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Record Store Day unites musicians, local stores, fans

Record Store Day, or RSD, on April 20 will highlight the release of exclusive records from many top artists. The day is also designed to celebrate independent record stores and music.

The first RSD occurred April 18, 2008, and was started by Michael Kurtz, Eric Leven, Amy Dorfman, Carrie Colliton, Brian Poehner and Don Van Cleave. Throughout its history, RSD has brought together musicians, record stores and fans. The day commemorates love of music through new records, performances and signings. 

Exclusive RSD releases and events hope to bring more people to independent record stores. Several cities such as New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles have declared RSD an official holiday. The day occurs twice a year, once in April and again on Black Friday.

One of the most notable artist and RSD pairings occurred in 2008 when Metallica released its records for the first RSD. It kick-started the RSD phenomenon and the holiday has continued growing. Last year, 1.46 million records sold during RSD and the following week in the U.S. Each year, RSD has an RSD Ambassador, with this year’s ambassador being Paramore. 

Notable releases in 2024

Many artists release exclusive records and CDs every year to celebrate the holiday. This year’s RSD will feature releases from The Beatles, Elton John, David Bowie, Paramore and Queen. 

RSD can also showcase when artists work together and release special collaborations for the occasion. For example, this year, Noah Kahan and Olivia Rodrigo are releasing an RSD record with covers of Rodrigo’s “lacy” and Kahan’s “Stick Season.”

Often, RSD releases become the most sought-after records an artist releases, especially because only a limited number of records are made for release. 

Tips for a successful RSD

Independent record stores across the country and around the world will be bracing for long lines and eager fans this Saturday. Getting an exclusive record may seem impossible, but planning may help.

When planning for RSD, things to consider are the top records one is looking for, which record stores to visit and what time to shop. For the more popular and sought-after records, arriving at the record store and getting in line early may be the key to success.

In addition, stores in major cities will see longer lines than those in smaller areas. RSD is a great opportunity to visit smaller record stores and it would allow shoppers to find records more easily. 

The Republic of Athens Records is a participating store in Athens. It is located at 30 E. State St. and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The bottom line

RSD benefits record stores, artists and fans. It allows fans to obtain exclusive records from their favorite artists and encourages them to visit and support their local record stores. For artists, RSD gives them an excuse to create a fun, creative release.

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