Record Store Day 2023

A comprehensive guide to navigating today’s audiophile holiday

The allure of physical media has gone cross-generation and a long-winded insistence on reminiscence has fueled the comeback of vinyl records. We have covered this phenomenon before when it was first announced that records had outsold CDs in the United States for the first time in 30 years.

Long line outside of Amoeba Store during Record Store Day on April 21, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)

To sum up briefly, the production side of media is experiencing a contrarian case of norms: out with the new, in with the old. So much so that every April, audiophiles around the world crack open their wallets and shell out hundreds for their very own (albeit relatively new) holiday: Record Store Day.

This year is no different, with RSD coming in hot on April 22 and over 300 new physical releases along with it. Navigating the event can be tricky: a limited number of records are distributed for each release, making some titles more desirable than others.

As this culminates into the sometimes-chaotic nature of RSD, we’ve prepared some guidance for new participants and also highlight some of the buzziest titles arriving this year.

Some Quickfire Tips

Check the List Then Check Your Local Store

This year’s RSD features more than 300 titles—some are re-presses, others are new. Regardless, you’d be wrong to assume that your local record shop will carry all of them.

Your first step should always be to check the official list of releases and once one catches your eye, phone your local record shop and ask if they will stock it. By now, all owners should have put in and (hopefully) received their orders for the occasion.

In Los Angeles, these record stores are among our RSD favorites

Don’t Go Broke and Be Courteous

There will be lines, long ones. Once you get to the front of the queue and catch your first glimpse of the stacked bins, it’s easy to turn wide-eyed and grab the first album that catches your eye; just make sure you stay on focused on your wish list.

Furthermore, this isn’t Black Friday: you don’t want to go viral on TikTok for throwing down over a copy of a Taylor Swift album in the middle of your local shop. Be patient, be kind, and have fun.

What’s Hot This Year?

folklore: the long pond studio sessions
Taylor Swift, 75,000 copies

Yes, you definitely saw this coming: Swift is inevitable. As Cosmic Vinyl owner Oren Pius told LAMag regarding releases to look out for, “Taylor Swift, always Taylor Swift.”

Last year, people lined up around the block at the crack of dawn last year for a seven-inch release of Taylor Swift’s The Lakes. The record was sold out within minutes of shops opening and then listed up for $200 hours after.

Only 10,000 copies of that record were pressed; but folklore: the long pond studio sessions is an entire double LP on gray wax. Still, we think it’ll go quickly.


Violent Femmes: 40th Anniversary
Violent Femmes, 3,000 copies

Reading this on the RSD site nearly gave us a heart attack. The original 1983 pressing of this record goes for upwards of $100 in great condition. The 2015 repress on green marble vinyl goes for $70.

This pressing is a picture disc, the first for this record. Combine this with the low number of copies pressed and you’ve got an album that will undoubtedly get snatched up.


The Way I See It
Raphael Saadiq
2,000 copies

Initially released in 2008, The Way I See It has had plenty of time to establish itself as a neo-soul classic.

Saadiq drew inspiration from the icons, teaming up with The Rebirth Brass Band, CJ Hilton, Joss Stone, even Stevie Wonder. The Way I See It grabbed three Grammy nominations and solidified itself as a staple of soul revival.

Now, it’s back on wax after being out of print for over a decade.


The Bliss Album…? (Vibrations of Love and Anger and the Ponderance of Life and Existence)
P.M. Dawn
2,000 copies

This ’90s hip-hop classic was the sophomore effort for American duo P.M. Dawn. Though it was initially met with mixed reception, the album still spat out two stone-cold classics in “I’d Die Without You” and “Looking Through Patient Eyes.”

Now, it’s back to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its release back in 1993, coming in hot having not been pressed since and only 2,000 copies.


Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
The Cranberries
4,000 copies

Not only was this the last album before The Cranberries took a six-year hiatus, but Wake Up and Smell the Coffee was widely considered to be a return to form for the Irish rock group. It was never released on vinyl in the more than two decades following its 2001 release.

Now, it’s getting a fresh and first pressing that diehard fans have been waiting for. Unfortunately for the fans, only 4,000 copies will be available on RSD.

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