Tomorrow, Saturday, April 16, music fans and collectors will flock to their local independent record stores worldwide to celebrate both the sounds on those familiar round black platters and the cherished opportunity to shop for music in a physical retail environment. To many of us, both are a way of life. Each year around this time, we here at Second Disc HQ take a few moments to count down the titles to which we’re most looking forward to picking up!
Our very own Mike Duquette kicks things off with his list of five, followed by the picks from our pal Randy Fairman. I’ll then finish things off with my selections!
We, of course, can’t get to all our of our favorites here, and we can’t wait to hear your favorite RSD ’16 picks. And after you’ve picked up your share of these special collectibles on Saturday, don’t hesitate to browse the regular racks, too…there’s likely even more good stuff awaiting you.
You’ll find more information and a link to a downloadable PDF of the complete Record Store Day list right here, and please share your RSD ’16 experiences with us below. Don’t forget to click on the Record Store Day tag below, too, to access all of our previous RSD ’15 coverage. Happy Hunting!
Without further ado, here’s Mike’s Top 5!
1. The James Brown Revue, Get Down At The Apollo with The J.B.’s (Polydor/Get On Down)
Some years ago, Universal Music Enterprises had used another Record Store Day release to tease a Live At The Apollo box set, including all the material from those three classic King/Polydor albums from 1963, 1968 and 1971 plus a fourth unreleased volume recorded in 1972. That never materialized–instead, we got a few of those cuts on a Best of Live At The Apollo compilation–but now, we finally get to hear the full thing, thanks to the licensing wizards at Get On Down Records. I don’t know about you, but I’m finally ready to make it funky!
2. Fleetwood Mac, The Alternate Tusk (Warner Bros./Rhino)
For whatever reason, Tusk is the classic quintet Fleetwood Mac album I’ve spent the least amount of time with. I’m hoping that changes with this specially curated collection of alternates from the exhaustive box set that dropped last year.
3. Miracle Legion, Portrait of a Damaged Family (Mezzotint)
I took the opportunity to talk up Miracle Legion (and this reissue!) earlier this week, in case you missed it. The only thing I guess I should add is if Miracle Legion are heading to your town this summer, I’d recommend you check them out! Frontman Mark Mulcahy and company bowled me over when I saw Polaris (the famous house band for one of my favorite television series, The Adventures of Pete and Pete) in New York City last year, and I’m eagerly awaiting Miracle Legion’s arrival to the area in July.
4. Matthew Sweet, Goodfriend: Another Take on Girlfriend (Volcano/Legacy)
I’ll take any opportunity to say great things about Matthew Sweet’s crunchy ’90s power-pop, and this release of the 1992 Goodfriend promo record (its debut on vinyl) is no exception. These live and acoustic cuts serve to underline just what a killer record Girlfriend remains.
5. Madonna, Like a Virgin and Other Hits (Warner Bros./Rhino)
I’m rarely one to turn down a good vintage Madonna remix (or several), but this recreation of a Japanese EP from 1985 (complete with obi) has me hoping it’s a prelude to a more comprehensive reissue project for one of the most important women in pop music. (Here are some ideas for the fine folks at Rhino!)
Here’s Randy’s Top 5!
- Big Star – Complete Columbia: Live at University of Missiouri 4/25/93 (Legacy Recordings – Limited to 4000 Copies)
This 2-LP set debuts the complete first concert and public debut of the second iteration of Big Star. A truncated version was issued in 1993 on CD by Zoo Records. While the classic 1970s material is usually the first go-to with Big Star, it will be great to have a commercial release of this complete historic concert.
- David Bowie – I Dig Everything: The Pye Singles (Sanctuary – Limited to 7,500 Copies)/ The Man Who Sold The World (Rhino – Limited to 5,000 Copies / TVC 15 (original single edit) b/w Wild Is The Wind (2010 Harry Maslin Mix Single Edit) (Rhino – Limited to 5,000 Copies)
This is a bit of a cheat because it’s three separate releases, but it was hard to separate them as I’ve been listening to a lot of Bowie since his passing in January. Two of these celebrate anniversaries: the 50th of the Pye singles and the 40th of the Station to Station album from which the “TVC 15” single is taken. The Man Who Sold The World is just a great album and is presented here as a picture disc replicating the original German LP. You can’t go wrong with any of this music.
- Dr. Who – Genesis of the Daleks (Demon Records – Limited to 2,500 Copies)
I like some RSD products to be slightly off the beaten path and this qualifies. In 1979, the BBC released a soundtrack of this classic Who episode narrated by none other than its star, the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. It’s therefore not really a true soundtrack, but more of an audio adventure. Audio adventures are of course well known to Who fans and this may qualify as the very first. This release replicates the original artwork and notes of the BBC release.
