Posts Tagged ‘Record Store Day 2019’

Lou Reed - Ecstasy

“Ecstasy” is the eighteenth solo studio album by American musician Lou Reed, released in 2000. It is a concept album about Reed’s personal experiences with marriage and relationships and is his final rock album

Ecstasy is even more impressive. Dominated emotionally by dark songs about extreme sex and relationships gone sour, it will once again be linked to Anderson, even though many of its details diverge radically from what everyone knows about the couple’s life together — that they have no children, for instance. Resist the impulse to turn music into gossip and hear Ecstasy for what it is  a complex, musically gorgeous synthesis of the obsessions that powered Reed’s failed 1973 Berlin and his great marriage albums of the early Eighties, especially The Blue Mask.

Since happy love is much rarer in good art than it is in good lives, Twilight remains moderately miraculous — far from innocent of struggle and doubt, it’s nevertheless the most openhearted, sweet-tempered record Reed has ever put out there. It was only a moment, though, and on Ecstasy he says hello to his old demons. Masking profound rage with bitchy back talk, Reed’s romantic egotism has always doomed his personal and artistic commitments — he needs new sensations. But perhaps because he’s put in two decades as an attempted mensch, first with ex-wife Sylvia Morales and then with Anderson, his demons now sometimes seem more like daemons, geniuses, as on the passionately impenetrable title song, which is about a soul-shaking sexual adventure by or with a mythified someone who could be rough trade or a prominent New York performance artist. On the amazing “Mad,” Lou’s tirade after he’s caught cheating — “You said you’re out of town for the night/And I believed in you/I believed you” lays open the asshole he knows himself to be without apologizing for his base-line arrogance. And the impossible marriages of “Tatters” and “Baton Rouge,” both carefully fictionalized, are sketched with the kind of intimate incidental detail only appreciated by someone who has learned from experience how specific relationships are.

Add several paeans to the perverse — among them a hopeless declaration of sexual indenture and a moaned and shouted eighteen-minute noisefest, and three off-message changes of pace that include a slave’s freedom rant and an upliftingly spiritual closer — and the complexity of Reed’s conception should be clear. Words, however, are truly only half of it. Understandably, Reed’s old fascination with sadomasochistic transcendence puts off those who don’t swing that way at least a little. But the music on this record, its gorgeous part, could change that.

Together with his longtime guitarist Mike Rathke and the ever-more-fluid bassist Fernando Saunders, Reed has gradually adjusted his trademark minimalism toward a body-friendly responsiveness. The guitar hooks on “Mad” and “Ecstasy,” far less trebly and staccato than the Velvet Underground norm, render those demented statements rather beautiful — touching and vulnerable alongside hateful and proud. And while the timbre of Reed’s Sprechgesang will never again be as supple as in his moments of youthful lyricism, like “Pale Blue Eyes,” his sere thoughtfulness here is at least as tender — his perspective seems like mature understanding rather than neurotic distance. If rock is to be an art form — and, come on, it’s earned the option — best it should honor life’s physical reality as unmistakably as this music does. Let his fellow big shots respect him. Us guys’ll just give him R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Heavyweight Double LP reissue of Lou Reed’ s 18th and final (non-collaborative) solo rock album “Ecstasy”, Originally released in 2000.

Never let it be said that Lou Reed has lost the ability to surprise his audience; who would have thought that at the age of 58, on his first album of the new millennium, Reed would offer us an 18-minute guitar distortion workout with lyrics abut kinky sex, dangerous drugs, and (here’s the surprise) imagining what it would be like to be a possum? For the most part, Ecstasy finds Reed obsessed with love and sex, though (as you might expect) his take on romance is hardly rosy (“Paranoia Key of E,” “Mad,” and “Tatters” all document a relationship at the point of collapse, while “Baton Rouge” is an eccentric but moving elegy for a love that didn’t last) and Eros is usually messy (“White Prism”), obsessive (“Ecstasy”), or unhealthy and perverse (“Rock Minuet”). Reed genuinely seems to be stretching towards new lyrical and musical ground here, but while some of his experiments work, several pointedly do not, with the epic “Like a Possum” only the album’s most spectacular miscalculation. Still, Reed and producer Hal Wilner take some chances with the arrangements that pay off, particularly the subtle horn charts that dot several songs, and Reed‘s superb rhythm section (Fernando Saunders on bass and Tony “Thunder” Smith on drums) gives these songs a rock-solid foundation for the leader’s guitar workouts. As Reed and his band hit fifth gear on the album’s rousing closer, “Big Sky,” he once again proves that even his uneven works include a few songs you’ll certainly want to have in your collection — as long as they’re not about possums.

