Record Store Day Picks – 1

Due to the global pandemic RSD 2020 was put on hold and re-designed so that instead of a single day there will be three ‘Drops’ over a period of three months begining in August. From a budgeting perspective this is actually rather advantageous and probabaly good for the stores as well, however, the majority of items will be on the first drop with the next two being mini drops really.

A full list of what is being released is available HERE but I am just going to talk about the records I’m interested in picking up. So, starting with August:

The Amorphous Androgynous – A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble

This is a project involving The Future Sound of London, who seem to always have something out for RSD recenty, and appear futher down. Not 100% on this one, it depends very much on the price.

Asha Puthli – Asha Puthli

I’ve been listening to this on Spotify and I really liked it so if I see a copy I will give serious consideration to picking it up.

The Cure – Bloodflowers

One to add to my very slowly expanding Cure collection. I think Disintergration was around where I stopped listening to new cure releases as much so anything after that is sort of new to me, which is nice.

Future Sound Of London – Cascade 2020

I already have the original 1993 release but this is a 2020 update, much as they previously did with Yage and My Kingdom.

Gary Numan with The Skaparis Orchestra – When the Sky Came Down (Live at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester)

I like GN and this seemed interesting, again, price will be the decider.

Gorillaz – D-Sides & G-Sides

So this is 2 albums and I’m on the fence, I suspect they will be £50 for the two, which is probabaly more than I want to pay.

Holger Czukay, Jaki Liebezeit, Jah Wobble – A Full Circle

If I see it and I have money left to spend then I’ll get it.

Ennio Morricone – Peur Sur La Ville OST

RSD Morricone releases have been very overpriced in my view, single albums being in the £38 range ( and then often discounted months later into the mid twenties, where thwy should have been in the first place).

Record Store Day 2019 – I went

I decided to go after all but not early. The first person arrived at 10 PM the night before apparently and it’s a small shop so it takes ages to get people in and back out the door. I eventually wandered in to town at lunch time, arriving at Seismic around 1 PM to stand in a queue about 10 deep for 15 minutes before getting in, which was nice.

I was only expecting to get 1 of the records I wanted, as I was arriving so late and that was the The Future Sound Of London release as they never seem to sell that well around here.

https://www.facebook.com/SEISMICRECORDS/

This is what I wrote before RSD, for comparison, if you can be bothered. And the pictures of Seismic are lifted from the facebook page they aren’t mine. Anyway, I found my first pick right away, and it was this:

In 1986 iconic group The Future Sound of London released the UK Top 40 chart album “Dead Cities”, from which came a track “Yage”. Such has been the interest in this masterpiece of electronica over the years that the guys have been back into the studio to revisit it. Here, on this limited edition, individually numbered LP press exclusively for 2019′ s Record Store Day comes the results. “Yage 2019” takes the core of the original and rebuilds it. All together there are eleven tracks reconstructions and interpretations, woven together (as FSOL do) into a 42 minute dreamscape journey across the 2 sides of vinyl. Only 1000 copies of this release will be pressed on vinyl.

Which is exactly what I was expecting to find, so that was good. £27, not so good for a single album, but these things are always expensive on RSD. I then immediately found this:

First Release on Vinyl . Limited Numbered Edition on Transparent Red Vinyl. Italian director Renato de Maria’ s 2009 crime drama La Prima Linea (The Front Line) takes us back to the late seventies and the home-grown Italian terrorist cell of the same name. Based on the real memoirs of a Prima Linea member, Sergio Segio (played by Riccardo Scamarcio) the militant underground organisation employs violence to achieve their political ends and ultimately to attempt to free Sergio’ s lover, Susanna, from prison.The beautiful and melancholic soundtrack is instantly recognisable as Max Richter’ s work, making its debut here on vinyl for Record Store Day. Richter is a respected composer in his own right, having accumulated a large fanbase for his studio albums (Memoryhouse, The Blue Notebooks and most recently, Sleep). He has also won multiple awards and nominations for his soundtracks including Waltz With Bashir, Lore, The Leftovers and most recently Mary Queen of Scots.To accompany this release, Silva Screen have pressed a limited edition of Max Richter’ s “The Leftovers” on Transparent Red Vinyl which is currently available.

Also on my list, so I’d got 2, which means the day is going much better than expected rather quickly. And then a third from my list was right there in a box on the floor at my feet:

The Fall is the fourth studio album by British virtual band Gorillaz. The album was officially announced on 20 December 2010 as a holiday gift to fans. The Fall was first released on 25 December 2010 to stream for free on the Gorillaz website, only available as a download for paying members of the band’ s Sub-Division club, a premium access campaign the band ran throughout 2010. The album features fewer guest artists than previous Gorillaz albums; collaborators include Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash and Bobby Womack. 1 x 140g 12″ colour tbc (It’s green) vinyl album for RSD 2019.

So I’m happy at this point but conscious that the cost is increasing every time I find something. Still, I got 3 and didn’t have to get up early so, on balance, all is good. Then I found these:

Soundtrack to a series of choreographed performances from the Iceland Dance Company, originally commissioned for Sigur Rós’ s Nordur og nidur festival at Christmas 2017. Choreographer Valdimar Johansson was granted access to unreleased Sigur Rós material, as well as multitracks of chosen songs from the band’ s catalogue, and personally created a score of high Nordic drama. “The best thing we’ ve done in ages,” said Jonsi on hearing Variations On Darkness for the first time. Vinyl exclusive to Record Store Day. Limited edition on black heavyweight 12″ vinyl. Spinned sleeve with printed with special inks.
Soundtrack to brand new dance work by leading Taiwanese choreographer Tsung-lung, being premiered in Taipei to coincide with Record Store Day. Cheng Tsung-Lung chose his favourite music from throughout Sigur Rós’ s career, which was then twisted, bent and broken, and finally added to in the band’ s Reykjavik studio to create a new perspective for the Cloud Gate dance company. Vinyl exclusive to Record Store Day. Limited edition on black heavyweight 12″ vinyl. Spinned sleeve with printed with special inks.