- The Monkees – Saturday’s Child (Mono TV version b/w You Just May Be The One (Mono TV version) (Rhino – Limited to 4,500 Copies)
This one is neat because of the presentation, another thing to look for in RSD offerings. This picture disc single is shaped like The Monkees logo and should be nice to display. The two tracks were featured on 2014’s 3-CD Super Deluxe edition of The Monkees album.
- Elvis Presley – I’m Leaving: Elvis Folk-Country (RCA/Legacy – Limited to 5,000 Copies)
Elvis seems to be a perennial offering on RSD and this year is no exception. This new compilation is designed to look like an original RCA Victor album and has twelve tracks in the country vein recorded between 1966-1973, including some edits and alternate takes. While some might be on Elvis overload after the release of a 60-disc box set highlighting his work, the material here is all strong and maybe the new sequencing will help some appreciate it.
And, lastly, here are my RSD picks!
1. Robert Cobert, The Original Music from ABC-TV’s Dark Shadows (Varese Vintage – Limited to 3,000 copies)
Whether or not you’re a longtime fan of Dark Shadows, this platter serves up two sides of music and dialogue ranging from the deliciously spooky to the completely groovy. This time capsule of the television fantasy is spellbinding in its own right.
2. Bob Dylan, Melancholy Mood EP (Columbia – Limited to 7,000 copies)
Nobody sings standards like…Dylan? Bob previews his upcoming LP Fallen Angels with a quartet of familiar tunes from the pages of the Great American Songbook including “All or Nothing at All,” “That Old Black Magic,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” and “Melancholy Mood.” This EP is based on the recent Japanese release.
3. The Idle Race – Idle Race (Rhino/Parlophone – Limited to 1,800 copies)
Rhino resuscitates the 1969 self-titled LP by The Idle Race, the early band featuring the pre-Move, pre-ELO Jeff Lynne! Fans of the “Mr. Blue Sky” pop hero shouldn’t miss this look at his earliest productions.
4. The Easybeats, Good Friday (Varese Vintage – Limited to 2,500 copies)
Here’s the first-ever U.S. release of the Australian band’s debut U.K. album originally issued on United Artists Records. Good Friday was issued in the U.S. as Friday on My Mind after the album’s hit single, a Top 20 hit in America, and given a new cover as well as a modified running order, alternate mixes, and different track line-up. Experience the original on this 180-gram reissue.
5. The Moody Blues, # 1 (Varese Vintage – Limited to 3,200 copies)
Varese is on a roll this Record Store Day! # 1 was the U.S. edition of the band’s U.K. debut The Magnificent Moodies. # 1 has four different songs and a unique running order than that release. Among the tracks you’ll hear here, in addition to “Go Now,” are Bert Berns’ “I Don’t Want to Go On Without You,” James Brown’s “I’ll Go Crazy,” Barry and Greenwich’s “I’ve Got a Dream,” the Gershwins and DuBose Heyward’s Porgy and Bess standard “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and a number of originals penned by Denny Laine and Mike Pinder.
And, for our European friends, there are also some wonderful RSD Europe finds including this pair…
Micky Dolenz, Chance of a Lifetime/Livin’ on Lies (7a Records)
7a has the first single release in over 30 years from Monkee Micky Dolenz! It’s pressed on clear vinyl and premieres two tracks recorded by Micky in the late 1990s (the exact recording dates are unclear today). Both sides were written by the artist with producers Mike Slamer and Tom Deluca, but when a full album didn’t materialize from the team, the tracks were shelved. Both sides are high-energy, guitar-driven productions designed to recall The Monkees’ classic sound in a modern setting that’s closer to the spirit and style of the original records than, say, Pool It!. The uptempo rocker “Chance of a Lifetime” evokes Micky’s old band with a riff straight out of Clarksville (“Last Train,” that is!) and a chugging beat, even as the lyrics root the singer in the present. The flip, “Livin’ on Lies,” is a bit edgier, but just as infectious as the A-side.
Ashford and Simpson, Love Will Fix It: The Best of Ashford and Simpson (Groove Line)
Groove Line Records has a release that’s absolutely essential for fans of R&B, soul, funk, dance and disco: a 2-LP, 19-track collection from the pens and voices of Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson! This anthology of Ashford and Simpson’s 1973-1981 Warner Bros. tenure features many of the duo’s most cherished songs (including many in rare, extended mixes), all freshly remastered from the original tapes and half-speed mastered for vinyl. This collection is housed in a lavish gatefold sleeve, as per the usual high standards from the Groove Line team. If you’ve already been enjoying Big Break Records’ recent Ashford and Simpson CD reissues, this set is a must-own companion for vinyl lovers.