Check Out Record Store Day: Black Friday Style
With Christmas just around the corner, Record Store Day organizers are jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon.
Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, is traditionally known as the first shopping day of the Christmas season.
This year, Black Friday falls on November 25.
Retailers open early in hopes of drawing the throngs of holiday shoppers, whom have the day off from work, by offering outrageous promotional sales. Ridiculous prices on big-ticket items, such as flat-screen televisions, result in the formation of long lines of shoppers waiting for the doors to open. Many of the lines form the night before, featuring shoppers camped out in sleeping bags.
The Black Friday version of Record Store Day, which was established in 2008 and held annually during the spring, is an added bonus.
"Because of the continued demand from music aficionados who relish the long-form album, as well as a groundswell surrounding Record Store Day, vinyl remains a viable way for music fans to listen to both new and classic albums," according to Nielsen, a marketing research firm that studies consumer habits in over 100 countries. Nielsen reports that vinyl album sales in the U.S. have grown a whopping 260% since 2009, with unit sales totaling 9.2 million in 2015.
For an aging Baby Boomer like me, the resurgence of vinyl is a God-send. Although the quality of compact discs has improved, I never really accepted them.
Go ahead, call me a curmudgeon.
Ironically, compact discs are disappearing in favor of digital music, which shouldn't even be mentioned in terms of quality. I'm sorry, but listening to music on a smartphone through tiny earphones is simply ridiculous.
Thankfully, my local record store, entitled "Culture Shock," buys used vinyl, as well as stereo equipment, for resale.
As a result, the turntable is also making a comeback.
I can't tell you how much I used to enjoy thumbing through bin after bin of long-play records and rushing home to listen to my latest purchase. Of course, my listening pleasure was compounded via the once-evil weed.
Now, I can do it, again, filling in holes in my collection.
The proprietor allows customers to listen to the used gems, assuring that they're not getting ripped off.
The albums are graded, just like prized jewels, so the prices vary.
New releases in vinyl are a bit pricey, but the quality is an improvement over the traditional LP.
At first, I'd stop in just to see what was available in used albums. You know, the one's you always wanted, but for one reason or another, never purchased.
Now, I'm drawn to the amazing and ever-growing number of special and limited editions being released, especially during Record Store Day.
They're rare upon release.
In fact, they're so limited that each participating store only receives three or four copies of a few select albums.
Many artists, including Metallica and Alice Cooper, liven up the day up by playing live at select record stores, although most feature local artists.
At Record Store Day last spring, I picked up Cheap Trick's "Live at Budokan," which should have always been a double-album. This one is, and features the complete concert, with the songs presented in chronological order. The original skipped around and left out some early album cuts. The quality is amazing.
I'm partial to the band, being from my hometown, and having recently been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, whatever that means today.
For Black Friday, Record Store Day officials are again releasing a substantial number of limited editions and re-releases
There are just too many to list here, so I'll just mention a few of the artists: Alice Cooper; Alice in Chains; The Bangles; The Beach Boys; The Cars; Foreigner; Jerry Garcia; Jimi Hendrix; The Kinks; The Ramones; The Rolling Stones; and Frank Zappa.
These are obviously rock artists, but there are plenty of lesser known's representing a wide variety of musical styles, too.
Follow the link below to the Record Store Day website. It provides a comprehensive list of releases exclusive to Black Friday. It also contains a locator, allowing you to enter your state, city, or zip code, to find all the independent record stores in your neighborhood that have chosen to participate. Unfortunately, the locator is limited to the United States.
However, not all participate in all promotions, or carry all releases. It would be a good idea to check with the store directly.
Give it a spin.
Here's the link to the Record Day website:
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