Check out 16 essential Record Store Day releases


On Saturday, we, the people, celebrate the tenth anniversary of Record Store Day, the day record stores and record labels come together to celebrate getting off your butt and going into the recorded material emporium of your choosing and spending that money on exclusive releases in stores on that day only. (Unless they don’t sell out; then you may see them again.)

Here are 10 releases that jumped out at us (or are of special interest to Austin listeners).

No, this is not nearly all of them or all of the good ones (the full list can be found here). No, not every store will have every record. (A list of participating stores can be found here.)

Yes, getting all of them would set you back a lot of money.

But man, there’s a lot of spectacular music here.

David Bowie, “Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles ’74)” A previously unreleased live recording from September 1974, a transitional show between the Diamond Dogs tour and the Philly Dogs tour, the sci-fi glam god turning into the soul man who fell to Earth. Produced by David Bowie and mixed by Tony Visconti, over the course of three LPs.

 Vic Chesnutt, “West of Rome” The late, great songwriter’s second album, on vinyl for the first time. This version features a rejiggered track listing, two studio outtakes, four-track demos and live versions of songs from the same era. A deep dive into real-personhood at its most raw, broken and beautiful.
Steve Earle, Live at the Continental Club”  Two song 7″ featuring live versions of Waylon Jennings’ “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” and his own “Fixin To Die”.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, “Welcome to 1979”  One of the great Americana singer-songwriters of his era throws down six live cuts with his band on this 12″ EP.  Side A: 1. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (Jagger/Richards) 2. Storm Windows (Prine) 3. Heart on a String (Jackson/Buckins) Side B: 1. Atlantic City (Springsteen) 2. Sway (Jagger/Richards) 3. Never Gonna Change (Isbell)
 Robert Johnson, “The Complete Recordings” Here, have some roots of 20th century human expression. Not that most folks who are interested in this music don’t have it yet, but this is a pretty nice package, all 42 known recordings on three LPs.

Luna, “Penthouse Deluxe”  Remaster of this gorgeous album with a second LP of unreleased tracks, rare b-sides and demos, including an extended version of their “Marquee Moon”-style, guitar shimmer-jam “23 Minutes in Brussels.”

The Meters, “A Message from The Meters–The Complete Josie, Reprise & Warner Bros. Singles 1968-1977” Three LPs collecting 40 single sides of some of the greatest funk — no, make that the greatest music — ever recorded. Essential listening for all conscious humans.

 Ramones, ’76 – ’79 Singles Box  Speaking of music that changed the world, here are slices of perfect punk as they were meant to be heard, (seven-inch) black plastic discs going round and round and round and round. No word if this is some of the singles or all of them or what,but they will come in a cigarette-style outer box. which makes a nice paring with the Sex Pistols – “Anarchy In The UK –The UK & US Singles” The four original UK 7″s and one US 7″ presented in replicas of the original 1977 sleeves, housed in a singles box.

  Santana, “Live at The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 16, 1969” First time on wax for this legendary, career-making set. Peace and blessings to drum god Michael Shrieve.

Sun Ra, ” Janus”  Totally excellent compilation of five rare tracks from the Sun Ra Arkestra, drawing from tapes recorded between 1963 and 1970. A swell introduction to the man from Saturn.

UGK, “Too Hard to Swallow” The first album by Houston hip-hop legends Bun B and the late Pimp C gets the vinyl treatment for the first time in celebration of its 25th anniversary.

Various Artists, “Girls In The Garage – Oriental Special – Volume 9” Female-fronted garage pop from throughout 1960s Asia.

Various Artists, “Where The Pyramid Meets the Eye” Tribute compilations were all the rage in the early Nineties and this 1990 tribute to Roky Erickson remains one of the all-time best. Nearly every song is a keeper; personal faves include heartbreak of Bongwater’s “You Don’t Love Me Yet,” the space-frippery of Julian Cope’s “I Have Always Been Here Before” and Poi Dog Pondering’s “I Had to Tell You.” A double LP with three bonus tracks previously available only on the cassette.

The War On Drugs, “Thinking of a Place”  This two-part song, on 45 RPM over both sides of a 12″, is the first new music since 2014. from these gauzy guitar thinkers who absolutely do not sound like Arcade Fire, no way.

Link Wray, “Beans and Fatback” In 1969, eleven years and several lifetimes after his world-historical instrumental “Rumble,” whose twang and shudder was the very sound of 1950s at its seediest and make both power chords and distortion root integer of rock music, Link Wray (1929-2005)  found himself on his father’s farm in Maryland, the “3-Track Shack.” There, he, siblings and friends made three albums: “Link Wray,” “Mordicai Jones” and this one, “Beans and Fatback,” roots records that don’t quite sound like anything else: a blend of blues, country, gospel, Native American chants and folk that sounds like it could have been cut tomorrow. A dispatch from when the old, weird America was turning into something even stranger.












View Comments 0

%d bloggers like this: