Record Store Day Questions and Answers

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2020-08-23)

U2 is releasing a special 40th anniversary version of “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” on August 29. We’ve seen quite a few questions about the upcoming release, and now that stores have started to receive their stock, it’s time to sit and answer a few questions.

The following questions will be answered below:

  • What is U2 releasing?
  • What tracks are on the single?
  • What else do I need to know about the single?
  • What’s the War Child tie? Why is it UK only?
  • How many copies will be released?
  • How Much will the Record Cost?
  • Can I pre-order / reserve “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”?
  • Can I buy “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” online?
  • How do I shop for this record?
  • What does the Record Store Day Drops mean?
  • Why is “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” already available on eBay at super high prices?
  • Will this item really be worth these crazy amounts?
  • Will “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” be available in my country?
  • Will All Record Shops get this release?
  • When will I know if my store got copies of this in?
  • It’s not fair U2 doesn’t release this in our region!

We’re going to dive right in…But before we do, we wish you all good luck if you are attempting to find a copy of this release on Saturday!

What is U2 releasing?

U2 is releasing a special 40th anniversary version of “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” on 12-inch vinyl. This is the first time this single has been released on 12-inch, and it features new artwork. The single was U2’s third single overall, released in May 1980 on Island Records.

What tracks are on the single?

The single will include the longer version of “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”, not the edit found on the 1980 single. It will feature the original B-Side “Touch” and two previously unreleased live tracks, “Touch” and “Twilight” recorded at the Marquee. You can find out more about these songs in our discography entry.

What else do I need to know about the single?

It is being released in a gatefold sleeve, which will open to a photo album of old photos of U2 from that era. The vinyl will be on transparent 180g blue vinyl, and it is cut at 45rpm.

What’s the War Child tie? Why is it UK only?

In the UK, Record Store Day have partnered with War Child UK. Three releases this year will contribute to War Child in the UK. 1GBP from every unit sold of these three titles will go to the War Child charity. U2’s “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” is one of the three releases. The other two releases are CHANGESNOWBOWIE by David Bowie and “Done & Dusted” by Manic Street Preachers.

This is a UK only promotion, and War Child is not tied into the Record Store Day releases elsewhere in the world. In the UK, copies of “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” will display a War Child sticker on the front lower left hand of the front cover on the outside of the stretch wrap. The release will be identical to that elsewhere in all other ways.

How many copies will be released

“11 O’Clock Tick Tock” is being listed at 7000 copies, which means it is being pressed in smaller quantities than “Three” (17000 copies) and larger quantities than “The Europa EP” (5000 copies). Both “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” and “Red Hill Mining Town” were pressed at 7000 copies. Expect the distribution of “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” to be similar to those releases.

How Much will the Record Cost?

Stores are allowed to set their own pricing on Record Store Day items, so the price may vary depending on what store you go to. However, Record Store Day guidelines ask that stores pay attention to list pricing and stay within 20% of the price.

We’ve already seen prices at $23.97 (USD, Bull Moose Records) and £16.99 (GBP – Pie & Vinyl, Banquet Records) and 17.99 (Phoenix Sound) so expect most stores to offer this for around $24 USD with higher prices likely outside of the USA.

Can I pre-order / reserve “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”?

Items for Record Store Day are not generally available for pre-order, as the whole point of the day is to get customers into stores. From the FAQ: Stores are bound by the Record Store Day code of conduct which prohibits them reserving product for customers or allowing customers to pre order product. Record Store Day is about the occasion and visiting the store is part of the enjoyment so our best advice is get up early and check with stores in advance that they have your product. The rules are strictest in the UK, Canada and the USA. In other countries they can be a little more relaxed and there are reports each year that some stores do take pre-orders.

Can I buy “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” online?

Stores are also prohibited from selling online in advance of Record Store Day. Usually in the UK and USA stores are asked not to sell product online for one week after the event has started. However, due to COVID-19, Record Store Day has relaxed this requirement, and although not allowed to put records on sale when the stores open, product will be put online on the same day this year. In the UK, stores can start selling online or via the phone at 6pm. In North America stores are being asked to wait until the afternoon, with in-person sales only when the stores open.

