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 Record Store Day event.
In keeping with tradition, Mike, Randy, and Joe have once again selected some essential picks of the roughly 200 titles being released tomorrow at independent record stores everywhere. With so many shoppers at the mall and the big boxes, the Black Friday RSD event is usually much more manageable than the April festivities, so we hope you're all able to find your own favorites. Click here for the list of all participating stores. Without further ado, Mike's selections come first, then Joe's picks, then Randy's!
Marshall Crenshaw, Marshall Crenshaw: 40th Anniversary Edition (Yep Roc) (1,200 units)
The bespectacled rocker's debut is one of the best first albums by anyone in any decade, and it's bewildering (owing to a copyright reclamation between Crenshaw and Warner Bros. Records) that it was so unavailable for so long. Getting it back into print with an EP of bonus tracks, a few of which haven't been released before, is as good as any an excuse to head to your local record shop on Black Friday.
John Williams, The Cowboys (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - 50th Anniversary Edition (Varese Sarabande) (3,000 units)
I'd never tell a soundtrack fan to miss a John Williams release, and this one's no different. The sweeping score to 1972's The Cowboys - one of the works Steven Spielberg praised during his first meeting with the composer before they collaborated on 29 pictures together - is not to be missed, particularly if you're less familiar with The Maestro's pre-JAWS and Star Wars works. The new mix, master and assembly of this score sounded great on CD in 2018, and will surely impress here on two gold vinyl LPs now.
Duran Duran, Live at Hammersmith '82! (Parlophone/Rhino) (4,500 units)
It's been such a joy to be a Duran Duran fan in the last year or so. Not only did they come roaring back for their 40th anniversary with a brilliant new album (2021's Future Past) but they took time to look back tastefully, contributing interviews to Annie Zaleski's brilliant 33 1/3 book on Rio (newly available as a handsome expanded hardcover edition) and triumphing with a deserved induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This vinyl debut of a fantastic Rio-era live set, featuring stirring renditions of hits from their first two years as well as a rousing cover of Cockney Rebel's "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)," is the cherry (ice cream smile!) on top of the festivities.
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek Live! (Streamline/Interscope)
Though a struggle with Alzheimer's forced Tony Bennett to retire after decades of immeasurable artistry and entertainment, it's hard to pass up any reminders of his talent while he's still here with us. (Only months ago, his rendition of "He Loves and She Loves" from the excellent Steppin' Out (1993) soundtracked the first dance at my wedding - a beautiful memory if ever there was one.) Pop icon Lady Gaga's championing of his gifts in the last decade has kept Bennett's star shining, and also exposed older audiences to her own vocal gifts. This 2014 live set, recorded at Lincoln Center, sees them both in their element, tackling the best of the Great American Songbook with a sort of brio that'll keep the music playing in your heart long after the needle leaves the groove.
Fleetwood Mac, The Alternate Collection (Warner/Rhino) (10,000 units on CD/9,000 units on vinyl)
This new box set, collecting bonus material released in reissues of Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, Tusk, Mirage and Tango in the Night (and often repackaged on their own in Record Store Days past), is everything I want from an RSD release. It's a smart packaging of bonus material for anyone who dragged their feet on previous re-releases, it handsomely stands on its own aside those blockbuster LPs, and it's one of the too-rare CD exclusives available on this commercial holiday.
And here are Joe's selections!
Mose Allison, Live 1978 (2,000 units) / Flying Burrito Brothers, Live at The Bottom Line 1976 (1,200 units) (Liberation Hall)
The Liberation Hall label brings a couple of live releases to vinyl today as RSD-First titles - and happily, both titles are also available in wide release on CD. Mose Allison's Live 1978 preserves the jazz-blues pianist-songwriter's trio set from Silver Springs, MD at which he performed the irresistible likes of "I Live the Life I Love" and "I Ain't Got Nothin' but the Blues" as well as "Hey Good Lookin'" and "Seventh Son." The Flying Burrito Brothers' Live at The Bottom Line NYC 1976 was recorded at the famously intimate Greenwich Village venue in support of the band's fifth LP, Airborne. The lineup included Gene Parsons, Skip Battin, Gib Guilbeau, Joel Scott Hill, and founding member "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow. Despite the presence of only one original member, the group kept the cosmic country flag flying high on "Six Days on the Road," "Hot Burrito No. 2," "Truck Drivin' Man," "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke," and more.
