Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. vinyl / ˈvaɪn l / (n.) – a record or plastic disc containing music that can be played on record players

    I prefer vinyl records over digital music because I love the warm sound they produce.

  2. striking / ˈstraɪ kɪŋ / (adj.) – attracting attention by being unusual, interesting, or impressive

    The artist painted a striking portrait of the landscape, capturing its beauty.

  3. consecutive / kənˈsɛk yə tɪv / (adj.) – following one after the other in a sequence without any breaks or gaps in between

    She won the championship for the third consecutive year, showing her remarkable skill in the sport.

  4. demise / dɪˈmaɪz / (n.) – the end or failure of something, especially something that was once considered powerful, such as a business, industry, or system

    The sudden demise of the company left many employees without jobs.

  5. ignite / ɪgˈnaɪt / (v.) – to start or begin something, such as an event, movement, or change, by bringing excitement or interest

    The heated debate over the new policy is igniting further complaints among the citizens.


Read the text below.

Special LP releases, live performances, and at least one giant block party were scheduled around the U.S. on April 21 as hundreds of shops celebrate Record Store Day during a surge of interest in vinyl and the day after the release of Taylor Swift’s latest album.

A wave of interest in physical records, especially LPs, has helped keep the independent stores going, said Chris Brown of employee-owned Bull Moose and a co-founder of Record Store Day. LPs have gotten a huge boost from Swift, who has been dubbed the “Vinyl Queen” for releases of her work in limited physical record offerings with specialized content and striking covers.

The Recording Industry Association of America said in its 2023 year-end report that revenues from vinyl records grew 10% to $1.4 billion last year. That was the 17th consecutive year of growth and it accounted for 71% of physical format revenues.

Record Store Day is a celebration of the estimated 1,400 independent record stores in the U.S. and thousands more worldwide that endure long after the demise of megastores like Tower Records.

While most people stream their music on services such as Spotify and Apple Music, old-school LPs remain popular for collectors who prefer the packaging and the listening experience of records.

“For me, records sound better than any CD,” said Michael Iffland, a 70-year-old retiree. “It’s just cool having a record in your hand, looking at the cover graphics, and listening to that wonderful sound.”

Owners and employees of the independent stores came up with the idea at a gathering in 2007 as a way to draw attention to their unique culture on the third Saturday of April. “For us, records have never gone out of style,” said Waric Cameron, co-owner of Josey Records in Dallas.

Record Store Day is typically marked by special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products and events featuring artists and labels.  There were 387 planned releases announced for this year’s Record Store Day.

Swift, who is credited by fans and record stores alike with igniting new interest in vinyl LPs, has not announced any special releases for this Record Store Day.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • A wave of interest in physical records, especially LPs, has kept independent stores going. Why do you think there is a renewed interest in vinyl records, especially in today’s age of online music streaming? Discuss.
  • Some collectors and record store owners claim that “records sound better than any CD” and that they “have never gone out of style.” Do you agree with them? Why or why not? How do you think vinyl records are better than other media? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Record Store Day is a celebration of 1,400 independent record stores in the U.S. and thousands more worldwide that have been enduring until now. Why do you think Record Store Day is important (ex. to promote the unique culture of vinyl, to boost businesses)? Discuss.
  • Would you be interested in collecting vinyl records? Why or why not? What features of vinyl records seem attractive and interesting to you? Discuss.