With Record Store Day just a little over three weeks away, Omnivore Recordings has unveiled an eclectic slate of three vinyl platters suiting the label’s deliciously omnivorous tastes. Two artists are familiar to fans of the label, while the third makes an Omnivore debut. All of the titles, of course, will be offered via your local brick-and-mortar independent music retailer on Saturday, April 20 to mark the sixth annual event.
Without further ado…hit the jump to dive into tasty treats from Big Star, The Old 97’s with special guest Waylon Jennings, and North Carolina’s own Three Hits!
2011’s RSD saw an Omnivore vinyl reissue of the “test pressing” of Big Star’s 1975 swansong Third, meticulously recreated right down to the master tape box and tracking sheets. Early in 2012, the band’s frontman Alex Chilton was celebrated via the label’s release of Free Again: The 1970 Sessions. Now, Omnivore is handling the soundtrack to the Magnolia Pictures documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, and it will premiere as a RSD-exclusive yellow double vinyl edition limited to 4,000 copies worldwide. (No fear: CD, CD/DVD deluxe, double-LP standard weight black vinyl and digital releases are also forthcoming.) The 2012 SXSW Film Festival selection tells the story of the ultimate cult band, a group that never saw any considerable commercial success but influenced an entire generation of pop musicians. Nothing Can Hurt Me chronicles Alex Chilton’s ascent to fame as lead singer of The Box Tops through the recording of Big Star’s three albums, to the 1978 death of Chilton’s collaborator Chris Bell.
The 21 previously unreleased tracks on the soundtrack’s four vinyl sides encompass vintage unissued mixes, alternate takes, demos, and new mixes made for the motion picture of Big Star, Chilton and Bell songs. The soundtrack includes 21 previously unheard period mixes, new mixes made specifically for the film, and alternate takes and demos. For the limited, first-edition RSD pressing, the 2-LP set will be released on 180-gram RTI HQ translucent yellow vinyl (download card included), with mastering by Larry Nix at L. Nix Mastering. The project was overseen by the documentary’s executive producer, John Fry, at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis.
Like Big Star, The Old 97’s have also received the deluxe treatment from Omnivore. 2012’s reissue of 1997’s Too Far To Care added more than a disc’s worth of bonus tracks from the Rhett Miller-fronted alt-country band, and now the Old 97’s are returning to Omnivore with more previously unreleased goodies. And they’ve brought along a guest: the late, great Waylon Jennings. Way back in 1996, Jennings joined Ken Bethea, Murry Hammond, Rhett Miller and Philip Peeples in Nashville to cut two tracks. Yet “Iron Road” and “The Other Shoe,” the two songs completed by Jennings and the 97’s, never saw the light of day…until now. Both tunes are familiar to fans of the band; “Iron Road” would eventually arrive as a live version on 2005’s Alive & Wired along with “The Other Shoe” (which first appeared on Old 97’s second album, 1995’s Wreck Your Life.) But Omnivore’s RSD vinyl marks the premiere of the versions with Waylon.
To round out the release, two more previously unreleased demos have been added: “Visiting Hours” (a live version of which appeared on 2011’s The Grand Theater Vol. 2) and “Fireflies” (re-recorded by Rhett Miller for his 2006 album The Believer). All four songs will be available as a double yellow vinyl 7-inch release, housed in a gatefold sleeve with art from Jon Langford (of the Mekons and Waco Brothers, and renowned painter of Country Music icons) and new liner notes from Rhett Miller. The package also includes a download card, offering digital files of the four tracks. It’s limited to 1,500 units.
Lastly, North Carolina band Three Hits issues Pressure Dome, a 12-inch five-track EP combining released and previously unreleased material. Three Hits shared roots with R.E.M.; that band’s first single was released on Atlanta’s Hib-Tone label in 1981, and four years later, Three Hits would also be on the Hib-Tone roster with “Pressure Dome” b/w “Numbers.” Three Hits was the brainchild of Appalachian State University students Sheila Valentine and Michael Kurtz. With their classmate Jim Biddell, they formed a band, later adding Michael’s brother Danny to the line-up. Three Hits established a reputation touring up and down the east coast, and at one point, the group even shared the bill with Alex Chilton at CBGB’s!
Pressure Dome is a particularly significant release for Record Store Day, as Michael Kurtz is one of the event’s founders. Omnivore is making the single available for the first time in nearly 30 years, but with a difference. The 12-inch purple vinyl adds a third song from the Dixon sessions, “Picture Window,” plus an additional two tracks produced by The Records’ Huw Gower (The Records) from the 1989 E.P. Fire in the House. A download card is included with two more previously unissued songs, “Just One of the Guys” and “Wild Volcano,” for a total of seven downloadable tracks. Pressure Dome is limited to just 1,000 copies.
If you’d like a taste of these releases, Omnivore has a special free download available exclusively through Noise Trade. The four-song Record Store Day Sampler includes one track from each of the RSD releases plus a bonus cut from The Knack’s Rock and Roll is Good for You: The Fieger/Averre Demos. Head over to Noise Trade now to sample the wares headed your way on April 20, and happy hunting!
Original Soundtrack, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Omnivore, 2013)
- O My Soul (Demo, 1973)
- Give Me Another Chance (Control Room Monitor Mix, 1972)
- In the Street (Movie Mix, 2012)
- When My Baby’s Beside Me (Alternate Mix, 1972)
- Studio Banter (1972)
- Try Again – Rock City (Movie Mix, 2012)
- My Life is Right (Alternate Mix, 1972)
- The Ballad of El Goodo (Alternate Mix, 1972)
- Feel (Alternate Mix, 1972)
- Don’t Lie to Me (Alternate Mix, 1972)
- Way Out West (Alternate Mix, 1973)
- Thirteen (Alternate Mix, 1972)
- You Get What You Deserve (Alternate Mix, 1973)
- Holocaust (Rough Mix, 1974)
- Kanga Roo (Rough Mix, 1974)
- Stoke It Noel (Backward Intro, 1974)
- Big Black Car (Rough Mix, 1974)
- Better Save Yourself – Chris Bell (Movie Mix, 2012)
- I Am the Cosmos – Chris Bell (Movie Mix, 2012)
- All We Ever Got From Them Was Pain – Alex Chilton (Movie Mix, 2012)
- September Gurls (Movie Mix, 2012)
All tracks previously unreleased.
Old 97’s with Waylon Jennings (Omnivore, 2013)
- Iron Road – Old 97’s and Waylon Jennings
- The Other Shoe – Old 97’s and Waylon Jennings
- Visiting Hours (1996 Demo) – Old 97’s
- Fireflies (Take 2, 1996 Demo) – Old 97’s
All tracks previously unreleased.
Three Hits, Pressure Dome (Omnivore, 2013)
- Cage of Gold
- Lori (Last Girl on the Beach)
- Pressure Dome
- Picture Window
Download-Only Bonus Tracks
- Just One of the Guys
- Wild Volcano
Various Artists, The Omnivore Recordings Noise Trade Record Store Day Sampler (2013)
- Big Star: “In the Street” (Movie Mix, 2012) - (from the RSD 2-LP Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Original Soundtrack))
- Three Hits: “Pressure Dome” (from the RSD 12" Pressure Dome)
- Old 97’s: “Visiting Hours” (demo bonus track from the RSD double 7" Old 97's & Waylon Jennings)
- BONUS TRACK: The Knack: “(Here On This) Lonely Night” (demo from the Omnivore Recordings album Rock & Roll Is Good For You: The Fieger/Averre Demos)