Colorado Record Stores & Collectors Prepare to Celebrate Record Store Day’s 15th Anniversary


Image via Megan Langley

Megan Langley

Record lovers, rejoice!

Saturday marks the fifteenth annual Record Store Day event. Since its inception in 2007, Record Store Day has served as a monumental day each year for record collectors to meet each other and support their local independent record stores.  

There are more than 20 local record stores throughout the entire state of Colorado, so there are plenty of places for in-state collectors to shop this year.  

A month or two prior to the event, Record Store Day releases a list of vinyl record titles that will be sold at various stores that year, with some being more limited in quantity than others. This sparks a lot of discussions amongst record fans everywhere as everyone rants and raves about the various titles and plans which ones they want to try and purchase.

One record collector, Salvi Torres, said, “I think the list this year is more diverse than it was before. They are including more pop [music] and stuff for the younger generations of vinyl collectors. I plan on getting the Taylor Swift vinyl, the Kacey Musgraves one, and the Mother Mother album, since I really enjoy it.” 

This year’s list spans across many genres, featuring titles from bands and artists in rock (Gojira, TesseracT) to pop (Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles) to indie (Rex Orange County, Wallows) to hip-hop (Future, Childish Gambino) and everything in between. 

Many of the titles are listed as RSD Exclusives, meaning that these specific variants will only be sold at record stores that are participating in Record Store Day. This exclusivity both creates an extra incentive for collectors to partake and allows them to pick up something special that won’t be found elsewhere. 

Regarding the limited pressings that collectors have the opportunity to pick up each year, a record collector named Dominik Vigil, said, “I really love the exclusive vinyl pressings we get. The fact that we can’t get them at any other store, like Walmart or Target, makes it ten times more special.”

“There’s a community of people waiting in line for something they’re going to add to their collection. You don’t know anything about them, but you all share a common interest. It’s intriguing to hear about their stories and which artists they like [and] are going to look for,” collector Carlos La Rosa said about what he loves about the event. 

Record Store Day is not just an important day for record collectors, but also for those who work at independent record stores all around the world.

“It’s definitely a boost for our business overall,” said Pete Stidman, the owner of Denver-based store Wax Trax Records. “We sell a ton of records on RSD. It’s most typically one of the best sales days of the year.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Record Store Day decided to postpone the 2020 and 2021 events from spring to summer and created a variation of the event that they called RSD Drops. These “drops” would take place on multiple separate days throughout the summer, once a month. In 2020, this took place in mid-July, mid-August, and mid-September, and in 2021, this took place in mid-June and mid-July. 

“In 2020, they had three separate RSD drops, and for us, the first two were really good for sales. In 2021, they did two RSD drops and that worked out really well for us,” Stidman said. “It spread out the impact of RSD because on RSD, we don’t just sell RSD albums, we also sell the other collectors’ interest stuff that we have in the store and sell more than we normally would. Having it spread out to two days does more for our store economically.” 

“The RSD Drops they did in 2020 and 2021 were quite helpful,” added Emily Schneider, an employee at Angelo’s CDs & Vinyl. “Our participation draws in collectors who may have never visited the store before and they often wind up coming back in after RSD has passed as well.”  

Out of precaution and due to the ongoing delays in the vinyl industry, there will be a “drop” date on Jun. 18 for fans to purchase RSD titles that won’t arrive on time for the Apr. 23 date. The list of titles for this year’s Record Store Day can be viewed here, the list of participating stores in Colorado can be viewed here, and be sure to keep up with Record Store Day through their website and social media pages for more information and updates on the event. 


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