Track 4 from his eighteenth solo album “Ecstasy” released in 2000 copyright Sire Records. This album was his last solo release before his death in 2013. It was well received by critics as another strong album, some say his “masterpiece.” Written by Lou Reed and produced by Lou Reed & Hal Willner. RIP Lou & Don Alias. Featuring: Lou Reed – Lead vocals, lead & rhythm guitars, percussion on “White Prism” Mike Rathke – Lead & rhythm guitars Fernando Saunders – Bass & background vocals Tony “Thunder” smith – Drums, percussion & background vocals Special Guests: Don Alias – Percussion on “Ecstasy” Laurie Anderson – Electric Violin on “White Prism”, “Rouge” & Rock Minuet” Steven Bernstein – Trumpet & horn arrangements Doug Wieselman – Baritone & tenor saxes Paul Shapiro – Tenor sax Jane Scarpantoni – Cello

Record Store Day, the annual event celebrating independent music retailers, has announced special releases for Black Friday 2019.

Though separate from the traditional Record Store Day — which takes place in April — the Black Friday releases follow a similar theme of rare material usually available in limited quantities and almost exclusively on vinyl. This marks the ninth year organizers have unveiled Black Friday releases.

“Since 2010, the organizers of April’s worldwide celebration of the record store, Record Store Day, have worked to shift the perception of Black Friday as a mass-produced, low-as-you-can-go event,” declared the announcement’s press release. Organizers went on to note that Record Store Day Black Friday concentrates instead on “a list of special releases that highlight how great gifts from a record store can be, and celebrating the kick-off of the holiday rush at independently owned neighborhood businesses.”

Alice Cooper 'Billion Dollar Babies (Live)' LP + 7"

Alice Cooper, Billion Dollar Babies Live
Originally released on a deluxe edition of Alice Cooper’s bestselling 1973 album, this concert from Houston, Texas features live versions of “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “I’m Eighteen” plus a bonus 7″ featuring versions of “School’s Out” and “Under My Wheels” that were not on that aforementioned bonus disc. (6000 copies)

Alice Cooper, ‘Dragontown’

In 2001, Alice Cooper unleashed the 15th solo album of his career, ‘Dragontown.’ The release saw the singer embracing a heavier, more industrial-metal sound, while still maintaining the dramatic flair that made him a shock-rock legend. For Record Store Day Black Friday, ‘Dragontown’ will be made available as a limited-edition double LP on colored vinyl.

Bad Company, ‘Live at Red Rocks’

This live album captures Bad Company during a performance at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2016. The performance, which features Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes on guitar, was originally released as a CD/DVD set exclusive to Walmart stores. Here it receives a vinyl limited edition reissue for Record Store Day Black Friday, with only 1,500 copies available.

Cheap Trick, “Gimme Some Truth”

In a 2018 interview, Cheap Trick singer Robin Zander told UCR about his band’s cover of “Gimme Some Truth,” calling it a “great version” of the John Lennon classic. Here the track finally sees the light of day, featured on the A-Side of this limited-edition red vinyl 7” single. The B-Side is a live rendition of the holiday song “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day,” featuring a guest appearance by the song’s writer, ELO and Wizzard member Roy Wood.
Cheap Trick 'Are You Ready? Live 12/31/1979' 2xLP

Cheap Trick, ‘Are You Ready or Not? – Live 12/31/79’

Recorded on New Year’s Eve 1979, ‘Are You Ready or Not?’ finds Cheap Trick delivering an electrifying performance at the Forum in Los Angeles. The recording, released here for the first time ever, features mixes taken from the original multi-track masters. Classic songs like “I Want You to Want Me,” “Surrender” and “Dream Police” are featured in this double LP set, along with the band’s rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” as they welcomed the dawn of the ’80s.

