For people who truly love music and still appreciate the physical form of such, Record Store Day is the holiday that they not only look forward to, but spend time preparing for. When April comes around, I start planning for two things: my birthday and Record Store Day. (In my opinion, they are most definitely on par with each other when it comes to importance and celebration.) I begin to map out what local stores I plan on hitting, what specialty albums I plan on collecting, and what records I might need to replace after a whole year of being on rotation.
The curators of Record Store Day release a specific list each year containing the titles of all of the singles, re-releases, and exclusive records that only your local record stores will begin carrying on April 21. And let me tell you, they’re exclusive for a reason. Sure, there are a couple of hundred albums to be sought after this year, but only a handful to actually be bought due to limited quantities being pressed. Although the full list of records can be found on the Record Store Day website, here are some of the albums that cannot be passed up when out collecting vinyl this year.
David Bowie: Welcome to the Blackout (Live in London ‘78) [RSD Exclusive Release)
Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke, Aladdin Sane; whatever you call him, David Bowie is still a talented and groundbreaking visionary, musician and icon. He is such a fantastic artist and legendary performer that Record Store Day has six different records of his being released this year. If you’re like me and plan on trying to purchase all six of them, then that’s great. But, if you’re contemplating just grabbing one or two, please let this album be one of them. The 3LP set comes in a newly designed tri-fold sleeve with never before seen photos from the Earl Court, London show in 1978. Not to mention that these live recordings were mixed in 1979 by Bowie himself (with the help of the late producer, David Richards).
Lil Uzi Vert: The Perfect Luv Tape [RSD Exclusive Release]
Lil Uzi Vert is not just a pretty face who puts out good music — he’s pretty face who puts out good music on pretty vinyl! All jokes aside, Uzi’s fourth mixtape, The Perfect Luv Tape, came out almost two years ago and it is still (arguably) his best. The 10-track album peaked at No. 55 on the Billboard Top 200 and has been certified gold — and it is barely over 30 minutes long! If you don’t know the Philadelphia rapper, you should. He cites some of his biggest inspirations to be everyone from Lil Wayne and Pharrell to Marilyn Manson and Hayley Williams from Paramore; making his style of rap just a little bit different than anyone else’s.
Fidlar: Fidlar [RSD Exclusive Release]
If you are looking for a band that sounds a bit like garage rock meshing with surf rock meeting punk rock and coming out of Southern California, Fidlar is the band for you. They’re fun, loud, rambunctious and as down to earth as you can get. Their music is bound to make you want to dance, bang your head and just get up and move in some way possible…hence why their live shows sell-out so quickly. This album was their debut and it truly helped them make their mark on more than just the West Coast music scene. The record is made up of 14 songs, which means 14 reasons to buy this album on April 21.
The Cure: Mixed Up [RSD Exclusive Release]
Robert Smith remastered this album himself specifically for this year’s Record Store Day. He took his time to remaster Mixed Up because it is one of his most prized albums due to the creativity of the remixed versions of his iconic tracks, of which deserves to be heard on vinyl by his biggest fans. Because of that, there are only 7,750 pressings of this to be sold worldwide, making it one of the more limited releases. The double LP picture disc set is the 1990 remix, featuring tracks such as the remixed “Pictures of You” that are almost as exclusive as this album is on vinyl.
The Who: The Kids Are Alright [RSD First Release]
Can’t you just picture the Union Jack blanket flanked over a curled up Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon? The Who’s rockumentary and its soundtrack, The Kids Are Alright, included some of the greatest and most iconic English rock songs of its time (and possibly ever), and the cover art for them is just as memorable. Therefore, you should not hesitate in picking up the historical album when you catch a glimpse of that blanket over those four, young rock stars. Songs like “My Generation,” “Pinball Wizard,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” grace the newly restored records — printed on heavyweight red and blue vinyl, might I add.
Led Zeppelin: Friends / Rock and Roll [RSD Special Release] (Melanie Wedemeier)
Groundbreaking, innovative and influential, rock ‘n’ roll titans Led Zeppelin continue to dominate the music scene worldwide. Featuring two unreleased mixes produced by Jimmy Page, this limited edition vinyl is bound to go fast — including a Sunset Sound Mix of “Rock and Roll” and “Friends”, giving them a softer, unique sound. Aesthetically pleasing as well, this 7” vinyl is yellow featuring a “large hole and shaped adaptor” — a classic style. Adding to their well over 200 million albums sold worldwide, Friends / Rock and Roll will continue to endure Led Zeppelin’s enormous reputation.
Flume: Flume [RSD Special Release] (Melanie Wedemeier)
In celebration of record label Mom+Pop’s 10 year anniversary, debut album Flume will be re-issued. Grammy-winning Harley Edward Streten (Flume), debuts his ability to create dance music fit for any atmosphere on Flume. Featuring key titles that epitomize the Australian beat-maker’s blush house and R&B sound, this re-issue is truly unique. Rich in guest vocalists and electronic beats, Flume is any house or dance enthusiast’s go-to album. Re-issued on a picture disc, the vinyl also comes with a 10 year commemorative Mom+Pop poster, along with collectable temporary tattoos (something I definitely would not want to skip out on).
The Notorious BIG: Juicy [RSD Special Release] (Melanie Wedemeier)
East Coast hip-hop star, the Notorious B.I.G., is back on vinyl. The rapper’s mega-hit, “Juicy”, is being reissued for the first time since 1994 on a clear/black marble swirl effect vinyl — something not to miss out on. Going from a Brooklyn street hustler to an icon of hip-hop culture, Biggie Smalls depicted the struggles and violence of inner city America on his records. Illustrating the many obstacles he faced trying to survive pre-stardom, “Juicy” is a track of hope for all, daring listeners to fiercely chase their dreams. With a worldwide run of 9000 being issued, you don’t want to miss out.