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Record Store Day 2023: Breakfast Sammies With Taylor Swift

Record Store Day 2023 has come and gone and hundreds of thousands of music fans descended on independent record stores today across the globe looking for exclusive releases from some of the biggest and smallest independent record labels in the world.

Record Store Day April 22 2023 at Third Coast Vinyl in Muskegon Michigan

Record Store Day 2023 was a huge success; and that was before the entire allotment of Taylor Swift records sold out in the first 5 minutes at almost every independent record store across North America and Europe. The eCoustics team headed out before dawn in seven cities to stand in line and support our local independent record stores because without them — we’re pretty much stuck giving Jeff Bezos all of our record money. And that’s not a good thing for anyone who cares about supporting small businesses in their hometown.

We were very excited this year because the list of quality recordings was better than usual; we were also hopeful that independent record stores would get more inventory as well which has become a sore spot for some.

You can read our previous coverage here and also listen to our rather animated group podcast here; not everyone agrees that the event is working as it should for smaller retailers or for those of us who have stood outside in the rain for hours hoping to get one of the 3-4 copies of a specific album that the labels have shipped.

It would appear that for some releases, those complaints did not fall on deaf ears.

RSD 2023 Line New Jersey
RSD 2023: Jack’s Music in Red Bank, New Jersey

Standing in line at Jack’s Music in Red Bank, New Jersey, it felt apropos to turn the conversation with my fellow Jerseyans into a barrage of “Taylor Ham,” “Taylor Hall,” and “Taylor Hawkins” references as most of the crowd was there to purchase the Taylor Swift RSD release.

Just how large was the crowd in Red Bank? At one point before the doors opened at 10 a.m., there were 250 customers standing in a line that stretched down the street, around the corner, and down the adjacent street — much to the delight of local retailers.

Line at Jack's Music for RSD 2023
RSD 2023: Line at Jack’s Music (continued)

Another noticeable difference this year was the huge shift in the demographic who stood in line; some camped out overnight.

27% of our readership is female and we agree that we have to work much harder to not only keep that readership and attract more — but build their trust because many of them are new to the high-end audio category and our little segment of the galaxy has never been all that welcoming to them in that regard.

While standing in line, I texted Jeremy Sikora, Emiko Carlin, Eric Pye, Lynn Miller, and Mitch Anderson for updates in regard to their specific locations; which included Buffalo, Muskegon, Las Vegas, Calgary, and Warrensburg.

Every member of the team responded that the lines had started overnight, were 200 to 300 customers deep, and that young women represented at least 50% of the people standing in line.

Fifty percent.

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I think the percentage in Red Bank was higher than that.

Whilst there is a possibility that a certain percentage of the people waiting in line do not even own a turntable; and that applies to men and women, the reality is that most of the people that we spoke to standing outside were very passionate about the music they wanted to buy and that they were looking for ways to upgrade their existing vinyl playback.

That doesn’t mean that they were all looking at spending $2,000 on their next turntable, but most said that they would consider upgrading from their entry-level table to something in the $500 to $1,000 range.

U-Turn Audio, Pro-Ject, Rega, and Fluance were brands that they mentioned.

The people who camped out overnight? Flippers. And that was the case in almost every city.

Taylor Swift Folklore Album for RSD 2023

We’re not sure why anyone would spend $150 to $200 on the Taylor Swift release; those funds would be better spent on a new phono cartridge but that’s just common sense rearing its ugly head.

The main takeaway from today is that Record Store Day continues to grow and that the audience is getting younger and they are no longer oblivious to brands outside of Crosley and Audio-Technica.

What did you purchase today? Our team purchased both records and CDs because supporting independent music stores and the community is what keeps all of this moving forward.

Billy Joel 1975 Album for RSD 2023
Stanley Turrentine Album
Bella Donna 1981 Album for RSD 2023



  1. ORT

    April 24, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    “Taylor Swift”? Ugh…The name alone is pure Craptonite. That creature is a walking, talking beard for rent. Give me Joni Mitchell any time. Or Carol King. There are more, believe me. A lot more.

    As for audio and video? It has long been wide open for any one to participate in via purchasing whatever raises your raft versus inflates your ego. Why in the name of all that is fun would women desire to hang out with a bunch of sweaty, flatulent menz discussing tracking angles and groove echo to name but two silly subjects?

    In truth, for many music is but background noise until it is “your song” they are playing. Then it becomes what it has always been – The Soundtrack of your life.

    It is not as if the frAudiophilians are a welcoming lot so it is best if you keep your towel close…


    • Ian White

      April 24, 2023 at 2:35 pm


      Not a fan myself, but she definitely moves product and created enormous buzz around RSD 2023. Record stores had a record-breaking day and it is attracting a lot of new blood into the fold.

      She’s very good for the music industry.


      Ian “who prefers Carole King and Ella” White

  2. ORT

    April 24, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    Ian my brother, I agree she does move product and that is important to all in the business! Me? I was born olde and grew up with Ella, Frank, Hartman and so many more. I do not personally know any one that buys or listens to Tay-Tay Swift and that is just how it is for me but she does sell records and tickets and that is good for the business and for people that enjoy her.

    Carol King was and remains a beauty. Ella, a Goddess. Of late I listen to a LOT of Lady Joni of Mitchell. And Beverly Kenney (I have all her albums on CD!). And more.


  3. Jeff Jones

    April 29, 2023 at 10:14 am

    I hit Soundgarden in Syracuse, NY about noon on RSD and picked up the two things I went for, the Taylor Swift release for a friend and the U2 release because I’m a completist. Everything else I would have bought was cleaned out. They got 200 copies of the Taylor Swift. Soundgarden handed out tokens starting at 10am Friday so people don’t camp overnight. They should rename it Flippers Festival. It is a great shot of adrenaline for small independent stores, and that’s a good thing. I’m wondering if we are at peak vinyl or if the growth in new and used product can continue.

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