when listening to vinyl. It’s about the whole experience: moving the needle over, hearing the fuzz and crackles before the music starts, physically holding a 12″ print of the artwork to look over. It’s like nothing else in the world. No distractions, no multitasking, just relaxing and listening to music.
With these releases, I really wanted to portray the character connection that viewers/fans develop through out each film and somehow bring that back into the packaging. Through this vinyl resurgence we’ve experienced over the past number of years, colored vinyl records and color combinations have really pushed the limits of being able to throw in some really great artwork straight to the LPs. This was a complete no-brainer to me for these releases — we had to make colors that coordinated with characters in the film. I’ve seen a really positive reaction from people towards these colored versions and can’t wait for them to see the ones that we have planned for Episode II and III.
Hi, I’m Craig! I run I Am Shark, a Lawrence, Kansas based independent record label and music company. Growing up in the punk/indie/hardcore scene really fuels our DIY ethics and way we operate our business and relationships. We’ve recently started to release soundtracks/scores starting with this Star Wars release and are super excited for the future! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!