Record Store Day is less than a month away, and vinyl fanatics like myself have been stoking our anticipation with the massive list of special releases being featured this year. Of course, it truly is a massive list, and since lines at record stores will almost certainly be even bigger, it’ll behoove all of us to have a game plan prior to fluffing our sleeping bags to camp out at the door. That’s why I decided to sit down – with input from Eden – and list what we believe to be the essential release from this year’s RSD; records that truly capture the essence of that “special release” vibe that the pseudo-holiday has built its reputation upon. This won’t be a comprehensive list by any means, and I encourage everyone to comment with the releases that you’re most looking forward to snagging next month. That being said, head past the jump to see the vinyl nerd in me gush about what RSD 2016 has to offer.
David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World
Format: 12″ Picture Disc // Label: Rhino // Quantity: 5000
Seeing a David Bowie release this year shouldn’t surprise anyone, given his exceptional swansong Blackstar and the tragic event that caused that status to exist. In fact, this reissue is one of three Bowie releases set for release on RSD, along with a 12″ collection of singles (I Dig Everything – The Pye Singles 1966) and a 7″ picture disc of the single “TVC15” from Station to Station. Given my personal preference for full-lengths, my endorsement falls on the picture disc edition of the excellent album The Man Who Sold the World, though I’d recommend any of these releases for Bowie fans and curious vinyl lovers alike.
John Coltrane – The Roulette Sides
Format: 10″ Vinyl; Black // Label: Rhino/Parlophone // Quantity: 4500
I’m an enormous John Coltrane fan; I haven’t heard a single record of his that I thought was less than exceptional. While I’m not familiar with his sessions with Roulette and don’t often buy 10″ records, this may give me an excuse to change both of these facts.
Miles Davis, Robert Glasper & Bilal – Ghetto Walkin’
Format: 12″ Vinyl // Label: Legacy // Quantity: 5000
Miles Davis is the the only jazz musician that ranks above Coltrane in my view, so seeing a Davis releases immediately grabbed my attention. While I was a bit turned off to see that this track would be available on a full-length release, it caused me to stop and celebrate the fact that there’s going to be a full album – titled Everything’s Beautiful – full of musicians paying tribute to the greatest jazz trumpeter of all time. I’d still recommend this release, though, as I have full faith that Robert Glasper and Bilal did “The Ghetto Walk” justice with their rendition.
J Dilla – The Diary
Format: 12″ Vinyl // Label: Pay Jay // Quantity: 4000
If you’ve heard Donuts and still remain a skeptic of instrumental hip-hop, then I honestly don’t know what to tell you. J Dilla remains one of the best producers in hip-hop, and though I’m not typically a fan of posthumous releases, it’s admittedly nice to see some of his unreleased material finally see the light of day. The Diary has been pegged as his “long lost vocal album,” and I’m interested to see what it will entail.
Metz/Mision of Burma – “Good Not Great” b/w “Get Off”
Format: 7″ Colored Vinyl; Starburst // Label: Sub Pop Records // Quantity: 4000
How fucking stoked must Metz be that Mission of Burma are covering one of their songs? I’m as lukewarm on collecting 7″ records as I am 10″ records, but this releases looks like yet another exception to my purchasing standards. With MoB bearing such legendary status and Metz being one of the most exciting current bands in noise rock and post-hardcore, this purchase should be a no-brainer for any fan of these genres.
Outkast – Elevators (Me & You)
Format: 10″ Colored Vinyl; Alien Green, Glow-In-the-Dark // Label: Legacy // Quantity: 5000
As much as everyone talks up Aquemini and Stankonia, my favorite Outkast record has always been ATLiens, and “Elevators” is a solid reason why. All of the remixes and instrumentals on this reissue don’t do much for me, but that fact that it glows-in-the-fucking-dark is definitely making me consider making another blow to my wallet on RSD.
Jay Reatard – Blood Visions 10th Anniversary
Format: 12″ Colored Vinyl; Red // Label: Fat Possum // Quantity: 2000
I’ve been wanting to get into Jay Reatard for a while now, and this may be a perfect excuse to finally dive into his discography. I honestly don’t know much about his music other than the fact it’s recommended highly, but if the blood-soaked cover is any indication, I’ll be in for a raucous treat.
Xiu Xiu – Xiu Xiu Plays the Music of Twin Peaks
Format: 12″ Colored Vinyl; Blue & Red // Label: Polyvinyl Records // Quantity: 2000
I’ve already laid out a heaping amount of written masturbation on this release, but I wouldn’t miss a chance to talk about it once again. Not only is this my only essential release of RSD, it’s also becoming one of my most anticipated releases of the year thus far. Don’t be surprised to see this placed highly on my year end list.
Circa Survive / Mewithoutyou – 7″ Split
Format: 7″ Vinyl // Label: Sumerian Records // Quantity: 2500
If you’re in the market for emotional, indie trappings this Record Store Day, look no further. Alongside the re-release of Ten Stories and ‘Rainbow Song”s new version on this split, mewithoutYou are bringing Circa Survive along for the ride, a long time absentee from the Record Store Day roster. Not much is known about their brand new track, now releasing through Sumerian Records, but they’re sure to have the unique tinge that the band have always stamped their music with. And look at that artwork; absolutely gorgeous. It’s always nice when bands use Record Store Day for new music between releases, supplementing a re-release with some fresh tunes. Especially when they do it with the help of some friends.
Deftones – B-Sides & Rarities
Format: 2 x LP // Label: Warner Bros./Reprise // Quantity: 3500
One of the most extensive releases this Record Store Day comes from Deftones. It’s also one of the most aptly timed, seeing as their new album is right around the corner. This includes a whooping twenty-five tracks of previously unpressed and unreleased material, making sure to coast you over until the new album is finally available.
Death – Vivus! : Dividium Live In Eindhoven
Format: 2 x LP // Label: Relapse Records // Quantity: 1000
This is, without a doubt, one of the most important releases this Record Store Day. We’re talking about a never before released show from Eindhoven circa 1998 by Death at their prime. This show is fabled since it was performed very close to the end of Death, before Schuldiner would move on to his other pursuits and his fatal encounter with cancer. It also has an amazing setlist, with tracks like “The Philosopher”, “Flesh and the Power It Holds”, “Pull the Plug” and more. A must have for any fan of this band and death metal in general.
Clutch – Mad Sidewinder/Outland Special Clearance
Format: 12″ Vinyl // Label: Weathermaker // Quantity: 3000
More Clutch is always a good thing. Considering the momentous amount of music, b-sides, rarities and bootleg that this band has released, it’s a wonder there’s anything still left. However, it appears that two tracks didn’t make it off of the editing room floor for their latest album, Psychic Warfare, but will now see the light of day this Record Store Day. Rejoice by drinking some bourbon.
Nevermore – The Politics Of Ecstasy 20 Year Anniversary Reissue
Format: 2 x LP // Label: Century Media // Quantity: 2000
The Politics of Ecstasy was one of the most important stepping stones in the golden age of progressive metal. In the 90’s, bands were rushing in to fill in the space created by the success of Dream Theater and Nevermore were one of the most successful, applying a darker, more metallic spin to the progressive metal sound. This album has been forgotten unfortunately but is still an excellent and surprisingly well aged release.