Fun and games with Taylor Swift on Record Store Day - Kevin Buckle

Taylor Swift's hand written note for her new albumTaylor Swift's hand written note for her new album
Taylor Swift's hand written note for her new album
In last week’s column I ended by saying that the weekend to follow would be like no other, with the new Taylor Swift album released on the Friday and Record Store Day taking place on the Saturday. But I never expected there would be a final twist courtesy of Taylor herself, of course.

On the Friday I got a message to say there would be an added bonus for fans who bought her new album, The Tortured Poets Department, on Record Store Day, which would arrive that day, but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone and certainly not post any photos but simply to hint on the day that fans who came in on the Saturday were in for a treat.

The bonus turned out to be a handwritten note from Taylor thanking her fans for adding her album to their collection on Record Store Day.

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There was an immediate dilemma in that shops were instructed not to hand out the note early to those who came in on the Friday.

Taylor Swift's Tortured Poets Department album coverTaylor Swift's Tortured Poets Department album cover
Taylor Swift's Tortured Poets Department album cover

However, as I expected this was not quite the problem it could have been. Because this was what is known as a priority release it only arrived in shops on the day of release and not before.

This immediately put us at a disadvantage, as while HMV managed to have it on sale in the morning, our boxes didn’t turn up until 3.30pm.

It had also transpired that while we had a mere three versions of the album with two variants on vinyl and one on CD, HMV had no less than nine different options with four different CDs and five versions of the vinyl.

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Irritating as all this was there was little time to take stock as the very next day we had to prepare for the onslaught that is Record Store Day. I say onslaught but we try to do all we can to dampen down the hype that goes with the day.

Consequently we didn’t have the long queues that some shops see as a badge of honour but a small band of mostly regulars waiting at the Waverley Bridge entrance at 9am when we opened. As I had predicted they all got what they were looking for, whether that be the relatively

rare Kate Bush single or the albums sure to be in demand by the likes of Blur and The Cure.

Those who were not regulars were mainly looking for the Olivia Rodrigo and Noah Kahan seven inch single and yet again they went away happy as we had plenty of stock and in fact still have copies left now, though I see the £14 single is selling for around £50 online.

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On the Monday we were told that in fact independent shops could now access the three other versions stocked by HMV, which just to complicate matters more were all on different coloured vinyl, had different sleeves, a different bonus track and different handwritten lyrics.

Sadly I was told that because independents generally sell few of Taylor’s CDs, HMV would still have the three extra variants and, of course, Taylor decided to keep the cassette version for her own website.

I fully expect more fun and games once Taylor is in town for her June Murrayfield gigs.

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