US record stores complain about Jay-Z and Kanye West’s ‘Watch The Throne’ release

Independent record shops say the exclusive iTunes release will do them 'great damage'

A host of independent record stores in the United States have signed an open letter addressed to Jay-Z and Kanye West, regarding the upcoming release of their collaborative ‘Watch The Throne’ album.

The album – put out under the name The Throne – is released on iTunes on August 8, but doesn’t hit US record stores until August 12, while chain store Best Buy is exclusively selling the deluxe edition of the album for the first 10 days.

The people behind Record Store Day have now written a letter to the stars, which has been signed by independent record shops across the country, saying the duo’s sales strategy will do “great damage” to the shops which have supported them throughout their careers, reports Pitchfork.

Of the iTunes and Best Buy exclusives, the letter reads:

We believe this is a short-sighted strategy, and that your decisions will be doing great damage to over 1,700 independent record stores – stores that have supported you and your music for years.

It continues:

We know that you are busy, and that you put most of your energies into creating great music, but we are writing to you in the hope that you will hear us and take the time to rectify this matter. As representatives of the independent record store music community, we are asking you to allow record stores and music fans equal access to your new album.