Record Store Day Recommendations

A few years ago, vinyl was in a bit of a slump, record stores were closing left, right and centre (the landmark Sam the Record Man on Yonge Street closed its doors in 2007) – but now, vinyl is making a big comeback. Younger generations are swapping their iPods for record players, and more and more new records are being released and re-released on vinyl – like Robbie Robertson‘s recently released How to Become Clairvoyant (which comes with a digital download as well).

“Our vinyl sales have probably doubled in the last couple of years. The bulk of that has been young people, the iPod generation. They want to collect things, own things, which is the opposite of digital culture. They want to belong to the past.” - Jeremy Robinson, co-owner of Ditch Records & CDs in Victoria, B.C.

If you’re a vinyl junkie, or maybe just ready to dust off the old record player in the basement, be sure to check out Record Store Day on April 16th – here’s the low-down:

What is Record Store Day?

The original idea for Record Store Day was conceived by Chris Brown, and was founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores around the world.

This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.

What’s being released?

There are a ton of records (see the list here) coming to participating record stores across Canada – from Sonic Boom in Toronto to Zulu Records in Vancouver to Fred’s Records in St. John’s – click here for a list of stores across Canada.

Here are a few we think you’ll enjoy:

Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely (mono)/Oh, Pretty Woman (live from Holland)
Format: 7″ 45
Limited Edition 7″ featuring mono mix of “Only The Lonely” & unreleased live version of “Oh Pretty Woman.”

The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations/Heroes & Villains
Format: 10″ LP
Limited Edition double 78 RPM vinyl single. 10″ single pocket jacket with foil stamp and numbering – black vinyl.
Tracks: Disc 1: Side A Good Vibrations Side B Heroes and Villains
Disc 2: Side A Good Vibrations (Early Take) Side B Heroes and Villains (Alternate Take)

The Doors – Riders On The Storm
Format: 7″ 45
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of LA Woman, this 7” contains the original stereo single b/w a previously unreleased mono mix of the song that was distributed exclusively to radio at the time. The single will be presented in one of three different, randomly distributed picture sleeves, each featuring artwork originally used for the single’s international release.
Tracks: Riders On The Storm (Stereo)/Riders On The Storm (Mono)

The Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar
Format: 7″ 45
Extra track from Sticky Fingers session, only previously released on a more obscure Rolling Stones hits package.
Tracks: “Brown Sugar,” “Bitch,” and “Let It Rock”

Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan In Concert: Brandeis University 1963
Format: Vinyl
Indie/RSD exclusive 4 wk window until 5/9. CD version will be available to all accounts 4/12. Previously unknown recording of 21-year-old Bob Dylan at the Brandeis First Annual Folk Festival in Waltham, Mass, May 10 1963. The professionally recorded tapes were discovered in a music critics’ belongings.

Jimi Hendrix – “Fire” b/w “Touch You”
Format: 7″ 45
The 45 will feature the alternate version of “Fire” from the West Coast Seattle Boy box set as well as “Touch You,” a previously unreleased 1967 studio recording made by the original Experience during sessions for what would later become Electric Ladyland.
Tracks: “Fire” b/w “Touch You”(previously unreleased)

Bruce Springsteen and E Street BandGotta Get The Feeling b/w Racing In The Street
Format: 10″ LP
From the the upcoming live dvd.
Tracks: “Gotta Get The Feeling” b/w “Racing In The Street”

Eric Clapton & John Mayall - Lonely Years
Format: 7″ 45
The disc, originally issued in a limited edition on producer Mike Vernon’s mail-order-only Purdah label, features a pair of spare duo performances: the loping Mayall composition ‘Lonely Years’ and the rousing Clapton-penned instrumental ‘Bernard Jenkins’. Both sides were recorded in October 1965, a few months before the Blues Breakers LP, but released shortly after the album. These two rare vintage gems, sourced from the original mono masters, capture both of these legendary blues masters in an intimate, stripped-down setting.
Tracks: “Lonely Years” b/w “Bernard Jenkins”

Grateful Dead - Grateful Dead (LP)
Format: Vinyl
First time on vinyl in more than 40 years, cut from the original MONO tapes.
Tracks: The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
Beat It On Down The Line
Good Morning Little Schoolgir
Sitting On Top of the World
Cream Puff Wars
Morning Dew
New New Minglewood Blues
Viola Lee Blues

Pink Floyd - London 66/67
Format: Vinyl
Limited Edition 180gm Heavyweight White Vinyl. The classic Syd Barrett-era Floyd at their most adventurous and exploratory, ‘London 1966/1967′ features two rare performances, including an explosive 17 minute version of ‘Interstellar Overdrive’, recorded at the legendary Sound Techniques studio in early 1967. These first ever studio recordings from the classic 1960’s Pink Floyd line-up are now available on a limited edition 180 gram white vinyl version in a gatefold cover, with printed inner sleeve.
Tracks: “Intersteller Overdrive” “Nick’s Boogie”

Paul Simon - So Beautiful Or So What
Format: Vinyl
Indie exclusive for 4 weeks. Same track listing as CD. Includes MP3 download card. Full length vinyl, released day and date of CD and digital, RSD gets 4 week window of exclusivity.

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