That was my budget blown, however, I had managed to obtain everything I set out to get with no real effort whatsoever. I didn’t even go to Head, the other record shop, because at this point I had no reason to. Then, somebody still queuing outside sent a question in to ask if the Olafur Arnalds album was still available, apparently it was and as it was 6th on my list if I could afford it (I couldn’t) I found it and got that as well (there was more than 1 copy so the guy outside would have got his). Then I stopped, because I knew there was more I could get and I really had completely blown my budget. But I was very, very happy to have everything I wanted.

Special Limited Edition of re:member – There are many elements that make this new exclusive edition of remember so special. Starting with the five different bespoke artworks – shipped at random across the globe – and including brand new never-heard-before recordings of Olafur’s incredible string quartet on a beautiful 7” LP. All of it inserted in a shiny PVC sleeve and available exclusively on this physical edition. This will truly be a collector’s item – try and find all 5 around the world! 

Stu, who runs Seismic, did a fantastic job under what are difficult circumstances for such a small space.

I almost bought the Suede album but it was just too expensive, £37 I think, but it was a triple. I was tempted by the Mighty Boosh as well.

All in all a good day.

Record Store Day 2019

On April 13th 2019 Record Store Day rolls around again. I found myself scrolling through the full alphabetical list of available releases hoping there was nothing there that I absolutely had to have, I got to F. Now there has to be something inherently wrong to be looking at a list of records and not wanting to find anything so I took a little time to consider why I felt this way, the answer was threefold:

1. Inconvenience – Last year I arrived in the early hours of the morning at the record store to find myself far back in the queue. I was there for several hours and didn’t get my top two picks (still don’t have them).

2. Expense – There are probably 20 albums on the list that I’d be happy to buy, That’s going to work out at between four to five hundred pounds, which I don’t have right now and is more than I’ve ever spent in 1 hit on records.

3. Disappointment – It’s inevitable. The one year I managed to pick up everything I was hoping for I had to resort to ebay and paid 3 times the list price, which I don’t plan on doing again.

This time I have 5 top picks, which are:

The Future Sound of London – Yage 2019

In 1986 iconic group The Future Sound of London released the UK Top 40 chart album “Dead Cities”, from which came a track “Yage”. Such has been the interest in this masterpiece of electronica over the years that the guys have been back into the studio to revisit it. Here, on this limited edition, individually numbered LP press exclusively for 2019′ s Record Store Day comes the results. “Yage 2019” takes the core of the original and rebuilds it. All together there are eleven tracks reconstructions and interpretations, woven together (as FSOL do) into a 42 minute dreamscape journey across the 2 sides of vinyl. Only 1000 copies of this release will be pressed on vinyl.

Gorillaz – The Fall

The Fall is the fourth studio album by British virtual band Gorillaz. The album was officially announced on 20 December 2010 as a holiday gift to fans. The Fall was first released on 25 December 2010 to stream for free on the Gorillaz website, only available as a download for paying members of the band’ s Sub-Division club, a premium access campaign the band ran throughout 2010. The album features fewer guest artists than previous Gorillaz albums; collaborators include Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash and Bobby Womack. 1 x 140g 12″ colour tbc vinyl album for RSD 2019.

Max Richter – La Prima Linea

First Release on Vinyl Limited Numbered Edition on Transparent Red Vinyl Italian director Renato de Maria’ s 2009 crime drama La Prima Linea (The Front Line) takes us back to the late seventies and the home-grown Italian terrorist cell of the same name. Based on the real memoirs of a Prima Linea member, Sergio Segio (played by Riccardo Scamarcio) the militant underground organisation employs violence to achieve their political ends and ultimately to attempt to free Sergio’ s lover, Susanna, from prison.The beautiful and melancholic soundtrack is instantly recognisable as Max Richter’ s work, making its debut here on vinyl for Record Store Day. Richter is a respected composer in his own right, having accumulated a large fanbase for his studio albums (Memoryhouse, The Blue Notebooks and most recently, Sleep). He has also won multiple awards and nominations for his soundtracks including Waltz With Bashir, Lore, The Leftovers and most recently Mary Queen of Scots.To accompany this release, Silva Screen have pressed a limited edition of Max Richter’ s “The Leftovers” on Transparent Red Vinyl which is currently available.

Sigur Rós – Variations on Darkness

Soundtrack to a series of choreographed performances from the Iceland Dance Company, originally commissioned for Sigur Rós’ s Nordur og nidur festival at Christmas 2017. Choreographer Valdimar Johansson was granted access to unreleased Sigur Rós material, as well as multitracks of chosen songs from the band’ s catalogue, and personally created a score of high Nordic drama. “The best thing we’ ve done in ages,” said Jonsi on hearing Variations On Darkness for the first time. Vinyl exclusive to Record Store Day. Limited edition on black heavyweight 12″ vinyl. Spinned sleeve with printed with special inks.

