It's the usual mix of unnecessary colored vinyl, crummy-sounding picture discs, and superfluous reissues of dollar-bin standards, counterbalanced by a blend of much-needed exhumations of great music otherwise lost to the sands of time and oh-my-lord-yes-I-absolutely-have-to-have-that curios. In other words, there's something for everyone.
If you don't want to buy new vinyl on Record Store Day, keep in mind that April 13's also the date of the next Night Owl Record Show, in which used record dealers congregate inside of a very crowded Eagles Lodge to sell all manner of vinyl treasures, from everyday bargains to the exceedingly rare (and priced accordingly). Be sure to save some of your RSD dollars for that.
Here are some of the reissues that've gotten us pretty excited for this upcoming Record Store Day. Hooray, capitalism!
Art Ensemble of Chicago: The Spiritual: Wild, evocative avant-garde jazz from 1969 featuring Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Moghostut, and no drummer.
Badfinger: So Fine—Warner Bros. Rarities. Presumably non-album tracks from the era of the 1974 self-titled album and 1975's Wish You Were Here.
David Bowie: The World of David Bowie. A compilation of some of his pre-fame stuff, including the vital "Let Me Sleep Beside You."
Complesso Strumentale Italiano, Giulio Confalconieri: Dali in Venice. Soundtrack for Salvador Dali's 1961 stage performance of Scarlatti's The Spanish Lady and the Roman Cavalier. I've read a little about this and still have no idea what actually might sound like, other than to say: It will be weird.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Four Way Street (Expanded Edition). Including Neil Young's acoustic medley of "The Loner," "Cinnamon Girl," and "Down by the River."
Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks (Original New York Test Pressing). Featuring the first version of the 1975 album, with alternate takes found on the recent More Blood, More Tracks box set.
Bill Evans: Evans in England. A previously unreleased live recording of Evans in 1969 performing at the legendary London jazz club Ronnie Scott's, with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell.
Aretha Franklin: The Atlantic Singles 1967. A box set of 7-inches from Franklin's breakthrough year.
Peter Gabriel: Rated PG. A round-up of several of Gabriel's contributions to movie soundtracks throughout the years, several of which have never appeared on his own albums.
Golden Earring: Moontan. Original copies of this 1973 album, featuring "Radar Love," are pretty easy to find, but this album is DOPE and more people should listen to it. "Are You Receiving Me?" is a jam for all times.
Gong: Live 1973 Bataclan. First issued in 1989, this is a disorienting document of French prog weirdness.
Green River: Live at the Tropicana 1984. The precursor band to Mudhoney and Pearl Jam, performing in Olympia in 1984. From Portland label/record store Jackpot Records.
Griot Galaxy: Kins. Jack White's Third Man Records is usually up to some bullshit on RSD. This year they've joined forces with Crosley to make a three-inch record player and are releasing a set of White Stripes three-inch records. These things will only be for sale in Detroit and Nashville, which is fine, because they're dumb and a waste of money. BUT Third Man is also reissuing the ultra-rare 1982 debut from Detroit avant-garde jazz outfit Griot Galaxy, memorializing some unique and overlooked music, so all is forgiven.
Groundhogs: Thank Christ for the Bomb. The English heavy rock band's excellent third album, from 1970, released in two editions, a "private press" version and a double disc "major edition" with radio sessions and live tracks.
Elton John: Live from Moscow. A 1979 concert, from John's tour of the USSR, when he was the first Western rock star to perform in the Soviet Union.
Albert King: Born Under a Bad Sign. If you only own 10 blues albums, this needs to be one of them.
Fela Kuti & Roy Ayers: Music of Many Colours. A reissue of their 1980 collaborative album.
Van Morrison: The Alternative Astral Weeks. A 10-inch of alternate takes from the whirlwind 48-hour session that resulted in one of the most magnificent albums ever recorded.
Andrew Oldham Orchestra: The Rolling Stones Songbook. Drippy orchestral versions of Stones tunes, "arranged" by their manager at the time. This is where the sample from the Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" came from.
Pink Floyd: A Saucerful of Secrets (mono). The rare mono mix of the Floyd's second album. The mono version of Piper at the Gates of Dawn was one of the highlights of last year's Record Store Day.
Iggy Pop: Hippodrome - Paris 1977. David Bowie was the keyboard player in Iggy's live band around this time, although it doesn't look like he's on this one.
Procol Harum: Procol Harum (50th Anniversary American Edition). Hopefully this will be a proper mono version of Procol Harum's first album; most US copies were in horrible-sounding fake stereo. It also may be a good chance to score "Homburg," their terrific follow-up single to "A Whiter Shade of Pale" that only appears on greatest-hits albums.
Otis Redding with Booker T. & the M.G.s and the Mar-Keys: Just Do It One More Time! A reissue of Redding's historic live set from 1967's Monterey Pop festival, now with Booker T. & the M.G.'s set on the flipside instead of Jimi Hendrix's, as it was originally issued.
Robyn: Body Talk. Do you have this on vinyl? Here's your chance.
Cecil Taylor: The Great Paris Concert. A 1966 band performance, issued over the years under various titles, including Student Studies.
The Troggs: Athens Andover. Apparently, the seminal '60s British trash-rock band responsible for "Wild Thing" recorded an album in 1992 with REM. I've never heard of this!
Various Artists: Boy Meets Girl: Classic Stax Duets. Two discs of pure audio nirvana.
Various Artists: Brazil Classics 1, 2, 3. Compiling David Byrne's three vital collections of Brazilian music, from tropicalia to bossa nova to MPB and everything in between.
Various Artists: New Jack City original soundtrack. Perhaps the only album ever created in which 2 Live Crew and Color Me Badd share real estate.
Various Artists: Poppies: Assorted Finery from the First Psychedelic Age. Late '60s curios and classics, all perfumed with the heady tinge of incense and peppermints.
Various Artists: Boombox 45 Box Set - Early Independent Hip Hop, Electro and Disco Rap 1979-83. Featuring jams from Lady B, Majestics, Manujothi, PeeWee Mel, Barry B, and more.
Various Artists: Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets Highlights. No track listing yet, but part of Rhino's solid, sprawling Nuggets series.
Wipers: Alien Boy EP. Four songs from 1980 by one of the three best Portland bands of all time (the others being Dead Moon and Richmond Fontaine). A crucial document of Portland music, reissued by Jackpot.
Yes: Yes. Their debut album from 1969. Before the 25-minute prog epics, Yes was an adventurous cover band that turned familiar songs by the Beatles, the Byrds, and Buffalo Springfield inside out. Their early originals are pretty good too. No idea why this is being reissued, though.
Goo Goo Dolls: Topography 5-LP box set. Just kidding.
Pinkfong: Baby Shark 7-inch picture disc. Fucking kill me.