Black Friday by Record Store Day brightens the season for vinyl lovers – and indie record stores
For vinyl lovers, Black Friday is the second best day of the year.
An offshoot of Record Store Day, which has been making limited-edition records available every April at independent record stores since 2008, Black Friday by Record Store Day has been coming into its own for the past four years.
“We were part of the group that was in on the ground floor of Record Store Day,” said Joe Nardone Jr., owner of Gallery of Sound.
“We modeled it after Free Comic Book Day and helped create this sort of made-up holiday, which has morphed over time now from a day with a few promo items to a day with way more records than anyone can buy.
“So a few years back, we were thinking of adding another day, and we wanted to change the narrative of Black Friday,” he continued.
“Instead of getting up at 4 in the morning to try to get a deal on a TV, we wanted to get people back to record stores. We started with more gift-type things, you know like boxed sets, and some of it was successful and some of it wasn’t.
“Now it is much more like the other Record Store Day, only there are about 100 titles available instead of the 400 available in April.”
Gallery of Sound’s Mundy Street location in Wilkes-Barre Township will open at 8 a.m. this Friday, which is the “official time” when the records are to be made available nationwide. Nardone said his stores are a destination for many out-of-the-area customers because of their good reputation for getting most of the titles in stock.
Jay Notartomaso’s store, Musical Energi on South Main Street in Wilkes-Barre, will also be open at 8. He said his shop will have raffles and give away some CDs, records, and posters.
“It’s not as big [as April’s Record Store Day], but it is getting better,” he said.
“It’s a pretty substantial day for us, probably our second best day of the year.
“People come out for the new titles, but then they see our huge selection of used records and since those are a lot cheaper than the new ones, we sell a lot.
“We also have a lot of record players – vintage ones, brand-new ones, and refurbished ones – and our store is stocked. We’re still getting a lot of the stuff in [on Tuesday afternoon], but we will be ready for Friday morning.”
Notartomaso singled out the following as potential hot items: Frank Zappa – “Feeding the Monkies at Ma Maison” (an LP limited to 2,500 copies), Jimi Hendrix – “Burning Desire” (two LPs, quantity unknown), Stevie Ray Vaughan – “A Legend in the Making” (two LPs, 4,400), Jeff Beck – “Performing This Week… Live at Ronnie Scott’s” (three LPs, 3,000), The Sonics – “Fifty” (three LPs, 2,700), and The Zombies – “The BBC Sessions” (two LPs, quantity unknown).
Nardone listed the following: The Clash – “The Clash” (blue-and-white vinyl LP, 5,000 copies), Nine Inch Nails – “Halo I – IV” (first four independent albums, four LP box, 3,400), Beck – “Dreams” (12-inch single, 7,200), Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody” (12-inch single, 7,465), Phil Collins – “In the Air Tonight” (7-inch single and comic book, 2,500), Big Star – “Jesus Christ” (10-inch record, 2,000), and Judas Priest – “Painkiller 25th Anniversary” (10-inch record, 5,500).
Nardone also mentioned the Vaughan, Zappa, and Zombies titles, plus the four LP boxed set “Live Trax Vol. 5” by the Dave Matthews Band.
“There’s always a Dave Matthews thing,” he said, “and he didn’t let us down.”
Other titles available include: David Bowie – “Earthling” (LP, 2,000 copies), Johnny Cash – “Man in Black Live in Denmark 1971” (two LPs, 4,400), Joan Jett – “Sessions” (LP, 4,000), Paul McCartney – “Say, Say, Say” (12-inch remix single, 3,500), Elvis Presley – “If I Can Dream” (7-inch single with unreleased B-side, 4,800), Run DMC – “The Singles Collection” (five 7-inch box, 1,800), Brian Wilson – “Brian Wilson” (two LPs, 3,500), plus soundtracks to “Garden State,” “Love & Mercy,” and “True Detective.”
For a complete list of what’s available and to find more stores participating in Black Friday by Record Store Day, go to recordstoreday.com.