If you’re like me, you probably don’t need much of a reason to go record shopping. Still, it’s hard not to like the idea of a day devoted to the activity, a.k.a. Record Store Day. Originally conceived as an impetus to get people to support independent record stores, Record Store Day has since blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon that is now most significant for the special releases labels have begun producing to mark the occasion each year. With a lengthy list to sort through on the RSD website, though, it may be hard, in all the excitement, to remember which of the special releases you intend to purchase this Saturday. As such, I’ve narrowed down the list for you.
MC5/Afrika Bambaataa, “Kick Out the Jams” (Rhino)
This split 7-inch pairs Detroit proto-punk legends the MC5 doing their iconic “Kick Out the Jams” with hip-hop legends doing the same. An odd pairing to be sure, the single should nevertheless help you follow the cut’s directive.
David Bowie, “Starman” 7-inch Picture Disc (Virgin)
The draw here isn’t so much the musical contents (the original version of “Starman” backed with a recording of the same song from a Top of the Pops performance), but the fact that it’s engrained on a photo of Ziggy Stardust.
Jimmy Fallon, “Tebowie” (Warner Bros.)
And speaking of Bowie, Warner Bros. is issuing a single of late night host Jimmy Fallon’s send up of Tim Tebow set to the tune of “Space Oddity.” Funny stuff to be sure, it’s backed by a Doors parody, “Reading Rainbow.”
Joey Ramone, “Rock n’ Roll” (BMG)
With Don’t Worry About Me, released posthumously in 2002, most probably assumed it was the last we would hear from Joey Ramone. Au contraire. This single is the first preview of another unearthed full-length, Ya Know?, due out next month.
Lee “Scratch” Perry, “Blackboard Jungle Dub” Boxset (Get on Down)
Packaged on three 10-inch records colored red, green and yellow, this boxset collects several versions of “Blackboard Jungle,” Perry’s 2009 foray into dubset. That may sound like there should be some kind of punchline, but with this legendary producer having basically invented dub, he’s capable of making any derivative sound good.
The Misfits, “Walk Among Us” (Rhino)
Misfits singles have long been collector’s items, so you’re not likely to get one these days without paying handsomely for it. As such, the next best thing is a reissue like this one for “Walk Among Us.” And Danzig needs litter for kitty.
Public Image Ltd, One Drop EP (self-released)
After reunion shows in recent years, Public Image Ltd. has announced that they will finally be releasing a new record, This Is PiL, due out next month. They are preceding it with this EP, whose title track Johnny Lydon has described as a depiction of his early youth.
Various Artists, Pretty in Pink Soundtrack (Universal)
More than anyone, director John Hughes understood the importance of music. The Pretty in Pink soundtrack is a classic. Not only does it feature the rerecorded Psychedelic Furs track from which it get its name, as well as OMD’s “If You Leave,” but an INXS song unavailable elsewhere and tracks from New Order, The Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen. Oh, and this reissue is on pink vinyl.
Pussy Galore, Feel Good About Your Body EP (Shove)
While the bulk of Pussy Galore’s catalog is being reissued for a second time, there are a number of smaller releases that remain hard to find. The Feel Good About Your Body 7-inch EP is thankfully being rereleased by Shove and features four cuts of the band’s patented ruckus.
Uncle Tupelo, Reissues (Sony)
Perhaps the crown jewels of this year’s Record Store Day are the bevy of Uncle Tupelo reissues. Don’t be afraid to push Wilco fans out of the way to get at these. Sony is issuing a numbered boxset of three singles, as well as vinyl editions of the long out-of-print No Depression, Still Feel Gone and March 16–20, 1992.