This weekend, Record Store Day begins the second RSD Drops. On Sept. 26, collectors can frequent participating stores for the limited-edition vinyl releases to spruce up both their collections and their hearing. It’s the second of three RSD events in an effort to minimize crowding and social distancing concerns in stores. Not to mention the long lines for music fans waiting to get their hands on a desired slab of wax.
You can see what’s being released over at the official Record Store Day website. Here’s our list of some of the coolest, classic and collectible titles you should consider acquiring this weekend. Stay safe in line and please wear a mask. Supporting your local record stores shows a commitment to your town’s music scene. Enjoy the day and the music.
Badflower – “The Jester”/“Everybody Wants To Rule The World”
Badflower, the L.A. band led by Josh Katz, have their poignant track “The Jester” pressed on a 12-inch RSD-exclusive picture disc. The flipside is a cover of Tears For Fears’ 1985 hit, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” which was originally broadcast on SiriusXM’s Octane channel in 2018.
Bayside – “Heaven”
Bayside are marking their 20th anniversary with a limited-edition orange-vinyl seven-inch single of “Heaven” from their stellar 2019 LP, Interrobang. We gotta admit, when frontman Anthony Raneri sings, “Let’s sneak into heaven/Are you coming or not?,” we feel a little better about the world. The flipside includes a previously unreleased acoustic version, and the pressing run is limited to 1,500 copies.
Death Piggy – Welcome To The Record
The mighty GWAR recently had their legendary release Scumdogs Of The Universe reissued in box set form for its 30th anniversary. But the discerning old-school GWAR-heads know about Death Piggy, the uncomfortable art-punk outfit Dave Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus) was in prior to forming GWAR. Welcome To The Record is a compilation of the three EPs the band released along with some previously unreleased tracks, all remastered and pressed up on 180-gram green vinyl. The package comes with a download for the album that also includes a 20-minute set of the band doing an acoustic set somewhere on the streets of Richmond, Virginia. (One of the selections is titled “Jingle Bells/Leprosy.”)
The Gun Club – Live In London 1983
Nobody has melded the blues anguish, country desolation and punk abandon the way Gun Club founder Jeffrey Lee Pierce did. This recording from The Lyceum in London captures Pierce wavering between the polar opposites of psychically wounded and eternally feral. This former bootleg release is now sanctioned by Pierce’s estate. If you’re unfamiliar with Pierce and his band, do some streaming and then check this out to hear what most of us missed.
Hunny – Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
California’s Hunny had achieved a sizable audience via streaming services prior to signing with Epitaph Records. The new-wave/alt-rock quartet have their label debut rendered in a sweet blue vinyl pressing. If you haven’t experienced Hunny’s melodic and lyrical charms, here’s a fine place for you and 999 of your friends to begin.
Ramones – It’s Alive 2
The Ramones, the keystone of American punk rock, finally have their 1979 live album released on vinyl in America for Record Store Day 2020. Recorded during the band’s 1977 British tour, this one captures their live experience in all its glory. Mixed by original producer/engineer Ed Stasium and spread across two 180-gram records, It’s Alive 2 is a slice of rock history. There’s only 8,000 of these pressed for the world. And when you consider how many fans and bands were moved by Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Marky, that number is really paltry. Don’t be the punk who missed out, mkay?
The Replacements – The Complete Inconcerated Live
Another legendary punk/alt-rock unit gets some Record Store Day love. Much has been said/written about the raucous rock of the Replacements that we simply can’t summarize here. The Complete Inconcerated Live is a three-LP set recorded at a 1989 University Of Wisconsin gig. That same year, several of these tracks were issued as a promotional-only CD mini-LP called Inconcerated. Rabid ’Mats fans can rejoice that now the whole show will be available for the first time. Less than 9,000 copies were pressed, so this might be Drop 2’s hotly desired piece.
Johnny Thunders & Wayne Kramer – Gang War!
A cool document from a vibrant yet doomed rock alliance. The New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders was a disciple of Wayne Kramer, the firebrand six-stringer from protopunk legends the MC5. After meeting at a Heartbreakers show in Detroit in 1979, the mutual admiration society formed a band, Gang War. They did some touring and recorded some demos but couldn’t get a record deal to keep them afloat. They never recorded a proper album and disbanded within a year. This limited-edition two-LP set consists of demo recordings and covers of MC5 and Thunders’ tracks. Gang War! reminds us how history can be both gratifying (this record release) and bittersweet (they never took off).
Various Artists – Nativity In Black
The idea of the tribute record is really cool. There’s nothing wrong with a bunch of bands getting together to pay homage to an influential artist. But when invites are given to bands who simply don’t belong, things get mired. Fortunately, Nativity In Black, the 1994 tribute to heavy music avatars Black Sabbath, doesn’t have that problem. You get 12 bands (including White Zombie, Faith No More, Type O Negative and the Ministry side project 1000 Homo DJs) throwing down for the most influential metal band in the world. And it was never released on vinyl in North America. Until this weekend, as a colored-vinyl, double-LP.
Various Artists – This Are Two Tone
If you love ska and you don’t own this record, you’re doing it all wrong. 2 Tone was the British record label responsible for pushing ska into the ears of the nascent punk and new-wave scenes. This Are Two Tone is the label’s first compilation, featuring crucial tracks from bands such as the Specials, Madness, the Selecter, the English Beat and more. This 40th anniversary reissue hasn’t been available on vinyl since its original 1983 release. This isn’t the only ska album you should own, but it’s damn close…