Sigur Rós – Lunar Halo 22″

Soundtrack to brand new dance work by leading Taiwanese choreographer Tsung-lung, being premiered in Taipei to coincide with Record Store Day. Cheng Tsung-Lung chose his favourite music from throughout Sigur Rós’ s career, which was then twisted, bent and broken, and finally added to in the band’ s Reykjavik studio to create a new perspective for the Cloud Gate dance company. Vinyl exclusive to Record Store Day. Limited edition on black heavyweight 12″ vinyl. Spinned sleeve with printed with special inks.

The List

Click to access rsd19-releases-printable-120319.pdf

RSD 2018

Arrived at the Record Shop at 6:15 to be about 80th in the queue, which was a few more than expected, but it could have been worse. Looks like less in the photo but I counted.

The shop lets 5 people in then it is one in, one out, so I’ll be a while yet.

Now 8:07, the shop opened at 8:00, I’m hopeful I’ll be inside by 9:00 but I just did the calculation in my head using an average of 10 minutes per person and it worked out at about 13 hours, which can’t be right, I bloody hope not anyway.

This is the pre-entry list, although I won’t be getting all of them even if they are still there:

Amorphous Androgynous, The – The Isness Abbey Rd Cut
Future Sound Of London, The – My Kingdom
Jónsi & Alex – All Animals
Mogwai – Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997)
Public Image Limited – Live At Brixton Academy 1986
S U R V I V E – RR7400
Sigur Rós – Liminal Remixes
Sigur Rós – Route One
Spiritualized – Fucked Up Inside
Sufjan Stevens – Mystery Of Love EP
Alex Sommers – Untitled

Further down we can see what I got, or didn’t. I also have a secondary list of things to get if none of the above are left or if it is still there at a later date:

Brian Eno with Kevin Shields – The Weight Of History / Only Once Away My Son
Cure, The – Torn Down
Cure, The (1) – Mixed Up – Deluxe Edition
David Bowie (2) – Now
David Bowie (3) – WTTB
David Sylvian – Dead Bees On A Cake
Ennio Morricone – Drammi Gotici
Ennio Morricone (1) – Autopsy [Original Soundtrack]
Madness – I Do Like To Be B-side The A-Side
Public Service Broadcasting – People Will Always Need Coal
Spacemen 3 – Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To
Tom Waits – Brawlers
Tom Waits (1) – Bastards
Tom Waits (2) – Bawlers
Various Artists (13) – Planet Terror – Original Soundtrack
Various Erased Tapes Artists – 1+1=X
Zero 7 – 7 x 7 

I eventually got in to the shop somewhere between 11 and 12, so that was a 5 hour queue at least, probably nearer 6, I’d lost the will to live by then, aching feet, legs and back at that point and I even thought of giving up at one point. Got into the store and there was a guy in there who went in 40 minutes before me, he had already bought his records but was just browsing around the non-RSD stuff. He was still in there when I left, which would be fine, if he hadn’t been outside complaining about how long everybody was taking beforehand. I think there were about 80 in the queue still when I left.

So what did I get? I almost got a Led Zeppelin 7″ but put it back as I refused to pay £15 for a 7″. I almost got the David Sylvian album, but I have a sneaky suspicion it will still be there in a few weeks time as there were several copies. I almost got the three Tom Waits albums, but I think it was a rip off as they were £30 each, £90 for all three, just seemed a bit much. Anyway, the list of what I decided to buy, oh, also, the bold items in the list above I saw there but chose not to buy.

Amorphous Androgynous, The – The Isness Abbey Rd Cut £30
Future Sound Of London, The – My Kingdom £30
Jónsi & Alex – All Animals £25
Mogwai – Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997) £24
S U R V I V E – RR7400 £22
Alex Sommers – Untitled £25

All of the above, which totals £156, were over priced, except the S U R V I V E album. I don’t blame the record shop for the pricing, they are adding their normal margin for these things. I was really disappointed to not get the two Sigur Ros releases but they would have caused me to go over £200 so there’s an upside.

Public Image, Sufjan Stevens & Sigur Ros had all gone, Spiritualized would have sent me way over the top of my budget so left it there as there were 7 or 8 copies.

Time to listen to this for the second time:

IMG_7501 2

Really very good.

Thats all for now.

 

RECORD STORE DAY 2018

The full list of UK Record Store Day releases has now been published and I have a problem, and that problem is what I would like from it, namely all these:

 

==> Amorphous Androgynous, The – The Isness Abbey Rd Cut
Format:
12″ 180g LP
Label:
Jumpin’ & Pumpin’ Records
More Info:
The now legendary ‘Abbey Road’ version of ‘the Isness’ was the originally conceived version before last minute wholesale changes resulted in new tracks , different mixes and/or edits appearing in a wholly different order for the commercial release of ‘the Isness ‘ in 2002 . The ‘Abbey Rd ‘ version had been initially promo’d to ecstatic reviews , receiving an unprecedented 6/5 stars from Mixmag ‘ it’s like a beam of white light from heaven’.

Brian Eno with Kevin Shields – The Weight Of History / Only Once Away My Son
Format:
12″ Vinyl
Label:
Opal
More Info:
2-track double A side 12 . The unexpected, fully welcome, and deliriously successful pairing of professional ex-glam sound genius Brian Eno and his new sidekick, My Bloody Valentine noise sculptor Kevin Shields. Begging to be listened to on noise-canceling headphones or very, very loud speakers, the duo blast off with a drum track that is instantly, almost comically subsumed into a nine-minute sound-cleanse of bells, drones, and a soaring rocket flare that may be a guitar. Ambient but hardly static, its tones and textures return throughout, as if tracing long and inaudibly developing melodies. Not immediately identifiable as either Eno or Shields’ work, a rich, enveloping piece of music – Pitchfork.

