CD Central gets in on Black Friday with exclusives

For the first time, the Lexington music store CD Central got into the Black Friday game. It joined a national promotion by independent record stores that offered sales of exclusive records or albums of live and rare tracks from bands including U2 and Metallica.

"The Black Friday thing for years has pretty much been owned by the big-box stores nationally," CD Central owner Steve Baron said. "We don't feel we need to go head to head with them, so the thought was the best thing for us to do is have stuff that you can't get at those places."

Most of the releases available at the record stores were on vinyl, which has been seeing a boost in popularity in recent years. Among those was U2's Wide Awake in Europe, a vinyl including three live tracks from the band's European 360 tour, and a remastered vinyl of George Harrison's solo debut All Things Must Pass. Both of those sold out Friday. Also offered were vinyls and CDs of Metallica's Live at Grimey's.

Some titles are still available for sale. For a full list of what was offered nationally, visit

The day wasn't just for fans of older media like vinyl, either. Those purchasing records or CDs were given codes good for free downloads of The Doors' Roadhouse Blues on Rock Band 3.

"Business has been good today," manager Matt Gibson said. "We had a lot of people here when we opened to get these special limited-edition releases, and a lot of families coming in through the day.

"Whenever people come back to town for the holidays, CD Central is a place they like to come."

And while it was the first Black Friday promotion at CD Central, it wasn't the store's first holiday deal. As in years past, the store will accept gift cards from chain competitors like Best Buy and Wal-Mart, and allow customers to use them for the full value.

The store's employees then use the gift cards for "things like toilet paper or light bulbs that we have to buy anyway," Baron said. "Personally, I don't like having to spend that money at those stores, but it's a way to get people into the store."

And, he said, it's a way "to turn around that spending habit. Instead of having this $25 gift card from a big-box store, it's a way people can spend it at a local business."