When Dan Malapanes opens his record store on Saturday, the same way he has since 1976, he expects to be greeted by a line of customers he doesn’t always see on a quiet morning.
Collectors, music buffs, audiophiles, however they are known, they will all be there for the same thing — a chance to purchase a few of the limited edition albums, singles and other merchandise produced in conjunction with the industry’s annual Record Store Day, now in its fifth year.
Malapanes said the collector albums produced for Record Store Day are released in such limited numbers, sometimes he only has a few, or in some cases, a single copy, available for sale at Algonquin Records, 532 E. Algonquin Road in Des Plaines.
“They are making a game out of it,” Malapanes said. “They’re manufacturing collectibles, and they’re creating a little havoc on purpose.”
Malapanes said there has been a resurgence in vinyl records. He said his store is known for having a large selection of new vinyl records.
“What drives our business, it seems, is these format changes, especially nowadays,” Malapanes said. “It’s not so much artist-driven anymore, where you would get a new release by a superstar, and it would actually bring in people. Now that’s not as important.”
Record Store Day began in 2008, when a group of storeowners and a trade association started the tradition. Michael Kurtz, president of Music Monitor Network, the trade association, and co-founder of Record Store Day, said every year the promotion grows.
Kurtz said the number of record stores in the U.S. that participate in Record Store Day has grown from about 250 when they first started to about 1,000 this year. He said the number of limited edition releases has grown from 10 in 2008 to about 300 in 2012.
“We re-launched the whole vinyl business with Record Store Day five years ago,” Kurtz said. “So now everyone associates all this huge excitement and phenomenon with vinyl with record stores; so it’s a very positive thing."
Kurtz said two new things about this year’s Record Store Day were the ambassador, Iggy Pop, was more involved in promoting the event, and, the Flaming Lips collaborated with other musicians to produce the first-ever album made specifically for Record Store Day, called “Heady Fwends.”
Iggy Pop appeared in a video promoting Record Store Day in which he talks about his beginnings working in a small record store. The punk and rock icon is expected to appear at Sweat Records in Miami on Saturday, which also happens to be his birthday.
Pop talks about the first record he purchased, at a Woolworth’s, which he called a “mistake,” “Red River Rock” by Johnny and the Hurricanes.
“I paid 99 cents for the whole album, and the bummer was there was only one good song, “Red River Rock,” and the rest of ‘em — eh,” Pop said. “But Johnny looked cool.”
Malapanes said his business is split between new record albums, DVD’s of concerts and CD’s and used music.
“I get a lot of college-aged guys that are just enthralled with it; it’s something new to them,” Malapanes said. “And then you get the baby boomers that are maybe rebuying the catalogue they had when they were younger, or upgrading, buying audio files.”
Malapanes said he plans to open at 10:30 a.m., as usual, on Saturday. He said, while the exclusive Record Store Day releases are usually sold within a couple hours, his store has been established as a destination for music fans.
“It’s almost like a little bit of a museum,” Malapanes said. “I’ll display Beatles albums on the wall. It’s basically a throwback. It’s like an old-time record store, and the place hasn’t changed since 1976.”
For a list of the Record Store Day releases Algonquin Records ordered for the event, visit its website.