Cure, The – Torn Down
Format:
2LP
Label:
UMC/Polydor
More Info:
First time on vinyl for 16 new mixes by Robert Smith. Presented as a 2LP picture disc set in a die-cut gatefold sleeve with a download voucher.

Cure, The (1) – Mixed Up – Deluxe Edition
Format:
2LP
Label:
UMC/Polydor
More Info:
Robert Smith has remastered The Cure’s remix album from 1990. Now presented for the first time as double picture disc set in a gatefold sleeve with a download voucher.

David Bowie (2) – Now
Format:
1 x 180g 12″ White vinyl album
Label:
PLG UK Catalog
More Info:
The first commercial release of a rare 1977 US only compilation promotional only LP on white vinyl. The tracks are drawn from the Low and Heroes albums (all audio remastered from the A New Career In A New Town box set) and the package now features a newly designed inner sleeve with black and white images taken in Berlin in 1977 by Corrine Schwab.

David Bowie (3) – WTTB
Format:
3 x 180g 12″ Black vinyl album
Label:
PLG UK Catalog
More Info:
This previously unreleased 3 LP was recorded live at Earls Court, London on the 30th June and 1st July, 1978 by Tony Visconti and was mixed by David and David Richards at Mountain Studios, Montreux, 17th � 22nd January, 1979. The newly designed trifold sleeve features imagery by photographers Sukita and Chris Walter.

David Sylvian – Dead Bees On A Cake
Format:
2LP
Label:
UMC/Virgin EMI
More Info:
First time on white vinyl for David Sylvian’s album from 1999. Now expanded with the addition of 4 non-album tracks, The Scent of Magnolia , Albuquerque , Cover Me With Flowers and Aparna and Nimisha .

Ennio Morricone – Drammi Gotici
Format:
LP
Label:
Rustblade
More Info:
White vinyl. Ennio Morricone’s score to a RAI television mini-series of gothic horror, broadcast in 1978

Ennio Morricone (1) – Autopsy [Original Soundtrack]
Format:
Double 12″
Label:
Arrow Records
More Info:
The giallo thriller genre afforded Ennio Morricone the opportunity to push back musical boundaries and take his compositions into the outer realms of avant-garde experimentation. Armando Crispino’s 1975 horror masterpiece, Macchie Solari (commonly known as Autopsy) is undoubtedly one of the more grisly films of this genre and, responding to the heightened subject matter, Morricone ditched all but one conventionally melodious track in favour of a full-on atonal assault of wretched strings and hellish arias.Never-before released on vinyl, it is presented here on double translucent marbled orange 180 gram vinyl, with 350gsm gatefold sleeve. Newly mastered by James Plotkin with liner notes by Lovely Jon.

==> Future Sound Of London, The – My Kingdom
Format:
12″ 180g LP
Label:
Jumpin’ & Pumpin’ Records
More Info:
The Isness is a vast samplerdelic sonic galaxy where a huge range of instruments ( from sitars and numerous eastern instruments to flutes, banjos and conventional rock n roll instrumentation) and countless musicians are employed ,collaged and twisted using the studio as instrument ( much in the tradition and lineage of the Beatles and other 60s exponents) to form a startling new vision of cosmic space music and to redefine the possibilities of what ‘ the song ‘ could be in the new millennia with its by turn : cosmic , wildly surreal , absurdist lyrics on epic songs such as ‘ the Galaxial Pharmaceutical ‘ ‘ the Mello Hippo Disco Show ‘ ‘ Divinity ‘ and many others !

==> Jónsi & Alex – All Animals
Format:
LP
Label:
XL Recordings
More Info:

Madness – I Do Like To Be B-side The A-Side
Format:
LP
Label:
USM
More Info:
Fans of Madness have been requesting a vinyl release of their B-sides for some time now. ‘I Do Like To Be B-Side The A-Side’ contains the B-sides for the first eleven Madness 7 singles. Collated on a 12 LP on heavyweight black vinyl, the album’s packaging has been designed by long-time Madness collaborator Paul Agar and features a wonderfully surreal black and white image of the band on a diving board at a holiday camp, 1950s style. Tracks include ‘Madness’, ‘In The City’ and ‘Mistakes’.

==> Mogwai – Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997)
Format:
LP
Label:
Rock Action Records
More Info:
Ltd coloured vinyl repress of long out of print collection of Mogwai singles, b-sides and rarities.

==> Public Image Limited – Live At Brixton Academy 1986
Format:
2LP
Label:
UMC/Virgin EMI
More Info:
Previosuly unlreased on vinyl. The entire Brixton Academy concert from 1986.

Public Service Broadcasting – People Will Always Need Coal
Format:
12″
Label:
Play It Again Sam
More Info:

==> S U R V I V E – RR7400
Format:
LP
Label:
Relapse Records
More Info:
This is a one-press only, RSD exclusive release. This is a live-in-studio recording of S U R V I V E’s essential synth soundscapes, famous for the Netflix smash Stranger Things score.

==> Sigur Rós – Route One
Format:
LP
Label:
XL Recordings
More Info:

==> Sigur Rós (1) – Liminal Remixes
Format:
LP
Label:
XL Recordings
More Info:

==> Spacemen 3 – Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To
Format:
Double LP
Label:
Space Age Recordings
More Info:
Berry coloured heavyweight 180 gram vinyl double LP in a gatefold sleeve with new artwork layout. Re-mastered by John Rivers at Woodbine Studios especially for vinyl release.

