As vinyl sales continue to hit new heights year after year, it’s shouldn’t be a surprise that Record Store Day is growing alongside it. Still, it’s hard not to marvel at the success of what was once a niche event but is today a national phenomenon.
Besides being a reminder to head to the nation’s treasured music dispensaries, Record Store Day is a launching pad for dozens of exclusive and rare vinyl releases every year.
On this year’s Record Store Day, commemorated on April 18, some were less exciting than others: no one really needed a double LP of U2’s Songs of Innocence. However, the cassette reissue of Metallica’s 1982 demo No Life ‘Til Leather was certainly cause for celebration.
Also in the reissue category are Dolly Parton’s Grass is Blue, Joan Rivers’ The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album (on CD for the first time), and Jerry Garcia’s Compliments on green vinyl.
Some releases were a little more unusual: Stephen Hawking’s rendition of Monthy Python’s “Galaxy Song,” with an edition of 1,000 copies in the UK, is one of the weirdest. Even more rare, though, is the 650-edition “Forty Martyrs: Armenian Chanting from Aleppo,” which is more or less exactly what it sounds like. Jack White got in on the action, sharing 500 copies of Elvis Presley’s very first recording, for which White paid a hefty $300,000.
What did your favorite artist release this Record Store Day? Where’s your favorite record store? Tell us what you think in the comments!