On Saturday, April 16th, Record Store Day will flood music outlets around the country with new releases, reissued classics and thousands of fans looking bring these coveted titles home. This year, everyone from Big Star to Justin Bieber is getting in on the act. The full list of 2016 RSD offerings includes more split singles, vintage treasures and strangely coloured vinyl than any single person could possibly consume, so we’ve broken it down into a few tidy categories and selected the most essential offerings in each.
David Bowie released his final album, Blackstar, in January, just two days before his shocking death. And now six songs from the earliest chapter of his career are coming out in a Record Store Day pressing limited to 7,500 copies. I Dig Everything – The Pye Singles 1966 seems to be a European copyright-protection release, but that doesn’t make it any less fascinating to check out super-obscure early Bowie tunes like “I’m Not Losing Sleep” and “Good Morning Girl.” There’s also a seven-inch picture disc of “TVC15” to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Station to Station. Get them both to see just how much he advanced in those 10 crucial years between 1966 and 1976.
New Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Cheap Trick signed to Big Machine Records last year (home of Taylor Swift) and their new LP, Bang, Zoom, Crazy … Hello, just landed in stores, but if you want to hear the bonus track “Arabesque,” you need to be one of 4,000 people to get your hands on the 10-inch vinyl pressing Found New Parts.
The Doors have once again raided their seemingly bottomless well of archival material and come up with Live at the Aquarius: The First Performance. It’s a 1969 show featuring classics like “Light My Fire” and “Soul Kitchen.” The 180-gram clear-vinyl package includes a recording of the soundcheck.
Bob Dylan is coming out with another album of cover songs associated with Frank Sinatra on May 20th, but one month before that, you can preview four songs on “Melancholy Mood,” a four-track collection of tunes from the album that came out in Japan earlier this year. Dylan’s old tourmates the Grateful Dead are dropping Capitol Theatre, Passaic NJ 4/25/77, which features a cover of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” among many other Dead classics. More than a few Deadheads consider 1977 the high-water mark of their touring career.
The Monkees are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a new album and tour this year, but on Record Store Day, you can re-live their entire saga with Classic Album Collection, a 10-LP box featuring their nine studio records along with a bonus album packed full of B sides and rarities. The Sex Pistols covered the Monkees tune “Stepping Stone” at many of their shows back in the 1970s, and on Record Sore Day, they’re re-releasing Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols as a 12-inch picture disc limited to 5,000 copies. The Sex Pistols toured heavily with the Buzzocks in their early days, and the British pop-punk pioneers are releasing More Product in a Different Compilation: Best of the United Artists Recordings as a two-LP set. It chronicles their work between 1977 and 1980.
Record Store Day or no Record Store Day, the big rap news this weekend is the release of the long-shelved 2002 J Dilla album The Diary – according to estate creative director Egon Alapatt, it’s the final existing album that Dilla had said he wanted released in his lifetime. The album, featuring the beloved beatmaker rapping over other producers’ beats, sees wide release the day before, but the RSD edition (limited to 4,000) features a seven-inch pressing of track 11, “The Ex,” featuring Bilal. In addition, one of 2016’s best rap records, Kevin Gates’ relentless Islah, is finally getting a vinyl release, with 3,000 copies printed up on gold vinyl. Recent records by Logic and Scarface will show up in limited picture-disc versions, and the Eminem and Nicki Minaj remixes of the Weeknd hit “The Hills” will get their first physical release in America, anchoring opposite sides of a 12-inch.
Old-school heads will have their pick of a number of reissues: The D.O.C.’s untouchable, Dr. Dre-produced 1989 debut, No One Can Do It Better, will get its first vinyl repress since its original release; Lil Wayne’s mid-career left turns, 2004’s Tha Carter and 2005’s Tha Carter II, will each get two-LP releases with lenticular covers; Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s first two singles, “Brooklyn Zoo” and “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” will get a run on a picture disc shaped like the iconic public-assistance card from his 1995 debut, Return to the 36 Chambers; and a glow-in-the-dark 10-inch of Outkast’s space-y 1996 hit “Elevators (Me and You)” will touch down.
