With record sales on a rampant increase — rising to a 26 percent increase as well as outstripping digital sales according to Consequence of Sound, an online music blog — audiophiles are rejoicing with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day on Saturday, April 22. Established as a day to celebrate everything records and small businesses of the music variety, RSD stands as a hallmark of purchasing exclusive, rare and unreleased material that otherwise would be unavailable to the general public.
This year, just as in previous year’s with Metallica, Iggy Pop and Chuck D, RSD has found its ambassador in St. Vincent, one of the most prolific indie rock veterans who has been known for her previous eccentric RSD releases.
“Being the ambassador of Record Store Day is meant to be fun and a little silly, and I think it’s fantastic that we’re celebrating this year with a woman who can be both those things while being a respected musician and record store regular as well,” said Carrie Colliton, RSD co-founder, on St. Vincent.
As I’ve done with the previous few record store days, I will attempt to decodify the list of over 120 titles, picking the top five must own records on the list as well as some great honorable mentions, specifically ones I’ll be on the lookout for. If you find yourself looking for a place to go, I highly recommend heading to Johnny’s Records in Darien, but be wary, lines are expected to wrap around the block.
1) David Bowie — “Cracked Actors (Live Los Angeles ‘74)” (3x LP)
Though I placed Bowie as my number one release from last year’s RSD, the Diamond Dog has earned a spot at number one for a second year in a row with this cut from his 1974 performance while touring behind his “Diamond Dogs” release. Packed to the brim with hits including “Suffragette City,” “Rebel Rebel” and “Space Oddity,” this previously unreleased live album showcases the sheer brilliance of Bowie’s live persona and the transformation of a man to a glorified cultural icon.
2) The Notorious B.I.G — “Born Again” (2x LP)
The world has not been the same since Biggie left in 1997, but he left behind a legacy of music and transformed the East Coast hip hop scene, including this reissue of the 1999 release that has been out of production since its initial run. Commemorating the twentieth anniversary of his death, this record stands as a monument to Biggie’s success and represents a legion of fans that still honor his mythos.
3) Big Thief — “Mythological Beauty” (7” Vinyl)
I absolutely adore folk music and I personally believe that Big Thief is one of the hottest rising folk musicians on the market, and what better way to celebrate this talent than an extremely limited (only 700 copies will be pressed worldwide) yellow piece of vinyl featuring two new songs. If you find yourself browsing and come across this record, I cannot stress that you take it and run the other way.
4) “Space Jam: Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture” (2x LP)
Holy 90’s Batman, if this isn’t the coolest RSD release in recent memory, I really have no idea what is. Featuring songs from the 1996 classic featuring the Toon Squad and Air Jordan, these two records will have your turntable running nonstop with the amount of nostalgia packed into this highly necessary piece of vinyl.
5) Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band — “Hammersmith Odeon London ‘75” (4x LP)
More than 40 years after his first international show, The Boss is opening his expansive archive and offering a box set for the ages, highlighting Springsteen at his finest — three months after the release of his monumental album “Born to Run.” Known for his off-the-top energetic performances, this set of wax only exemplifies how much of a boss The Boss is.
Prince — “Sign O The Times,” “I Wish You Heaven,” “Partyman,” “Pop Life,” “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man,” “Batdance” (12” Vinyl) “Little Red Corvette”/ “1999” (7” Picture Disc)
Dave Matthews Band — “Live at Red Rocks” (4x LP)
Pink Floyd — “London 1966 – 1967” (12” Picture Disc), “Interstellar Overdrive (12” Vinyl)
The War on Drugs — “Thinking of a Place” (12” Vinyl)
The Cure — “Greatest Hits,” “Greatest Hits Acoustic” (2x LP Picture Disc)
Peter Tosh — “Legalize It!” (LP)
Moe. — “Live From San Francisco” (2x LP)
The Smiths — “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” (7” Vinyl)
Iggy Pop — “Post Pop Depression: Live at Royal Albert Hall” (3x LP)
Sharon Jones with The E. L. Fields Gospel Wonders — “Heaven Bound” b/w “Key To The Kingdom” (7” Vinyl)