Event: Record Store Day
Date: Friday, Nov. 27
Participating Stores: Mobile Records (140 S. Sage Ave. in Mobile), Bay Sound (2001 Hwy. 98 in Daphne) and Dr. Music (33 S. Section St. in Fairhope)
Record Store Day is the most beloved holiday for vinyl enthusiasts worldwide. Each Record Store Day features a number of special vinyl releases that encourage the masses to celebrate this classic music medium. But this year, the promotional event felt the sting of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally scheduled for April 18, Record Store Day was forced to split into several release dates. The final Record Store Day of 2020 is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 27 (Black Friday). While most people are having that first cup of coffee, wax junkies across the nation will be filling record stores and hoping to score that special vinyl release on their wish list.
Locally, Mobile Records, Bay Sound and Dr. Music will be participating in the Record Store Day celebration with selections from the events. This holiday event will be the best opportunity to find that perfect gift for a record collector. Since the list of Record Store Day releases is quite lengthy, Lagniappe is streamlining the holiday shopping madness with a selection of choice vinyl cuts from across the genres.
Country music fans can look forward to four unique releases from the late, great “Man in Black.” Record Store Day will feature a quartet of three-inch singles from Johnny Cash’s time with Sun Records. Timeless Cash hits such as “I Walk the Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues” will be pressed into fresh wax. Record Store Day will also feature the controversial Cash hit “Guess Things Happen That Way,” which was banned from the BBC. “Get Rhythm” completes these special single releases from this country icon.
Hip-hop fans will be pleased with the bevvy of classic vinyl rereleases from some of the greatest rappers in the game. Ice-T’s 1987 debut album rerelease will be pressed in yellow wax. The Beastie Boys’ rare, 1994 EP compilation, “Some Old Bullsh*t,” will experience a vinyl revival. A new generation of hip-hop fans can pick up Brand Nubian alumnus Grand Puba’s 1992 remastered debut, “Reel to Reel,” in double-colored vinyl. DMX fans will want to pick up the rapper’s first “Best Of” double album, which will be pressed into translucent red vinyl. Snoop Doggy Dogg’s debut, “Doggystyle,” will be re-released as two picture discs featuring the album’s iconic album cover. Wu-Tang Clan followers looking for a rare cut should look no further than “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version (The Instrumentals).” This instrumental version of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s debut album is perfect for any wax-cutting DJ.
Alt. country will be represented on Record Store Day with several releases, including one from the man who has inspired many modern alt. country artists. “The Asylum Albums” from the late John Prine will be resurrected as a three-LP release in a replication of the original packaging. The Record Store Day release of the Drive-By Truckers’ “Plan 9 Records July 13, 2006” live show is a must for fans of this band. In addition to the live show, this release is packaged in a “bootleg-style, wide-spine jacket” that includes a showbill and a replicated ticket. Only 6000 copies of this album will be available. Longtime fans of alt. country will want to indulge in the vinyl release of “Live from Spring Valley Inn 1993” from The Beat Farmers. This band’s mix of rock and country was instrumental in establishing the alt. country label.
Record Store Day will also include several impressive releases from the jazz world. For the first time ever, the Herbie Hancock Trio’s 1977 self-titled release in Japan will be available on American soil in vinyl form. With only 2,000 copies hitting the shelves, this album features three Hancock originals as well as the trio’s version of Miles Davis’s milestones. Jon Batiste’s “We Are: Roots & Traditions” will be released in purple vinyl. From jazz to gospel, this musically eclectic artist delves into a plethora of sonic dimensions. Jazz icon Dave Brubeck’s Record Store Day release promises to get everyone in a holiday state of mind with “Christmas Lullabies.” In addition to the beautiful tunes on this release, Side B features an “elegant festive holiday etching.”
Finally, metal fans of all walks will rejoice on the Black Friday installment of Record Store Day. Before Anthrax released their debut, “Fistful of Metal,” “Soldiers of Metal” spun on tables across the nation. Now, this previously out-of-print album will be available in black and orange vinyl. Ronnie James Dio might be gone, but he will be conjured from the afterlife on Record Store Day. Dio’s “Dream Evil Live 87” features live cuts of tracks from the “Dream Evil” album set on a picture disc featuring a knife-wielding clown. Record Store Day’s metal offerings would not be complete without a little Motörhead. The reissue of Motörhead’s U.K. Christmas single of “Ace of Spades” would make for a perfect Christmas gift. In addition to the classic title track, it features a 2020 instrumental remix of the song, a cover image of the band members donning Santa Claus costumes, and a Christmas ornament. In addition to “Ace of Spades,” Record Store Day will also feature the intended debut from the band On Parole. Recorded in the mid-’70s, this album features Motörhead’s original lineup as well as a bonus 12-inch EP.
These are just a few of the many releases that will be included for the Record Store Day celebration. The event’s official website (recordstoreday.com) features a full list of releases as well as the number of copies that will be put in circulation. Those new to the Record Store Day experience should plan ahead by calling local record stores to see if their desired vinyls will be in stock. Those venturing into local vinyl stores for a particular album should also remember retailers have a very limited number of selected albums. With vinyl collectors filling stores, inventory tends to go quickly.
Shoppers should prepare by arriving as early as possible. Last year, Dr. Music customers began getting in line a little after daylight. When the doors opened, the line stretched down the street. However, this should not discourage those new to Record Store Day from shopping local at one — or all — of the area’s vinyl stores.
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