America, Live at Goodbye Summer Festival (Secret Records) (500 units)
Following the CD/LP release of Discovering America, collecting Gerry Beckley's pre-America material recorded at London's Morgan Studios, Secret Records returns with another America rarity: a previously unreleased seven-song concert from July 18, 1971 captured at The Oval in London. The set includes such future favorites as "I Need You," "Sandman," and "Riverside," pressed on 12-inch, 45 RPM vinyl. In a most welcome move, package also includes the full program on CD.
Bing Crosby and David Bowie, Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy (Green Hill)
No Christmas celebration is complete without the beautiful, cross-generational duet of Bing Crosby and David Bowie on "Peace on Earth" and "Little Drummer Boy." Green Hill's candy cane-swirl 12-inch vinyl presentation adds Bing's swingin' "White World of Winter" live at The Hollywood Palace in 1965 as the B-side.
Todd Rundgren, Something/Anything (Bearsville/Rhino) (3,500 units)
The wizard/true star's 1972 breakthrough double album returns to vinyl from Rhino in a 50th anniversary edition that spreads out the music on 4 LPs, each pressed at 45 RPM in a different color. Though Something/Anything was Rundgren's third proper album, it was the first to fully herald his singular, wholly original voice. His first two solo efforts, Runt and Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren, positioned him as a purveyor of sweet soul (he was from Philadelphia, after all) and piano-driven, Laura Nyro-influenced pop. Something/Anything, on the other hand, was, and is, unlike any other album in the rock canon. The multi-hyphenate artist recorded three of the album's four sides himself, playing all instruments and singing all vocal parts. The fourth side was a mock autobiographical operetta, aided by a rock ensemble. Rundgren, the producer as studio auteur, had arrived. With "Hello, It's Me," "I Saw the Light," "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference," "Couldn't I Just Tell You," and "Black Maria," Something/Anything remains as fresh as the day it was released. Chris Bellman has remastered from the original tapes, and Rundgren biographer Paul Myers provides new liner notes for this RSD exclusive edition.
Brian Wilson, Long Promised Road: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Lakeshore Records) (2,000 units)
Lakeshore Records brings the soundtrack to director Brent Wilson's acclaimed 2021 documentary about Brian Wilson (no relation) to vinyl following the release earlier this year of a (now fiendishly hard to find) CD. Long Promised Road features 12 previously unreleased tracks from the Beach Boys founder including the Carl Wilson-penned title track, the Brian Wilson/Jim James co-write "Right Where I Belong," a rollicking revival of the Bob Merrill classic "Honeycomb" (the recording of which is a highlight of the movie), and a number of rare tunes recorded in the 1990s by Brian with Andy Paley. This blue vinyl limited edition is an RSD-First release.
Various Artists, The Best of Dark Horse Records 1974-1977 (Dark Horse/BMG) (2,150 units)
Ever since BMG relaunched George Harrison's Dark Horse label, fans and collectors alike have been clamoring for reissues of the label's long out-of-print releases. Now, that's finally happening with this eclectic new anthology featuring the music of Splinter, Ravi Shankar, Keni Burke, (The Five) Stairsteps, Wings' Henry McCullough, Attitudes, and Jiva. Hopefully this RSD-exclusive LP will mark the beginning of a full reissue campaign for these artists' Dark Horse records.
Finally, Randy offers up his RSD picks!
Harry Chapin, Story of a Life: The Complete Hit Singles (Real Gone Music) (2,000 units)
This compilation has a small amount of songs, but the concept is simple: to gather all of Harry Chapin's studio singles which hit the Billboard Hot 100 (a live single of "A Better Place to Be" which made it to No. 86 is also included). You can follow Chapin's story from his first hit 45, "Taxi," in 1972 to his last, "Sequel," in 1980. Of course, you also get the immortal classic "Cat's In The Cradle" from 1974. All of the songs are heard in their original single versions and the package features an essay by Ed Osborne. While certainly not the most comprehensive Chapin package ever released, it makes a good primer for new fans to discover the artist and collectors can appreciate the rarity of the single versions. The vinyl comes in "taxi" yellow and is limited to 2,000 copies.
Janis Joplin and Jorma Kaukonen, The Legendary Typewriter Tape: 6/25/64 Jorma's House (Omnivore Recordings) (3,500 units)
Janis Joplin met future Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen in 1962 in San Jose and the two would perform together at various gigs. Prior to a performance in North Beach, Kaukonen recorded one of the duo's rehearsals. These recordings of blues standards and Joplin originals became the stuff of legend and circulated on bootlegs for years. Now, with the cooperation of the Joplin estate and Kaukonen, Omnivore is releasing this recording for the first time in an authorized edition. Getting to hear Joplin before her time with Big Brother & the Holding Company and even just adding to her tragically small discography make this album a must. Omnivore is releasing this on CD and digital on December 2, but you can hear the new remaster first here on vinyl. It is limited to 3,500 copies.
