After COVID-19 pushed back the festivities twice this year, Record Store Day 2020 will be fragmented into three separate events starting this Saturday. The proposition surely has some vinyl hounds fretting the prospect of leaving the house not once but thrice.
But there’s an upside to this staggered version of the retail holiday, which will feature online listings for some stores. Collectors of varying degrees of music obsession can have triple the fun — attempting to regain some kind of semblance of normalcy in these most uncertain times (so long as they mask up, of course). Plus, as of now, organizers are still keeping on the current date for RSD Black Friday, which is scheduled for Nov. 27.
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The trilogy of RSD Drops (which were organized in this fashion in order to meet social-distancing guidelines) kicks off this Saturday, with the others set for Sept. 26 and Oct. 24. To mark the first installment, we rounded up 10 titles well worth masking up and waiting in line for as summer comes to a close.
Is This Real? Anniversary Edition: 1980 – 2020 (Jackpot Records)
Credit: Jackpot Records
Along with Daniel Johnston, the Vaselines and Frightwig, Oregon’s Wipers were an acclaimed group from the American rock underground given a ringing endorsement by Kurt Cobain. One of the better deep cuts in Nirvana’s vault is their fast and loose cover of “Return of the Rat” from the 1992 import-only EP Hormoaning (it was also featured on the Eight Songs for Greg Sage and the Wipers tribute album along with the Nirvana version of “D-7″). And 40 years later, the Wipers’ seminal debut LP, Is This Real?, remains a touchstone for garage rock hopefuls. So in honor of its anniversary, Jackpot Records is releasing the most definitive edition of the album, pressed on white wax and supplemented by a bonus 7-inch containing four-track demos and a vintage tour poster signed by Greg Sage himself.
We Call It Acieed (London)
Credit: London Records
England’s D-Mob (the brainchild of Staffordshire-born DJ Daniel Kojo Poku aka Dancin’ Danny D) revolutionized the sound of U.K. dance music with their 1988 single “We Call It Acieed.” The track, along with The KLF and 808 State, helped form the bedrock for the Acid House movement in England and was initially banned from the BBC for its drug references (despite Poku’s admittance to essentially being straight edge). It even hit No. 1 on the Billboard Dance charts in the States to boot, making it D-Mob’s second chart-topping club single in America alongside their smash hit “C’Mon and Get My Love,” which featured the crew’s true secret weapon: singer Cathy Dennis. This exclusive RSD reissue includes the iconic original track with the late, great Gary Haisman on lead vocals, along with four new remixes by Serge Santiago, Mall Grab, Rebuke and Nathan Micay. There are only 600 copies of this one, so make sure you get there early if you want to grab it before the resellers.
Live at Third Man Records (Third Man Records)
Credit: Third Man Records
The measure of promise in any song is how well it’s conveyed when pared down to acoustic tracks. During this secret show at Nashville’s Third Man Records, Billie Eilish and brother Finneas transform songs from her Grammy-dominating debut LP, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, proving their potential longevity beyond the walls of synths. The show, as with every set at Jack White’s Nashville and Detroit haunts, was cut direct to vinyl and now serves as the jewel of their RSD offerings, pressed on opaque blue vinyl with black paper sleeves and an exclusive poster.
Kiss My Blood: Live 1991 (Culture Factory)
Credit: Culture Factory
Iggy Pop’s Brick By Brick turned 30 this summer. With appearances by Slash and Kate Pierson, the album introduced the punk godfather to Generation X and remains a sentimental favorite in his catalog. This super-deluxe 3-LP/DVD set captures a particularly scorching show from the 1991 tour supporting Brick at the Olympia in Paris, where he delivers supercharged live versions of both Stooges faves (“Loose,” “No Fun,” “I Wanna Be Your Dog”) and the best songs from the recent album (“Neon Forest,” “Home,” “Candy”) in a recording taped right from the control board. This RSD, Kiss My Blood marks the album’s very first vinyl pressing.
The Atlantic Albums (Rhino)
The late John Prine’s entire recorded output is well worth digging into (speaking as someone in the throes of his unsung mid- to late ‘80s material). But to find the pure essence of the denim poetry that makes Prine the consummate American songwriter’s songwriter, this is the place to start. This special four-LP 180g boxed set containing remastered new editions of John Prine, Sweet Revenge, Diamonds in the Rough and Common Sense is limited to 2000 copies.
