Tomorrow marks Record Store Day Drop 2. Recently, RSD U.K. announced 23 additions to their drop lists for September and October.
While we know for sure that The Rolling Stones’ upcoming Steel Wheels Live 10″ picture disc will be a worldwide release, it’s unclear at the time of writing whether all of the other releases will be distributed across the pond.
Still, with so many retailers taking their business online given the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s altogether possible that customers in the States can snag copies and support brick and mortar shops. As always, we’ll keep you updated with any further developments.
Below, you’ll find a list of some recently-added highlights from the RSD U.K. line-up as well as Joe’s look at our Spotlight Pick for Drop 2, The Yardbirds’ Roger the Engineer from Demon Music Group which is limited to 1,500 units across the U.K., U.S., and Canada!
September 26th 2020:
Quinn Christopherson, Raedeen / Erase Me [10″] (Play It Again Sam)
Daft Punk, Tron Legacy: Motion Picture Soundtrack [2-LP translucent blue, gatefold sleeve] (Universal)
Gamma Ray, Land Of The Free [2-LP white] (EarMusic)
Jethro Tull, Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 [2-LP orange] (earMUSIC)
The Lilac Time, Hills Of Cinnamon [12″] (Absolute)
Maisha, Open the Gates [12″] (Brownswood)
Thurston Moore, Hashish [7″ shaped picture disc] (Daydream Library)
Stephen Dale Petit, The Breakdown [10″ EP] (Caroline)
Stratovarius, Polaris ([LP clear] (earMUSIC)
The Rolling Stones, Steel Wheels: Live [10″ picture disc] (Eagle Rock) (as reported here)
24th October 2020:
Brother May & Micachu, Archives 2008-2014 [10″] (Accidental)
Neneh Cherry, Kong Remix [12″] (Smalltown Supersound)
Calexico, Hot Rail [2-LP] (City Slang)
Calypso & Alex, Solo tu [7″] (Kwaidan)
Lewis Capaldi, Divinely Unispired To A Hellish Extent [LP clear] (EMI)
Alice Cooper, Dirty Diamonds [LP] (earMUSIC Classics)
Daft Punk, Tron Legacy Reconfigured [2-LP green vinyl] (Disney)
Dio, Finding The Sacred Heart: Live in Philly 1986 [2-LP] (earMUSIC Classics)
LYR, Lockdown [7″] (Decca)
MIRWAIS, 2016 – My Generation [7″ picture disc] (50/50 Productions]
Kali Uchis, To Feel Alive EP [12″] (EMI)
Sports Team, Deep Down Happy [LP picture disc] (Island)
Various Artists, NHS400 [12″] (Hospital Records)
Various Artists, Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987 [2-LP] (Captured Tracks)
TSD Spotlight Pick: The Yardbirds, Roger the Engineer (Demon Music Group, 2LPs)
Despite leaving behind a strong legacy of classic songs, The Yardbirds only recorded one original U.K. studio LP. Originally released in Great Britain as, simply, Yardbirds and in international territories as Over Under Sideways, it’s since become better known under the name Roger the Engineer based on rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja’s cover artwork. For RSD in the U.K., U.S., and Canada, Demon has revisited Roger on a 2-LP, 180-gram white vinyl set.
Roger represents a landmark for the group, featuring all original material and the incomparable guitar of Jeff Beck on every track. The lead guitarist was joined by Dreja, lead vocalist Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, and bassist Paul Samwell-Smith. While the rock-and-roll-inspired single “Over, Under, Sideways, Down” and flipside “Jeff’s Boogie” were recorded in April 1966, the majority of the LP was cut at sessions held between May 31 and June 4, 1966. As Samwell-Smith recalls in a note penned for this reissue, “Back in 1966, The Yardbirds had been gigging and travelling for ages, so the opportunity to spend a few days in the same location came as a great relief.”
The bandmates’ period of sharp focus resulted in an album that captured the best of The Yardbirds’ musicianship, with all of the members also contributing to the songwriting. Their heavy blues sound hadn’t disappeared but was incorporated along with Eastern influences into a psychedelic and occasionally avant-garde melting pot. Samwell-Smith and Simon Napier-Bell helmed the sessions, with the titular Roger Cameron engineering. (Glyn Johns engineered the final session on June 14, 1966 at which time “I Can’t Make Your Way” Was recorded.)
In addition to “Over Under Sideways Down” and “Beck’s Boogie,” the album boasted such strong rock fusion fare as Beck’s “The Nazz Are Blue” (the title of which would inspire Todd Rundgren and co. in naming their own band), Samwell-Smith and McCarty’s “He’s Always There,” and the group-authored “Lost Women.” The U.S. version of the album used some alternate mixes and dropped both “The Nazz Are Blue” and “Rack My Mind.”
Demon’s 2-LP edition features the original U.K. running order on the first heavyweight white LP while the second compiles more 1966 studio recordings including the single “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” b/w “Psycho Daisies” which featured Beck alongside another Jimmy Page from the brief period in which both guitar-slingers were in the band. Both tracks have been added to some pressings of the album. This LP also has mono versions of “Over, Under, Sideways, Down” and “Jeff’s Boogie,” the vocal track for “Ever Since the World Began,” and a clutch of alternates.
Phil Kinrade has nicely mastered everything on this collection which is beautifully packaged. It’s housed in a color-reversed jacket with a black background and white sketch, and the two platters are each in a custom-designed sleeve with photographs, the original liner notes by McCarty, and credits. (McCarty’s notes are a trip: “Paul Samwell-Smith, who is generally considered to have all the qualities of Burt Bacharach, Phil Spector, and [British actor] Richard Wattis all rolled into one…”) A handsome, newly-designed insert has brief reflections on the LP from Samwell-Smith and Dreja as well as an excerpt from Jim McCarty’s memoir.
Demon has a long history with Roger the Engineer; the label’s Edsel imprint released it on CD with a couple of bonuses back in 1986, and it’s since seen countless other versions including a 1997 slightly expanded edition CD from Warner Bros., a 2016 mono/stereo CD from Repertoire Records, and a vinyl edition last year from Demon of the original album only. The 2020 RSD pressing is one of the more comprehensive, and an attractive all-around package in which to revisit this classic of the psychedelic rock era.