DevoDevo Live 
Back in the ’80s, Warner Bros. Records pressed up a special series of “Music Show” albums sent to radio stations for one-time-only airings. Rhino will now release the first-ever commercial vinyl edition of Devo’s WB Music Show as Devo Live. (The set, excerpted on the DEV-O Live EP in 1981, was pressed on CD in 1999 by Rhino Handmade.) (4500 copies)

The Doors, Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
The group’s last ex-U.S. performance with the original line-up was first released in 2018, and now receives a debut release on vinyl. (11,000 copies)

Aretha FranklinThe Atlantic Singles Collection 1968
A sequel to last year’s singles box set, this volume replicates the four original singles The Queen Of Soul released 51 years ago, including “Sweet, Sweet Baby (Since You’ve Been Gone)” and “Think” – all in their original mono versions. (3000 copies)

Geddy Lee, My Favourite Headache
Available for the first time on vinyl, the sole solo album by Rush’s iconic bassist, first released in 2000. This pressing includes bonus instrumental versions of singles “Home On The Strange” and the title track, plus a special poster and download code. (5000 copies)

Dr John 'Babylon' LP

Dr John – Babylon

Get On Down reissue this unique record for Record Store Day Black Friday, which has not been repressed on vinyl in over 40 years. In keeping with the album’s hallucinogenic sound, it is presented on trippy splatter coloured vinyl,  After the release of debut record Gris-Gris, Dr. John found himself in a strange and awkward position. The US was deep into the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of Martin Luther KingJr. and Bobby Kennedy were fresh in the public memory. Much like Sly and The Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On, Dr. John’s follow-up album Babylon would be a reflection of the chaotic and tumultuous time that he was living in. He and band dove deeper into the voodoo-inflected psychedelic rock and R&B of Gris-Gris, while touching upon elements of free jazz and Captain Beefheart-style avant garde. As with his debut record, production was handled by the legendary Harold Battiste, and much of the same session personnel who performed on it returned for Babylon, including Plas Johnson on saxophone, Alvin Robinson on guitar, and backing vocals from Jessie Hill, Shirley Goodman, and Tami Lynn. Babylon stands out as one of Dr. John’s most overtly political albums, and is a singularly murky and darkly entrancing record in his discography. A psychedelic swamp of apocalyptic lyrical content, drunk, disorienting experimentation, and a fascinating entry into Dr. John’s catalogue well-worthy of his expansive legacy.

The Hold Steady 'Four On Ten' 10"

The Hold Steady Four on Ten

The Hold Steady Four on Ten is the final four songs from the digital singles released throughout the last two years that has never been on a physical format.

Nick Lowe & Wilco 'Cruel To Be Kind' 7"

Nick Lowe and Wilco – ‘Cruel to Be Kind’

Nick Lowe’s ‘Cruel to Be Kind’ was first released as a single in 1979 and, thanks to the hook-laden chorus and Lowe’s signature turn of phrase, has never left our ears since.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the power pop gem, Yep Roc is releasing a limited edition 45 single of ‘Cruel to Be Kind’ for Black Friday 2019. The A-side features the classic single and the B-side contains Nick Lowe & Wilco performing the track together in 2012.

The Nick Lowe & Wilco cover of ‘Cruel to Be Kind’ has never been previously available in any physical format. The 45 single arrives on green vinyl and contains a digital download for both songs. was first released as a single in 1979 and, thanks to the hook-laden chorus and Lowe’s signature turn of phrase, has never left our ears since.

The Monkees, Christmas Party Plus!

Last year’s Christmas Party was a fine epilogue to The Monkees’ story, featuring newly-recorded songs written by Andy Partridge and Rivers Cuomo and posthumous performances by Davy Jones (not to mention Peter Tork’s final work with the group before his passing last February). This double 7″ EP, pressed on green and red vinyl, includes two versions of the Partridge-penned “Unwrap You At Christmas” (a radio mix and the former XTC mastermind’s original demo, featuring vocals from his daughter Holly); a Spanish carol, “Riu Chiu,” performed on The Monkees TV show; and the original mix of the 1976 holiday single “Christmas Is My Time Of Year.” (5000 copies)

