Because I am a big chump obsessed with music and collecting things I resumed collecting records a few years ago.
I’ve owned records all my life, as my dad had an extensive collection and that’s where I first started to discover music that you could take home as opposed to listen to on the radio. I started collecting in earnest in the early 90s when I discovered punk and 7” records were a big thing.
In 2009 our house flooded and I lost a huge number of irreplaceable items – records that were signed, limited editions, whatever. There was a copy of Wesley Willis’ album Rock n’ Roll Will Never Die that I had gotten signed by Willis at a live show before he, ironically, died. Obviously I can’t ever replace that.
So in 2009 I stopped buying vinyl. It’s hard to lose that much unique stuff and start over. Especially since I had mostly accepted the idea of digital music at that point.
Then, a few years ago, I heard about this thing called Record Store Day.
That could be a whole other post, but suffice it to say that one thing led to another and now I’m collecting records again.
Since Record Store Day’s Black Friday is such a big deal to me (and because I’ll actually be able to hit up my local record store this year), I thought I’d run down the releases I’m most excited about for 2018.
You can find the full list of Record Store Day releases here.
Alice Cooper – Live from the Astroturf – I can’t pretend to know the significance of this specific recording, but this release is absolutely loaded with gimmicks and if you can’t admit that record collecting is about gimmickry, then you’re not being honest with yourself.
I am, at best, a casual Alice Cooper fan. I love the concept and I dig a lot of the hits, but I can’t claim to be an enthusiast. But I know every song on the track listing, and that combined with the ridiculous list of nonsense slated for the package put this squarely on my list. Check it out:
11×11 16 page program
6 trading cards
B-sides will feature a random different band member
10 different color variants at random in mofi sleeves
Each silver gatefold jacket will be stamped and numbered
Anthrax – Kings Among Scotland – Anthrax is my favorite metal band of all time, so regardless of the content this was going on the list.
It’s a 3 x LP live show recorded in Scotland on February 15, 2017 with blue, pink, and purple records in a gatefold jacket with a tour book.
Bauhaus – Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape – I’m not the biggest Bauhaus fan, but this is a renowned collection of live recordings from 1981-81. I’d love to have something this spooky and atmospheric to throw on the turntable from time to time.
Chris Cornell – When Bad Does Good – An unreleased song from Cornell’s archives is the A-side while a live version of Temple of the Dog’s “Stargazer” fills out the B-side of this 7” single.
Dead Kennedys – Iguana Studios Rehearsal Sessions – The never-before-released demos of the legendary punk group’s first songs.
I go back and forth on the Dead Kennedys. Jello Biafra is hilarious and musically there’s nothing else quite like them, but sometimes they lean a little too hard into self-righteousness. The first time I noticed it was with “Halloween”. I was listening – actually paying attention to lyrics, which I don’t always do – and I realized the song wasn’t much fun at all and kind of snotty.
But I’ll keep an eye out for this because I love hearing demos and alternate takes. Those Ramones anniversary albums have been my favorite musical purchases from the last few years.
Devo – Are We Not Men? We Are Devo! – Nothing too fancy, just their debut album on picture disc. Definitely noteworthy, though.
Dio – Holy Diver Live at 35 – A 12” single die-cut (YES!) into the Dio logo. The A-side is “Holy Diver” live from Donington in 1983, the B-side is a studio cut of “Electra”.
Fred Schneider & The Superions – Head on A Leg – From the collective that brought you the holiday classic, “Fruitcake”, this 7” single features “The Love the Knew No Shame”, “Head on A Leg”, and “Grandma’s Patchwork Quilt”; all sure to be instant classics!
Garbage w/John Doe and Exene Cervenka – Destroying Angels – I’ll buy just about anything Garbage releases.
“Destroying Angels” is a result of Garbage touring with Cervenka and Debbie Harry. The B-side is Garbage’s cover of David Bowie’s “Starman” – a track that by itself would be worthy of a special release.
