Everything You Need to Know About Record Store Day

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iStock

The unlikely resurgence of vinyl as an alternative to digital music formats is made up of more than just a small subculture of purists. Today, more than 1400 independent record stores deal in both vintage and current releases. Those store owners and community supporters created Record Store Day in 2007 as a way of celebrating the grassroots movement that’s allowed a once-dying medium to thrive.

To commemorate this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday, April 21, a number of stores (a searchable list can be found here) will be offering promotional items, live music, signings, and more. While events vary widely by store, a number of artists will be issuing exclusive LPs that will be distributed around the country.

For Grateful Dead fans, a live recording of a February 27, 1969 show at Fillmore West in San Francisco will be released and limited to 6700 copies; Arcade Fire’s 2003 EP album will see a vinyl release for the first time, limited to 3000 copies; "Roxanne," the Police single celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will see a 7-inch single release with the original jacket art.

The day also promises to be a big one for David Bowie fans. A special white vinyl version of 1977’s Bowie Now will be on shelves, along with Welcome to the Blackout (Live London ’78), a previously-unreleased, three-record set. Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, Neil Young, and dozens of other artists will also be contributing releases.

No store is likely to carry everything you might want, so before making the stop, it might be best to call ahead and then plan on getting there early. If you’re one of the unlucky vinyl supporters without a brick and mortar store nearby, you can check out Discogs.com, which will be selling the special releases online.

The 20 Best-Selling Albums in History

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What albums are most beloved by Americans? If we're talking quantitatively, it's a virtual tie between Eagles Greatest Hits and Thriller. According to the RIAA, these are the best-selling albums in American history.

1. Eagles - Their Greatest Hits 1971 - 1975 // 38 million copies

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2. Michael Jackson - Thriller // 33 million

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3. Eagles - Hotel California // 26 million

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4. Billy Joel - Greatest Hits Volume I and II // 23 million

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5. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV // 23 million

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6. Pink Floyd - The Wall // 23 million

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7. AC/DC - Back in Black // 22 million

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8. Garth Brooks - Double Live // 21 million

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9. Hootie and the Blowfish - Cracked Rear View // 21 million

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10. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours // 20 million

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11. Shania Twain - Come On Over // 20 million

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12. The Beatles - The Beatles // 19 million

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13. Guns N’ Roses - Appetite for Destruction // 18 million

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14. Whitney Houston - The Bodyguard // 18 million

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15. Boston - Boston // 17 million

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16. Elton John - Greatest Hits // 17 million

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17. Garth Brooks - No Fences // 17 million

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18. The Beatles - The Beatles 1967-1970 // 17 million

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19. Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill // 16 million

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~20. Bee Gees - Saturday Night Fever (Soundtrack) // 16 million


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~20. Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti // 16 million

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~20. Metallica - Metallica // 16 million

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A version of this story ran in 2016.

National Portrait Gallery Celebrates Aretha Franklin With Week-Long Exhibition

Courtesy of Angela Pham BFA
Courtesy of Angela Pham BFA

With the passing of Aretha Franklin on August 16, 2018, the world has lost one of its most distinctive voices—and personalities. As celebrities and fans share their memories of the Queen of Soul and what her music meant to them, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery will pay tribute to the legendary songstress's life with a week-long exhibition of her portrait.

Throughout her career, Franklin earned some of the music industry's highest accolades, including 18 Grammy Awards. In 1987, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nearly 30 years later, in 2015, the National Portrait Gallery fêted Franklin with the Portrait of a Nation Prize, which recognizes "the accomplishments of notable contemporary Americans whose portraits reside in the National Portrait Gallery collection." (Madeline Albright, Spike Lee, and Rita Moreno are among some of its recent recipients.)

Milton Glaser's lithograph of Aretha Franklin, which is displayed at The National Portrait Gallery
© Milton Glaser

Franklin's portrait was the creation of noted graphic designer Milton Glaser, who employed "his characteristic kaleidoscope palette and innovative geometric forms to convey the creative energy of Franklin's performances," according to the Gallery. The colorful lithographic was created in 1968, the very same year that the National Portrait Gallery opened.

Glaser's image will be installed in the "In Memoriam" section of the museum, which is located on the first floor, on Friday, August 17 and will remain on display to the public through August 22, 2018. The Gallery is open daily from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. and admission is free.

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