If you’ve suffered through the joys of the retail end of music, then you understand the moral panic that ensues on Record Store Day. Make the mistake of casually walking to your local record shit shack on Easter weekend to browse the new arrivals section, and you’ll find yourself wondering why you’ve already encountered three fist fights over a blue vinyl version of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors. You can’t help but watch the counter burn-outs punch endlessly at a register in a catatonic fury of disappointment and consider all the times they’ve laughed at human ants on television barreling through the Walmart sliding doors for Black Friday, and thought, 'Wow, that would never happen in my communal creative shop. We’re sophisticated artists whom maturate and respect each others tastes.' Sorry, friends, but product lust knows no boundaries.
It’s not all bad, and it’s not meant to hurt anyone. In fact, in 2008 the holiday was created to save the local record haunt from financial collapse and the future of the digital world. It was time to revive the interest in analog and bring customers off the couch, away from online ordering and into the hubs that used to bring our ears together. It was all about shifting the power of the dollar back to the little guys. But now, independent record stores have their version of Black Friday, and the collector fiends get a chance at scoring another batch of ridiculously limited junk.
In the present day, RSD shows no sign of stopping, and there's much more to choose from for metal maniacs. It’s been a wild 11 years and hell of an experiment for independent retailers. But there have been some highlights for people who love hard rock and loud guitar, and it’s good for folks like us to take away what we can from the corporate tidal wave and allow the fever to settle. We’ll be damned if the sliding doors of record stores become littered with trampled pregnant women in attempts to score the first copies of this year’s Phish 7” once more.
Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the best Record Store Day releases of all time...