==> Spiritualized – Fucked Up Inside
Format:
Single vinyl LP
Label:
Glass Records Redux
More Info:
Re-mastered by John Rivers at Woodbine Studios especially for vinyl release. Milky clear coloured heavyweight 180 gram vinyl LP in an embossed and hot foil finished sleeve

==> Sufjan Stevens – Mystery Of Love EP
Format:
10″ Transparent Vinyl
Label:
MOV
More Info:
10 featuring 3 new songs by singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens from the critically acclaimed movie Call Me By Your Name Exclusive for Record Store Day, only 5.000 individually numbered copies will be available worldwide

Tom Waits – Brawlers
Format:
Blue LP
Label:
Anti- Records
More Info:
Part of the Orphans collection, available on its own for the first time. Newly remastered. Exclusively for RSD on red vinyl

Tom Waits (1) – Bastards
Format:
Grey LP
Label:
Anti- Records
More Info:
Part of the Orphans collection, available on its own for the first time. Newly remastered. Exclusively for RSD on grey vinyl

Tom Waits (2) – Bawlers
Format:
Red LP
Label:
Anti- Records
More Info:
Part of the Orphans collection, available on its own for the first time. Newly remastered. Exclusively for RSD on blue vinyl

Various Artists (13) – Planet Terror – Original Soundtrack
Format:
LP
Label:
Varese Sarabande
More Info:
Planet Terror was part of a double feature film release between Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Planet Terror stars Rose McGowan, who sings on three tracks exclusive to this soundtrack. The majority of the score is composed by Robert Rodriguez with contributions from Graeme Revell, (The Crow, Sin City), Chingon and Nouvelle Vague. White Vinyl. No download code.

Various Erased Tapes Artists – 1+1=X
Format:
3xLP Box Set
Label:
Erased Tapes
More Info:
Produced by label curator Robert Raths, 1+1=X sees all Erased Tapes artists come together and make an album as a collective – sharing the same space, instruments and musicianship in a residency at Vox-ton in Berlin to record 20 exclusive songs in celebration of the label’s 10-year history. The 3-LP set, accompanied by a book of photographs documenting the recording process, is housed in a bespoke, hand-assembled white box with a recessed X that slides open on one side.

Zero 7 – 7 x 7
Format:
Seven x 7″ box set
Label:
New State Music
More Info:
Zero 7’s debut album ‘Simple Things’ sold over a million copies and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and the band as Best Newcomer at the Brit Awards. The album featured singers Sia, Sophie Barker and Mozez. ‘When It Falls’ followed with the same guest vocalists along with Danish singer Tina Dico. Their third album ‘The Garden’ was nominated for a Grammy Award with singers Jose Gonzalez and Sia. Two further albums ‘Yeah Ghost’ and a best of ‘Record’ completed their time with Atlantic Records.For Record Store Day 2018 they are launching an exclusive collectors 7 box set. The package contains seven 7 s, containing 14 tracks picked by the band. 4 tracks are taken ‘Simple Things’: ‘Destiny (ft. Sia & Sophie Barker)’, ‘In The Waiting Line (ft. Sophie Barker)’, ‘Distractions (ft. Sia)’ & ‘I Have Seen (ft. Mozez)’. 3 from ‘When It Falls’: ‘Home’, ‘In Time’ & ‘Somersault’ (split across 2 sides).Another 4 from ‘The Garden’ ‘Futures’ & ‘Today’ (both featuring José González)’, ‘Pageant Of The Bizarre (ft. Sia)’ & the instrumental ‘Dreaming’. The final 2 come from 2009’s ‘Yeah Ghost’: ‘Swing (ft. Binki Shapiro)’ & ‘Pop Art Blue (ft. Martha Tilston)’.Packaging wise – the artwork will be made by the bands’ original design collaborator – Julian House, director of creative agency ‘Intro’, using elements & samples from their iconic ‘Simple Things’ album artwork. The sleeves will also be colour coded & placed into a cruciform overwrap sleeve with heavyweight vinyl. This is the 1st time some of these tracks havel be made available on vinyl & all of them have never been cut as 7 s. Side A. Destiny (ft. Sia & Sophie Barker) Side B. In The Waiting Line (ft. Sophie Barker) Side C. Distractions (ft. Sia) Side D. I Have Seen (ft. Mozez) Side E. Home (ft. Tina Dico)Side F. In Time (ft. Sophie Barker) Side G. Somersault Part 1 (ft. Sia)Side H. Somersault Part 2 (ft. Sia)Side I. Futures (ft. José González) Side J. Pageant Of The Bizarre (ft. Sia) Side K. Today (ft. José González) Side L. Dreaming (ft. Sia) Side M. Swing (ft. Binki Shapiro) Side N. Pop Art Blue (ft. Martha Tilston)

 

At a rough guess, based on previous RSD’s, that is about £675 of records, which means I will need to be more selective. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you would like anyway, if you aren’t near the front of the queue you won’t get everything you want and there is no guarantee that the store will have all the releases anyway, it is often very much about how lucky you get that day. I’ve just gone back and marked ‘Must have’s’ with ==> which lessens any financial blow but not a very small bundle of anxiety that is, ridiculously, already starting to build.

The full list can be found here: https://recordstoreday.co.uk/releases/rsd-2018/?p=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Record Store Day 2017 (6)

So some things happened, basically around stumbling over RSD 17 releases that I didn’t get on the day and, perhaps in a couple of cases, didn’t know I wanted.