Madonna, "Everybody" (40th Anniversary Edition) (Rhino) (10,000 units)
Madonna has been a staple of RSD events and this one is no exception. October 6 marked the 40th anniversary of Madonna's debut single "Everybody" hitting store shelves. The self-penned tune helped get her a record deal with Sire and would eventually climb to No. 3 on the Billboard Dance chart. That would be her first appearance among dozens on that chart over the next four decades and the single launched one of the most enduring careers in music history. This 12" anniversary edition features remastered versions of the 12" and Dub edits of "Everybody." Hopefully there will be more to come on the Madonna reissue campaign front (which kicked off with the Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones compilation earlier this year). The "Everybody" reissue features new cover art and is limited to 10,000 copies.
Willie Nelson, Live at Budokan (Columbia/Legacy) (9,100 units)
In 1984, Willie Nelson toured Japan for the first time. His February 23 show at the Budokan was filmed and released as a laserdisc exclusively in Japan. Consigned to the vaults since then, Legacy is now releasing the material to a wide audience. The 27 song set spread across two LPs finds Nelson performing many of his hits from classic songs to more recent material which had made him a crossover success. Several covers of tunes from fellow country stars together with songs from the Great American Songbook round out the list. The concert was released last week in a 2-CD/DVD package (and is airing on PBS stations this weekend), but this is a chance for vinyl collectors to acquire the show. This is prime Willie Nelson and you can't go wrong with that. The vinyl set is limited to 9,100 copies.
Iggy Pop, Apres (LMLR) (1,000 units on CD/4,000 units on vinyl) /Ringo Starr, Old Wave (Culture Factory USA) (500 units on CD/2,000 units on vinyl)
Now, these two albums don't really go together but we're putting them here because they are both receiving CD reissues for RSD. While vinyl is certainly the focus of the event, we love CDs too and always appreciate when a few of them come out for RSD. 2012's Apres was Iggy Pop's sixteenth studio album and found him going in a different direction. Made up of classic songs covered in French ("La Vie En Rose," etc) and English ("Only the Lonely," "Michelle," etc.), it is more crooning than rocking. It was rejected by his record company at the time and found release on smaller label. For this 10th anniversary edition, the unreleased track "La Belle Vie" has been added. Ringo Starr's Old Wave was his ninth studio album, released in 1983. Produced by Joe Walsh and Russ Ballard, the tracks include new Starr and Walsh songs, a Ballard song, and some covers. Eric Clapton and John Entwistle are among the guest musicians. A bonus track, the original version of "As Far As We Can Go," was included on earlier CD reissues and is reprised here. The Iggy Pop CD is limited to 1,000 copies while the Ringo will only have 500 available. Both albums are also coming out in vinyl versions with the Iggy Pop limited to 4,000 copies on pink vinyl with an OBI strip and the Ringo limited to 2,000 copies and on brown and white smoke color vinyl. (There is actually a lot of Ringo coming out for this RSD - fans can also check out 1977's Ringo the Fourth on translucent orange or blue vinyl from Friday Music and a 2-LP set of Ringo and his All-Star Band's Live at the Greek Theater 2019 from BFD, also available on CD).
Mark H. says
I am pleased to see that several of the releases above either have or will have CD releases. I don't mind not having them on RSD (I live in the northern climes, where standing outside at 7 AM in late November is not on), but am quite happy to be able to buy them on CD sometime.
Despite their being 10,000 copies printed, my favorite indie store only had copy of the Alternate Fleetwood Mac boxed set on CD, which I purchased.
Robert Lett says
Mine had quite a few copies. Happy to have gotten one.
Larry Davis says
Just curious about the Fleetwood Mac set...I have the SDE sets of the self-titled, Rumours, Tusk & Tango, and will be getting the sets of Live & Mirage, all have a CD of an alternate version of the album, does this new RSD set have anything exclusive or just a repackaging of those 6 discs together?? If just a repackaging, then it's (a LOT of) money saved for me...
The America live set is ok. We really want to hear the Who set from the same one day "festival" , the Faces set would be nice too.
we have a long wait = NEVER.