Many said vinyl would die out with the invention of the 8-track tape. Then the cassette; then it was the compact disc that would bury them.
However, vinyl has staved off the grim reaper for so long that it’s actually poised for a comeback.
As evidenced by the resurgence of the musical medium, there’s a group of people out there who share an appreciation for vinyl.
On April 21, independently owned record stores come together with various artists to celebrate the art of music and Record Store Day‘s fifth anniversary. Hundreds of artists will release limited editions as well as make in-store performances to salute music in its purest form.
High profile artists are set to release special limited edition discs to select stores in what can be compared to Black Friday for music junkies with eager fans lining up outside as early as 5am.
This year is expected to feature more than 300 unique releases including a Flaming Lips/Ke$ha collaboration to a White Stripes 7″ 3RPM record to a deluxe edition of The Black Keys’ El Camino.
Here’s a deep dive into a few of the RSD releases being talked about.
The Black Keys – El Camino (Deluxe Edition)
The deluxe edition features the album as recorded from the original master tapes at the famous Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios, a bonus CD, poster, as well as a two track seven inch featuring two live cuts.
Track Listing: Everlasting Light, Next Girl, Tighten Up, Howlin’ For You, She’s Long Gone, Black Mud, The Only One, Too Afraid To Love You, Ten Cent Pistol, Sinister Kid, The Go Getter, I’m Not The One, Unknown Brother, Never Gonna Give You Up, These Days
Buddy Guy-This Is Buddy Guy
The vinyl will feature remastered songs from his original tapes, and is being released through Vanguard on a 12″ vinyl.
Track Listing: I Got My Eyes on You, Things I Used To Do, Fever, Knock on Wood, I Had A Dream Last Night, 24 Hours of the Day, You Were Wrong, I’m Not The Best
Bruce Springsteen-“Rocky Ground”
Released via Columbia Records on 7″ vinyl. “Rocky Ground” is the second single from 2012′s Wrecking Ball, which became Springsteen’s tenth #1 album in the U.S. tying him with Elvis Presley for third most number 1 albums of all-time.
The Boss also treats fans to “The Promise” Live from the historic carousel house in Asbury Park, which is the first ever audio release of the performance featured in the film, “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town.”
The White Stripes- “Hand Springs”/”Red Death at 6:14″
These tracks will be released by Third Man Records on 7″, black and red swirled vinyl. The track “Hand Springs” was originally released on the A-side of a split 7″ single in 2000, joint with the b-side track “Cedar Point ’76″ by another Detroit garage rock band, The Dirtbombs. Only 2,000 copies were pressed and included free with the pinball fanzine Multiball.
“Red Death at 6:14″ was a single released in September 2002 by the Detroit-duo, and was also featured on White’s handpicked compilation album, Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit. With only 2,000 copies of the singles initially released back in 2000, this will be die hard White Stripes fans second chance to get a hold of these tracks.
Track Listing: Hand Springs, Red Death at 6:14
The Flaming Lips-The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends
Released by Warner Bros and pressed on two high-quality, multi-color vinyl discs housed in separate custom art jackets and poly bagged together.
No two discs will look exactly alike. The record includes collaborations with Ke$ha, Bon Iver, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Prefuse 73, Tame Impala, Jim James, Nick Cave, Lightning Bolt, Yoko Ono, Neon Indian, Erykah Badu, New Fumes and Coldplay.
Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips explains how the band’s psychedelic vinyl is pressed in the video above.
Released on Casa Gogol Records. 1000 copies of the 12″ yellow vinyl will feature 4 remixes of Gogol Bordello songs, 3 of which are previously unreleased.
Track Listing: Immigraniada (Bassnectar Remix), Trans‐Continental Hustle (Rea M Remix), Dub The Frequencies of Love (Pedro Meirelles Remix), Trans‐Continental Rio Cigano (Eugene Hutz/Ricardo Vacite Remix)
The Civil Wars-Live at Amoeba
This album is a onetime pressing album by Sensibility Music LLC. This limited edition CD, made especially for Record Store Day was recorded live by the Grammy Award winners in Hollywood on June 14, 2011. A portion of the sale will go directly in donation to Record Store Day.
Remaining copies will be for sale online on April 22nd if supplies last.
Track Listing: Tip of My Tongue, Forget Me Not, From This Valley, 20 Years, I’ve Got This Friend, Billie Jean, Dance Me to the End of Love, Disarm
Ryan Adams-”Heartbreak A Stranger”/”Black Sheets Of Rain”
Set to be released on 7′ colored vinyl through the label PAXAM, there are only 2500 copies being released in North America.
This exclusive release of two Bob Mould covers recorded at November’s “See A Little Light” Bob Mould Tribute Show at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, California, is only for sale in record stores on Record Store Day and online the following day if any copies remain.
