Record Store Day is here! It’s time for music fans, vinyl lovers and folks who love to stand in line on cold Saturdays in April to celebrate.
What is Record Store Day? It’s a special day to celebrate independent record stores. There’s probably at least one in your town that sells vinyl, CDs and cassettes and has a staff that knows everything about music. They’re some of the best places around, and Record Store Day is design to get you to visit your favorite record store and pick up some exclusive releases.
When is Record Store Day? This year, it’s on April 23. It’s also the 15th anniversary of Record Store Day, so it’s an extra special occasion.
There is also a second Record Store Day Drop date of June 18
How many releases are there? The official list can be found on RecordStoreDay.com, and there are more than 200 different releases.
Where and when are Record Store Day releases available? Can I pre-order Record Store Day releases? Record Store Day releases are available on Record Store Day only at participating stores. You can’t preorder or reserve copies. You have to physically be at the store to pick things up. You also ought to be there early if there’s something you want. Record Store Day releases are limited — some to only several hundred copies nationwide — and your store may only get a few of each.
Which record stores participate in Record Store Day? Lots of them. The best way to find out is recordstoreday.com/stores. You can search by city or state or for a specific store. Also know that different stores have different promotions and carry different releases. In the past, I’ve hit up multiple stores when there’s been particular releases I want because one might run out or simply may not have ordered them.
What types of things are available on Record Store Day are there? Some are exclusive releases you’ll only get on Record Store Day. Some feature an exclusive version of a record — say a colored vinyl for RSD when the record is already or will be available on normal black vinyl. And then some releases are Record Store Day “Firsts,” which means they’re available on RSD in limited quantities but will then be available widely later. I tend not to care about RSD Firsts or variant versions of albums since you can get them easily another time. Some are singles or unreleased versions of songs. Some are vinyl rereleases of old tracks. Some are exclusive live albums, which are usually my favorites. They’re also at various price points, anything from around $10 for a single to hundreds of dollars for a box set.
Now, there are HUNDREDS of releases coming out on Record Store day. But I’m only going to highlight my favorites, the unique releases and things that are most interesting.
Kevin is the host of Pops and Hisses, a music podcast featuring artist interviews with bands you love and opinions backed by decades as an award-winning music critic, podcaster, writer and photographer. Follow Kevin on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.