From Taylor Swift to Suede, from Angelo Badalamenti to Sugababes, this year’s RSD’s reassessed, reboxed, reworked and repackaged specials for your delighted perusal
Hiya. Just thought I’d pop up with a separate column to waft on about some of the highlights of this year’s Record Store Day releases. There’s over 400 of them, so for the sake of everyone’s sanity, I’ve pulled out 21 titles OF INTEREST because content and engagement and all that. And also my regular monthly column is long enough without waffling on about all these on there. You get me? Good.
Let’s metaphorically queue up outside our favoured local retailer at an absurd hour and shop! Yaroo! Oh, and PLEASE NOTE that as far as I’m aware, the majority of these releases are due on the first ‘drop’ on 23 April, and where I have intel, I’ve indicated that certain ones will be available on 18 June, but things could change so don’t be popping yer pool balls into a sock and getting heavy with your participating shopkeepers.
The League Unlimited Orchestra – Love And Dancing
The greatest remix album ever is 40 years old this year, and to celebrate (and possibly because the hints about a 40th anniversary Dare box came to nothing) The Human League’s League Unlimited Orchestra (aka Martin Rushent buggering about with Dare and loads of tape) is coming out as a plush white sleeve and white vinyl edition. While not strictly the first ever remix album, it’s the one all other remix albums line up and salute. It originally spent a whole year on the album chart BITD, which is kind of unheard of for remix albums, and is absolutely fantastic.
Suede – Sci-Fi Lullabies
Originally released in 1997, Sci-Fi Lullabies is quite possibly the best B-side compilation of all time. You heard. With the attendant flipsides and extra tracks and the increasing demand for content for those pesky 2-part CD single sets, it captures Suede in rude health and magnificent form during their first three album eras, and allows gems such as My Insatiable One, He’s Dead, Killing Of A Flash Boy, WSD, Jumble Sale Mums and To The Birds their own spotlight. It’s a triple clear-vinyl set that is well worth queueing up for.
Scott Walker – Boy Child
First out as a mid-price compilation back in 1990, the definitive Scott Walker solo compilation did briefly come out vinyl, albeit somewhat truncated from the original CD tracklisting that spanned 20 tracks from the late great Mr Engel. Now the old man’s back again in double white vinyl with the full original line-up and now with added notes from Jarvis Cocker to complement Marc Almond’s from the initial release, and Neil Hannon’s from the 2000 edition. The tracklist has also been augmented with Thanks For Chicago, Mr James, Always Coming Back To You and 30th Century Man plus the rare non-album track The Rope And The Colt (included on the 1990 CD but not the 2000 reissue) and Angels Of Ashes (included on the 2000 reissue but not on the 1990 version). God, it’s absolutely brilliant.
Jessie Ware – Devotion (Gold Edition)
We’re not worthy of Jessie Ware in all honesty. She’s one of the best lungsmiths in the UK, reliably knocking out classic albums and singles and yet somehow the public are purse-shy as regards actually buying her stuff in the volume that other, lesser singers seem to enjoy. Even if the massively acclaimed and fantastic What’s Your Pleasure from 2020 rewarded her with her best chart positions yet, it seemingly evaporated from the lists within a month. This is wrong, obviously. Anyway, look, try and sort that out would you please? It’s the 10th anniversary of her debut Devotion and this contains 10 extra tracks such as the ace Imagine It Was Us, plus reswizzles by Joe Goddard, Sampha and Disclosure – some of which are making their vinyl debut here.
Blur – Bustin’ + Dronin’
A vinyl first for the band’s 1998 Japan-only remix album, Bustin’ + Dronin’ originally rounded up a bunch of remixes from Blur’s eponymous fifth album, as well as some live tracks recorded at Peel Acres. This coloured vinyl omits the Peel stuff but keeps the mixes by the likes of William Orbit (which led to him producing their next album, 1999’s 13), John McEntire, Adrian Sherwood, Moby and Thurston Moore. It’s a fascinating beast with each remixer sympathetically turning up the dub (Sherwood’s two mixes of Death Of A Party) and the racket (Thurston’s re-tool of Essex Dogs) that were among the elements that made Blur’s, um, Blur so great.
Kathryn Williams – Introduction
Following a career box set round-up in 2019, Introduction is Kathryn Williams’ own selection of a track from each of her albums up to that point. Inspired by the sort of compilations by Nick Drake and John Martyn that enticed passers-by into their worlds, Kathryn’s choices explore her winning way with folksome, singer-songwritery magic that saw her nominated for a Mercury for her second album, the marvellous Little Black Numbers, and takes in such marvels as her cover of Pavement’s Spit On A Stranger from 2004’s Relations, Mirrorball from 2002’s Old Low Light, and I’m A Fool To Want You from 2016’s Resonator. It’s a very fine snapshot that will encourage you to delve further.
