With Record Store Day nearly upon us, it seems as though virtually everyone -- from record store owners and labels to music fans and artists -- have shared their thoughts on the annual event. Opinions range from those in support and those who have thrown in the towel, but now Warner Music Group’s Billy Fields -- who plays a key role in the company’s organization and distribution for each Record Store Day -- has offered his two cents.

“All this week, I’ve been reading about independent record stores expanding due to the popularity of the vinyl format or Record Store Day or both -- whether it’s Record Exchange in Boise, Idaho, or Dearborn Music in Dearborn, Mich., or the Sound Garden in Baltimore, Maryland,” Fields tells us. “This is all the result of the attention being paid to this fantastic annual celebration of the community record store.”

“One of the core reasons Record Store Day was conceived was to address the prevailing belief that physical music retail was dying,” he continues. “Eight years after RSD’s inception, the independent music retail segment is stronger than it’s ever been, and the communities those stores serve are all the better for it.”

“It’s going to be a great day,” Fields says, “and I can’t wait to meet up with my friends and visit a bunch of shops. If I get lucky and score a couple of limited edition releases, that’s just icing on the cake.”

This year’s Record Store Day takes place tomorrow, April 18.