Head records in Leamington had a second shipment after RSD for some reason so there were a couple of things there that were gone on my previous visits but had since turned up again. As a reminder, I had already picked up the following:

Field Music ‎– Tones Of Town
Faust (7), Ulan Bator ‎– Untitled
Richard Pinhas, Camera (10) ‎– Camera / Richard Pinhas
Cocteau Twins ‎– Four-Calendar Café
Cocteau Twins ‎– Milk & Kisses
Mew – Frengers
Future Sound Of London – Archived : Environmental : Views

Then, from the second shipment I picked up:

Asobi Seksu – Citrus
r-10172569-1492857219-6805-jpeg

Steve Reich – LSO Percussion Ensemble ‎– Sextet | Clapping Music | Music For Pieces Of Wood
r-10174898-1492882257-2201-jpeg

The LSO video above is the whole 28 minutes or so of Sextet, because it is an amazing piece of music and, apparently, really hard to play! Performed by Neil Percy, Sam Walton, David Jackson, Antoine Bedewi, Philip Moore & Simon Crawford-Phillips.

Earlier in the week I was on the Cowley Road in Oxford and briefly poped into Truck, who, much to my surprise, had this:

r-10150675-1492870756-1656-jpeg

David Bowie ‎– No Plan EP

So I picked that up and, to my further surprise, they had this 7″ single:

r-10167113-1492874016-3621-png

The Smiths ‎– The Boy With The Thorn In His Side

So that must surely be that for RSD 2017, although there were a couple of Ennio Morricone  soundtracks that I’d like and there’s the soundtrack to Belgica by Soulwax, and Popol Vuh, and the three Spacemen 3 albums of course and possibly Sun Ra & Merzbow and, and, no, that has to be it, has to be, this whole thing is too damn expensive.

Record Store Day 2017 (5)

As I’ve never been up very early on RSD before, usually arriving just before lunch, certainly never queueing, I had never before witnessed the phenomonen of hunting in packs. There were at least three people doing so, shouting across the racks to each other, “There’s a ‘Pineapple Express'”, “Yeah, got it”, and suchlike. It’s a jolly good idea really, as long as you don’t find that more than one of you want something and there is only one left. Perhaps there has to be some bargaining before heading to the till.

I’m pretty sure that there were some people in teams, each with a list, each covering one of the two shops taking part. This is also a good idea, and one I would do myself if I had anybody to do it with. Vinyl buying is a pretty solitary affair for me. Most people I know seem to think it’s all a bit ridiculous, and I can see their point, but most of those people didn’t grow up with it, perhaps don’t understand it’s attraction for me, and probably have a secret Barbie collection or somesuch and have failed to make the connection.

Some of it is nostalgia, there’s little doubt about that, but it is also the physical object. I have several streaming options but what is mine? I have paid for the right to listen to something digital, not something I can hold, or cherish, or enjoy in a more tactile way. I can listen to almost anything I might want to, and do when out and about. Quite often though, I will find something new to listen to and if I find myself starting to like it, I stop listening to it and go and buy a vinyl copy if one is available. That is a bit ridiculous but it makes sense to me.

There’s also music that just isn’t available to stream, such as an album I received a few months ago by ‘Life Garden’, it’s not on Apple Music, Spotify or Amazon Music, I can only listen to it on vinyl, although there are a few tracks on youtube. The thing is, I really like this album and it’s lack of instant availability seems to make me like it more. It has an exlusivity that makes it more appealing and though I would like to send a whatsapp to a friend with a link so they can hear it too, I can’t, there’s nothing to send and for some reason that is a good thing. Same with the RSD release by ‘Future Sound Of London’, I listened to all six sides yesterday but it isn’t available to stream and that does make the listening experience all the better I think.

I do wonder if, like movies, there should be a delay between physical releases and streaming, so an album is physically released and can’t be streamed for 3 months or so. It seems a good idea to me although I know it will still be ripped from CD and distributed one way or another. I can’t be bothered with all that anymore, since the capacities of phones have increased I don’t need to fill an MP3 player up with ripped CD’s or downloads, it’s too much hassle, just download to listen off line, it’s easy.

I’ve managed to listen to a lot of records over the last 3 or 4 days, which is great as I have been having trouble finding the time for the last four months, however, I now have a chair outside by the back door and I can listen to records whilst simultaneously throwing things for the dog to fetch so that he can run excitedly back with them and then refuse to give it back to me to throw again, that’s his thing, he’s very possesive over sticks and balls.

I’ve been critical of RSD before and some of those criticisms are still valid. Record shops are doing pretty well nowadays I think, with RSD having been a big part of their resurgence, but for some of us RSD is pretty much every week but that loyalty and spending isn’t rewarded on RSD itself. I’d like to see some kind of loyalty card, perhaps a phone app, upon which you can rack up points over the year and those points decide where you are in the queue, not just how early you manage to get out of bed once a year. So the initial queue is formed based on the loyalty points and then everybody else queues as normal behind. I’m not saying it’s a perfect system but it could work, as long as it was clear beforhand that it would work that way.

