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Record Store Day 2023: Releases From Taylor Swift, Metallica, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires Unveiled at Electric Lady Studios

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This year, Record Store Day rang in the annual unveiling of their special vinyl releases — which includes contributions from last year’s global ambassador, Taylor Swift, and 2023’s ambassadors, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires — during a cozy celebration at Electric Lady Studios Thursday (Feb. 16).

In front of a few dozen journalists and music industry professionals, Swift’s exclusive RSD vinyl of live recordings from her Disney + special Folklore: Longpond Studio Sessions, featuring Jack Antonoff, Bon Iver and The National’s Aaron Dessner, was debuted during the event, as was Isbell and Shires’ new joint EP The Sound Emporium. Jimi Hendrix’s famed Greenwich Village recording studio was dotted with equipment from RSD’s new partner, Marshall Speakers, through which vinyl etchings of songs like Swift’s Longpond version of “Cardigan” and a new Isbell original, “Hired Gun,” were played for one of the first times ever on a record player.

Both records will be available in participating indie record stores on this year’s Record Store Day, April 22, along with dozens of limited vinyl releases from artists like The 1975, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Billy Joel, Van Halen, John Lennon, Post Malone, Dolly Parton and many more. More details and a full list of RSD releases is available on the event’s website.

Also debuted at the Electric Lady showcase was the vinyl for Metallica’s highly-anticipated, April-slated new album, 72 Seasons. The 72 Seasons record was carried into the building by two hulking security guards, one of whom had the vinyl locked inside of a small briefcase that was handcuffed to his wrist. The heavy metal band’s first album in seven years won’t officially be part of this year’s Record Store Day, but as co-founder Carrie Colliton pointed out, Metallica has long been a supporter of RSD and served as the event’s very first ambassador back in 2008.

This year’s ambassadors and one of country music’s most beloved married couples, Isbell and Shires were there in person at Electric Lady Thursday afternoon to unveil their new EP, which includes two new original songs by both artists and a Richard Thompson cover — the physical copy of which they saw for the very first time at the event.

“I owe a lot of my experience and a lot of my success to record stores, so it’s a big honor for us to be here,” Isbell said. “It’s a huge part of our life. We still go to record stores, and I’ve met some of my favorite people and heard some of my favorite music that way.”

“I wouldn’t even know Leonard Cohen without Ralph’s Records in Lubbock, Texas,” Shires added.

RSD co-founder Michael Kurtz also took a moment to praise Swift, who last year encouraged fans to support Record Store Day by contributing 10,000 vinyls including two versions of her Folklore bonus single “The Lakes.” In 2020, she surprised indie record stores across the country by shipping out signed Folklore CDs, encouraging her fans to support the stores by tracking the autographed discs down.

“When COVID hit and things went south, she was one of the artists who really stepped up for record stores,” Kurtz said, adding that Swift offered to pay health insurance bills for employees at her local record store. “She’s the real deal.”

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