Andre Gardner

A box of 45s, ready to be examined, at the Not Just Rock Expo in Oaks, PA, November 24, 2023. Photo: Andre Gardner Collection

Looking for essential Record Store Day Grabs for 2024? I’ve got some for you.

The record collector’s dream day is finally upon us. Record Store Day 2024 is Saturday April 20! Oh, the time we’ll spend looking for those collectibles we’ve heard about, and maybe even score some unexpected surprises. I’ve gone over this year’s list and wanted to put in my two cents.

I have been collecting records ever since I can remember, and it sure helped to have an older brother who was a radio DJ! My brother Bill Gardner used to send me boxes of records from the stations where he was working. I shudder to think of the value of some of those early boxes of records I took lousy care of as a little kid. I can remember The Troggs’ WIld Thing album, white label promo-only release on Atco. The masterpiece 1967 release The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland with that gorgeous big Motown label, all manhandled by a 6 year old who didn’t quite have record handling down yet.

By age 8 or so, I finally got my act together and started taking care of my darling 45s and LPs. In fact, I became obsessed with collecting. One of the perks of radio back in the 70s was DJs could fairly easily get copies of any new release. Heck, the record companies would ship boxes of 25 of the same LP to one station, perfect for giveaways and DJs!

I would say I hit my peak collecting total around 1987, when I lived in Dallas, Texas. By then I had amassed over 10,000 albums and 1,500 45s. The thing was, with each successive move I did from station to station, it became more burdensome to lug all of those albums around, let alone store them. I may have only listened to a fraction of them anyway. At the suggestion of my then-girlfriend, now wife, I held a fire sale outside of my apartment in Las Colinas. It was really cool – people came from all over and cleaned me out of about half of those albums.

Over the years, I’ve pared down my LP collection considerably, as much of my music has been digitally transferred and is up in my cloud. Still, I’m a sucker for 45s, which I still collect, and have recently taken to collect acetates. They are reference discs that aren’t meant to be played more than a few dozen times, but are quite limited and valuable. SO I’ll be out there on 4/20, wish list in hand, looking for some gems out in the field. At least those still remaining. Those collectors get quite an early start, and those shops sometimes open up while I’m still asleep!

It seems like this year there are more titles than ever. Maybe that’s because vinyl continues to grow in popularity. For the last 17 years, sales of vinyl has increased, while CD sales continue to dwindle. Record companies are seeing some nice profit opportunities with these cool collectibles. Some of them are not so special, but this list has some amazing titles, and even items, available for purchase. I mean, a working Beatles 3″ turntable? That’s ridiculous, and will no doubt sell immediately. There are multi-disc sets, EPs, 45s, colored vinyl and picture discs galore being released.

I hope to see you out and about tomorrow for Record Store Day. It’s always fun to run into fellow record collectors, talk music and compare our finds. It’s a nice community of people. Now that you know my record collecting story, get ready to shop til you drop! Here are some essential Record Store Day grabs for 2024. Happy shopping!

  • The Beatles - RSD3 Turntable And 3" Singles

    Beatles wax figures on a beach

    ORLANDO, FL – JULY 28: In this handout photo provided by Madame Tussauds Orlando, Here Comes The Sun! The Beatles, as Madame Tussauds wax figures depicting John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, take a stroll on a Florida beach July 28, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. The scene pays homage to the famous Abbey Road album cover and the bands first trip to Florida more than 50 years ago, when they visited the Sunshine State for their second live appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. (Photo by Madame Tussauds Orlando via Getty Images)

    This one blew my mind. Who knows if there’s a burgeoning market for 3″ 45s, this is just plain cool. It’s a working turntable that plays three Beatles singles included with the set. The three songs are ones the band performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, and I suspect it’ll be the studio versions on those singles. Only 2000 of these turntables have been made, with the singles also sold separately.

  • Def Leppard - One Night Only: Live At The Leadmill 2023

    Def Leppard at a press conference.

    HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 04: (L-R) Vivian Campbell, Phil Collen, Rick Allen, Rick Savage, and Joe Elliott of Def Leppard attend the Press Conference with Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, and Poison announcing 2020 Stadium Tour on December 04, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

    Last year, Def Leppard performed in Sheffield, England for Record Store Day, and this year they’re releasing that concert for THIS year’s RSD! It’ll come on 2 LPs and is limited to 6,000 copies.

  • The Doors - Live At Konserthuset, Stockholm, September 20, 1968

    The Doors sit in chairs at a press conference.

    3rd September 1968: American psychedelic rock band, The Doors during a press conference at Heathrow Airport, London (left to right); drummer John Densmore, keyboard player Ray Manzarek, vocalist Jim Morrison (1943 – 1971) and guitarist Robby Krieger. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

    Taken from a live radio broadcast, and never before released, this entire concert is coming out as a multi LP box set, covering the entire show. It’s also being released on CD. Have  you ever heard The Doors do “Mack The Knife?” They did it this night, sandwiched between “Five To One” and “Love Street.” LP limited to 6,000 copies, the CD, 8,000.

  • Fleetwood Mac - Rumours Picture Disc

    Fleetwood Mac at an event.

    NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 26: (L-R) Honorees Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and John McVie of music group Fleetwood Mac attend MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall on January 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images )

    It’s hard to believe, but Rumours has never come out as a picture disc. This year, that is rectified as 7500 copies will be available for purchase. A must for the Mac collector!

  • George Harrison - Electronic Sound and Wonderwall Music Zoeotrope Picture Disc

    George Harrison

    C. 1965: George Harrison (1943 – 2001) of the Beatles. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

    Two of George’s first solo albums are coming out via his family’s Dark Horse Records, Electronic Sound and Wonderwall Music. The albums are gorgeous, and are known as a zoeotrope picture disc. This type of discs show a cool animation while it’s playing! They’ll be limited to 3400 copies each and will likely go quickly.

  • Elton John - Caribou 50th Anniversary Edition

    Elton John in 1974.

    British singer-songwriter Elton John wearing a pair of his flamboyant trademark spectacles, 12th September 1974. (Photo by D. Morrison/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


    Elton’s followup to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road gets a nice upgrade and reissue, with a two LP set featuring the original Caribou album, plus several bonus tracks, two of which have never been released. A nice piece, indeed, and limited to just 3,000 copies.

  • John Lennon - Mind Games EP

    John Lennon and May Pang

    Ex-Beatle John Lennon (1940 – 1980) and his girlfriend May Pang, his former secretary, at the opening of ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road’ on Broadway, New York City, 21st November 1974. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

    Two different John Lennon EPs are coming out, in advance of John’s Mind Games reissue slated for this summer. The EPs are available in glow in the dark colored vinyl or standard black. It’s not known how many copies will be out there.

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