Record Store Day Essentials - Get the Complete 411

Record store vinyl display on Record Store Day


Since 2008, discerning music lovers have commemorated Record Store Day both as a way of bolstering independent record stores and scoring great deals on awesome music. The first Record Store Day was celebrated on April 19, 2008, and now it’s popular on every continent except Antarctica. 

Now that we’re gearing up for Record Store Day 2022, we thought we’d lay out a few Record Store Day Essentials—including how the whole thing got started, why it remains relevant, and how to score the best deals on this most sacred of musical holidays. 

What Is Record Store Day? A Quick Primer 

Record Store Day is kind of like Small Business Saturday—but for the music world. You’re encouraged to turn off your music-streaming apps for a day and spend a few dollars at one of the nation’s 1,400+ independent record stores. 

These stores have been integral to our society for decades, but in recent years they’ve faced unprecedented struggles in the face of new music technologies and listening habits. If you want to start collecting vinyl, Record Store Day is a great time to start. 

Record Store Day presents the opportunity for record store patrons and staff to come together and celebrate the unique contribution that record stores have made and continue to make in our lives. You can expect to find discounts, new releases, and Record Store Day-exclusive releases at your favorite independent record store. 

For example: 

  • On Record Store Day 2021, fans of The Doors were treated to a vinyl collection filled with ultra-rare session tapes that revealed the creative process behind such masterpieces as Roadhouse Blues, Peace Frog/Blue Sunday and Queen Of The Highway
  • In 2019, punk rock fans gained access to a vinyl pressing of The Ramones’ Live at the Palladium, which featured some of the band’s biggest hits like they’ve never been heard before. 
  • Record Store Day 2017 was especially monumental, with special-edition vinyls from the likes of Prince, The Cure, Pink Floyd, and Bruce Springsteen.
  • In 2014, the excitement from Record Store Day helped to propel Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet to number one on Billboard’s U.S. Top Vinyl LPs.
  • In 2011, Fleetwood Mac released the long-awaited vinyl edition of their smash hit record Rumours, and it’s still one of the best-selling Record Store Day releases of all time.

Everyone from Aretha Franklin to the Beach Boys have released limited-edition vinyls on Record Store Day, and some of those LPs now go for hundreds of dollars on auction sites. 


Person holding vinyl record on Record Store Day


When Is Record Store Day? 

While people usually associate Record Store Day with the month of April, there’s actually a second Record Store Day: Black Friday. While some consumers line up for discount electronics and appliances the day after Thanksgiving, music lovers can visit their favorite record store and check out all of the artist exclusives and special deals. 

Still, the main Record Store Day usually happens on the second or third Saturday in April. This is the event that encourages members of the music industry to take part, and for many independent record stores, it’s the most important sales day of the year. 

In 2022, Record Store Day is happening on April 23rd. So far, we don’t know all of the artists who are participating, but we do know that Taylor Swift will serve as the Global Record Store Day Ambassador (so it’s highly likely that she’ll have something special to offer fans). We can also expect some long-anticipated David Bowie rarities to hit the shelves

Record Store Day Shopping Tips 

If you’re planning to hit up Record Store Day 2022, definitely do it! If you want to make the experience count, heed the following Record Store Day essentials: 

  • Stick to your local, independent record stores. Yes, you can find vinyl at Barnes & Noble and even Target, but the whole point is to support your local business. Besides, independent record stores are where you’ll find all the hot releases. 
  • If you’re looking for a particular release, call ahead to confirm availability. A lot of Record Store Day releases are limited editions, and availability can vary drastically from one store to the next. 
  • Get there early to access the best selection of killer new music. 
  • Take advantage of the sales. You’re not just there to buy limited editions and new releases. You’re there to support the business. You can usually find a wide selection of great music old and new. Even used LPs are an excellent buy if you give them a little TLC. With a vinyl cleaning kit, you can make even old 33s play just like new. 

Record Store Day is almost here. So gather up your best crew, throw on your favorite band T-shirt, and help make this the best Record Store Day ever!