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 having taken place on June 12 and Drop 2 happening tomorrow, 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
Shaun Cassidy, Wasp (Curb Records, 1-LP yellow vinyl, limited to 1,500 copies)
For his fifth and final album as a teen idol, Shaun Cassidy - Shirley Jones and the late Jack Cassidy's son, David Cassidy's younger half-brother, and today a successful television producer (currently New Amsterdam) - turned to a seemingly unlikely collaborator: Todd Rundgren. The result was the wild Wasp, with Rundgren and Utopia (Roger Powell, Kasim Sulton, and Willie Wilcox) backing Cassidy on a gutsy selection of songs from David Bowie ("Rebel Rebel"), Ian Hunter ("Once Bitten, Twice Shy"), The Animals ("It's My Life"), Four Tops ("Shake Me, Wake Me"), Pete Townshend ("So Sad About Us"), Talking Heads ("The Book I Read"), and Rundgren himself ("Pretending," "Wasp," "Selfless Love"). Cassidy teamed with Rundgren and Utopia to write "Cool Fire." Some have called Wasp the best Todd Rundgren album he never recorded; now, the lost new-wave classic is back on vinyl from Curb Records. We can't wait to get stung.
Dr. John, The Sun, The Moon, and Herbs: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Run Out Groove, 3-LP black vinyl, limited to 6,500 copies)
Run Out Groove delivers a 50th anniversary edition of Dr. John's fourth studio album for Atco Records. This three-LP expanded release boasts deluxe packaging and new liner notes, but the main attraction is over 70 minutes of previously unreleased gris-gris from the Good Doctor, recorded during the 1971 album sessions. Only one track from the bonus material on this expansive set was previously available on the limited Run Out Groove vinyl collection Dr. John: Professor Bizarre's Funknology. That was one was a keeper, and we know this one will be, too. Make sure you're in the right place, right time to grab your copy.
Bob Dylan, "Jokerman" b/w "I and I" (Columbia/Legacy)
This special 12" single features several reggae remixes of songs off of Bob Dylan's 1983 album Infidels. "Jokerman" and "I and I" were both released as singles at the time and "Jokerman" is one of Dylan's best-loved tunes from the 1980s. All of the remixes are done by Doctor Dread. He has worked with artists including Bob Marley, Black Uhuru, Jimmy Cliff, Inner Circle, Gregory Isaacs, Luciano, Mad Cobra, Freddy McGregor, Sly and Robbie, Steel Pulse, The Wailers and many others. The two versions of "I and I" appeared previously on 2003's compilation Rolling Bob: A Reggae Tribute to Bob Dylan but the two versions of "Jokerman" are newly created for this single. The timing of this release is undoubtedly purposeful as Internet rumors have been swirling that the 16th entry in Dylan's long-running Bootleg Series will focus on his early 1980s career. If the rumors turn out to be true, this would be a key tie-in. (It is unknown - doubtful, even - if these remixes would appear on the Bootleg Series release, so this may be one of your few opportunities to own the new versions of "Jokerman.")
Aretha Franklin, Oh Me Oh My: Aretha Live in Philly (Rhino, 2-LP orange & yellow vinyl, limited to 10,000 units)
The once- and forever-Queen of Soul reigns supreme on Oh Me Oh My: Aretha Live in Philly. The nearly hour-long performance - recorded live at the National Association of Television & Radio Announcers Convention in Philadelphia, 1972 and first released on CD in 2007 by Rhino Handmade - took place shortly after the release of Franklin's Grammy Award-winning studio album Young, Gifted and Black and features the album's two U.S. Top 10 singles penned by Aretha, "Rock Steady" and "Day Dreaming." But that's not all. She made a trio of Bacharach/David songs her own ("April Fools," "This Girl's in Love with You," and "I Say a Little Prayer," the latter in a medley with Ronny Shannon's "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)"), blended her volcanic take on Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" with Roger Nichols and Paul Williams' "We've Only Just Begun," and channeled the "Spirit in the Dark" for a stirring finale. Almost all of the hits are here, too, as tailored for the live crowd: "Respect," "Chain of Fools," "Think," and more. Oh Me Oh My, you'll be a fool for this vinyl premiere, pressed on orange & yellow double vinyl.
Bobbie Gentry, The Windows of the World (Capitol)
An intimate collection of recordings from the enigmatic "Ode to Billie Joe" artist-songwriter Bobbie Gentry comes to light on vinyl. The tracks on The Windows of the World were first brought together on the comprehensive 2018 box set The Girl from Chickasaw County: The Complete Capitol Masters but this is the first time they've been assembled as an album proper. Accompanying herself on guitar with just a bass player and occasional, subtle strings, Gentry intimately delivered a set of classic and contemporary standards from Bacharach and David (their anti-war anthem "The Windows of the World," the romantic "This Girl's in Love with You"), the Sherman Brothers (the haunting "Hushabye Mountain"), Irving Berlin ("Suppertime"), Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke ("Here's That Rainy Day"), and others. The original eight songs have been supplemented by two demos and a previously unreleased alternate take of "Hushabye Mountain." (If only the artwork had been designed in the style of a Capitol LP of the era!)
