It’s that time of year again. Less than a month from now (April 19, to be exact), music fans around the world will crowd into hundreds of independent record retailers in honor of Record Store Day 2014. In keeping with the growing tradition, hundreds of notable artists are planning special, one-of-a kind releases that can only be purchased at these independent retailers starting on April 19. The full list can now be seen at the official Record Store Day website.
For example…how would you like to hear a 24-hour-long song by The Flaming Lips? Or hear the final live performance of LCD Soundsystem? Or pick up a special edition vinyl reissue of Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation Of Millions to Hold Us Back? Or grab one of the first copies of the latest vinyl posthumous release by Johnny Cash? These are just a smattering of the goodies available at your local independent record store on April 19.
A common practice for exclusive Record Store Day releases is the “side-by-side” 7-inch vinyl record, in which two bands or artists you wouldn’t expect to be together share one side each of the vinyl record—sometimes singing their own tunes, sometimes performing covers, and sometimes even swapping one another’s singles. These are often limited run releases only available on Record Store Day. Other artists may save their latest release for Record Store Day, or produce a special edition vinyl print of a signature record. And that doesn’t even begin to speak to the number of regional special releases that can only be purchased at certain record stores. And THAT doesn’t even begin to speak to the number of special in-store concerts and giveaways that will happen all around the world. Suffice it to say they are giving you plenty of reasons to go record shopping on that day.
Record Store Day began in 2007 as a grassroots way of celebrating and supporting independent record retailers who were becoming increasingly isolated by the rise of digital music. Since then, not only has the movement swelled up into an international thing, but along with it has arisen a whole subculture renaissance of indie music fans, particularly those who have gravitated back to vinyl releases. Whether you like your music on a turntable or an iPhone, this is a segment of the music industry that definitely deserves to be celebrated and supported.
So make plans (and save your dollars) to line up at your local record retailer on Record Store Day. The complete list of special releases can be found here. To find a participating local retailer, visit the Record Store Day website.