Gravediggaz – 6 Feet Deep – For me this album was almost as revelatory as Enter the Wu-Tang. The idea of a horror-infused hip-hop album was almost as mind-blowing as Prince Paul working with RZA. The album is a must-have, the RSD picture disc release is something I want in my crates.
Guns N’ Roses – Shadow of Your Love – The incredible Appetite for Destruction box set from earlier this year has really rekindled my love of GNR. Since I own this song I can’t say this one is an urgent need, but if I see it, I’ll definitely grab it.
Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power – I was late to the game on this one. Despite years of Henry Rollins talking about The Stooges and this album in particular, not to mention close friends loving it; I only picked up Raw Power a couple of years ago.
I absolutely hear the magic, but decades of music directly influenced by this album diluted the impact for me. I still respect its awesomeness, but I can’t claim it had the same awe-inspiring effect on me that it has had on so many others.
Joan Jett – Bad Reputation (Music from the Original Motion Picture) – I grew up with Joan Jett. Thanks to MTV she was one of the voices of rock n’ roll that I’ve just known forever. I’m looking forward to seeing the biopic this compilation comes from and to hearing this – essentially a greatest hits collection.
Judas Priest – Rocka Rolla – Priest’s first album on “cola bottle green” vinyl with an embossed cover. Neat-o!
Orchestra Di Enrico Simonetti – Blue Frog… and Others – I’m not going to pretend to know anything about Nicola De Vincenti, Fabio Pignatelli, or any of the other extremely Italian people involved with this album. The name “Simonetti” caught my eye because of Claudio Simonetti from Goblin.
It turns out that Enrico is his father and this album sounds super weird and cool – exactly the kind of thing I like to put on and listen to at home.
Outkast – Rosa Parks – While “Player’s Ball” was the first Outkast song I ever heard, “Rosa Parks” was the first one I ever loved. I saw the video and went to the record store the very next day to buy Aquemini. This song is another major hip-hop landmark for me.
Ramones – Live in Glasgow December 19, 1977 – As I mentioned above, the Ramones reissues that have been coming out over the past few years have been amazing. This live set was included on one of the CDs in the Rocket to Russia release and it’s outstanding. I’ll be thrilled to own it on vinyl.
Talking Heads – Remain in Light – If there’s one thing the labels know about Record Store Day, it’s that nostalgia sells. If there’s one thing Warner Bros.’ imprint Rhino knows, it’s nostalgia.
“Once in a Lifetime” is one of the most recognized pop songs of the 80s. While that’s the biggest single off of this album – with “Houses in Motion” playing a distant second – the album as a whole is one of the best of the 80s as far as being cohesive and entertaining all the way through.
The B-52’s – Cosmic Thing – Speaking of albums that are great from beginning to end, Cosmic Thing is one of them. But that’s no surprise, as the B-52’s are one of the most consistent bands ever.
I was too cool to be caught listening to hippie dance nonsense like this back when it came out, but trust me when I tell you that when nobody was looking, I was playing Cosmic Thing all the time. This rainbow colored vinyl release will be getting plenty of play in the Phantom Zone.
But only when Mrs. Troublemaker isn’t looking. She is not a fan. She’s still too cool gor hippie dance nonsense.
The Breeders – Safari EP – I’ve been diving back into the 90s lately and the Breeders are one of the bands I’ve become fixated on. Obviously I had Last Splash because EVERYONE had Last Splash, but it might actually be the least interesting of their albums. I’m curious to hear this EP, which I’ve missed in my digging around.
It’s worth noting that this is the only Breeders release to feature both Kelley Deal and Tanya Donnelly (best known as the frontwoman for Belly).
That’s just my list. There are PLENTY of other interesting releases hitting your local record store this Friday. Even if you hate Black Friday, get out and support them. You’ll find a fun kind of busy there and maybe even make new friends and discover some new music!
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