Black Friday Record Store Day takes over Philly

Record Store Day
Latchkey Records owner Marc Faletti will host his store’s first Record Store Day on Black Friday.
Gab Bonghi for Latchkey

Since the annual Record Store Day started in 2008 as a way for independent record store owners and labels to celebrate the love and deep appreciation for vinyl, it has since grown in leaps-and-bounds. In 2022, U.S. recorded-music revenue climbed 9%, vinyl sales soared a whopping 22% in the first half of the year with revenues in the billions, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Despite the fact that Covid has made it difficult to get vinyl pressed and distributed quickly, new and used record stores are opening, cassette tapes and CDs are back in vogue to battle occasional lapses in vinyl—and combat the expense of new heavy-grade vinyl—and RSD Drops have been added to the schedule.

One constant of the annual Record Store Day binge, though, has forever been its dark secret: the quietly-promoted Black Friday RSD. There aren’t great deals to be had, unless you spin through your favorite record store’s used vinyl, but there’s so much music to behold, it’s always a pleasure. Besides, everybody loves to shop on Black Friday, and that includes crate jockeys who can spin through dusty old vinyl sleeves and newly shrink-wrapped records at the speed of sound.

Gab Bonghi for Latchkey

There will probably be a long winding line way before your vinyl-shop-of-choice opens, so go early and prepare to run to the next location as vinyl pressings are limited. While Black Friday Record Store excursions mean bouncing from veteran vinyl shops such as Long in the Tooth at Rittenhouse Row’s Sansom Street to Repo Records on South Street, to Brewerytown Beats up north on Bailey Street, this RSD will include a newbie to the growing ranks: Latchkey Records on East Passyunk Avenue.

Many BFRSD-only releases come from the biggest names in music from David Bowie to Billie Eillish to the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA to Philly’s own Dead Milkmen, whose 1990 album, ‘Metaphysical Graffiti’ gets a special release complete with rarities such as its promotional-only coloring book and a handful of separate songs on 7” brown and green vinyl.

Max Mester for Latchkey

Opened as a Day-Glo ‘80s and ‘90s-inspired vinyl record and retail store for South Philly by owner-founder Marc Faletti, Latchkey Records – for its first-ever go at RSD – will maintain his era’s focus, but with a twist.

“RSD takes incredibly good care of indie record stores by offering us items that no one else can get beyond this time, while reducing opportunities of being able to scam copies of each vinyl release online,” says Faletti.

So, yes, most of what he is bringing to Latchkey on Black Friday is directly geared to the 80s and 90s, such as The Cure’s 30th anniversary edition of ‘The Wish’; a never-before-released Duran Duran album; Bryan Ferry’s 1983 ‘Taxi’ album pressed on clear yellow vinyl; the ‘2 Hype’ album from rappers Kid ‘N Play; a vinyl reissue of the 40th anniversary of Madonna’s debut single, ‘Everybody;’ and Tommy Boy’s Baddest Beats box set featuring Digital Underground’s ‘Humpty Dance,’ House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’, Naughty By Nature ‘O.P.P.’ and the late Coolio’s ‘Fantastic Voyage.’

Not wanting to be a purist—“The 80s and 90s are a vibe at Latchkey Records and not a rule”—Faletti says he also brought in BFRSD releases that “fit the feel” of his store, such The Weeknd’s ’80s inspired’ album, Dawn FM and the Rhino label box set, Fleetwood Mac – The Alternate Collection, featuring rare tracks from 1975 – 1987, all on multi-colored vinyl and CD.

“As we do more Record Store Days in the future, I will be buying more, and not less, of as many titles as I can get my hands on,” says Faletti. “This first time, Black Friday’s Record Store Day, I played it close to the vest. For the next one, in April 2023, I’m going wide.”