The above is the progression of musical media in my lifetime.
I grew up listening to records of Men At Work, Michael Jackson, The Muppets and the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack.
Once I was buying my own music it was tapes from Weird Al, Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and Anthrax.
CDs are where everything blew up. My musical expansion occurred during the 90s, so I owned basically every kind of music you can think of on CD.
When MP3s came along I was less enthusiastic and still haven’t fully embraced digital music. There have been plenty of times when it was easiest to simply download an album or a song and I can’t deny the space-saving practicality of digital files. But I’d still rather own the physical media.
And now we’re back to records.
Records – or “vinyl” as the young people refer to them – never really went away, but until recently were much more of a niche market. Audiophiles swear by the sound quality and the tactile experience. I’m no audiophile, but I do enjoy the qualities specific to listening to records. The sound is noticeably different, but I don’t know if I’d say better or worse; just more organic somehow. Which sounds like kind of a docuhey thing to say, but whatever.
I also enjoy getting up halfway through an album to turn the record over. In a way it makes me pay closer attention to the music and have more awareness of each song as it plays.
April 13th is a celebration of this unique musical medium. Record stores across the country will participate in an event where special releases are available in limited quantities in an attempt to get people out to stores to check out music and, of course, spend money.
I say limited quantities, but it’s worth noting that I have yet to encounter a Record Store Day release that I couldn’t eventually find. While the idea is to get people into record stores, there are a few online retailers that participate and put their stock up once the event has passed.
Today I’m going to share a few of my favorite releases that will be hitting your local record stores this Saturday. Some are Record Store Day exclusives and others are simply launching on RSD.
You can find the full list of Record Store Day releases here.
RSD3 Mini Turntable – This might be too gimmicky even for me.
Crosley is releasing a tiny turntable that plays specially produced 3” single records. Naturally, there will be several 3” single releases on Record Store Day. A Foo Fighters release will be included with the player, while blind box releases from Epitaph Records and Third Man Records will also be available. Because we all know how great blind box merchandise is, right?
Here are the rest of the 3” singles that will be available:
Bad Religion – “My Sanity”
Culture Abuse – “Dip”
Foo Fighters – “Roswell”
Jack White – “Love Interruption”
Rancid – “Ruby Soho”
The Dead Weather – “Be Still”
The Interrupters – “She’s Kerosene”
The Raconteurs – “Store Bought Bones”
The White Stripes – “Candy Cane Child”
I don’t plan to buy in on this, but I have to admit it’s a cute little idea.
The B-52s – Mesopotamia – The EP that was meant to be the B-52s’ third album has a unique sound, even for them. Apparently producer David Byrne just couldn’t get on the same page with the band, and the six finished songs were released on their own.
I’ll buy any B-52s on vinyl that I can.
Cherie Curie – Blvds of Splendor – I have varying levels of interest in RSD releases. Some are “must-have”, some are “probably want”, and some are “will get if there’s nothing else”. This one falls into that third category, as I’m curious to hear it, but probably not curious enough to devote my dollars to it over other items.
Chuck Mosley – Joe Haze Session #2 – These are Chuck Mosley’s final recordings prior to his passing in 2017 – covers of “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Take this Bottle”.
Like many Faith No More fans I discovered the group with Mike Patton as the front man and didn’t find Mosley’s work until later. As such, I didn’t really appreciate his style. Over the years I’ve grown more fond of We Care a Lot and Introduce Yourself to the point where they are in regular rotation as part of Faith No More’s catalog.
As such, I am looking forward to hearing Mosley’s interpretations of these songs.
Devo – This is the Devo Box – I have a confession to make. I had never heard Devo’s debut album in its entirety until I purchased it this past Black Friday. I hadn’t really ever thought about it, but I respected Devo as this sort of counter-culture entity without really diving into their work.
If I’m being honest, “Whip It” never really impressed me. So I could accept the band as this thing, but I never had a desire to pursue them. But once I did listen to Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! I was completely blown away and wanted to hear more.
I made this admission to the Emmy Award Winning director of Troublemaker and he – after recovering from his shock and disappointment – recommended further albums for me to check out. They’re all included in this set, but until I see the MSRP I can’t be sure I’ll buy a 6 LP box set. That will probably be pricey.
Doctor Who – Galaxy 4 – This is a full cast audio recording of a William Hartnell story. I probably won’t pick it up, as I’ve discovered that I’m less interested in this sort of thing and stand-up comedy on vinyl, but it’s neat that there are Doctor Who releases in America in Record Store Day.
Doctor Who – Destiny of the Daleks – This one is the classic Tom Baker story. Again, probably not on my list, but cool. I think my resistance to these is that if I’m sitting at home I’d rather just put the DVD in. But I do enjoy
Duran Duran – As the Lights Go Down – This is an A+, #1 priority for me. It’s a live recording of Duran Duran’s 1984 performance at the Oakland Coliseum. It was originally aired as a TV special and is from the prime years of the band. I’ll order this if I don’t find it in store.