It seems it’s just not Record Store Day without entries from Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. This year, the Red Headed Stranger delivers a rollicking take on “Truck Drivin’ Man” from 1974 that is paired with a 1994 rendition of the same song by Uncle Tupelo on the seven-inch vinyl’s B side. The Man in Black, meanwhile, is represented by a pair of LPs: his 1962 Sun Records release All Aboard the Blue Train With Johnny Cash (on blue vinyl, naturally) and The Best of the Johnny Cash Show, a collection of performances by Cash and guests from his iconic Seventies TV series. Nelson’s partner-in-crime Billy Joe Shaver also represents the outlaw genre, via a seven-inch that combines his real-life tale of shooting a guy in the face in 2007, “Wacko From Waco,” with the more spiritual “When Fallen Angels Fly.”
Unlike on the country radio charts, women are well-represented in Record Store Day’s country and Americana output. Brandy Clark and Sheryl Crow co-release a clever coloured seven-inch – one side is Clark singing current single “Girl Next Door”; the other features Clark and Crow’s respective renditions of Clark’s “Homecoming Queen.” Emmylou Harris re-releases her magnificent 1995 album Wrecking Ball in a deluxe three-LP package, and Lucinda Williams drops a 12-inch of her Ghosts of Highway 20 song “Faith and Grace,” extended to 18 minutes.” There’s also a Shawn Colvin duet with Steve Earle on the Everly Brothers’ “Wake Up Little Susie” and the Beatles’ “Baby’s in Black,” previewing the singer-songwriters’ upcoming full-length collaboration.
Chris Janson is the lone contemporary entry, as Warner Music Nashville re-releases his debut album, Buy Me a Boat, on vinyl. With a wild performing style, Janson evokes artists from Hank Williams Jr. to Elvis Presley — the latter of whom has his own RSD album. Elvis: I’m Leavin’ is a collection of the King’s country songs recorded in Nashville.
But it’s the latest entry from Shooter Jennings and his RSD-friendly label Black Country Rock that stands as the most bizarre country release. Titled A Night in Room 8, the LP is a recording of Willie Nelson and Harlan Howard collaborator Billy Don Burns sharing stories and songs live to tape in Room 8 of the Joshua Tree Motel — the very spot where Gram Parsons overdosed in 1973.
This year’s official Record Store Day ambassadors are none other than the biggest metal band in the world, Metallica, so it figures that there would be plenty of quality head-banging fodder on tap for the festivities. For their part, Metallica will not only play an in-store set at Berkeley, California’s Rasputin Music but are also primed to release a special live album, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica! – Live at Le Bataclan. Paris, France – June 11th, 2003. All proceeds from the sale of the record will go to the Fondation de France’s Give for France charity in support of the country following the terrorist attacks in November.
Other metalhead-friendly Record Store Day titles include Bring Me the Horizon’s Live From Maida Vale seven-inch picture disc, Halestorm’s Into the Wild Live: Chicago four-track EP, Iron Maiden’s “Empire of the Clouds” 12-inch picture disc and the first-ever vinyl pressing of Deftones compilation B-Sides & Rarities. GWAR, Anthrax, Rob Zombie and Killswitch Engage are also set to drop exclusive releases, but perhaps the most explosive offering will come from Brujeria. The death-metal supergroup, rumored to feature current and former members of Napalm Death, Carcass, Dimmu Borgir and more, will vomit up two new cuts on their Viva Presidente Trump! seven-inch EP, adorned with particularly brutal cover art depicting the Donald with a machete in his head in homage to the infamous image from Dawn of the Dead.
This is a banner year for the too-much-TV crowd. Rhino is releasing mono versions of the Monkees’ “Saturday’s Child” and “You Just May Be the One” pressed on vinyl shaped like their iconic guitar logo. The Dr. Who audiobook Genesis of the Daleks – first printed in 1978 and based on the six-part 1975 serial – will get a reissue on “Tardis blue vinyl.” And two of Disney’s popular Silly Symphonies, 1929’s “The Skeleton Dance” and 1933’s Oscar-winning “Three Little Pigs” will be featured on opposite sides of a 10-inch.
Ever wanted to hear Ethan Hawke sing? If you don’t feel like sitting through all 97 minutes of Born to be Blue, you can grab a 45-rpm record of him doing his best Chet Baker on “My Funny Valentine” and “I’ve Never Been In Love Before” – pressed like a vintage Atco single. And Hello Kitty: Hello World, a pop tribute to the cartoon cat, will be re-released with 1,000 copies of a very colorful picture disc.