James Horner, Aliens - Original Soundtrack (35th Anniversary Edition) (Varese Sarabande, limited to 2,500 copies)
1986's Aliens is one of a handful of sequels that some consider to be superior to the original. In this case, the movie is follow-up to Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi/horror classic Alien. Director James Cameron took the sequel starring a returning Sigourney Weaver in a different direction, focusing on a more action-oriented story. But despite the success the film would come to have, the road to its production was bumpy and so was the scoring. When James Horner arrived to score the film, it was not complete. His schedule was halved and the score eventually recorded in a matter of days. But that was not the end as Cameron recut the score himself to match the final version of the film. However, the score still earned Horner his first Academy Award nomination. This RSD anniversary edition returns the original soundtrack album from 1986 to vinyl. This sequence has not been on vinyl in 35 years (Mondo's 2015 2-LP edition was an expanded version of the score). It comes on yellow-green vinyl and is limited to 2,500 copies.
Randy Newman, Roll with the Punches: The Studio Albums 1979-2017 (Nonesuch, 8-LP box set, limited to 1,300 copies)
Here at last is the second volume of the core Randy Newman studio album discography, containing Born Again (1979), Trouble in Paradise (1983), Land of Dreams (1988), Randy Newman's Faust (1995), Bad Love (1999), Harps and Angels (2008), and Dark Matter (2017). This set runs the gamut, from a spoof on ELO to a collaboration with Jeff Lynne - yes, it's all here. There's overflowing melody, plenty of laughter, a great deal of heartbreak, Randy Newman as the Devil, and James Taylor as the Lord, plus name-checks on Karl Marx, Vladimir Putin, and Bruce Springsteen. Put simply, this is a singular body of work from one of America's finest-ever songwriters. What more needs to be said? "We love it!"
Cat Stevens/Yusuf, Songs From Harold and Maude (A&M/UMe)
1971's dark comedy Harold and Maude underwhelmed both critically and commercially upon its initial release. Its critical stature has grown over the years but its initial failure to connect with the public was certainly not due to the music in the film provided by Cat Stevens. Brought on after Elton John dropped out, Stevens provided material from his 1970 albums Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For the Tillerman and also composed two new songs: "Don't Be Shy" and "If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out." He also provided instrumental versions of some of the material. But a proper soundtrack did not accompany the film. A quasi-soundtrack came out in Japan in 1972, but it omitted the two originals and alternates and added songs not in the movie. In 2007, Cameron Crowe's Vinyl Films label released a limited LP which finally gave the film a proper soundtrack. But that version quickly went out of print and now commands big money on the secondary market. Therefore, for the movie's 50th anniversary, A&M is presenting this new version for RSD which resembles what an album at the time might have looked like. At ten tracks, it drops two tracks from the 2007 edition (an alternate and instrumental) and also the bonus 45 that had two additional tracks. But new cover artwork has been commissioned and the album has been remastered at Abbey Road Studios. Dialogue and key audio snippets from the film have also been added. This is a chance for people to experience this music as an album who may have missed the first edition from fourteen years ago.
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Beat on the Brat" (Demented Punk Records, limited to 1,500 copies)
Weird Al's take on this 1976 Ramones tune was recorded for the 2018 compilation Dr. Demento Covered in Punk, put together by Yankovic's long-time friend, radio host Dr. Demento. (Collectors note that it actually appeared first on the Medium Rarities disc as part of Yankovic's excellent career-spanning set Squeeze Box in 2017). Produced by Ramones and Misfits' longtime collaborator John Cafiero, Yankovic is joined by Osaka Popstar (Cafiero on backing vocals, Dean Rispler on guitar, Sal Maida on bass, and Dennis Diken on drums) for the track. This special 3" vinyl features a cover by Garbage Pail Kids artist Neil Camera and comes with a collector's poster. This is the first time, other than digitally, that this track has been available on its own. It is limited to 1,500 copies.
Various Artists, Ocean's Eleven - Music From The Motion Picture (Real Gone Music)
Marking the film's 20th anniversary comes this vinyl version of the soundtrack Ocean's Eleven, the Steven Soderbergh-helmed remake of the 1960 Rat Pack vehicle about a complicated heist in Las Vegas. The film was an all-star ensemble piece featuring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy García, Bernie Mac, and Julia Roberts, among others. The fifth highest-grossing film of 2001, and it would lead to two sequels and a spinoff. For the soundtrack, David Holmes' electronica jazz-funk score was featured alongside artists harkening back to the 1960s origins of the film series including Percy Faith, Perry Como, Arthur Lyman, Elvis Presley, and Quincy Jones. This RSD release is the album's debut on vinyl and features a printed inner sleeve with production photos and comes on cornetto, red and black "roulette wheel" vinyl. It is limited to 1,800 copies.
For me, the highlight is the Randy Newman set with his 1979-2017 studio recordings.
Just as good as his first 1968-1977 box a few years back.
Beautiful pressings, very quiet, surely from digital sources but who cares, they did a great work. Excellent reproduction of all the artwork... top quality.
"Faust" is spread 4 sides, the last one being devoted to Newman's piano/voice demos, which are amazing.
... and so RSD has become a fest of limited editions at collectors' prices, and is hardly about celebrating actual record stores. How it has evolved to the advantage of the labels not the stores.
Agreed. It reminds me of all of the "Taste" and "Bite" festivals across the country, especially in my city. The original intent was to invite local restaurants to set up kiosks and booths to offer cheap samples of their menus to the public as a sort of loss leader to promote their establishments. These festivals became so popular that the restaurants soon realized that they could be profitable. Gone were the cheap sample dishes. That said, people still flock to them and stuff their faces while shelling out big bucks. Same with RSD. People have proven willing to pay those collectors prices for records that many will listen to only once and file away, or they immediately flip them at a profit on Ebay. Regardless, they sell at those prices so the labels keep doing it.
Why does UMe not release Decca Rarities-Peggy Lee on compact disc ? And make it available only through Amazon? I don't like dealing with them!!!!!