The Streets – Original Pirate Material
Lock down your aerials! For it is 20 years since Mike Skinner moseyed into our lives with The Streets’ debut album! Yes we’re ancient! The conventional version is being reissued the day before on orange double vinyl, but this limited edition box set is exclusive to the day and includes the Original Pirate Material double LP plus Locked On exclusive vinyl, exclusive SCRT Art Work Print and a Locked On slipmat.
Sun’s Signature – EP (June 18)
The name may not mean much to you initially, but Sun’s Signature is the duo formed by Liz Fraser and her partner Damon Reece, and is her first new music in 13 years since 2009’s Moses. Not that the one-time Cocteau Twin has been particularly idle all that time, having worked with Oneohtrix Point Never and Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi in the last few years. The self-titled EP will feature some familiar tracks to Fraser fans, including the rare 2000 single Underwater, and two songs she played during a solo appearance at 2012’s Meltdown Festival, Golden Air and Make Lovely The Day.
ROB – Funky Rob Way
Originally released in 1977, Funky Rob Way is a dope blend of afrofuturism that sounds like cosmic funk beamed in from a future none of us will ever get to see. The Accra-born pianist and frontman only released a few albums in small quantities, yet two of them are among the most sought-after records from ’70s Africa, including Funky Rob Way. Inspired by James Brown and Otis Redding, ROB set about creating the sounds in his head, and, well, his head was full of some pretty far out shit. Thoroughly recommended.
Mariah Carey – #1s
Do you know how much an original 1998 vinyl copy of #1s on vinyl will set you back? It’s not a phone-in, but let’s just say “anything up to £400” and gasp. But then also REJOICE as it’s coming back out on double white vinyl for RSD as a slightly more affordable offering. It featured 13 of Mariah’s US chart-toppers (she’d only had one in the UK at that point) plus four then-new tracks including the warble-off with Whitney Houston that was When You Believe. It doesn’t have All I Want For Christmas on it (well it was on the Japanese editions BITD – Mariah Ed) due to it not technically being a No 1 until 2019 (fancy that!), but it does have bangers such as Vision Of Love, One Sweet Day, My All and the Ol’ Dirty Bastard-assisted mix of Fantasy.
Blondie – Sunday Girl
A double 7″ pack now, if you please, featuring Debbie Harry and chums’ 1979 chart-topper that overthrew Art Garfunkel’s glum rabbit-trauma track Bright Eyes from glueing up the nation any further. Ahead of a career-spanning Blondie box set later this year, Sunday Girl is serving peak late ’70s realness, as the first disc is a red vinyl with the original single and French version, and disc two has the 1978 demo and a live version from Portland Oregon earlier that year. It looks gorgeous in all fairness.
Sugababes – One Touch at 20 Anniversary Mixes (18 June)
Originally released as part of the One Touch anniversary boxsets and whatnot last year, Sugababes are bunging them all on vinyl as a standalone release. It’s a blue vinyl affair, with reswizzles by MNEK, Metronomy, Majestic and Blood Orange, of numbers such as Overload, Run For Cover and Same Old Story. It’s quite a cheering package featuring loads of unseen period-appropriate photos, and, I dunno, I’ve given up holding my breath for them to issue some new stuff myself, but it might just prompt some form of finger-pulling-out as they approach almost a decade since they got back together.
David Bowie – Brilliant Adventure EP/ Toy EP
It wouldn’t be Record Store Day without some David Bowie exclusives, and this year there are two! Hurrah! Brilliant Adventure is a 12inch or CD EP with four unheard tracks from the 1.OUTSIDE era, such as Johnny Downloader which is an early version of I’m Afraid of Americans, an alternative single mix of I Have Not Been To Oxford Town, and two live jobs – A Small Plot Of Land and My Death – performed by Bowie and pianist Mike Garson at a fundraiser for the New York Public Theater at the Shakespeare Festival in New York on 18 September 1995.
The Toy EP is a 5-track 10″ or CD EP, with the subtitle You’ve Got It Made With All The Toys, which holds Shadow Man (Vocal And Piano Mix), unreleased live versions of I Dig Everything and The London Boys recorded at the final Glastonbury warm-up show at the Roseland Ballroom, New York on 19 June 2000, as well as You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving (Radio Edit), Silly Boy Blue (Alternative Ending Mix) and Can’t Help Thinking About Me (Live Mark Radcliffe Show BBC Radio 1 Session) which were previously only available as streaming singles and make their physical debut here. Gadzooks!
