There are a lot of vinyl record geeks out there. Sales of records eclipsed CDs in 2020 for the first time since the 1980s, becoming the physical music medium of choice. In 2021, record sales increased for the 15th straight year, hitting the $1 billion mark. And that doesn’t count the huge number of records that trade hands at local record shops. This brings me to the point of this post. Record Store Day 2022 is on Saturday, April 23.
Record Store Day (RSD) has been been a thing for 15 years. Is it a coincidence that the number meshes exactly with the growth streak for record sales? Who knows. It may be a chicken and egg thing. Anyway, the past several years have seen the annual celebration of local record stores disrupted by the pandemic. With the need for social distancing, having a bunch of people crammed into a small shop to flip through records in search of special releases seemed like a bad idea. So we had the 2020 edition postponed and 2021’s split into multiple days.
2022 marks the first time since 2019 that there’s been a single Record Store Day. It feels like a big deal. Even now, there are still some hiccups to be expected due to supply chain issues and backlogged vinyl pressing plants (one downside to vinyl’s surging popularity). So there will be a second RSD drop on June 18 to cover any special releases that didn’t make it in stores in time for Saturday’s event.
You can see all the RSD 2022 releases here.
Crosley, the company that helped to make record players cool again thanks to its iconic Cruiser record player-in-a-suitcase has been a long-time partner of RSD. You may remember my posts on the miniature—but fully functional—turntables the company has released as past RSD exclusives. This year, to celebrate 15 years of Record Store Day, Crosley is giving away the cool C100BT turntable (with pitch control and Bluetooth connectivity) at select record shops across the U.S. and online. You can read the details of the giveaway here. It’s definitely worth entering.
I reviewed this turntable in February, and it is a great option for anyone wanting a bit of a vintage, Technics SL-1200-inspired vibe. Bluetooth is handy if you hate cables or want to connect to a portable speaker or wireless headphones. If you’re looking for a turntable upgrade or you’re looking to buy a first record player and don’t want to rely on winning a contest, here are a few others I’ve reviewed over the past several years that are worth considering as a purchase:
And for those with a slightly higher budget, my favorite turntable release in recent years is the excellent Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Turntable. I still have one of these anchoring my office sound system and it still impresses in both audio performance and value.
So don’t forget to visit your local record store on Saturday to pick up the latest collectible vinyl releases as part of Record Store Day 2022.