No one really knows how many "official" Record Store Day releases are dropping on Sat., April 16. Until recently, head count had settled at 314 albums, singles and EPs. But as the annual indie holiday dedicated to pitch has broken out, record labels both small and large are moving release dates to and fro just to get in on the action. This year, Atlanta's fraternal order of participating stores, Decatur CD, Wax 'n' Facts and Criminal Records are joined by North Georgia CD and DBS Sounds. With so many choices this year, judicious shopping habits are in order — unless you're stacking racks like Donald Trump. So here's a short list of essential picks from my personal RSD shopping list.
13th Floor Elevators, "Wait For My Love" b/w "May the Circle Remain Unbroken" 7-inch — Green vinyl pressing of an unreleased 1968 single. The B-side is remixed by Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3).
Bad Brains, "Pay to Cum" b/w "Stay Close to Me" 7-inch — The oft-bootlegged 1980 debut from D.C.'s legendary reggae/punk rabble-rousers is an underground staple. Absolutely essential.
The Beach Boys, "Good Vibrations" b/w "Heroes & Villains" double 10-inch — The shining star of RSD 2011, this reissue of the group's '66 hit spins at 78 RPMs. Nobody can play it, but everybody needs it.
Big Star, Big Star's Third — The original track list for this beautiful train wreck of an album has been restored. It's limited to 1,000 copies, and one of every 300 comes with an original test pressing — kind of like a golden ticket with your Wonka Bar.
Black Angels, Another Nice Pair — Texas shoegazers reissue their first two face-melting EPs together on one red vinyl platter.
Kate Bush, Hounds of Love — Bush's U.S. breakthrough reissued as a 10-inch on pink vinyl.
Cults, "Abducted" b/w "Go Outside (remix)" — Internet art pop darlings finally release a physical product.
Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity — Translucent green vinyl reissue of Deerhoof's excellent '07 LP — its first with guitarist John Dietrich.
Deerhunter, "Memory Boy" b/w "Nosebleed" 7-inch — The second single from Halcyon Digest is a white vinyl gem that's (not very) limited to 1,800 copies.
Dennis Coffey, "Space Traveller "b/w" Android" — Detroit soul guitarist Dennis Coffey's songs have provided rich fodder for samples for generations of hip-hop artists. The two cuts on this 7-inch picture disc illustrate why.
Dio, Killing the Dragon — Dude, the artwork features a fire-breathing dragon that's about to have its ass handed to it by villagers with pitchforks and torches. Any questions?
John Fahey, Requia — Gorgeous '67 classic, remastered from the original tapes to preserve every bluesy and folkie intonation, and every haunting bit of musique concrète.
Fela Kuti, "Monday Morning in Lagos" pts. 1 and 2 — Knitting Factory/MRI reissue of the 1971 Nigerian cuts by the king of Afrobeat, remastered from the original Mono recordings.
Flaming Lips, Heady Nuggs: The First 5 Warner Bros. Records 1992-2002 — Extravagant and expensive-as-hell five-LP collection covering the Flamer's records from Hit to Death in the Future Head to Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
Gorillaz, The Fall — Fifteen songs that Damon Albarn recorded on his iPad between shows.
Grateful Dead, Grateful Dead — The psychedelic jug band's debut is filled with barreling blues/rock experiments. Not its brightest moment, but "Cream Puff War" and "Sitting On Top of the World" are catchy little numbers.
Grinderman, "Evil" and "Palaces of Montezuma" 12-inches — Nick Cave and Co. released two U.K.-only singles from Grinderman 2 for RSD. Rumor has it a few landed stateside.
Freddy King, "Wash Out" b/w "Butterscotch" — Two alternative takes of instrumental blues magic from the Texas Cannonball himself.
Mumford & Sons/Laura Marling, Dharohar Project 10-inch — Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling team up with Rajasthani folk musicians in Delhi for this pretty, somewhat pretentious collab.
Nirvana, Hormoaning EP — Visceral Australian tour EP from '92, recorded mostly for a John Peel session. Covers include "Turnaround" (Devo), "Son of a Gun" and "Molly's Lips" (the Vaselines), and "D-7" (the Wipers). This is a must-have. Sonic Youth's Whore's Moaning Australian tour EP from '93 (also re-released for RSD 2011) makes an excellent companion piece.
Roy Orbison, "Only the Lonely" b/w "Oh Pretty Woman (live)" — Mono mixes of two of Roy's heartbreaking baritone standards.
Panda Bear, Tomboy — The T-shirt bundle package is kind of annoying, and you can already buy this on white vinyl. But if you want the blue vinyl you have to play the game.
The Rolling Stones, "Brown Sugar" b/w "Bitch" and "Let It Rock" 7-inch — Two Sticky Fingers-era cuts reissued with a cover of Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock."
Superchunk/Coliseum, "Horror Business" b/w "Bullet" split 7-inch — Nineties' indie rock leftovers Superchunk and hardcore/metal brutes Coliseum offer respective takes on classic Misfits' cuts.
The Velvet Underground, "Foggy Notion" b/w "I Can't Stand It" — Two solid cuts that show the Velvets settling in with new bassist Doug Yule.
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