Once again, Record Store Day here in the U.S. looks a little – make that a lot – different this year. The usual offerings have been split among two dates in 2021 with Drop 1 taking place tomorrow, June 12, at your local independent record retailer. Drop 2 then takes place on July 17. Every retailer is handling the Drop a bit differently thanks to the necessary accommodations for social distancing, smaller crowds, and better safety precautions. So please check in with your favorite store to find out more information. Below, you’ll find a list of the TSD staff’s favorite picks due in stores tomorrow. Visit RecordStoreDay.com in the U.S., RecordStoreDay.co.uk in the U.K., and RecordStoreDayCanada.ca in Canada for the complete list, and sound off below as to which titles you’re most anticipating! And don’t forget to bring your masks where necessary and enough hand sanitizer to enjoy flipping through all of those records!
Have a great – and safe – time tomorrow! – Joe, Mike, and Randy
Kenny Loggins, At the Movies (Legacy, 1LP, 2,100 copies)
Everybody cut loose! This new collection is just plain fun, bringing together Kenny Loggins’ greatest soundtrack smashes including tunes from Footloose (the title track and “I’m Free (Heaven Help the Man),” Top Gun (“Danger Zone,” “Playing with the Boys”), Caddyshack (“I’m Alright”), Caddyshack II (“Nobody’s Fool”), One Fine Day (“For the First Time”), and Over the Top (“Meet Me Half Way”), plus a newly-recorded version of “Playing with the Boys” featuring Butterfly Boucher.
Steely Dan, Two Against Nature (Rhino, 2LP, 5,000 units) and Everything Must Go (Rhino, 1LP, 5,050 units)
After a 20-year hiatus, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen reunited as Steely Dan for a pair of albums that would prove their final LPs. But what a way to go! 2000’s Two Against Nature and 2003’s Everything Must Go proved that time hadn’t dulled the Dan’s lyrical wit and musical sophistication one bit; the former even netted four Grammy Awards including Album of the Year. Now, these albums of sublime, humorous, and biting jazz-rock are coming to 180-gram vinyl for RSD; Two Against Nature makes its vinyl debut.
The Who, Face Dances (Geffen/Polydor/UMC, 2LP, 6,500 copies)
When I say ‘I love you,’ you say ‘You better!’ There’s a lot to love on the RSD expansion of The Who’s Face Dances. This 2-LP presentation expands the original 1981 album which was the band’s first with drummer Kenney Jones following the 1978 death of Keith Moon. The first LP in the RSD reissue is the original album with its nine tracks including “You Better You Bet” and “Don’t Let Go the Coat.” The second LP, cheekily entitled Face Dances Part 3 as Pete Townshend recorded Part 2 for his solo album All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes, has another nine tracks beginning with a clutch of Session Rough Mixes. These encompass the previously-issued outtakes “I Like Nightmares,” “It’s in You,” and “Somebody Saved Me” as well as the previously-unreleased “Dance It Away” and a take of “Don’t Let Go the Coat” with Townshend rather than Roger Daltrey on lead vocals. Side Four has a quartet of live performances of Face Dances songs as recorded for Rockpalast in 1981. The album was remastered and cut at half speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road. LP 1 will be pressed on blue vinyl and LP 2 on yellow. Four 12 x 12 art prints are also included within the jacket famously designed by Peter Blake.
Various Artists, Golden Gate Groove (PIR/Legacy, 2LP, limited to 2,100 copies)
The 50th anniversary of Philadelphia International Records is being celebrated overseas by a series of CD box sets on the Snapper label intended to eventually collect the label’s entire albums discography; stateside, Legacy Recordings is concentrating on vinyl reissues and collections from PIR’s storied catalogue. For RSD, Legacy is premiering Golden Gate Groove on 2LP vinyl. The live album was originally released on CD in 2012 as part of the 40th anniversary festivities for the label. Recorded on July 27, 1973, the concert was held at CBS Records’ company convention inside the plush environs of San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel. Previous performers at the convention included Bruce Springsteen and Engelbert Humperdinck; for their shot, PIR’s Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff enlisted an all-star line-up of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass, The Three Degrees, Billy Paul, and the O’Jays. The MFSB Orchestra that evening counted among its 35 members two-thirds of the city’s “Mighty Three,” Leon Huff and Thom Bell on piano and organ, respectively. Huff and Bell were joined by a duo of Philly’s finest arrangers, Norman Harris and Bobby Eli (guitars), plus Earl Young (drums), Ronnie Baker (bass), Lenny Pakula (piano/keyboards), Jack Faith (saxophone), Vince Montana (vibes) and other notables. Bobby Martin and Richard Rome, two more arrangers with key contributions to the Philadelphia sound, took turns conducting. The result was an electrifying show with key moments including Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones,” The Blue Notes’ “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” and “The Love I Lost,” The O’Jays’ “Back Stabbers” and “Love Train,” and The Three Degrees’ “Dirty Ol’ Man.” Nearly fifty years on, this powerful music still speaks volumes. Golden Gate Groove is one vinyl premiere not to be missed.
