HUNDREDS of music lovers flocked to record stores across South Essex to pick up exclusive releases by artists such as David Bowie as part of this year’s Record Store Day.

Enthusiasts were queuing outside stores in the rain from as early as 7.30am on Saturday to make sure they were first in line to get their hands on some of the hottest records.

One lucky customer was Devon Sloley, 19, from Basildon who picked up some special new releases including two David Bowie vinyls from Adrian’s Records in Wickford High Street.

The records, a live record of David Bowie’s Cracked Actor and the No Plan EP on blue vinyl, were among the most anticipated releases of the day.

The former De La Salle pupil queued for nearly an hour to get into the store. He said: “It was a really great day. I went there especially for the new Bowie releases.

“I’ve been a fan ever since my dad passed all his old records down to me and within that were most of Bowie’s most noticeable albums so it was great to get my hands on some exclusive ones.”

Other notable records released to commemorate the day, which is celebrated in more than 200 shops nationwide, included a Prince LP collection and Acoustic Hits by the Cure.

Devon, who has more than 100 vinyls at home, also picked up records from Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes Live at Jones Beach.

He added: “It was a great atmosphere in there. I was served by the manager who was very friendly and showed real passion.

“I just hope people keep collecting as its such a great hobby.”

Hundreds of people queued in the rain outside Adrian’s Records to take part in the event, which shop manager Mike Dalby said had a “special atmosphere”.

He added: “This has definitely been our best yet. I witnessed instances of shoppers making compromises with each other if we only had one copy of something left. It was great to see that camaraderie between everyone.”

Richard Onslow, who runs South Records in Queens Street, Southend, said the day was a huge success. He said: “This is our third year now and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

“The David Bowie stuff sold out in about 15 minutes as everyone who queued had that on their list.

“The idea of Record Store Day is to bring people into the shop and the exclusives are a way of encouraging that.

“Hopefully, when they come in, they see something they like and will come back.”

Fran Carlyon, 35, from Hockley, was at South Records to show his support and picked up a record from indie band the Proper Ornaments.

The music lover said: “I think it’s a fantastic event. It’s so important that we come down and spend cash with our local shops but I also like to support up and coming bands who get involved with the day too.”