Fun Boy Three – The Best Of (18 June)
Originally released in 1984, The Best Of Fun Boy Three was one of those collections that echoed the group’s career – short, sharp and completely brilliant. These 10 tracks – the Really Saying Something team-up with Bananarama appears to have fallen off during the interim – feature some of the best pop music ever to be made by, seemingly, banging some saucepans together, rattling a few windchimes and prodding at a piano. *whispers* I’d keep ‘em peeled too as this is an aperitif ahead of further FB3 reissue treats coming later this year.
Sandro Brugnolini – L’uomo Da Gli Occhiali a Specchio
The soundtrack to a 1975 film directed for Rai Television by Mariano Foglietti, former collaborator of Dario Argento, L’uomo Da Gli Occhiali a Specchio is a period delight blending funk, free jazz and classical together and is an Italian Library Music masterpiece. The original pressings on Italy’s Vroommm label go for THREE GRAND, so this clear vinyl repress should set you back considerably less.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Altered Reels
No strangers to issuing rare bits and bobs for RSD, Frankie have put the cassette versions of Relax (From Soft To Hard, From Dry To Moist) and Two Tribes (Keep The Peace) onto vinyl for the first time. There’s slightly reswizzled versions of each song, including the 15-minute blending of Two Tribes (At Madison Square Garden, The Carnage, The Annihilation) and the US Come Dancing remix. What a riot! What a ride! What a handy excuse to obtain these again for anyone who may or may not have accidentally lost their original cassettes during a house move! Oh yeah? Well ‘ard.
Everything But The Girl – Night And Day
It’s 40 years since Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn first entered showbiz with their gentle and trembling magic and wonder as Everything But The Girl, and to celebrate that, they’ve pressed up a clear vinyl 12-inch EP of Night And Day. They ruddy have! It’s been remastered at Abbey Road and is backed with Feeling Dizzy and On My Mind, so that’s all rather jolly isn’t it.
Lou Reed – I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos
Then-fresh from making some of the most incredible music known to mankind with The Velvet Underground, as well as the unspeakable casserole Squeeze that no one talks about, Lou Reed set about embarking on a solo career and signed to RCA. This is a vinyl debut of the demos he made, featuring early solo versions of Perfect Day, Berlin, Ocean and Lisa Says among others. The cover is aesthetically really pleasing too.
Patti Smith – Curated by Record Store Day
An all-new compilation, erm, curated by Record Store Day, of the best of the Piss Factory hitmaker Patti Smith’s career from 1974-1996. It’s a 2LP affair, and while fuller details are scarce, it does include Gloria, Because The Night, Dancing Barefoot and People Have The Power, which are fairly good selling points, I’m sure you’ll agree. It might even have Piss Factory on it. MORE DETAILS AS THEY COME IN.
Angelo Badalamenti – Blue Velvet: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition)
The long available single LP soundtrack to one of David Lynch’s greatest films ever has been expanded by 60 minutes to a 2LP Deluxe Edition with the addition of Bobby Vinton’s recording of Blue Velvet, which at less than three minutes long, is some extending. But no! There are loads of previously unreleased musical cues, alternate versions and outtakes by Lynch’s long-time collaborator that give a fuller flavour of the film too, and were used by the sound designer to do whatever they needed to do with them. The packaging features liner notes by Tim Greiving, incorporating new interviews with Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti, Kyle MacLachlan and producer Fred Caruso, and the cover features the original 1986 fruity Italian movie poster art designed by Enzio Sciotti. It’s pressed on green vinyl* (*I’m kidding, it’s marbled blue obviously).
Taylor Swift – the lakes
Taylor Swift is the RSD ambassador this year, and in the spirit of joining in, she’s issuing a limited 7″ single of folklore track the lakes. It’s backed by the lakes (Original Version) which is an exclusive to vinyl on this occasion. Magic!
So, there you have it. The longlist of stuff to include also featured Stevie Nicks’ 2LP Bella Donna, The Rolling Stones’ coloured vinyl Hot Rocks 2, a jazzy picture disc for The Cure’s Pornography, marbled vinyl edition of Kevin Rowland’s My Beauty, Albert Ayler’s Revelations, Brian Bennett’s Voyage (A Journey into Discoid Funk) on a limited blue with black swirl vinyl and LOADS MORE BESIDES.
Check out the full list here and also factor in that your local shop may not have literally all of it, so pay them a visit or check their sites beforehand for the lists of what they’re planning to stock as spraying TWO COPIES OF GO WEST’S BANGS AND CRASHES, YEAH? across their windows doesn’t help anyone and may get you arrested.