RSD typically occurs on a Saturday in the spring at various independent record stores, drawing customers with the promise of unique and limited-edition albums released exclusively to indie stores for the holiday.
But the festivities can’t quite bounce back to the way things were with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With small businesses slowly opening back up, the RSD website has created an organized list of 450 titles — 50 more than usual — for music lovers to use as a shopping guide at select indie music retailers. Stores will allow for in-store shopping with either normal/reduced foot traffic or by appointment, curbside pickup, local delivery and/or online shopping depending on the location, which can be checked here.
RSD’s first releases include Gaga’s Chromatica on exclusive yellow vinyl; Winehouse’s Remixes as its own LP collection for the first time; Prince’s The Truth as a first-time LP release and first-time independent release on purple vinyl; Petty’s Angel Dream reimagined on LP for the 25th anniversary of the She’s The One soundtrack; John’s Regimental Sgt. Zippo in its complete form on LP for the first time, and Grande’s k bye for now (swt live) on double-CD and as a triple-LP. This marks the first time the live-album component of Grande’s 2019 Sweetener Tour is being released in physical form after the pop star released the LP digitally on Dec. 23, 2019.
Rhino Records will roll out 31 limited-edition titles at participating indie stores in celebration of Record Store Day, including Joni Mitchell‘s Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1 (1963-1967): Highlights on 1-LP 180-gram black vinyl; the first vinyl issue of Aretha Franklin‘s Oh Me Oh My: Aretha Live in Philly, 1972 on 2-LP on orange and yellow vinyl; Me’Shell Ndegéocello‘s first RSD release of Peace Beyond Passion on 2-LP 140-gram blue vinyl; picture discs of Black Sabbath‘s Heaven & Hell and Mob Rules; The Doors‘ Morrison Hotel Sessions on 2-LP – 180-gram black vinyl; four of Lupe Fiasco‘s albums (two on vinyl for the first time) as part of Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor Series 4-LP color vinyl set; a 2-LP color vinyl + 7-inch set of The Notorious B.I.G.‘s Biggie Duets: The Final Chapter; and more.
Craft Recordings announced 12 exclusive vinyl releases for RSD, which will introduce the first vinyl reissue of John Martyn’s 1998 collection of blues covers The Church With One Bell; a 40th-anniversary reissue of Celia Cruz and Willie Colón’s Celia Y Willie; a 30th-anniversary edition of Jonathan Richman’s Having a Party With Jonathan Richman; a 15th-anniversary pressing of Evanescence‘s The Open Door; and Oddities & Extras featuring rarities from Rock & Roll Hall of Famers The Zombies.
Spreading RSD over two days in two different months in the summer gives vinyl pressing plants and distribution companies ample time to produce the titles and provides indie stores more flexibility to prepare budgets and place orders so customers can shop for the records they’re looking for on both days as opposed to one massive release day.
RSD organizers were forced to postpone its 2020 edition due to COVID. Last year’s three-part drop (staged on Aug. 29, Sept. 26 and Oct. 24) helped generate 1.95 million in CD and vinyl album sales at indie stores in the U.S. — with 1.41 million of that in vinyl album sales, according to MRC Data.