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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Record Store Day: April 21, 2012

image from PopMatters.com

April 21, 2012 marks the celebration of the fifth annual Record Store Day. Independent record store employee Chris Brown conceived the idea in 2007 and the first one was held April 19, 2008. Approximately 300 stores participated. It has since been celebrated the third Saturday of every April.

According to the official website a participating store is defined as “a stand alone brick and mortar retailer whose main primary business focuses on a physical store location, whose product line consists of at least 50% music retail, whose company is not publicly traded and whose ownership is at least 70% located in the state of operation.”


One of the highlights of the day has become special vinyl and CD releases. In its first year, there were roughly ten special releases from artists such as R.E.M., Death Cab for Cutie, Vampire Weekend, and Jason Mraz. In 2009, the number grew to 85 special releases from artists including Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, The Stooges, and Leonard Cohen. More than 1000 stores participated. 2010 saw the participation of more than 1400 stores and more than 150 special releases from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, and Gorillaz. In 2011, the Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, Duran Duran, and Todd Rundgren were among the 150 exclusive releases.

The 2012 day celebates releases from Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, David Bowie, The Clash, Coldplay, Florence + the Machine, Metallica, Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, The White Stripes, and more than 100 others. See the full list here. The day’s official ambassador is Iggy Pop. Previous ambassadors were Ozzy Osbourne (2011), Josh Homme (2010), and Jesse Hughes (2009).

I capture the love of shopping in a record store in my latest PopMatters.com column, “Record Store Day: Spend Your Money on Music – It’s Better Than Therapy.”

TRAILER: SOUND IT OUT - A documentary by Jeanie Finlay from Jeanie Finlay on Vimeo.


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