I go out and buy new albums on the day of release, I’ve been doing this since I was a kid back in the early ’80s. There has always been something special about being one of the 1st in the door of the local record store and scoring that highly anticipated new album by your favorite band. It has always been like a trophy, the culmination of months, if not years, of waiting. The feeling is exhilarating that you are one of the 1st people to have that album.
Back in the day, new release day was a big event…..
- There was always a line, sometimes you even got a number.
- The record store might have a special opening to buy new albums from big name bands.
- The same people were always there. It was a sense of community, a common bond.
- Some stores would play the album while you waited.
- There were never enough copies, some people got shut out. There was always just enough to almost supply the demand. Those who didn’t get a copy were destined to a few more days of tortured anticipation, guaranteeing a return visit to the store.
- You could pick up the new posters, patches, buttons, and other assorted goodies for the new record.
- You cut school or you cut class.
When I went to the local shop this past Tuesday for the new Dio, there was no crowd, no line. I walked in, went to the New Album Rack, saw no Dio album, and found out they sold the only copy they had minutes earlier. The only copy they had! This a totally different scenario to the release day of Dio – Sacred Heart way back in 1985.
Being in grammar school, it was tough to get out of class without being noticed. I remember that a few of us stashed our bikes at a friend’s house and, when the bell rang for the start of the day, we took off. We got to the local store just before opening and there was a long line. Here we were, these little 12-13 yr. olds in catholic school uniforms, waiting in line with long-haired, denim-clad high school dudes and chicks. Everyone who was anyone in the local scene was there because it was an event. You had music blaring, good-looking girls, maybe you’d get a whiff of some bud…..it was like a first concert. It was the scene I always wanted to be a part of. The next day at school we told the tale. We were the envy of the rest of the guys when we all pulled out a Sacred Heart cassette, it was our medal of honor.
I remember a midnight opening of the local Strawberries Records in 1992 for the release of Def Leppard – Adrenalize, which was released the same day Bruce Springsteen released Lucky Town & Human Touch. I had a number in the first 20 to get in at midnight but I was there hours earlier because it was an event. Everyone I knew was there and they all didn’t buy an album, it was the place to be.
Sadly, it all faded away. The last time I had to wait in line was for KISS – Unplugged. With the KISS reunion gaining momentum, I joined a dozen or so KISS freaks at another Strawberries to grab my copy. Not the event I was used to over the years but the comraderie was still alive!
I miss those days…..