30 Must-Own Releases For Record Store Day 2016

Every year, the good folks over at Record Store Day put out this massive list of releases that they will be offering as part of their annual celebration of all things printed music, which this year falls on April 16. It can be a lot to sift through, but here are our picks for some of the more noteworthy offerings from that list. We’ve got everything covered from classic rock to pop punk, from hip-hop to synthpop. No matter what your music preference is, Record Store Day has you covered, so make sure to go out and support your favorite artists and independent record stores.


Big Star, Complete Columbia: Live At University Of Missouri 4/25/93; Legacy

Big Star is often referred to as every rock critic’s or record collector’s favorite band. This should hardly be perceived as an insult even though their three-album run in the early ’70s didn’t yield too much in sales or popularity. The power-pop trio have amassed something of a cult following over the years. In 1993, two student DJs form University of Missouri convinced Alex Chilton to reunite Big Star, along with members of The Posies, for a performance that has never been available for commercial release until now. The concert has been mastered at high resolution and contains five previously unreleased tracks from the show.


David Bowie, “TVC15”; Rhino

It’s hard to pick from such a massively rich repertoire, but “TVC15” ranks up there with some of the best David Bowie songs out there. Released to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the album it hails from, 1976’s seminal Station To Station, “TVC15” is being pressed with the Harry Maslen mix of “Wild Is The Wind” as the B-side. The release is rendered all the more commemorative given Bowie’s recent passing and this single release is a fitting tribute to a legendary artist.


Death Cab For Cutie, “Tractor Rape Chain”; Atlantic

By this point, it’s as if Death Cab For Cutie has been around forever, adorning the more tender moments of film soundtracks and personal mixtapes. Their contribution to Record Store Day this year is a 7” single that contains two unreleased live tracks recorded for SiriusXM. Most notably, one of these tracks is a cover of “Tractor Rape Chain” a lo-fi classic originally made famous by Guided By Voices.


Fleetwood Mac, (Alternative) Tusk; Rhino

Move over, Rumours. The true classic album of the Fleetwood Mac discography is its 1979 double LP follow-up, Tusk. Moving on from the drama that surrounded its predecessor, Tusk is a catalogue of all the different sounds that made Fleetwood Mac such a remarkable band, from the marching band stomp of its title track, to the fine-crafted adult contemporary pop of tracks like “Over And Over” and “Sara” to the more experimental leanings of “The Ledge” and “What Makes You Think You’re The One.” Record Store Day, partnered with Rhino, will be offering an alternative version of this classic release.


J Dilla, The Diary; Pay Jay

There have been multiple posthumous J Dilla releases over the years, but what makes The Diary special is that it consists entirely of vocal cuts. Dilla was mainly known for his instrumental hip-hop beats, utilizing a unique style that was epitomized on his swan song, Donuts. However, Dilla was a great rapper in his own right as evidenced by tracks like “The Introduction,” which incidentally is the first track off The Diary. The albums also features production credits from Madlib, Pete Rock, and many more.


Jay Reatard, Blood Visions; Fat Possom

The late, great Jay Reatard released Blood Visions just 10 years ago, though it hardly feels like that long. The collection of high-energy punk jams really does sound as fresh as it did in 2006. In true punk fashion, most of the songs clock in at under two-minutes resulting in an album that’s never boring yet always cohesive. The RSD release will be pressed on red vinyl and comes with a bonus 7″ of demos from the Blood Visions sessions.


Lil Wayne, Tha Carter II; Republic

The second installment in Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter series was the beginning of the emcee’s peak of critical acclaim. Boasting more impressive lyrics and unique flows than its predecessor, Tha Carter II made quite an impact in the rap scene. The album contains one of Weezy’s most endearing singles, “Fireman,” which contains an instantly recognizable sirens-blaring beat and an iconic hook to match it. Also available on Record Store Day is the original Tha Carter.


mewithoutYou, Ten Stories; Run For Cover

MewithoutYou’s most recent album Pale Horses was one of last year’s highlights, but 2012’s Ten Stories is also a real kicker. Originally conceived as a concept album about a traveling circus that suffers from a train crash in 19th century Montana, Aaron Weiss’ lyrics are as rich as ever with allegory and imagery. And the music itself is both tender and raucous—a perfect accompaniment to Weiss’ tales of woe and redemption. The Record Store Day reissue of Ten Stories features reimagined artwork and packaging.