Various Artists, The Other Music Documentary: Soundtrack (Factory 25, LP/DVD, 1,500 copies)
New Yorkers of a certain age will likely never forget Other Music. Between 1995 and 2016, the scrappy independent store on East 4th Street in Greenwich Village was a small but bustling mecca for new and used CDs and vinyl in every conceivable genre – with an emphasis on the non-mainstream. (That said, I picked up titles there over the years by the likes of Glen Campbell, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, and The 5th Dimension, so it wasn’t all “other” – but their curated selection was all good.) A hop, skip, and a jump from New York University and The Public Theater, Other Music set up shop across the street from Tower Records. It eventually outlasted the superstore which shuttered in 2006. The 2019 documentary Other Music tells of the store’s rise and fall and lasting influence. This RSD release pairs the vinyl soundtrack (featuring Neutral Milk Hotel, Yo La Tengo, Sharon Van Etten, and others) with a DVD of the acclaimed film. While it can’t replace the store which still lives on in our memories, the documentary and accompanying soundtrack serve as reminders of a great era in New York music history.
Tears for Fears, Live at Massey Hall (Mercury, LP limited to 3,500 copies/CD limited to 950 copies)
You’d be forgiven for thinking, after box sets for TFF’s three albums of the ’80s, that there was nothing else to plunder from the vaults. A newly-mixed premiere release from the band’s Songs from the Big Chair tour should only add to their mystique, offering the chance to hear songs from those first two albums in concert as they originally performed them. It’s worth noting an extremely underreported point: if you’re in England, you’ve got your chance at getting this set on 2LP and CD – the latter limited to an extraordinary small quantity of 950 units. (Rough Trade will apparently be offering stock online from 6 p.m. U.K. time, if any are left!)
The Police, Live! Vol. 1: Boston 1979 and Live! Vol. 2: Atlanta 1983 (A&M, LP, 3,000 copies each)
This special vinyl remaster of the band’s posthumous 1995 live offering – originally offering both shows in the same package on CD – is a chance to hear The Police at two arguable artistic/career peaks. Whether you like the tight trio that shot out tuneful rockers at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre (that version of “Can’t Stand Losing You” is a personal favorite) or love the world-conquering ambience of their stadium gig on the Synchronicity tour (complete with even bigger chart hits like “Every Breath You Take” and “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da”), it’s hard to lose with one of the best rock bands of their generation.
Stillwater, Demos EP (Geffen, LP, 6,800 copies)
Bowled over by the upcoming Almost Famous box set but looking to pay less for part of the bonus content? Stillwater’s demos will be released as a standalone LP, featuring contributions from Nancy Wilson and Peter Frampton.
Devo’s Gerald V. Casale AKA Jihad Jerry and The Evildoers, Mine Is Not a Holy War (Real Gone Music, LP, 1,350 copies)
Devo co-founder Gerald Casale released this side-project in 2006 featuring himself and the other members of Devo under a different name. The album’s material is in a hard blues style and includes originals, a cover song, and some obscure Devo material. The original CD is long out of print and now the album is making its vinyl debut in a special gatefold-and-inner-sleeve package featuring newly created cover artwork by acclaimed woodcut artist Tomo77 and lyrics. The new LP edition also includes a bonus track “I’m Gonna Pay You Back,” featuring Oingo Boingo’s lead guitarist Steve Bartek. It is limited to 1,350 copies. On July 9, Real Gone is releasing the album on CD with an additional four bonus tracks and also a 7″ single of “I’m Gonna Pay You Back,” but this RSD release is the only way to the entire album on vinyl.