Elton John – Live from Moscow – A 2 LP release of his 1979 show. Not a must, but if I find it, I’ll buy it.
Elvis Presley – Live at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV August 23, 1969 – I won’t pretend to recognize the significance of this release, as I am no Elvis historian, but this is another one that I’ll grab if I see it. The track listing is excellent and the thought of listening to the King live on vinyl is very appealing.
Goblin – Yell – I also won’t pretend to know a whole heck of a lot about Goblin other than the fact that they composed the score for the original Dawn of the Dead. But I will grab this 7” single if I see it. Spooky music? Sure!
Green Day – Woodstock 1994 – I don’t listen to any Green Day past Dookie, so this is the perfect live album for me. Many of the performances from 1994’s Woodstock music festival are fairly legendary, and Green Day’s is one of the best remembered.
Green Jellÿ – Cereal Killer Soundtrack – It may seem ridiculous to think that a song about the three little pigs was a huge hit back in 1993, but it was. Elevated by an outrageous Claymation video, the single became a staple of alternative radio. To me Green Jellÿ seemed to be part Gwar and part Weird Al and as such I jumped right in.
I haven’t heard this album in years and I bet it doesn’t hold up very well. I’d be curious to hear it again, but I doubt I’ll be picking it up on vinyl.
Kool Keith – Complicated Trip – Wow. This is gimmicks on gimmicks on gimmicks and I love it. And it’s perfect for Kool Keith, who appears on the album as three of his personas – himself, Dr. Octagon, and Dr. Dooom. The vinyl itself sounds insane:
“Multiple etchings across both sides of the vinyl, including a playable etching, and a moving animation etched around the circumference of the record. All this plus the A side is a multi-groove cut, meaning that when you drop the needle, you have a 50/50 chance of hearing the song or the instrumental.”
Complicated Trip is a must-have.
L7 – Burn Baby – The first single from L7 in almost twenty years. Bring it.
Mastodon – Stairway to Nick John – There are no details for this 10” vinyl, but Mastodon can always be counted on for a cool RSD release.
Motörhead – Overkill/Bomber – I will buy any Motörhead vinyl I find, especially with a die cut, gatefold cover.
Motörhead – Rockaway Beach – I will buy any Motörhead vinyl I find, especially a cover of a Ramones song.
Prince – His Majesty’s Pop Life/The Purple Mix Club – This is a repressing of a 1985 Japan-only release that includes remixes and album versions of some of Prince’s greatest hits and a couple of rarities. Like Motörhead, Prince on vinyl is a must-have.
Ramones – Live at the Palladium – This is from the 1979 New Year’s Eve show. It was included on CD with the Road to Ruin anniversary set and it’s awesome. Even though I’ve already got the CD, I’d love to own it on vinyl.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Pizza Power – Everything about the 1990 Coming Out of Their Shells live TMNT tour was absolutely terrible. But if you think I’m not going to buy a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles record, you’re crazy. Especially one that comes packaged in a little denim vest with actual patches.
The Crow (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – If you’re my age, you owned this soundtrack in the 90s. And listened to it often.
The Crow was a landmark of a movie for my generation, but the soundtrack was a phenomenon unto itself. Featuring Nine Inch Nails, Pantera, Stone Temple Pilots, The Cure, and just generally a remarkable collection of artists, it stands as one of the greatest movie soundtracks of the 90s.
House of Wax (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – This might seem like a weird choice for a RSD release, but whatever you might think of the 2005 movie, this soundtrack is pretty strong. With tracks from Deftones, My Chemical Romance, Marilyn Manson, The Stooges, Joy Division, and more, it’s an easily overlooked gem of the early aughts.
Then again, you might want to just grab a digital version so you can delete the tracks from The Prodigy and Disturbed.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – The music of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was as important as any other aspect of the movie. My son loves the soundtrack, but without the animation to accompany it, it’s really not my bag.
In the Garage: Live Music from WTF with Marc Maron – While I’m a huge fan of Marc Maron’s podcast, I can’t honestly say there’s much on here I’m interested in. It’s always a special experience when a musician plays something in the garage, though, and I think it’s awesome that this album is being released. And in all honesty I’ll probably buy it if I see it.
Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records – Wax Trax! is a cornerstone of industrial music. This is listed as the soundtrack to a documentary about the label, so I’m going to have to look into that. But I definitely want this collection of rarities and classic tracks from the likes of Front 242, Revolting Cocks, Ministry, and more.
That’s just my list. There are PLENTY of other interesting releases hitting your local record store this Saturday. Even if you hate gimmickry and capitalism, 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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