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Zia Records thrives through the pandemic

Celebrates the third of three Record Store Days
Posted at 10:27 PM, Oct 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-25 01:27:17-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Record Store Day is typically just that -- a day. But this year with COVID-19, the initiative was spread across three days; one in August, one in September, and a final event that took place on Saturday.

It's a good time to be a vinyl fan. Just last year, records outsold CDs for the first time since 1986. In fact, the Recording Industry Association of America says 62 percent of physical audio media sales in the first half of this year came from records.

Zia Records on Speedway celebrated the third and final Record Store Day of the year with some big drops, including new and reissued classic records. People lined up at 3 A.M. to get their hands on today's releases.

"People were waiting, people were eager," said Zia Records manager Mike Olivares.

Olivares says there is a vinyl renaissance taking place, crossing every age group. He thinks the rise in record sales is part notalgia, but also partially the fact you get to own a big piece of physical media.

"I think the large print, the art print, they do things differently on a record than they do with a CD."

But there's also the thrill of the hunt -- collecting old and new favorites then getting to spin them on your turntable.

Jeremy Poovey was shopping for heavy metal records on Saturday. He says every Saturday he and his wife search for records that they then listen to together later in the day. He thinks the appeal of records comes from the unique feeling they offer.

"When you listen to vinyl compared to listening to any audio on a computer interface or stereo, it just has a different emotion," Poovey said.

This year, Zia Records is celebrating their fortieth anniversary and Olivares believes the store's continued success, even through a pandemic, is because they had a plan.

"We have a plan and we executed it well and I think everybody sees that and want to come in and support the store and business."

In a year of uncertainty music continues to be a constant, bringing people together, rediscovering a format once thought to be dead.

"Music is that all encompassing medicine everybody needs," Olivares said.