Track Listing: Heartbreak A Stranger, Black Sheets Of Rain
Wilco-The Whole Love Deluxe Box Set
The band’s critically acclaimed album, “The Whole Love,” gets stuffed with even more love in this deluxe box set released by ANTI records as an LP. As a fan of Record Store Day and indie record stores, Jeff Tweedy has credited them as part of Wilco’s success since “…without these stores, there’s just no way Wilco would still be around.”
There are only 250 copies, but boy is it worth it. The set includes: The Whole Love LP, a limited edition 7″ “I Might”/”I Love My Label” on clear or blue vinyl, a 10″ of “Speak Into The Rose” on translucent red vinyl, an RSD-only slipmat, and a dBpm logo white 45 adapter.
All of it comes in a heavy weight die-cut outer box that holds an inner heavy-weigh box that holds everything
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros-”One Love To Another”
Released on 7″ vinyl by Vagrant Records.
The album will feature two tracks, one of which will be included in the group’s upcoming album Here to be released on May 29th. The band is also talking about releasing a sequel to Here later this year. Just to clarify, Alex and the gang will be treating us with new music three times this year. Not bad!
Released as a LE Deluxe 3-LP vinyl set from JEMP records. Only 2500 copies are being created exclusively for Record Store Day. Junta was written, performed, recorded and produced by the band members themselves in 1988 and originally released on cassette tape as the band’s first full-length studio album.
This is the first time Junta has ever been released on vinyl.
Buy the album on Record Store Day and you also get the original cassette tape packaging created by the band, a free MP3 download of the entire album transferred from the new vinyl master, and a brand new Limited Edition hand-carved, hand-printed linoleum block poster by Jim Pollock, created exclusively for this release.
Track Listing: Fee, You Enjoy Myself, Esther, Golgi Apparatus, Foam, Dinner And A Movie, Divided Sky, David Bowie, Fluffhead, Fluff’s Travels, Contact
Of Monsters and Men-Into The Woods EP
Released by Republic Records on 10″ vinyl.
The up-and-coming Icelandic, indie-folk sextet’s first EP, already released in Iceland last December, features four songs from their début album My Head is an Animal which is due out in the U.S. on April 3rd 2012.
The Baseball Project- “El Hombre”/”Harey Haddix”
Released by Euclid Records on 7″ vinyl. It is the first single recorded at Euclid Records. B-Side track “Harvey Haddix” is named after the baseball player who pitched a perfect game against the Milwaukee Braves, but received no special recognition for it.
The 3D cover is designed by Artist Amelie Mancini and proceeds from the vinyl will benefit the late NRBQ drummer Tom Ardolino.
Track Listing: El Hombre, Harvey Haddix
Karen Elson-”Milk and Honey”/”Winter’s Going”
Released by Third Man Records on a 7″ milk and honey colored vinyl. Both songs are covers by other artists. The A-side consists of “Milk and Honey” by Jackson C. Frank, which was produced by Paul Simon, and the B-side has “Winter’s Going” by originally by Bonnie Dobson.
Track Listing: Milk and Honey, Winter’s Going
Misfits- Walk Among Us (30th Anniversary Edition)
Released on Red, Blue and Clear vinyl on Rhino Records. The 1250 Red, 1250 Blue, and 500 Clear discs will be randomly packed and shipped.
“Walk Among us” was the American horror-punk band’s 1982 début full-length studio album.
Track Listing — Side A: Night Of The Living Dead, Skulls, Violent World, Devils Whorehouse, Astro Zombies, Braineaters, 20 Eyes, I Turned Into A Martian, All Hell Breaks Loose, Vampira, Nike-A-Go-Go, Hate Breeders, Mommy Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight [Live Version]
Released on 7″ etched disc.
The 2000 copies will feature the track “Mirror,” which was originally released as a hidden album track on 2011′s very successful Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.
Widespread Panic-Live Wood
Released on 12″ vinyl through Widespread Records.
By limited edition we mean limited-only one run of this title will pressed to order, and the 180 gram vinyl discs themselves will be distributed in numbered jackets.
This album combines the best songs from the band’s 11‐date, four‐city tour dubbed “Wood Tour,” which marked Widespread Panic’s first‐ever fully acoustic tour and also the final set of shows before the band’s long-overdue hiatus for the remainder of 2012.
Track Listing: Blue Indian, Degenerate, Tall Boy, Ballad of John and Yoko, Tail Dragger, Fishing, Many Rivers To Cross
Death Cab for Cutie-Codes And Keys Remix EP
Takes Death Cab’s most recent album “Codes and Keys” and gives it a new sound with various remix styles. It will be released through Barsuk Records on 180 gram vinyl.
There are only 400 copies released in North America. With the original songs providing strength in their sound, this support helps the remix styles to be more applicable. The album’s original songs were written and composed by lead member Ben Gibbard, except “Home Is a Fire”, “Unobstructed Views”, and “Underneath The Sycamore”, which was composed by Gibbard and bandmate Chris Walla.
