Almost everything about Taylor Swift's latest album folklore has been a surprise, from the last-minute announcement of its very existence to the contents of the record itself (Production from The National's Aaron Dessner? A duet with Bon Iver?).
Chicago’s Reckless Records said the CDs "just showed up," and a representative from the shop Bull Moose told Rolling Stone that on Tuesday night a Universal Music Group sales rep offered them the chance to participate in a "promotional sale for signed CDs by a major artist." When the Bull Moose representative learned the artist was Taylor Swift, he was "pretty floored." He explained, "The idea, as I understand it anyway, was to partner up with Record Store Day to give something super cool for indie stores to sell to drive some foot traffic into stores to help those affected by the pandemic."
Angie Roloff, the owner of Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, told Billboard that on Wednesday they "got an email from our Universal rep that we were one of the stores that had been chosen to receive 30 autographed Taylor Swift CDs." Roloff explained that they couldn't talk about it until they had the CDs in hand. "The other requirement was it has to be just local customers, not just shipping them to people outside of our immediate area."
A Zia Records representative told Rolling Stone that, due to the short notice, there was "scrambling, overnight shipping, and a lot of online communication," but because folklore appeals to both tried-and-true Swift fans and indie fans, due to the Bon Iver and The National influences, they knew "it would be worth it."
Swift sent copies across the country, including to Nashville's Grimey’s, where the singer had also covered three months of salary and healthcare for employees at the start of the pandemic. When asked whether the store had to buy the CDs, Reckless Records only told Rolling Stone: "We sold them like normal CDs, so we were able to make some money."
Below, see some of the stores who were part of the surprise:
Look what just showed up!Taylor Swift just sent a bunch of signed copies of her smash FOLKLORE! Limited so no holds, locals only and just one per customer. Thanks Taylor for your love of indie shops !
#recordstorefolklore #taylornation #taylorswift pic.twitter.com/fEkGO80BUT
— Shake It Records (@shakeitrecords) August 20, 2020
A funny thing happened on the way to Bull Moose today. Several locations received a shipment of Folklore CDs all autographed by @taylorswift13~! Check out Windham, Lewiston, Bangor, Salem, Scarborough, Mill Creek, & Keene.
Thanks T Swift for the support for local record shops! pic.twitter.com/onP2H6GvQO
— Bull Moose (the store) (@BullMoose) August 20, 2020
We've got a grip of signed @taylorswift13 "Folklore" CDs to sell! These are only available for in-store purchase and a limit of one per customer! We'll hold a copy for up to one hour so give us a ring at 7858431551 and we'll put your name on one. #recordstorefolklore pic.twitter.com/QJu0aLKgja
— Love Garden (@lovegardensound) August 20, 2020
— Darkside Records (@DarksideRecordz) August 20, 2020
Autographed @taylorswift13 "Folklore"CD's just hit the shelves at all 3 of our locations! Very Limited! Limit 3 per customer, no holds. You have to come in person to buy them. We'll update this thread as each location sells out. Come get one! $14.99 Thanks #TaylorSwift pic.twitter.com/Ur6eP9KDH8
— Down in the Valley (@DownNthevalley) August 20, 2020
Well, there is no doubt about it, #Swifties are SWIFT! Thanks to you all for masking up & coming by for a signed copy of #folklore! And many thanks to @taylorswift13 for signing albums for our peeps. ❤️❤️❤️ #recordstorefolklore #soldout #supportyourlocalrecordstore pic.twitter.com/CR1iCMBjux
— Grimey's Nashville (@Grimeys) August 20, 2020
Thank you @taylorswift13 for supporting local record stores and sending us limited amount of "Folklore" signed CDs! These are available for local purchase only! Limit one per customer! #recordstorefolklore #taylornation #taylorswift pic.twitter.com/PaNPWOHgiN
— Zia Records (@ZiaRecords) August 20, 2020
— Rough Trade NYC (@RoughTradeNYC) August 20, 2020
However, if you're just seeing the news, don't get too excited. Fans rushed to get their copies, and most of the signed albums sold out pretty... swiftly.
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