Let the Great World Spin
Turkey Day is right around the corner. And Black Friday is right behind it. That can mean only one thing … Record Store Day is almost here! If you’re anything like me, RSD is the only thing that can drag you into a store on Black Friday. Good news is, the RSD team has another killer lineup of discs hitting stores for the big day.
Don’t know what Record Store Day is? Short answer – it’s the indie record store community’s attempt to drive music lovers back to buying physical copies of music … preferably in brick and mortar shops. If you’re looking for the full story – click here for the down and dirty details. As you can see, Record Store Day is the perfect opportunity for you to shop locally and support your community – not to mention an outstanding chance to lay your hands on some seriously choice wax.
Now that you’re up to speed, let’s have a look at some of the sexier releases hitting bins this Friday. But take note: these releases are all limited pressings. You’ll be lucky to find more than a couple of these at your favorite store this week. If there’s a title you’re absolutely dying for on this year’s list, do not sleep in. Be at that shop the second they open and thank me later.
Here’s a list of items that should be on your radar:
- Chet Baker – Love For Sale: Live At The Rising Sun Celebrity Club (First Time On Vinyl, 4000 copies). Any Chet Baker release is worthy of salivation. Love For Sale is a little more so because it features a late career performance from the jazz crooner. If you know anything about Baker, then you know Baker spent much of his late career on the road and battling drug addiction. Recorded in 1978, the songs on Love For Sale are certain to be as frayed and promiscuous and ragged as most of his late work. They’re also certain to feature the same fragile, tortured beauty that made Baker a legend in the first place.
- Xiu Xiu – Knife Play (Colored Vinyl, 2000 copies). Hard to believe it’s been almost 15 years since the avant-noise-punk rockers released their debut album. It’s almost harder to believe that Knife Play has been out of print since 2003. Lucky for us, the freaky folks at Graveface Records are dusting it off and releasing it back into the wild. The 11 songs on Knife Play make for one ferocious beast. They’re fast and slow and loud and quiet and full of piss and humor in ways that most album’s only dream. As if that isn’t enough, this release comes with a handful of bonus tracks too. Sweet.
- The Afghan Whigs – Black Love (RSD Exclusive, 3LP Expanded Edition). First came The Replacements. Then came The Afghan Whigs. It’s impossible to love both of those bands. While my tastes generally skew towards the broken vocals and crunchy guitars of The Replacements, I know there are a lot of you devoted to the pretentious, soulful grunge that The Afghan Whigs have so earnestly been producing for the last 20 years. And you should all be drooling over this twentieth anniversary edition from Rhino. Three discs. Remastered. And chock full of bonus material.
- Various Artists – Langianape Sessions Volume 1 (RSD Exclusive, 1500 copies). Since 2005, the Aquarium Drunkard blog has been the go-to site for music fans who crave a little adventure. For the past five years, they’ve featured some of their favorite bands playing covers of their own favorites with The Langianape Sessions. The sessions have seen the likes of Riley Walker covering Amen Dunes, White Fence covering Gin Blossoms, Matthew E. White covering Randy Newman, and William Tyler covering Blue Oyster Cult. Those songs and many more – there’s a cover of ‘Eyes Without A Face’ by Little Wings that’ll rip your damn heart out – are collected here for the very first time.
- The Stone Roses – Sally Cinnamon (12″ Single, RSD Limited Run, 900 copies). Look, The Stone Roses 1989, self-titled debut is one of the great rock albums of all time. And I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. Rumor has it that Ian, John, Reni, and Gary are putting the finishing touches on their first new album since 1994’s Second Coming – one of the worst rock albums of all time. Time will tell if that new music is worth the 20-plus year wait. In any case, there’s no time like the present to revisit the single that got them noticed. So here’s ‘Sally Cinnamon’ in all of its jangly, infectious, Brit-pop glory.
- Harry Nilsson – Original Soundtrack: Popeye (RSD Exlcusive, 2000 copies). Robert Altman’s 198o musical was a modest success at the box office, but it was panned by critics and forgotten by the public. Harry Nilsson’s songs for the film – as performed by stars Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall – have endured. And they’ve only gotten better with age. First released alongside Popeye in 1980, the album has never seen a proper reissue. Until now. Nilsson’s songs are funny and romantic and full of MGM-styled whimsy. Those songs work in the context of the singer’s own output. Those songs work in the context of Altman’s film. They deserve to be heard by fans of both. And everyone should have a copy of Shelley Duvall singing ‘He Needs Me’ on wax.
- Ben Webster – Gone With The Wind (RSD Exclusive, 2000 Copies). If you’re a Vinyl Me, Please member – or a jazz fan in general – you’ll recognize Ben Webster’s name. If not, you’ve likely never heard of him. Now’s the time to get acquainted. Most Weber fans would tell you that his 1957 album Soulville is the best place to jump in. They’re right. But this 1965 live recording from the legendary Jazzhus Montmartre will do just fine. Just FYI – Gone With The Wind hasn’t been pressed on vinyl in over 30 years, so it’ll put you one up on all those snooty fans who don’t own it. You’re welcome.
- Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert – The Psychedelic Experience (RSD Exclusive, 1400 copies, splattered magenta). You know who Timothy Leary is. You know his investment in the counter-culture movement of the ’60s. And you know the music and hysteria that his LSD experiments inspired. But you probably never read the 1964 book The Psychedelic Experience penned by Leary and his fellow traveler Ralph Metzner. Don’t worry, Leary & Co read it for you. They released the album back in 1966. Now you can dig a copy of your own.
- Jerry Goldsmith – Chinatown Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (RSD Exclusive, 2500 copies, gold wax). Roman Polanski’s 1974 neo-noir trip through L.A. has made every ‘best of’ film list since people started making them. Make no mistake, Chinatown might actually be the greatest film ever made. And none of it would feel the same without Goldsmith’s sultry original score slithering behind every paranoid moment. Why not grab yourself a copy complete with stunning original artwork from Sterling Hundley, layout from Mondo’s Jay Shaw, and a slick 18″ X 24″ poster? “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”
- Otis Redding – Live At The Whiskey A Go Go (RSD Exclusive, 2250 copies). Otis Redding. Live. I really shouldn’t need to say more than that. If you love music, you love Otis Redding. Period. Since you love Otis Redding, you must own this live collection from his legendary three-night stint at the Whiskey circa 1966. So I’ll just repeat myself … Otis Redding. Live. Do It.
Trust me, there’s more. Like a doo-doo brown version of Mr. Hanky’s Christmas Classics that I have very mixed feelings about. Mostly because it comes on scented vinyl. And, well, does anyone really need that? I don’t know. Maybe you do. Either way, you can find the full list of the year’s releases in this handy PDF from official RSD site. If you wanna find the closest participating record store, just click here. Then type in your city or zip code. Happy hunting, my friends.