Pretenders, UK Singles 1979-1981

To commemorate 40 years since the Pretenders’ debut single, a cover of The Kinks’ “Stop Your Sobbing,” this box set assembles the band’s first eight singles as originally issued in England. Includes the hits “Brass In Pocket,” “Talk Of The Town” and “Message Of Love” plus non-album B-sides and a recreation of a rare 1981 flexidisc. (3500 copies)

Pearl Jam 'MTV Unplugged 3/16/92' LP

Pearl Jam –  MTV Unplugged

Previously Unreleased On Vinyl: Three days after completing their first American tour, Pearl Jam headed to New York to strip back songs from debut album Ten, well on its way to becoming one of 1992’s top rock albums. For the first time on vinyl, relive all seven songs featured in the MTV Unplugged broadcast, includingJeremy, Even Flow, Alive, Black and State Of Love and Trust.

Lou Reed 'The Raven' 3xLP

Lou Reed, The Raven

The debut vinyl issue (on three LPs) of what turned out to be Reed’s final solo rock album, a star-studded interpretation of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. Includes cameos by Laurie Anderson, David Bowie, Willem Dafoe and Steve Buscemi. (5000 copies)

Lou Reed’s 2003 album, and 19th solo album The Raven, is a concept album, recounting the short stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe. The album which features guest vocals from Laurie Anderson and David Bowie (amongst others) also includes different versions of two classic Lou Reed tracks – Perfect Day (originally released on his breakthrough album Transformer) and The Bed(originally released on his third studio album Berlin). This is the first time The Raven has been on vinyl.

U2 'Three' 12"

U2, ‘Three’

Originally released in 1979, ‘Three’ was the first commercial effort from U2. At the time, it was exclusively available in Ireland and quickly sold out the 1,000 copies of its initial run. As the name implies, the release featured three tracks: “Out of Control,” “Stories for Boys” and “Boy-Girl.” The former two would appear on the band’s 1980 debut album ‘Boy.’ All songs have been remastered for this special Record Store Day Black Friday reissue. Only 7000 copies will be released, each with an individual number.

On the heels of her triumphant Matador Records debut Turn Out the Lights and the critically acclaimed collaborative EP boygenius, JulienBaker returns with her first new solo recordings in 18 months, “Red Door” b/w “Conversation Piece,” available exclusively for Record Store Day 2019. The 7″ features the first studio recording of a fan favorite “Red Door”, previously only heard live, and a previously unreleased cut begun during the Turn Out the Lights sessions, “Red Door” is a lush and atmospheric track driven by Baker’s complex fingerpicking and a hint of slide guitar, her voice soaring as she pleads “set me on fire in the middle of the street / bend my knees, paint the concrete / the color of my bloody knuckles / pulling splinters form the chapel door.” A previously unreleased cut begun during the Turn Out the Lights sessions, Its flip side “Conversation Piece” is a meditation on loneliness, backed by delicate percussion and chiming guitars.

“Conversation Piece.” Julien Baker’ s Turn Out the Lights received glowing reviews across international press outlets and continues to sell steadily, nearing 40k equivalent albums in the U.S. boygenius’ s/t EP has reached 14k scans in its first three months on sale.

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Unless you’re a serious R.E.M. scholar, you’ve probably never heard of Bingo Hand Job, the fictitious name used by the Athens, Georgia alt-rock greats for a pair of secret acoustic gigs at a London club in the spring of 1991. Recorded just after the release of Out of Time, this official bootleg includes live takes on several highlights from that album (“Low,” “Half a World Away,” “Radio Song”) plus older classics like “Fall on Me,” “Perfect Circle” and “Swan Swan H.” It’s out on a two-LP edition of 3,000.

No witnesses of a Bingo Hand Job gig could be found. No recordings existed. Yet, when it was announced that the enigmatic band and some unusual friends would play London’ s 200-capacity club, The Borderline, on March 14th and 15th, 1991, tickets were quickly sold out, traded and re-sold at unreasonable prices. Who were these guys only known as The Doc, Raoul, Ophelia and Stinky (with friends Spanish Charlie, Conrad and Violet)? Legendary, colossal and now of mythical proportions, the second night – March 15th, 1991 – is finally and officially released for the very first, and only time! Released for the first time, fully authorised by Michael Stipe as “Stinky”, Peter Buck as “Raoul”, Mike Mills as “Ophelia”, Bill Berry as “The Doc”.With friends Spanish Charlie (Peter Holsapple), Conrad (Billy Bragg) and Violet (Robyn Hitchcock). A blistering hits-packed set, from “a band at the terrifying height of its popularity, caught in the spotlight between college rock integrity and Unplugged stardom.”

