April 19's seventh annual Record Store Day was wildly successful in New York, so much so that music fans were still lining up outside stores past 4pm waiting for a chance to purchase coveted releases issued specially for the day. At least that was the case at Rough Trade in Williamsburg and Permanent Records in Greenpoint, both in Brooklyn, NY.
With about 400 releases to chose from, there was pretty much something for everybody, including such titles as a vinyl versions of the Zombies masterpiece "Odyssey and Oracle;" the Yardbirds "Little Games," album recorded when Jimmy Page was driving the band; Ronnie Spector & the E Street Band's "Say Goodbye to Hollywood/Baby Please Don't Go" 7-inch and Bruce Springsteen's "American Beauty" EP on 12-inch vinyl; Soundgarden's "Superunknown: the Singles" boxed-set; the Ramones "Meltdown With The Ramones;" and the Pogue’s "Live With Joe Strummer" double LP vinyl set.
Other titles issued included: a Katy Perry "Prism" picture disc; Dolly Parton's "Blue Smoke," 7-inch vinyl single; Nirvana's "Pennyroyal Tea/I Hate Myself and Want To Die," 7-inch vinyl single; West Montgomery & The Montgomery-Johnson Quintet "Live At The Turf Club" on 10-inch vinyl; Mastadon's "Live At Brixton on double 12-inch vinyl; Ray LaMontagne's "Super Nova;" 7-inch single; Green Day's "Demoliciious," available in multiple formats; and Charles Bradley's "I Hope You Find The Good Life," a 12-inch EP.
Shoppers flipping through Record Store Day releases at Rough Trade in Williamsburg. Photo: Ed Franke
For Billboard's Retail Track, since his traditional first-stop, J&R Music, had gone out of business eight days before this year's Record Store Day, the day began at Rough Trade in Williamsburg at about 1pm.
Arriving at Rough Trade there was a line of 49 people waiting to get into the store, but it was quickly revealed that if one wanted to shop the store, they could go right in. The line was only for people wanting to peruse the Record Store Day releases, which were merchandised inside the store on a table lined with seven crates that allowed only seven shoppers to sort through the crates one-at-a-time.
Betty Who, early on in her set, at the live club inside Rough Trade. Photo: Ed Franke
Betty Who was up right away and the Sony Music Entertainment sales staff on site did a good job of coaxing shoppers into the club housed inside the store. Who laid down a nice set of tunes as the initally sparsely populated room began to get a nice crowd by the third song. Maybe next year, Rough Trade can form the line for the RSD releases coming out of the club so the shoppers waiting to wade through the bins can at least enjoy the show.
Daddy Long Legs revs up for the shoppers at Generation Records in Manhattan. Photo: Ed Franke
At 1:45pm, it was time to hop in the car and shoot over to Generation Records in the Village to catch a set by Daddy Long Legs, a bluesy garage-rock combo signed to Norton Records, "where the loud sound abounds." The main floor at Generation Records was hopping as shoppers combed through the racks. Downstairs, about 50 people grooved to Daddy Long Legs laying down a scorching set.
The band was also smart enough to tout their upcoming album and in a twist point out that they had copies of their albums for sale themselves, as opposed to encouraging shoppers to buy their albums from the store.
After a beer and catching up with Music Video Distributors sales rep Larry Germack, it was back to Brooklyn, swinging past Rough Trade again. At 4pm the shop still had a line so long that some potential shoppers were stopping in their tracks and wavering over their commitment to go record shopping, until Retail Track filled them in his valuable lesson learned earlier: that if they didn't want Record Store Day releases, they could walk right into the store without suffering the line.
A brief lull in the shopping at Permanent Records in Greenpoint. Photo: Ed Franke
Onto Permanent Records in Greenpoint, where there was a short line outside the store as the small store staff dealt with a cramped space filled by shoppers eager to make purchases. Outside, WEA VP of sales Billy Fields looked pleased with the excitement created around Record Store Day and the more than 100 releases the Warner Music Group had collectively issued for the day. One of those releases, Husker Du's "Candy Apple Gray," was lovingly being clutched by the shopper second in line to the cash register.
As Retail Track headed for home and passed the Permanent Records storefront once more about 4:45pm, it was clear the day was still far from over for some shoppers, as about a dozen people were waiting to gain entrance.