Patti Smith, Horses Live Electric Lady Studios; Electric Lady

Last year, Electric Lady Studies announced the formation of a new record label, which would focus on limited edition vinyl releases. This is the first of these releases. Electric Lady Records partnered with Patti Smith for a live recorded performance of her 1975 debut album, Horses, which features her famous reimagining of Them’s “Gloria” as well as classic tracks like “Redondo Beach” and “Break It Up.” Smith hasn’t lost her performing chops in the 40 years since the album’s release, so this performance is sure to be something truly special.


Regina Spektor, Soviet Kitsch; Warner Bros.

With six albums under her belt, Regina Spektor’s third album and major label debut contains some of her finest work. On Soviet Kitsch, Spektor achieves a perfect balance of quirk and earnestness and blurs the line between the two. Years after its release, songs from the album have continued to be featured prominently in various soundtracks for movies like (500) Days Of Summer to television shows like Weeds. The RSD release also contains a bonus 45 RPM single of “Us.”


Sex Pistols, Never Mind The Bollocks… Here’s The Sex Pistols; Rhino

What more is there to say about the Sex Pistols’ debut album? Here’s a band that defies the very notion of being known as “classic.” They don’t get much radio airplay on the stations you might expect would to play them. They’re the only band to ever refuse acceptance into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Frontman John Lydon has kept himself busy with other projects throughout the years, but has seldom returned to engage with this formative punk rock album. All this makes this album’s appearance on the Record Store Day charter a real head-scratcher, but certainly not something to be overlooked.


The 13th Floor Elevators, “You’re Gonna Miss Me”; Charly

If The 13th Floor Elevators are often heralded as one of the first, if not the first, psychedelic rock groups, then that makes “You’re Gonna Miss Me” one of the first psychedelic rock songs. This classic tune celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and this 7” is the perfect commemoration. It contains the original B-side for the single, “Tried To Hide,” and features new artwork that depicts the design that originally decorated the bass drum of drummer John Ike Walton’s kit in the band.


The All-American Rejects, Move Along; Doghouse

It’s easy to forget, but the second album from The All-American Rejects was a big deal at the time of its release. It contains two of their biggest hits to date: “Dirty Little Secret” and “Move Along.” Throughout the album, the band is undoubtedly at the top of their game as the tracklist is saturated with pop-punk gems from the acoustic punch of “Stab My Back” to the orchestral ballad “It Ends Tonight.” The RSD release will be printed on clear vinyl with a red and black smoky swirl.


The Go! Team, Thunder Lightning Strike; Memphis Industries

In 2004, The Go! Team burst out onto the scene with a sample-heavy sound that could best be described as vibrant. Their debut album was universally hailed by critics on both sides of the pond, which is an impressive feat for an album that was produced in frontman Ian Parton’s parents’ garage. This Record Store Day, Thunder Lightning Strike will be available on vinyl for the first time since 2005.


Various Artists, The Guest Original Soundtrack; J-2 Music

One of the most memorable elements of Adam Wingard’s suspense thriller, The Guest, was its indebtedness to the cinematic styles of the ‘80s. This choice was especially felt in the soundtrack, which consists of a sampling of gothic synthpop from the ‘80s to modern day. Songs like Annie’s “Antonio (Berlin Breakdown Version)” really added a level of eeriness to the film but certainly stand on their own as well. The soundtrack also contains music by Clan Of Xymox, Gatekeeper, and Sisters Of Mercy.


15 More Must-Have Releases

Alanis Morissette – Demos 1994-1998

Best Coast – Late 20s

Buzzcocks – More Product in a Different Compilation

CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye Remix EP

Flaming Lips – Heady Nugs Vol II

Grateful Dead – Capitol Theater, Passaic NJ 4/25/77

Etta James – At Last

Madonna – Like A Virgin & Other Hits

Metz/Mission Of Burma – Good Not Great

Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Brooklyn Zoo”/”Shimmy Shimmy Ya”

Puscifer – V Is For Viagra

Ravi Shankar – In Hollywood, 1971

The Doors – Roadhouse Blues

The Thermals – “Hey You”

The Weepies – Say I Am You

Xiu Xiu – Xiu Xiu Plays The Music Of Twin Peaks