 

Record Store Day 2017 (4)

I was back in town on Sunday and popped into the Record Shop just to see what was left from RSD. I picked up three things, two of which I meant to get on the day and one which was a bit of an impulse buy to be honest, this being:

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Field Music ‎– Tones Of Town
Label: Memphis Industries ‎– MI074LPX
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Yellow
Country: UK
Released: 22 Apr 2017
Genre: Rock
Style: Pop Rock, Indie Rock

Tracklist
A1 Give It Lose It Take It 3:56
A2 Sit Tight 3:02
A3 Tones Of Town 3:05
A4 A House Is Not A Home 2:36
A5 Kingston 1:54
A6 Working To Work 2:51
B1 In Context 3:37
B2 A Gap Has Appeared 2:01
B3 Closer At Hand 2:29
B4 Place Yourself 3:02
B5 She Can Do What She Wants 3:06

I like it, but didn’t need it, I think I was seduced by the yellow vinyl.

The ones I’d originally intended to pick up were:

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Faust (7), Ulan Bator ‎– Untitled
Label: Bureau B ‎– BB263
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 45 RPM, Limited Edition
Country: Europe
Released: 22 Apr 2017
Genre: Rock
Style: Alternative Rock, Experimental

Tracklist
A1 –Faust (7) Serendipität 5:03
A2 –Faust (7) Dialog 4:34
B1 –Ulan Bator Bâton-Rouge 5:16
B2 –Ulan Bator Sakura 4:54

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Richard Pinhas, Camera (10) ‎– Camera / Richard Pinhas
Label: Bureau B ‎– BB264
Format: Vinyl, 12″, Maxi-Single
Country: Germany
Released: 22 Apr 2017
Genre: Electronic, Rock
Style: Krautrock, Space Rock, Experimental

Tracklist
A –Camera (10) Saftwehr
B –Richard Pinhas Dronz 5 – Hamburg

The last one, with the Richard Pinhas track was as a result of this: Richard Pinhas ‎– Reverse. As the tracks on the album are Dronz 1 – 4 and this seems to be an extension, the give away being that it’s called Dronz 5, I’m smart at spotting stuff like that.

Finally, I did a bad thing, sort of. I found a copy of ‘Four Calendar Cafe’ by the Cocteau Twins online and ordered it. There is a slight feeling of having copped out by not getting it on the day and buying it from somebody who seems to have only bought it to sell it, although, at £13 above the sticker price which includes shipping, it’s not a bad buy at all. Most of the others I’ve seen are twice the sticker price without shipping. It hasn’t arrived as yet but this is it:

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Cocteau Twins ‎– Four-Calendar Café
Label: Mercury ‎– 5735405, UMC ‎– 00602557354058
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Purple
Country: Europe
Released: 22 Apr 2017
Genre: Electronic, Rock
Style: Alternative Rock, Downtempo, Ethereal

Tracklist
A1 Know Who You Are At Every Age 3:38
A2 Evangeline 4:29
A3 Bluebeard 3:54
A4 Theft, And Wandering Around Lost 4:30
A5 Oil Of Angels 4:37
B1 Squeeze-Wax 3:48
B2 My Truth 4:32
B3 Essence 3:01
B4 Summerhead 3:37
B5 Pur 5:02
C1 Mud And Dark 3:40
C2 Summer-Blink 3:09
C3 Bluebeard (Acoustic Version) 2:53
C4 Three Swept 3:36
D1 Ice Pulse 3:45
D2 Winter Wonderland 2:49
D3 Frosty The Snowman 2:55

The D-Side isn’t going to get much play time from me to be honest, not a big fan of Christmas songs.

So that is RSD 2017 pretty much done for me. I did see quite a number of items on the day that I could have picked up that are demanding ridiculous prices online right now, but I don’t really regret missing out on turning a quick profit. Although I have succumbed to buying one, and am thereby part of the fuel for the whole practice, I do feel the ones I might have picked up just to sell may have caused somebody who really wanted it to miss out, yes, the same as I have in the past, but two wrongs don’t make a right I guess, or something like that.

Record Store Day 2017 (3)

IMG_4868I queued at Head Records in Leamington Spa for just under an hour, which was absolutely fine, it really could have been worse. I have a problem with my neck, which means that standing up like that for an hour is rather painful, and I can’t take medication for it as if I do I can’t then legally drive, so I was pretty relieved to arrive at the front of the queue and finally get inside. It is really quite traumatic being in the queue, slowly approaching the entrance and watching people who have already been in leave with their albums as one of these people may be carrying the last copy of something you want. It is also a bit of an eye opener, I was genuinely surprised at some of the folk and how much they’d bought. One guy brought a helper to carry the stuff, she didn’t even go in the shop, just waited outside for her partner to come out and help with the carrying, I think he had somewhere in the region of 50 albums, which a conservative estimate would be in the region of £1000 worth, which is crazy and I immediately thought, ‘Re-Seller’ which may not be entirely fair, maybe he saved all year for this event, but I couldn’t possibly imagine why anybody would want 50 of the albums released, at best I might want 8, and that’s a stretch to be honest. Perhaps my tastes are less wide ranging than others, but 50, it seems a lot.

At the door, waiting to be let in, I tried to spy what was left on the shelves and was pretty
sure that two of them had already sold out. In the queue I’d watched a video the shop had posted showing the shelves and there was now a black space visible where I wanted there to be two albums. Here is that very video:

I arrived to both disappointment and delight. One of the five things I was hoping to pick up was already sold out, this being ‘Four Calendar Cafe’ by the Cocteau Twins, I had thought it might but was still holding out a little hope that there’d be one left. The delight came from there being one copy of ‘Milk & Kisses’ by The Cocteau Twins left, which was the first thing I picked up. One of five achieved, one definitely missed so three more possibilities to get. I mooched about for just a minute and then wnet to the next aisle, which was pretty rammed making looking on the lower shelves rather tricky, however, there was another of my 5, The Future Sound Of London – ‘Environments – Views’, a triple vinyl that was actually less money than I thought it would be and a numbered edition, which I hadn’t realised either, so things were looking up, two more to go.