‘Stinky, Raoul, Ophelia & The Doc’ are coming to you real soon..R.E.M. will be featured in this year’s Record Store Day extravaganza with this 2LP release: ‘Bingo Hand Job: Live At The Borderline 1991’ which features the second of the 2 shows they did, on 15th March 1991.


Side A:
1. World Leader Pretend
2. Half A World Away
3. Fretless
4. The One I Love

Side B:
1. Jackson / Dallas
2. Disturbance At The Heron House
3. Belong
4. Low

Side C:
1. Love Is All Around
2. You Are The Everything
3. Swan Swan
4. Radio Song

Side D:
1. Perfect Circle
2. Endgame
3. Fall On Me
4. Get Up
5. Moon River.

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Months before Bob Dylan released “Blood On The Tracks” in early 1975, a small number of test pressings were circulated, consisting entirely of material from sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City. (Dylan re-recorded five of these tracks in Minneapolis for inclusion on the final album.) Those original records were soon bootlegged, and the alternate history of one of Dylan’s most acclaimed works was born.

This LP is an exact duplicate of the test pressing, containing unique mixes from the New York session available for the first time. Original New York Test Pressing • Months before Bob Dylan released Blood On The Tracks in early 1975, a small number of test pressings were circulated, consisting entirely of material from sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City. (Dylan re-recorded five of these tracks in Minneapolis for inclusion on the final album.) Those original records were soon bootlegged, and the alternate history of one of Dylan’s most acclaimed works was born. This LP is an exact duplicate of the test pressing, containing unique mixes from the New York session, available commercially for the first time

Side One:  1. Tangled Up In Blue 2. Simple Twist of Fate 3. You’re a Big Girl Now 4. Idiot Wind 5. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go Side Two:  1. Meet Me In The Morning 2. Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts 3. If You See Her, Say Hello 4. Shelter from the Storm 5. Buckets of Rain

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Record Store Day is quickly approaching and this Saturday brings goodness from Marty Willson-Piper, best known for his lengthy involvement with The Church and All About Eve and collaborations with Grace Slick, Aimee Mann, Susannah Hoffs and Linda Perry. This is a blue-tinged vinyl release (as a heavy-weight gatefold double LP) of his seminal album ‘Hanging Out In Heaven’. It includes 2 bonus tracks not included on the original edition – ‘Queen In Her Jeans’ and ‘Dressed Up As You’. Recorded around the same time, these were always intended for the vinyl version.


“At last, my fifth solo album, Hanging Out In Heaven, will be released through Schoolkids Records on Record Store Day. It’s been a long wait for one of my most well-received records. The album has new artwork and comes on blue double vinyl with two extra tracks. Recorded in sessions in L.A. and Sweden with the two added songs recorded in London, the album contains some of the most emotional and poignant songs I ever wrote,” says Marty Willson-Piper.

This album from Marty Willson-Piper follows up the success of last year’s Record Store Day vinyl release of ‘Spirit Level’ also via Schoolkids Records, which was originally released in 1992.

silver apples_oscillations

I have really been paying attention to the upcoming Record Store Day releases here and in the USA, amongst the various supposed ‘must-haves’ there’s is a 7”vinyl that does interest me.

The Silver Apples revisit their 1968 wonder ‘Oscillations’. ‘Oscillations’ 2019 is Simeon’s new studio recorded, upgraded and augmented version of the original classic track of the same name and reflects how he likes to play it live. Or as he says, ‘Mixing it Up’. The flip, or AA side is ‘The Edge of Wonder’ remixed by Andrew Weatherall.

Weatherall is a huge Silver Apples fan, so no surprise he wanted to do a remix. This was his favourite track of the last album, Clinging To A Dream. Here he lovingly works his magic on this extended remix.

This was the first track off of the Silver Apples debut LP released on Kapp Records back in 1968. Just listen to it and ponder how ahead of it’s time it was 43 years ago. Any one sitting in his bedroom right now with a Christmas morning casio keyboard owes a debt to this song, folks. In case you were wondering, that Simeon guy who wrote all these songs. Here is The Original……

It’s released by Enraptured.