Mia Doi Todd
GEA (ORG Music)
For those aiming to dig deeper into L.A.’s priceless modern scene of future jazz/soul, Mia Doi Todd’s seventh studio album is worth your attention. GEA, originally released in 2008, finds the singer-songwriter worked closely with future Stones Throw all-stars Carlos Niño and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, renowned by jazz, hip-hop and classical tastemakers for their imaginative arrangements and in-demand orchestrations, testing the limits of their creativity with some of Todd’s finest compositions. Initially released in April to coincide with both RSD and Earth Day, this remastered vinyl edition was pressed on green vinyl, with a portion of the proceeds going to Carbonfund.org.
Tyler, The Creator
Cherry Bomb (Legacy Recordings)
From Rammellzee to Kool Keith to Madlib, rap music has enjoyed its fair share of avant-garde geniuses pushing the limits of hip-hop’s weirdness threshold. Released in 2015 with no advance hype, Tyler, The Creator’s fourth solo LP solidified his spot in the pantheon of outsider art in a most commercial medium. This Saturday, Cherry Bomb will be released on vinyl for the very first time courtesy of Legacy Recordings; an instrumental counterpart, a trip all on its own, delves deeper into the dynamic musicality of his production work.
Once Upon A Time: The Lost 1965 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance)
Most casual music fans might not know Bob James’ name. But if they ever watched Taxi or got down to rap smashes like N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Compton” or Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story,” they definitely heard the pianist’s scholarly approach to the Fender Rhodes. Once Upon A Time: The Lost 1965 New York Studio Sessions looks at the early years of James’s evolution, with compositions closer to his then-ESP-Disk imprint labelmates (Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman) than the butter-smooth stylings of his later work in the ’70s, ’80s, and beyond. This limited-edition 180-gram LP includes both standards and compositions performed with two different trios — one with bassist Larry Rockwell and drummer Robert (Cleve) Pozar, the other with bassist Bill Woods and drummer Omar Clay. The deluxe gatefold set coming out on RSD includes an extensive booklet of essays, a new interview with Bob James and a wealth of rare photos.
Double Live (Sub Pop)
Credit: Sub Pop
The best thing about catching Hamilton on Disney+ was that moment when Daveed Diggs first appears as French aristocrat Marquis de La Fayette and spits straight fire en Francais. But with his avant rap group clipping., Diggs and his production cohorts William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes create their own revisionist history where hip-hop was built on sampled beats from Throbbing Gristle rather than James Brown. This isn’t so much a live album as it is an audio collage of clipping.’s 2017 tour, sourced from sound material captured in bathrooms, hallways and foliage all around each venue the group played. It’s like one part Moondog and one part Divine Styler — a surreal experiment from the mind of the man who also played the kindly schoolteacher in Wonder. For hardcore fans only.
Wild Tchoupitoulas (Jackpot Records)
Credit: Jackpot Records
No hurricane could ever wash away the jubilation of the Wild Tchoupitoulas. The multi-cultural collective is derived from the Mardi Gras Indians, a council of local African American neighborhoods who dress up for Mardi Gras in Native American-inspired ceremonial apparel, led by the mighty George “Big Chief Jolly” Landry. This 1976 New Orleans funk masterpiece remains the quintessential soundtrack to Fat Tuesday 44 years later, thanks to the grooves thrown down by Landry’s family members in The Meters and the Neville Brothers. Pressed on Tchoupitoulas Blue wax, this staple of the Library of Congress National Recording Registry is available in a limited run of 1,500 copies via Jackpot Records.
Jazz at Midnite (Blue Note)
Credit: Blue Note
Originally released in 1982, Charlie Parker’s The Washington Concerts showcased the “Bird” flying high on his tenor, man, in both the big band and small ensemble formats across two concerts at the Howard Theatre in 1952 and 1953. And finally, Blue Note has done the good work of creating a release comprised exclusively of those little jams on Jazz at Midnite, where Parker gets down with all-stars like drummer Max Roach, guitarist Charlie Byrd and fellow bebop sax guru Zoot Sims. Featuring classic compositions like “Ornithology” and “Scrapple From the Apple,” Jazz at Midnite is pressed on dark blue vinyl and includes original liner notes from producer Bill Potts. The best Bird went economical on his ensembles, and there isn’t a better way to celebrate Parker’s upcoming centennial — which coincidentally happens to fall on Record Store Day — than hearing his tenor in full flight with a top quartet.
To see our running list of the top 100 greatest guitarists of all time, click here.