Thursday, April 18, 2013

Top 5 Releases for Record Store Day

Now entering its sixth year, Record Store Day will have vinyl junkies across the globe searching for limited releases that only come once a year. This year the list has grown to over 300 titles, a colossal increase from 10 in 2008, and I'm here to help you navigate the waters.

Before we get into the list, let's go over some basics. All of the records listed on the official website will only be available on Saturday, April 20th, at participating stores. For the most part, 75% of these releases will sell out on Saturday, as most albums have very limited pressings.

Get there early. It's not uncommon for lines to start forming before the sun comes up and with stores getting maybe 3 copies of something, things go fast.

Not every store will get every item. In fact most stores will get shut out completely of items they requested. Two of my favorite shops in Chicago, Dave's Records & Saki, will post their complete list on Friday night, so make sure to check with your store.

Whether you get everything you want or not, remember to visit a couple of stores. You'd be surprised at how much is available in the afternoon after the dust settles. I'll be fighting for these guys...

The White Stripes - Elephant
It's a big year for re-issues and none are more important than this one. Jack White is this year's Official Record Store Day Ambassador and he is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Elephant with a double LP on colored vinyl. The first album comes on split Black and Red. The second will be on white. Oddly enough, this is one of the few releases that has not disclosed how many copies were made. Translation: If you see this, buy it. Immediately.

Phoenix - Entertainment
Yes, their new album will be out in less than a week. Yes, you've heard the song. But have you heard Entertainment in Korean? I'm not sure if that means they are singing their new single in Korean, or if it's a different version, but you'll only find it on this 7". Printed on grey vinyl and limited to 3000, curiosity has definitely gotten the best of me.

Sigur Rós - Agaetis Byrjun
If you've tried to find this record in the US, you've probably choked at the asking price. That's because it's never been available in the US and until now you'd have to buy an import pressing. Don't breathe a sigh of relief yet, they're going to make you work for it. The boys from Iceland have pressed 982 copies, clearly making this a real treasure while keeping the original pressing at a premium price. Seriously though, how great is Svefn-g-englar going to sound on vinyl?!?

The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready To Die
Quite possibly the greatest debut in hip-hop, this guy will be re-released through Rhino Records as a double LP on white vinyl. Very few hip-hop artists have participated in RSD, so act fast and show the community that this underrepresented genre can move units. Maybe next year we'll get Life After Death. Limited to 2850 copies.

Dave Matthews Band - Live Trax Volume 1
A quick search of "DMB Live Trax" would tell you that this concert recorded in Worcester, MA, in 1998 is the first of an ongoing series, originally released on CD in 2004. They are currently prepping Volume 25, but until now, they have never pressed a single vinyl copy. Given the popularity of the band and their rabid fan base, it's going to be by pure luck that you find one of the 500 boxed sets, pressed over 4 lps on blue vinyl. I guarantee this clears $1000 on ebay by Saturday night.

One sad update to report (and not updated on RSD's list)  is the delay in Mondo's pressing of the Drive Soundtrack. I was really looking forward to their very limited, very rad, double LP picture disc. A full explanation can be found here, along with some stunning, mouth-watering pictures.

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