The main album that I wanted of the two remaining to get was ‘Frengers’ by Mew, a run of 1500 in clear vinyl, pretty much like last years re-issue of ‘And the glass handed kites’. I couldn’t find it. I looked twice and the damn thing wasn’t there, so I did something I don’t normally do and asked. The member of staff who helped me was Molly, which I found out from their Facebook page. She dived into the crowd, went to the bottom shelf where I’d alredy looked twice and re-appeared with a copy. I thanked her both verbally and with a thumbs up as that cheered me up no end. Thanks again Molly. I was so cheered that I completely forgot to go for the fifth album, ‘Citrus’ by Asobi Seksu, but that’s OK as I was 50/50 about it.

On the way to the till I saw a copy of ‘AZD’ by Actress and picked that up as well, I almost had the week before but was undecided, however, I read some reviews and it scored highly, so now was as good a time as any and I had 4 new albums.

I then left the shop without looking for some of the 45’s and a couple of 12” singles I’d thought about getting as my neck was bloody killing me and I’d only been in there 10 minutes. I headed to the bottom of town and Seismic Records. I figured that it would still be busy but that the queue would have died down by now, I was wrong. I just couldn’t do it, not without medication, so I headed off to visit my Mum for an hour.

On the way home I drove past Seismic thinking I could park up and pop in, but the queue was the same size as before and I gave it a miss. A shame because I like that shop and IMG_4873want to support it, however, there were plenty of others doing just that already so that was OK.

When I arrived home the first thing I played was the Cocteau Twins, which held a little surprise for me as I didn’t know it had been pressed on white vinyl, so that was a bonus. I watched a youtube video a couple of days ago, one of those top tips on buying vinyl ones and it stated that coloured vinyl is a bad idea as the quality is lower, which I almost commented on as it’s bollocks, but I held back. I had listened to a podcast which had a guy on who had worked in pressing plants for years and he had said the exact opposite, with black vinyl you can get away with re-cycling offcuts and contaminants are not so much of an issue as they are hidden by the black but with coloured vinyl, single colour in particular, you can’t get away with it so they are generally as good as and often better than black. Anyway, I like coloured vinyl, I like black vinyl too. Picture Discs are a different prospect altogether though, they are crap. ‘Milk & Kisses’ came with a second disc of the singles from the same period which is really nice to have. I remember well seeing both albums on the racks when they came out and I do regret not buying them at the time. I had this idea in my head that by going to a major label the band had somehow sold out and that the music had suffered for it, I was entirely wrong of course but they did release a Christmas single which I also saw and never bought, which is a shame as I would have made a big profit if I had and would have had no problem selling it (it was ‘Frosty The Snowman/Winter Wonderland’ in case you wondered). The two albums had been selling for about £150/200, I wonder if those prices will be sustainable now these re-issues with extra tracks have become available.

Here is a bit of ‘Milk & Kisses’ playing on my own deck.

On RSD 2016 I was hugely disappointed to not get a copy of ‘and the glass handed kites’ by Mew, although I did manage to get a reasonably priced copy about 6 months later, but picking up ‘Frengers’ today was great as it has an online price of £50-£60, sometimes more. I have never really been able to understand why Mew aren’t huge, though for many selfish reasons I’m glad they aren’t. The album closer ‘Comforting Sounds’ is one of my favourite tracks and listening to it on vinyl today has been great. I think I got the last, or only copy but am not sure as I didn’t even see it on the shelf. Here is a little snippet of ‘comforting sounds’:

I sort of collect The Future Sound Of London which goes back to the Cocteau Twins as Elizabeth Frasier sang on the ‘Lifeforms’ single (which is really a mini album) and which I bought when it was released. About a year and a half ago I listened to it again, and not just for the Elizabeth Frasier bit, and found that I liked the whole of it more than I had remembered. This led me to picking up other bits and pieces when I saw them, although some are rather expensive, the ‘Lifeforms’ album and ‘Dead Cities’ being good examples, usually over £60 a copy. Recently I’ve been buying their series ‘Environments’ which is seven albums (although numbered 1-6 and then a 6.5) which has Environments 3 not available on vinyl when the others are, annoying. So this RSD triple was a must. I’ve yet to listen to it apart from the bit you can hear below, I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

Finally there’s the non-RSD album by Actress – ‘AZD’ which the reviews were absolutely right about. It is wonderfully crafted and after only one listen I’m loving it. Part of the reason for this is the album ‘6’ by FP-Oner, which I received from That Special Record as part of my subscription, I didn’t like it at first but with repeated playing it really grew on me and there are parts of the Actress album that remind me of it so I had a point of reference right away, which I hadn’t really had when listening to ‘6’ for the first time.

I do wish I’d had the stamina to queue at Sesimic but all in all it’s been a pretty successful RSD 2017 for me and I know sit in the garden, enjoying the beautiful weather and writning this up while listening to FSOL – Environments 4. Can’t complain really. I hope everybody got at least one thing they wanted.

  • featured image stolen from Head records Instagram.

RSD 2017 (1)

Well I made the effort to get my arse out of bed and get down to Record store day, and I find myself at the back of a very healthy queue. This may mean that I don’t get anything I’m looking for but I stand a better chance than previous years where I usually rock up around lunch time.