Rare releases on vinyl from A-listers
Vinyl enthusiasts anticipate rare releases, Mark Daniell writes.
After more than a decade, there’s probably no other musician more proud of Record Store Day than rocker Jack White. April 21 marks the 11th anniversary of the annual vinyl celebration and White, who helped spearhead renewed interest in the format among music enthusiasts, couldn’t be happier.
“It’s wonderful to see a lot of that come to its fruition,” White told Postmedia in a recent interview.
On the third Saturday every April, Record Store Day celebrates vinyl at your local record shop from sun up to sun down. For the first time since 2011, vinyl and CDs are outselling digital downloads There are hundreds of titles being released — reissued classics, limited-edition coloured pressings, box sets, cassettes and never-before-heard offerings from A-listers.
Here is a highly subjective list of the most collectible releases you should try to find. For a list of all the albums available and a store near you, visit recordstoreday.com:
AC/D BACK IN BLACK (CASSETTE)
While Record Store Day celebrates vinyl, there are still some cassette and CD-only releases. AC/DC is set to reissue Back in Black — one of the biggest-selling records of all time — on cassette.
ARCADE FIRE EP
Album of the year winners at last month’s Juno Awards, Arcade Fire is going back to where it started for this year’s Record Store Day. The seven-track debut EP (known unofficially as Us Kids Know) will be available for the first time on transparent blue vinyl.
DAVID BOWIE WELCOME TO THE BLACKOUT (LIVE LONDON ’78); BOWIE NOW; LET’S DANCE
This year there are three limited-edition Bowie items. Welcome to the Blackout — a previously unreleased three-LP set recorded in London during the ISOLAR II tour — comes with imagery by photographers Sukita and Chris Walter. Fans can also try to snag a copy of Bowie Now, the first commercial release of a rare 1977 promo LP featuring tracks from the Low and Heroes albums. It comes on white vinyl and features rarely seen photos taken in Berlin that same year. And collectors will want to seek out a stripped-down demo version of Let’s Dance. The song was re-released on digital for Bowie’s birthday on Jan. 8 and ends with the singer enthusing, “That’s it! That’s it! Got it.”
ERIC CLAPTON RUSH; COMPLETE CLAPTON
Clapton will dust off two gems from his discography — his mostly instrumental soundtrack to the 1991 film Rush (which featured the original version of Tears in Heaven) and his 2007 compilation Complete Clapton. The latter boasts 36 of his most revered songs, from 1968 to 2006. The Record Store Day 2018 version includes a limited-edition single of The Shape You’re In.
BOB DYLAN AND
THE GRATEFUL DEAD DYLAN & THE DEAD
More than 30 years ago, two legends joined forces for an unforgettable tour. Dylan & The Dead recaptures that strange trip with stretched-out jams All Along The Watchtower, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Gotta Serve Somebody and more. Naturally, it will be available on red-and-blue tie-dye vinyl.
LED ZEPPELIN ROCK AND ROLL; FRIENDS
Surprisingly, Led Zep has never had a Record Store Day release before. That’s about to change with a seven-inch Olympic Studio Mix of Rock And Roll and Friends selected by guitarist Jimmy Page. It comes in eye-catching yellow.
MADONNA THE FIRST ALBUM; YOU CAN DANCE
The Queen of Pop is pulling out two gems from her vaults. The first is a reissue of a rare 1983 Japanese eight-track that comes with a foldout page Japanese biography/ lyric insert and a pink heart-shaped sticker featuring the original Japanese text. She will also re-release a replica of her 1987 remix compilation You Can Dance. The red vinyl, out of print for 30 years, features hits Holiday and Into the Groove.
PINK FLOYD THE PIPER AT
THE GATES OF DAWN
The iconic prog-rockers are taking a trip down memory lane with a remastered revamp of their debut album. Written and performed by Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason, the 1967 release was the only one made under the stewardship of Barrett (who helped found the band). The disc comes paired with an exclusive poster perfect for framing.
ELVIS PRESLEY THE KING IN THE RING
Toward the end of 1968, the Elvis re-established himself as the King of Rock and Roll with an intimate comeback special that aired on NBC. Featuring hits like Heartbreak Hotel and Are You Lonesome Tonight? and holiday tune Blue Christmas, King in the Ring gets a spiffy upgrade, including a new gatefold sleeve and a red vinyl pressing. The set will be numbered and there are only 3,000 available.
His purpleness returns with a seven-track reissue of his fifth studio album. Featuring the massive pop hits 1999, Little Red Corvette, Delirious and Let’s Pretend We’re Married, his acclaimed breakthrough has been available on vinyl for 35 years. But it will be hard to find: There are only 5,300 copies being released in North America.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN GREATEST HITS
The Boss is playing a sold-out run on Broadway for the rest of the year. For those not lucky enough to be going, we can relive his fist-pumping stadium anthems in this 1995 compilation of his biggest hits from the first two decades of his career. Includes Born in the U.S.A., Dancing In the Dark, Hungry Heart and more all pressed on red vinyl.
THE SHEEPDOGS NOBODY; I’VE GOT A HOLE WHERE MY HEART SHOULD BE
Saskatchewan’s Sheepdogs have been named Record Store Day’s first-ever “Champions of Canada.” To celebrate, the rockers will drop live performances of Nobody and I’ve Got a Hole Where My Heart Should Be. If that weren’t enough, the band’s first two albums — Big Stand and Trying to Grow — will be on vinyl for the first time.
TAYLOR SWIFT TAYLOR SWIFT; 1989; FEARLESS
Swifties can get in on the fun as the pop star reissues three of her albums on coloured vinyl. Pop’s reigning princess will be dropping a turquoise vinyl of her self-titled debut, a gold vinyl of Fearless and a hot pink vinyl of 1989. There will only be 2,500 available of each, and each is individually numbered.
U2 LIGHTS OF HOME
U2 will issue a snazzy-looking 12-inch picture disc featuring two versions of their Songs of Experience tune, Lights of Home — one of which is a remix by Beck.
There are three David Bowie pressings available this year.
Elvis Presley: The King in the Ring
U2: Lights of Home