10 Releases to Buy at Record Store Day 2019

The most important day of the whole year is upon us. Okay, so it’s not exactly but Record Store Day is the closest thing we have to a national holiday in the independent record store biz, and it’s happening this Saturday, April 13th. The annual event, now in its 12th year, brings together independent record stores across the country and always churns out a fantastic selection of exclusives, special releases, reissues and oddities. The 2019 menu includes everything from deluxe box sets and legacy reissues to indie deep cuts and limited edition 7” singles. We examined this year’s list here among the pictures of records on the rack are some choice gems for this handy shopping guide. Now get out there and buy some music from your local record store.



Aretha Franklin: The Atlantic Singles 1967 (Atlantic)
No one could belt it like Aretha Franklin, and her passing last year broke the hearts of music fans far and wide. Her new 7” vinyl boxset, The Atlantic Singles 1967, collects Franklin’s five singles from 1967, including some of her most jaw-dropping hits like “Respect,” “A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)” and “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You).” 

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Bob Dylan: Blood On The Tracks – Original New York Test Pressing (Legacy)
Blood On The Tracks is one classic record you should definitely own on vinyl, so what better time than Record Store Day to snag a copy? This particular edition, an exact replication of the test pressings that were printed a few months before the Dylan classic went wide and then later circulated and bootlegged, is hitting store shelves for the first time ever. So fire up your turntable, grab the tissues and give this classic breakup album some love.

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The Charlatans: Some Friendly (Beggars Banquet)
The Charlatans emerged at the height of the Madchester craze in the U.K., and their 1990 debut album, Some Friendly, blooms with groovy organ solos, fierce rhythms, ebullient guitars and harmonious vocals. Some Friendly has long been out of print and will receive a limited edition reissue by its original label Beggars Banquet.

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The Flaming Lips: King’s Mouth: Music and Songs(Rhino/Warner Bros.)
Fellow impatient Lips fans, listen up: Rock’s resident weirdos are releasing their 15th studio album, a follow-up to 2017’s Oczy Mlody, this summer, but we can hear it early thanks to Record Store Day. But don’t dillydally on your way to your favorite indie record shop: This pressing was restricted to a slim 3600 units, so you’ll probably be fighting for your copy. Yoshimi battles the crate diggers part 1.

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Jeff Buckley: In Transition (Legacy)
Jeff Buckley’s lone studio album and classic singer/songwriter staple Grace celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. In Transition features seven unreleased studio performances from his first session for Columbia Records in 1991, many of them early versions of Grace tracks, including “Mojo Pin” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

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Jeff Tweedy: Warmer (dBpm Records)
Last year, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy released Warm, his first solo original album to date, and he described its songs as “some of the most direct, personal and autobiographical that I’ve ever written.” His new LP, WARMER, includes 10 unreleased tracks from the Warm sessions, and since it’s a vinyl-only exclusive via dBpm Records, you’ll have to be quick.

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Julien Baker: “Red Door”/”Conversation Piece” (Matador)
With boygenius, her own solo work and the occasional additional side project, there’s no shortage of opportunities to purchase Julien Baker’s art. Here’s one more. The indie rock empress is back with her first new solo recordings since 2017’s Turn Out the Lights: two previously unreleased singles pressed on bright red vinyl the same color as my heart that skips a beat when I hear Baker’s earth-shattering lyrics. There should always be room for more Julien Baker in your record collection

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Ramones: Live at the Palladium (Rhino/Warner Bros.)
On New Year’s Eve in 1979, The Ramones performed at The Palladium in New York City, and the show was released for the first time on CD last year as part of their 40th anniversary deluxe edition of Road to Ruin. This concert will be released on vinyl for the first time as Live at the Palladium, and it features some of punk’s most influential tracks in their explosive live form like “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.” 