Track Listing: Some Boys (RAC Maury Mix), Doors Unlocked And Open (Cut Copy Remix), You Are A Tourist (The 2 Bears Remix), Underneath The Sycamore (Dillon Francis Remix), Unobstructed Views (Unicorn Kid Remix), Home Is A Fire (Ulrich Schnauss Remix), Codes And Keys (Yeasayer Remix)
Portugal. The Man- “Got It All”
Released by Atlantic Records on 7″ vinyl with 500 copies available in North America.
“Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now” was the first single from their album, “In the Mountain In the Cloud.” Perhaps inspired by their touring experience, such as opening for The Black Keys in Europe and going onto to headline in Australia, Portugal. The Man has announced they will be recording a new album in summer of 2012.
Track Listing: Got It All (Album Version), Got It All (Bjorn Ytlling Remix)
St. Vincent- “Krokodil”
The 7″ red vinyl will feature 2 brand new tracks, much to the joy of fans of last September’s Strange Mercy, which received widespread acclaim from music critics.
The two new songs are “Krokodil” and “Grot.” Check out Annie performing “Krokodil” live in Australia in the video above.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.-We Almost Lost Detroit EP
Released by Warner Bros. on 12″ vinyl, releasing 1000 copies exclusively for Record Store Day.
The 12″ is a limited pressing of 2k standard black vinyl units and will be available for $16.98 exclusively on Record Store Day.
Having just finished up a show for SXSW, the band is set to perform a special show on Record Store Day in their hometown of Detroit with the Hard Lessons and Phantasmagoria.
Track Listing: We Almost Lost Detroit (Album Version), Like A Prayer (Madonna Cover), I Think Of You (Sixto Rodriguez Cover), We Almost Lost Detroit (Stepdad Remix), Morning Thought (Phantasmagoria Remix), Simple Girl (Chuck Daniels Remix)
Laura Marling’s “Flicker and Fail”
Released on 7″ vinyl by Ribbon Records. The new, non-LP3 tune, “Flicker and Fail,” which was written by her father before she “revived and tinkered” with the original, will arrive as a single following last year’s award show début.
For those who are familiar with the tune, the previously unreleased cut “To Be A Woman” backs the new single and gives the listener chills with its descending vocal melody.
While there are 2500 copies, this live album is primarily a UK release, but a small number will also be available in the US. Be sure to check out the shelves on Record Store Day or else there are plenty of versions available online.
Track Listing: Flicker And Fail, To Be A Woman
The Tallest Man on Earth- King of Spain
Released on 12″ vinyl by Dead Oceans Records.
Originally released as a limited edition tour CD, this is the first that “The King of Spain”, featured on his debut album, “The Wild Hunt,” will be available on vinyl. It is limited to 2000 copies and exclusive to Record Store Day. The vinyl is bound to tide fans over until the next LP.
Track Listing: The King of Spain, Graceland (Paul Simon Cover), Where I Thought I Met the Angels
Eddie Vedder’s “Love Boat Captain”/”Wishlist”
Released by Monkeywrench records on 7″ vinyl.
While on tour last year for his Grammy-nominated solo album, “Ukelele Songs,” Vedder played two Pearl Jam favorites. Recorded at The Orpheum in Minneapolis, these songs were captured and are now being released.
With only 1500 copies, be sure to pick up this Record Store Day exclusive.
Track Listing: Love Boat Captain, Wishlist
Wilco & Billy Bragg-Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
This reissue of the famous unreleased lyrics from Woody Guthrie and put to music by Billy Bragg and Wilco contains rare audio and video recordings of the recording sessions.
This release contains a CD compromising of seventeen unreleased tracks as well as a booklet with Nora Guthrie and a facsimile of the lyric sheets from Woody Guthrie.
Animal Collective – Tranverse Temporal Gyrus
In March of 2010 Animal Collective collaborated with visual artist Danny Perez to create a unique installation at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
This record contains recordings of tracks created for and performed live at the installation. The record also comes with a foldout poster.
Gorillaz (Feat. James Murphy and Andre 3000) – “DoYaThing”
Although it is a rather unconventional combination of artists, the Damon Albarn/James Murphy/Andre 3000 collaboration featuring the single “DoYaThing” will be released on limited edition ten inch vinyl.
Beach House – Lazuli/Equal Mind
Only 2,400 copies of these singles from the group’s forthcoming album Bloom. Plus, the vinyl is blue and will create an aesthetically pleasing visual experience of this vinyl.
Bloc Party – “She’s Hearing Voices”
When Bloc Party release their first single “She’s Hearing Voices” back in 2004, only 500 copies pressed on red vinyl were released.
Fast forward eight years later and Bloc Party will be releasing another 500 copies on red vinyl to commemorate that release. Original recordings of the rare songs “The Marshals are Dead” and “The Answer” will also appear on this release.
Many more releases are still to be announced, so check the RSD website for updates.
- Zack Nechvatal, CBS Radio Chicago