The 15th Annual Record Store Day

Customers sifting through the Record Store Day releases at Siren Records.

This year Record Store Day took place on Saturday, April 22 and record collectors waited in line for the over 300 records on the list. Record collectors anticipate the arrival of Record Store Day (or RSD) every year to get their hands on some of their favorite artist’s exclusive one-time releases. Metallica, Taylor Swift, The Doors, and Childish Gambino are all examples of Record Store Day ambassadors who have some of the most sought-after releases. This year Record Store Day has been as awaited and successful as ever.

The first Record Store Day was on April 19, 2008, and was created to celebrate all record stores across America. The special day is meant to spread the word about the eccentric culture and value of the 1,400 individually owned record stores. Not only was it for the stores, but customers and artists alike. Artists can choose to become Record Store Day ambassadors, meaning they are involved in creating the exclusives and are encouraged to visit their local record store on the day and interact with fans. These exclusives consist of a variety of different color pressings and CD variants. For example, records are pressed on colored or patterned vinyl rather than standard black. RSD ambassadors aren’t just the biggest artists today, but smaller artists as well. The creators of the establishment want to give everyone the chance to promote their music and connect with fans. As a record collector herself, Jordan Oaten says that she would love to see some of her favorite artists make their appearance on the Record Store Day roster, “I would love to see Lana Del Rey come back for record store day with her newest album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” and maybe even a past Lord Huron record.” Even though there are over 300 releases this year, there are always more that fans would love to see.

The most anticipated releases this year consisted of Taylor Swift, The Doors, Billy Joel, and The 1975 all having limited releases. Taylor Swift continues to rule Record Store Day with her eighth RSD release as well as her second relating to her album “Folklore.” This year she is releasing “Folklore- The Long Pond Studio Sessions” which consists of a more stripped-down version of the original album. Last year, Swift released one of the most exclusive releases to date, her song off Folklore, “The Lakes” pressed on a clear 7-inch vinyl. Each record store only received about five to ten copies. Grace Miloszar was one of the lucky few who was able to grab the release last year, “I knew it was going to be very limited, so I waited in line outside the store for three hours before it opened… I know a lot of people are mad to this day that they couldn’t get one.” One of this year’s most exclusive releases was The 1975’s “Live With the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra” which is the live version of one of their most popular albums “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of it” pressed on clear vinyl. This release was limited to only 2,500 copies meaning most record stores got very few with local record store Siren Records only receiving two.

The Doors went all out to celebrate this Record Store Day with the release of their miniature box set that includes three of their biggest singles pressed on black seven-inch vinyl and a miniature turntable marked with their logo. Fans were shocked to see the effort that was put into their release this year, however, wonder if the boxset was even worth buying. Record Store Day ambassador veterans returned with exclusive releases again this year. Stevie Nicks released the live version of her solo album, “Belladonna” pressed on standard black vinyl and Pearl Jam released the live recording of their set from a show on their 1998 Australian tour. This record is titled “Give Way” and is pressed on standard black vinyl as well. Some honorable mentions consist of Sam Smith and Kim Petras single “Unholy” pressed on white seven-inch vinyl, “Doolittle- Live in Brussels 2009” by Pixies pressed on blue and green translucent vinyl, and the EP titled “You” by Mac Millers alter ego Larry Lovestein and The Velvet Revival pressed on gold 10-inch vinyl.

I was successful this year with my record store day experience and was able to grab both the Taylor Swift record and Maya Hawke’s “To Love a Boy/Stay Open” singles pressed on a light blue seven-inch vinyl. I attended Siren Records on the 22nd and secured my spot in line at 7:30 a.m. I recommend arriving earlier to be able to get in the store before the large crowd so you can get what you want and go, and it is also fun talking with other collectors in line. Siren Records did an amazing job with the organization of the crowd making it an easy painless experience, exactly how Record Store Day is intended to be.

Record store day is a great experience for everyone not just record collectors. It brings, artists, fans, and collectors together in order to celebrate the culture of vinyl and independent record stores. Even if you don’t collect or own vinyl records take the time to visit your local record store next April and enjoy the people, music, and experience. Maybe even pick up your first record while you’re there!


Complete Guide to Record Collecting


Record Store Day Ambassadors: Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires In The US, The 1975 In The UK