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Townes Van Zandt: The Best of Townes Van Zandt(Fat Possum Records)
There’s a few solid arguments against “best-of” assemblages (they’re just filler, moneymakers, end-of-career maneuvers to avoid selling out, etc., etc.), but every now and then, when the artist in question is no longer with us, I’ll happily throw my money at a legacy indulgence. And when the label is Fat Possum and the artist is Townes Van Zandt, the Texas troubadour who wrote some of the best folk and country songs ever, I’m even more keen to lay down some cash. If you’re a country fan with a record collection, you need a Townes Van Zandt on hand. Might as well make it one of the 2000 copies of this compilation being unleashed this weekend.

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Van Morrison: Astral Weeks (Rhino/Warner Bros.)
Astral Weeks gets cited as a seminal album as often as rain falls. It’s Van Morrison’s masterpiece and an undisputed classic among music fans. Four bonus tracks from the iconic album—“Beside You (Take 1),” “Madame George (Take 4),” “Ballerina (Long Version)” and “Slim Slow Rider (Long Version)”—were paired up and laid down on 10” vinyl for this Record Store Day exclusive. And there’s 9000 copies being let loose worldwide, so there’s a great chance you’ll go home with one if you so desire

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Real Gone Music has announced its offerings for the 2019 Record Store Day celebration, taking place at your local brick-and-mortar shop Saturday, April 13th, and they include a pair of rarities releases from two beloved bands,

BadfingerSo Fine–The Warner Bros. Rarities(2-LP Red Vinyl Edition) (2,000 copies)

Most folks point to Badfinger as the greatest power pop band of all time. But, with four accomplished songwriters in Tom Evans, Mike Gibbins, Pete Ham, and Joey Molland, and the creative assistance and imprimatur of The Beatles, Badfinger should have been bigger stars than they were. Their four albums for The Beatles’ Apple label get most of the attention, and understandably so, with hits like “Come and Get It,” “No Matter What,” “Day by Day,” and “Baby Blue.” But their subsequent two albums for Warner Bros. represent their true creative peak, reached even as the band–and the lives of the members of the band–fell apart.

In late 2018, Real Gone Music, together with Badfinger biographer Dan Matovina, took a fresh look at Badfinger’s brilliant but ill-fated Warner Bros. albums, Badfinger and Wish You Were Here. Not only did the two CD releases offer the first new remastering of the original albums since their maiden release on CD, but they also each boasted an extra album’s worth of unreleased bonus material featuring alternate mixes and newly-discovered songs. The releases caused a flurry of fresh interest in the band, and a furor among Badfinger fans, who to this day rank as some of the most passionate in all of rock and roll.

Now, exclusively for Record Store Day, Real Gone Music is bringing the previously unreleased material that premiered on its Badfinger CD releases to vinyl for the first time. Each disc on the 2-LP set, So Fine–The Warner Bros. Rarities, presents the alternate versions of the songs on each album in the order they originally appeared, followed by one previously unreleased song (in the case of Badfinger, “Love My Lady”; in the case of Wish You Were Here, “Queen of Darkness”). Along with piquant quotes from producer Chris Thomas, Matovina’s liner notes include for the first time track-by-track breakdowns of the differences between the alternate and original mixes.  John Golden has cut the lacquers for these releases at Golden Mastering.

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Already a tremendous star, 1969 was a year of change for Janis Joplin. Her legendary performance at Woodstock Festival came just weeks before the release of her first solo album, “I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!” Both that record and this live set, which is available on vinyl for the first time, pointed to the new, exciting direction her music would take and helped define an incredible moment in music history.

To celebrate 50 years since the Woodstock Festival , Legacy Recordings will release Janis Joplin’s full set from the iconic festival on vinyl for the first time.  Joplin had already had significant success by the time she performed there.  Her first albums had established her as one of the best in the psych-rock scene.  By 1969, she was changing directions with her first-ever solo effort, I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! which would arrive a few weeks after her performance.

Together, the album and the Woodstock set saw Joplin performing in full gear, but shifting toward soul and blues music, rather than the psychedelic fare that had brought her stardom.  Tracks like “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)” and her cover of The Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody” are soul-stirrers on the studio album, and at Woodstock, she imbued them with even more passion and intensity.  Already a tremendous star, 1969 was a year of change for Janis Joplin. Her legendary performance at Woodstock came just weeks before the release of her first solo album, I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! Both that record and this live set, available on vinyl for the first time on Record Store Day 2019, pointed to the new, exciting direction her music would take and helped define an incredible moment in music history.