From all of us here at Second Disc HQ to all of you, we hope you've enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving in the company of beloved family and friends. Of course, from this day which conjures nostalgic and warm feelings comes a celebration of a different kind with this year's annual Black Friday - and Record Store Day's miniature cousin to April's yearly event.
In keeping with tradition, Mike, Randy and I have once again selected our top picks of the numerous titles being released tomorrow from many of our favorite labels, including Legacy Recordings, Real Gone Music, Omnivore Recordings, Sundazed Music, Varese Sarabande, and more. Don't hesitate to head over and drop by your local independent record store tomorrow, and don't fear the crowds. With everybody at the mall and the big boxes, the Black Friday RSD event is usually much more manageable than the April festivities. Without further ado, Mike's selections come first, then my picks, then Randy's!
Take it away, Mike!
Queen, We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions (Hollywood)
The recent deluxe reissue of Queen's News of the World unveiled two very interesting alternate versions of two songs most rock fans know by heart: the one-two opener "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions." This deep into the catalogue music era, any surprising tracks are cause for celebration, and it'll be fun for Queen fans to get these tracks as their own 12" single.
Various Artists, Silver Linings Playbook: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (MegaForce)
It's not the music that draws me to this release--admittedly, I don't remember much about the 2012 film other than that I liked it upon original release, and there are great catalogue tracks from Stevie Wonder and Dave Brubeck (plus score from Danny Elfman). Instead, it's the cause: this is another worthy title from the Mindful Vinyl initiative, which presses select titles on green vinyl and donates portions of the proceeds to The Jed Foundation, which works to prevent suicide among teens and young adults. That's as good a reason as any to support Record Store Day.
Danny Elfman & The Mystic Knights of The Oingo Boingo, Forbidden Zone: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Varese Sarabande)
Speaking of Elfman, the soundtrack to Forbidden Zone is notable as both his first soundtrack job as well as an early full-length effort by his band, Oingo Boingo (then known as less of a New Wave act and more of an experimental, theatrical ensemble). This lime green vinyl reissue is the soundtrack's first appearance in print in some time, so make sure to jump on this if you're a fan!
Poncier, Poncier (A&M/UMe)
If you slept on the 25th anniversary expansion of the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe's Singles (1992), you missed out on a treasure trove of bonus material, including songs recorded by Chris Cornell for the character Cliff Poncier's demo tape--including soundtrack cut "Seasons" and an early version of Soundgarden's hit "Spoonman." The reissue unfortunately came out the same week as Cornell's untimely death, so it's nice to feature the Poncier tape as it appeared in the film, available as both a 12" EP or (naturally) a cassette.
Y Kant Tori Read, Y Kant Tori Read (Atlantic/Rhino)
An exclusive CD at Record Store Day is like an oasis in the desert, and something this rare--Tori Amos' long out-of-print debut album from 1988--is a total delight in and of itself. It's been available digitally for a few months now, but c'mon! Physical media is the way to do it. Y Kant Tori Read is the compact disc to collect at your local indie store.
Here are Joe's picks...
Chet Atkins, Guitar Blues/Brown Eyes A'Cryin' in the Rain (Modern Harmonic/Sundazed)
Chet Atkins wore many hats in his lifetime: guitarist, producer, A&R man - and in the process, redefined the sound of Nashville and of country music itself. Modern Harmonic has reached back to 1946 and a rare Bullet Records 78 for Chet's debut single: "Guitar Blues" and "Brown Eyes A'Cryin' in the Rain." Although the 22-year old Atkins was just a few years into his long, distinguished career, his artistry on guitar was already in evidence. This slice of music history from "Chester Atkins and the All-Star Hillbillies" has been pressed on 7-inch blue vinyl!
Chris Bell, The Complete Chris Bell (Omnivore)
Omnivore can't get enough of Big Star - and neither can we! This 6-LP box set is the ultimate tribute to the solo recordings of that band's co-founder, Chris Bell. This lavish new collection reconfigures the material from two earlier Omnivore CD releases: July's Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star and September's I Am The Cosmos: Deluxe Edition. As a bonus, the sixth LP includes a 1975 interview between journalist Barry Ballard and Bell which is exclusive to this set. It all makes for a must-have for fans of the late, great, and largely unsung artist.
Petula Clark, Four from the Top Five (BMG)
The ageless Petula Clark has given fans a lot to celebrate in 2017. Not only is Petula currently selling out theatres across the U.S. on a rare, extensive tour of the country, but she also reissued and expanded her latest album, From Now On, for American release as Living for Today (available now digitally, and January 12 on CD). Living for Today features "Rainbow," a new song co-written by Petula and songwriter-producer extraordinaire Tony Hatch. To mark this reunion, BMG is revisiting four classic hits from the Petula/Tony team on a limited edition 10-inch single: "Downtown" (No. 1 U.S.), "I Know a Place" (No. 3), "My Love" (No. 1), and "Don't Sleep in the Subway" (No. 5)! Sparkling, ebullient, infectious: pop doesn't get any better than this quartet of big-beat classics!