How do I shop for this record?

COVID-19 has changed the world. And you may find things aren’t as you usually find them at your shop. Some stores will offer bookable time slots, some will operate socially distant queues, some will open as usual but will limit the customers in the shop. And since regulations and restrictions are different everywhere in the world, you are best off to check with the shop you expect to go to in advance. Check their website, social media, or give them a call. Most shops have now published what they plan to do.

Fans in the UK are encouraged to use the RSD Store Locator. In the USA, this page has additional individual store information.

What does the Record Store Day Drops mean?

Record Store Day was supposed to be held in April. Due to COVID-19, the date was delayed, and to try to keep crowds limited in number, the records planned for release in April are now being released over three separate days. So not everything will be available on the same day. The U2 release is being made available on the first day, or drop, August 29, 2020.

Why is “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” already available on eBay at super high prices?

There are copies already on eBay for prices that look crazy. Due to the limited nature of these releases, some users of eBay will assume they will get a copy of the vinyl on Record Store Day and list the vinyl in advance in order to get high prices. This is one of the downsides of Record Store Day. These people do not actually have the product to sell in most cases, nor will they be shipping it out before Record Store Day. And in some cases, come the actual day, they will not get their ‘allotment’ and will end up cancelling auctions.

We suggest not getting worried and buying one of these advanced auctions. If you do have to buy on eBay the prices usually come down right after the event happens.

The Record Store Day site once listed:

“When you see a title listed on an auction site before RSD, it’s almost CERTAINLY someone who has listed something they do not have in hand, and can’t guarantee they will have in hand, because they’re going out to a store to try and get it like everyone else. They call it a “pre-order” but since they’re not getting distributed to, it’s not a pre-order. It’s more like a scam, really. We work very hard to investigate the listings and in the tiny percentage of the time over the past ten years that it has been a store behind it, there have been serious implications for that store.”

Will this item really be worth these crazy amounts?

People have set high prices on eBay now, but its rare that these stay that high. Once stores start selling the item, you’ll see a bunch of listings pop up at a lower more reasonable price. The exception has been super limited items like the black and white pressing of “The Blackout” which still fetches high prices. At 7000 copies, this one shouldn’t stay up in price for long, and should settle in where similarly numbered items like “Red Hill Mining Town” and “The Europa EP” have.

Will “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” be available in my country?

Record Store Day has expanded over the years, and is more than just a USA event where it started. That being said, not every country has a Record Store Day, and even if they do have a record store day, they may not get all of the releases. Below are a list of the links to individual country sites for Record Store Day:


Additionally some international store listings are available on the Record Store Day site and can be found here.

Will All Record Shops get this release?

Stores have to order and receive the titles just like any other new release through the year. They are not given to the stores, and the store must order copies of the U2 vinyl or there will be none for sale. What will happen at times, with a limited release, a store may not get all of the copies that they have ordered. Stores got their lists they can order from this week, so now is a good time to reach out to the store you plan to shop at and let them know you would like to have the album ordered. This is a day organized for independent record stores, and if you are hoping to buy the vinyl at a larger international chain, you may want to check first that they are eligible to participate.

It’s not fair U2 doesn’t release this in our region!

We know many of you will not get this release in your own country and will have to explore other avenues to find a copy. This was a big concern in other years as well. Record Store Day continues to expand throughout the world, and there are more countries participating now than there were the last time U2 released an album in this manner. Last fall was the first time we saw releases available at multiple shops throughout South America. As we get closer to the release, and stores do start to offer this item online we hope to be able to share those links with you to make it easier for you to find a copy.

When will I know if my store got copies of this in?

Some stores will post lists of the items they have received in advance of Record Store Day. As they can be penalized for taking advance orders, they still will not be able to take orders for individual items at that time. Exact quantities being shipped may be limited, and may not be known until items actually are received at stores, which happens the week of the release. Other stores will not post confirmation, and you will have to wait until the doors open on Record Store Day to find out what is inside.

Some stores have already started to post photos of the record. Others may not have received their copies yet. Shipping has been slow worldwide due to COVID-19 so there may be some delays. Reach out to your store, but have some patience if they are unable to answer your questions.

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