Elton John, Regimental Sgt. Zippo (Island/Mercury, LP, 7,000 copies)
One of the best box sets of last year was Elton John’s Jewel Box. Among its 8 CDs were three discs of rarities spanning 1965-1971. Perhaps the most intriguing tracks included were the 11 intended for a shelved album entitled Regimental Sgt. Zippo. Recorded at Dick James Studios in London in late 1967 and early 1968, the new partnership of John and Bernie Taupin wrote this group of songs with a clear Beatles influence but with their own burgeoning, unique style. A total of twelve songs were intended for the album and it was given its title with a nod to Elton’s real name of Reginald, his father’s military service, and once again, the Fab Four. But for reasons lost to time, the album was shelved and the world would have to wait until 1969 to hear a full album of John and Taupin songs with Empty Sky. Now, the entire LP will be released as intended with some tracks likely in different versions than on Jewel Box (which featured some of these songs in demo form) and the song “You’ll Be Sorry To See Me Go” making its first official appearance anywhere. The LP is limited to 7,000 copies and has a flip-back laminated gloss sleeve.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Angel Dream (Songs and Music From the Motion Picture She’s The One) (Warner, LP, 12,000 copies)
Tom Petty’s Wildflowers & All The Rest was another of last year’s best box sets. The long-anticipated collection shone a light on one of Petty’s best albums and also officially premiered the two-disc version of Wildflowers. Now, Warner is concluding their look at that period of Petty’s career with this reimagined version of the soundtrack to the 1996 film She’s The One, directed by Edward Burns. The original version of the album contained some songs intended for Wildflowers but which were left off when that record was cut to one disc. Since those songs were on last year’s box set, this retooled She’s The One soundtrack has had four new songs added and received a new title: Angel Dream. The new material includes two Petty originals (“105 Degrees” and “One of Life’s Little Mysteries”), a cover of JJ Cale’s “Thirteen Days,” and the instrumental “French Disconnection”. An extended version of “Supernatural Radio” is also included. The album has also been remixed and remastered and given new artwork to make it look more like a Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers album than a soundtrack release. A general retail release is due on July 2 (which also includes a CD version) but this RSD release is your chance to hear this first.
Prince, The Truth (Legacy, LP, 13,000 copies)
Over the past few years, fans of Prince have had a wealth of reissues made available to them. That trend continues with this new LP version of The Truth. The album has had a long road to being released on its own. Originally planned to be a follow-up to 1996’s Emancipation, it was scrapped when EMI folded. The album then became the fourth disc of 1998’s Crystal Ball, which was a collection of outtakes and remixes recorded over a ten-year period. But The Truth deserves it solo spotlight as it finds Prince taking an interesting acoustic approach to album’s twelve tracks. The effort is not completely acoustic as there are some electronic elements, but it was a fascinating departure and features a set of songs written solo by Prince (with music contributions to two songs by Rhonda Smith). This also marks the material’s vinyl debut and features foil-embossed artwork designed by Prince’s long-time art director Steve Parke.
The Zombies, Oddities & Extras (Craft. LP, 3,000 copies)
The Zombies have a bit of a confusing discography, with different configurations of their albums being released in the U.K. and U.S. There have been efforts to clean things up over the years, but there are still differences. A case in point: the release in 2019 of two different vinyl box sets examining the group’s studio work, one from Demon Music Group for the U.K. perspective and one from Varese Vintage for the U.S. perspective. Now for RSD, Craft Recordings is releasing the fifth LP from the Varese set (which was newly curated at the time). The 13-track set gathers material not featured on the U.S. versions of The Zombies’ albums including rarities, U.K.-only album tracks and outtakes. Collectively, this material makes a compelling listen on its own. Some of the songs include a cover of Little Anthony and The Imperials’ “Goin’ Out of My Head,” the early B-side “I Can’t Make Up My Mind,” as well as three songs (“Remember You,” “Just Out of Reach” and “Nothing’s Changed”) from the soundtrack to Otto Preminger’s 1965 film Bunny Lake Is Missing, in which the band appeared. Pressed on 180g black vinyl, the LP includes notes from Andrew Sandoval, who also co-produced the set. It is limited to 3,000 copies.