The Turtles, Turtles '66 (Manifesto)
Manifesto Records has a Turtles album that never was! Turtles '66 has twelve tunes from Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman and co., including Warren Zevon's "Outside Chance," Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "So Goes Love," and P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri's "Can I Get to Know You Better." While three songs on this LP were released as singles, the rest have never before appeared in mono! We're shell-shocked at the notion of a new, lost classic album from The Turtles!
Utopia, A Different P.O.V. (Real Gone Music)
Our friends at Real Gone Music have a special treat for fans of the versatile Utopia, a.k.a. Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, Roger Powell, and Willie Wilcox. Perhaps no other band melded prog rock, hard rock, new wave, power pop, and classic balladry as well as Utopia did. Today, Team RGM is presenting, for the very first time, three demos of songs that would appear on Utopia's 1985 swansong, P.O.V.: "Mated," "Secret Society," and "Play This Game." They're presented on deluxe 12-inch "sky blue" vinyl, and in true RGM fashion, liner notes accompany the release. What's not to love?
Randy's selections round out our list!
Leonard Nimoy, Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock's Music from Outer Space (Varese Sarabande)
When Leonard Nimoy passed away two years ago, tributes rightly focused on his most famous role on Star Trek, but he wore many hats over his career including author, director and recording artist, among others. In 1966, Dot Records wished to make a tie-in album to Star Trek. Dot approached the studio and Nimoy was signed to a record deal. He would record five albums by 1970 (most, including this 1967 debut LP, with producer Charles Grean). Music from Outer Space is truly a product of its time, mixing space-age instrumentals, spoken word passages (some with Nimoy portraying Spock) and some straightforward renditions of songs like "Where is Love" from Oliver!. Nimoy would continue in this vein on his second album before becoming more of a folksinger with his remaining albums after Star Trek went off the air. The album received a CD reissue from Varese in 1995, but this marks it first reissue on vinyl in decades. It has been newly remastered by Chas Ferry and is limited to 1,800 copies. The album is a good time capsule of the space-age craze in the late 1960s, a neat Star Trek collectible, and a great tribute to a TV legend.
Holidays Rule Vol. 2 - Paul McCartney, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots - "Wonderful Christmastime" b/w Norah Jones - "Peace (Live at the Sheen Center)" & Paul McCartney, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots - "Wonderful Christmastime" b/w The Decemberists - "Jesus Christ" (UMe/Capitol)
I always like to include a holiday-themed item for this Black Friday RSD list, so this year it's these two 7" singles from the Holidays Rule Vol. 2 compilation released in October. The A-side is the same on each, Paul McCartney with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots performing McCartney's classic Christmas tune "Wonderful Christmastime" from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in December 2016. On the green version of the single, the B-side is The Decemberists' cover of Big Star's "Jesus Christ." The red version flipside features Norah Jones doing a live cover of Horace Silver's "Peace." You can choose which color or artist you would prefer to have on this yuletide collectable. Both are limited to 3,500 copies.
Toto, "Hold the Line" b/w "Alone (Columbia/Legacy)
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of Toto's self-titled debut album, and Legacy is celebrating the band's career with a new retrospective compilation in February entitled 40 Trips Around the Sun. To preview that forthcoming release, this 10" picture disc features the group's first single A-side "Hold the Line" which went to #5 in the U.S. and #14 in the U.K. On the flipside, you'll find a brand-new song "Alone," one of three new tracks on the 40 Trips album. The artwork for this picture disc comes from that 1978 self-titled album and is limited to 3,000 copies.
Blue Oyster Cult, Rarities Vol. 1 (1969-1976) (Real Gone Music)
This 2-LP compilation collects up bonus tracks from the hard-rocking group, beginning even before their 1972 debut on Columbia Records. The tracks have appeared on CD previously, on both expanded editions of their CDs and in their Complete Columbia Albums box in 2012. These were first brought together in this line-up for a digital release and this marks the set's first appearance on a physical format. Listening to the compilation makes for an intriguing alternate look at the beginnings of the group away from their best known tracks. The Record Store Day release is limited to 750 copies and comes in "Pearl White" vinyl.
Tangerine Dream, Electronic Meditation (Varese Sarabande)
It is hard to believe, but German electronic-rock pioneers Tangerine Dream have produced over 100 albums in their nearly 50-year career. Electronic Meditation was their debut album, released in 1970. It is the only album from the group to feature the line-up of Edgar Froese, Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler, Jimmy Jackson and Thomas Keyserling. The sound they are known for was not crystallized from the beginning and this record is very free-form and jazz-like, with a mixture of traditional instruments, electronic instruments and ambient sounds, making for a unique listening experience that's still fresh today. The album has not been on vinyl in the U.S. in 30 years and this new edition is freshly remastered by Chas Ferry and Darren Chadwick. The original Ohr gatefold package has been beautifully replicated by Bill Pitzonka (sans the balloon from the initial pressings) and produced for reissue by Cary Mansfield. It is limited to 1,800 copies.