Independent Record Store Day is right around the corner and the selection of great vinyl is mind-numbingly large. It can be hard to navigate such an eclectic and vast amount of records so I’ve put together my top 10 must-grabs of Record Store Day 2018
Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy: Mirror to mirror
Car Seat Headrest’s brilliant original recordings of Twin Fantasy that were released to Bandcamp in 2011 are finally getting the packaging they deserve. This after the re-recording and subsequent rerelease of the album it may seem like an afterthought, but it really can’t be described as such. The original gritty lo-fi recordings are effortlessly charming even garnering the praise of producer Brian Eno, It’s almost as if you can hear all the heartbreak of youth trying to break out of the grainy production so it can be recognised for all that it is. Something not to be missed if you care about lo-fi indie rock.
Tom Waits – Brawlers
Tom Waits the enigma hits hard with this album. Dark, murky, bluesy and originally released as the first CD in a three-CD box set titled Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards it has never been available on its own and on red vinyl. Waits husky voice never fails to please as he swaggers over some originals and a number of covers. The album works as a sort of compilation collecting songs from the past years. For any Tom Waits or blues fan who hasn’t forayed into to this dark world is definitely missing out.
Arcade Fire – Arcade Fire EP
Harkening back to a day when Arcade Fire was folkier than trying to have Everything Now comes Arcade Fire’s debut EP originally only sold at their gigs and on their website is now finally available on vinyl for this record store day. The foundational building blocks of what would be achieved on 2004’s Funeral are all here, strings, vocal harmonies, great songwriting all on transparent blue vinyl and numbered individually. Wearing its influences heavily on its sleeve this album is a breath of fresh air and has aged immaculately. For fans of anti-folk like Neutral Milk Hotel and indie rock, this album is definitely worth trying to get a hold of.
Jeff Buckley – Live At Sin-é
One of the worlds best vocalists Jeff Buckley was taken from us abruptly. Before he left, he managed to leave a near-perfect discography and an immaculate set of live recordings. The best of which being Live at Sin-é which may just be the best live performance ever recorded. Deeply emotional and full of character and monologues Jeff Buckley’s vocal dexterity bursts alive over his never-ending virtuosity of guitar. Featuring covers of Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf the crowd is transfixed. Coming out on quadruple LP this is an unmissable piece of art that should be cherished as such. For fans of folk this is my top pick for record store day 2018
Prince – 1999
Sugary, funky and over-the-top fun doesn’t begin to describe 1999, with one of the best album openers of all time the namesake of the album sets you up for the wild sensual ride that Prince just pulls you into. This album is the feeling the eighties evokes condensed into 11 songs. This album is readily available at record stores around the UK however. What makes this release so special is that this is a reissue of the European release that has not been reissued since 1983. For fans, lovers of 80’s pop and collectors alike this will be a beautiful piece to add to the record shelf.
Spiritualized – Fucked Up Inside
Originally only available via mail order comes a remastering of Spiritualized 1993 live album Fucked up Inside. Famous for their sonic textures and hypnotic cacophony this album is earlier in their discography and before their masterpiece Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Space but shows the band in the buildup to this. This is a great find for any space-rock fans and is being put on milky clear 12” vinyl.
The Cure – Torn Down: Mixed Up Extras 2018
This exciting new exclusive album for record store day 2018 is actually a sequel to an album named Mixed Up released in 1990 which featured the ‘Pictures of You (Extended Dub Mix)’ which is a track I never knew could possibly ever be a thing that existed. It had a few great extended mixes and dance remix’s but is worth it for that one song alone just for the sheer absurdity of it. This album will definitely be worth trying to get your hands on not only for it being a great collector’s piece but for its gorgeous picture disk design. This will be perfect for any Cure fan or goth rock dub remix aficionado (wherever they may be hiding).
Ryuichi Sakamoto – ff2
Ryuichi Sakamoto may be a name you’re familiar with if you’re a fan of film scores with the astounding Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence or the more recent The Revenant soundtrack. What you may not know is that he creates ambient/leftfield/experimental music. ‘Ff’ is a single from his album async which is truly hauntingly beautiful as is much of Sakamoto’s work. This single release is being put on 12” vinyl at 45 rpm and I implore anyone with the slightest interest in ambient/experimental music to buy this album.
Bibio – Zen Drums
Singles like this are the reason I like record store day so much. I had never heard of Bibio before researching this article. With roots in folk music and artists like Boards of Canada, Bibio has strayed far from where they came from. This single excites me as all of the 12” records sold of it has a hand painted sleeve and the music is far from anything I listen to these days. If you like artists like Aphex Twin you’ll certainly enjoy this single.
David Bowie – Welcome To The Blackout
Any old live recordings of David Bowie that resurface remind us that he was both otherworldly and yet so sympathetically human. This new live album of David Bowie has never before been released and is being produced by longtime friend and producer of Bowie, Tony Visconti. Recorded in 1978 means that it is slap-bang in the middle of David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. This live album has an incredible tracklist over three 12” LP. This is a must-have for any Bowie fan or 70’s rock fan.
Camille Saint Seana
Photo Credit: tonedeaf.com.au