Designed in celebration and support of independent record shops, Record Store Day (RSD) provides vinyl enthusiasts around the globe the opportunity to get their hands on exclusive and unique special edition pressings not available anywhere else. From unique color variants, niche albums, and one-off pressings, this is the time of year to find the precious gems for your collection.
For the second year in a row, RSD has been broken across multiple dates due to the global pandemic; This year being June 12th and July 17th – opposed to the historical single April date. This helps ensure proper social distancing, indoor capacity limits, and safe pressing plant manufacturing operations.
For my indie record shops, Record Store Day continues to be one of their most busiest, revenue driving days of the year. Despite needing to remove many beloved community aspects, including live shows and entertainment, those who participated will know this didn’t stop line-ups from wrapping around the buildings of local shops.
Indie Shop Vinyl Record Sales Soar
This year marks another triumph for independent record shops across the globe. The first 2021 RSD drop on June 12 was a booming success, marking the largest week of indie shop RSD vinyl sales in the history MRC Data. Despite the struggling pressure for pressing plants to meet demand, the indie sector sparked almost 1.3 million sales in the US alone, with 74% of all vinyl albums sold via independent record stores.
Top-selling indie record shop exclusive album releases included:
1. Prince, The Truth
2. Rage Against the Machine, The Battle of Mexico City
3. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Angel Dream: Songs and Music From the Motion Picture ‘She’s the One’
4. Ariana Grande, k bye for now (swt live)
5. Lady Gaga, Chromatica
6. Linkin Park, Meteora
7. The Doors, Morrison Hotel Sessions
8. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Pinata
9. Twenty One Pilots, Location Sessions
10. Elton John, Regimental Sgt. Zipp
What To Do Now That Record Store Day is Over?
Many collectors get caught up in the excitement of the day, spin their new records, go through the normal catalog procedures, updating their Discogs collection etc, and sometimes forget about their new records for a while. Everyone’s listening ritual is different of course but consider digging out records from the last record store day and give those a spin. As collections grow it’s easy to forget releases that at one point were worth waiting in line for 4 hours to get.
Track Down the Missed Grails
Many of us rushed into the record store as soon as we could beelining it to the RSD section to start picking away at our lists. Sadly, there are many of us that didn’t get everything on our wish lists. If you didn’t there are several things you can do to hunt them down without needing to break the bank on ebay. Consider calling record stores in adjacent cities, especially the smaller ones that may not get as much foot traffic. Reach out to online groups to help you find those desired records.
Help Out Our Vinyl Geek Friends
While you are reaching out to online groups to help track down your wish list, consider helping others as well. You can be a good vinyl Samaritan and keep your eyes out for records others have expressed interest in. Many times there are collectors out there who would be more than willing to cover the shipping costs if someone can track down a copy at retail price.
If you’re lucky enough to have one or more local record shops close by, consider revisiting to browse their used vinyl section. There are many benefits to purchasing your vinyl local.
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