STORY BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
It’s that time of year again for Record Store Day, which takes place Saturday, when hundreds of independently-owned record stores worldwide, including nearly two dozen in Delco, downtown Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, will take part in giving music fans the chance to nab special, limited-edition albums, CDs and even a cassette. This year’s Record Store Day ambassador is Foo Fighters main man Dave Grohl.
“I found my calling in the back bin of a dark, dusty record store,” Grohl said in a statement. “1975’s K-Tel’s ‘Blockbuster 20 Original Hits’ by the original stars, featuring Alice Cooper, War, Kool and the Gang, Average White Band and many more, bought at a small record shop in my suburban Virginia neighborhood, it was this record that changed my life and made me want to become a musician. The second that I heard Edgar Winter’s ‘Frankenstein’ kick in, I was hooked. My life had been changed forever. This was the first day of the rest of my life. I believe that the power of the record store to inspire is still alive and well, and that their importance to our next generation of musicians is crucial.”
You won’t find the musical holiday being celebrated at Best Buy or Kmart. Instead, look to indie spots like Goodies Disc Exchange in Holmes, Vinyl Revival in Lansdowne, Main Street Music in Manayunk, A.K.A. Music in Old City, the multi-leveled Sound of Market in Center City, Repo Records on South Street and Relapse Records in Upper Darby.
Not without its flaws, one of the criticisms of Record Store Day is as its popularity has increased, many money-grubbers are turning it into a financial ploy. Customers and, perhaps most gratingly, record-shop owners, have been accused of getting their mitts on a rare find only to put them up on eBay at a much higher price. Some of the releases have already appeared on eBay for exorbitant prices before they even hit shelves.
Aimed at deflecting that, organizers have marked certain stores as those that have signed a “Record Store Day Pledge,” which means they have agreed to act in the spirit of Record Store Day, and sell the commercial releases to their physical customers, on Record Store Day, not to gouge them, or hold product back to sell them online. Goodies, Vinyl Revival and Main Street Music are some of the local outlets who have signed the pledge.
You can find all the information on releases and participating locations at RecordStoreDay.com, and here are eight in the eighth year that Rock Music Menu recommends keeping an eye out to land:
Bruce Springsteen — The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984
Seven individual 12-inch vinyl titles, available individually for RSD 2015. These are the newly remastered 12” vinyl editions of the first seven albums recorded and released by Bruce Springsteen for Columbia Records between 1973 and 1984.
Recently transferred from the original analogue masters and remastered for release by Bob Ludwig, working with Springsteen and longtime engineer Toby Scott, these essential titles include: “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” (1973), “The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle” (1973), “Born To Run” (1975), “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” (1978), “The River” (1980), “Nebraska” (1982) and “Born In The U.S.A.” (1984).
Metallica — “No Life Til Leather”
Record Store Day isn’t just about vinyl, it’s all about celebrating the Mom and Pop establishments, and sometimes they get some really cool items, like this one on cassette. Recorded in the summer of 1982, “No Life Til Leather” is Metallica’s most widely-circulated demo tape. The seven-song tracklisting contains early versions of their debut album, “Kill Em All,” which has gone triple platinum. This is the first time Metallica is releasing it officially, and it’s remastered.
Robert Plant — “More Roar” (Black Vinyl 10” EP limited to 10,000 copies)
This is a three-track release recorded live during Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters World Tour 2014. Side A has “Turn It Up” b/w “Arbaden” and side B features “Poor Howard” and “Whole Lotta Love (Medley)”
Ride — “OX4_The Best Of”
“OX4” features selections from each of the recently-reunited Ride’s studio recordings, which are arranged chronologically to create an inspiring overview of the shoegaze band’s artistic evolution. The centerpiece, of course, is “Vapour Trail,” regarded by many as the band’s signature tune. This two-LP set is on translucent red vinyl, and is being released in the States for the first time on wax.
Bernard Herrmann — ‘Psycho: Original Soundtrack’ (Red vinyl 7” limited to 2,000 copies)
One of the most famous scenes in popular cinema is without a doubt the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece, “Psycho.” The soundtrack of screeching violins, violas and cellos was an original all-strings piece by composer Bernard Herrmann titled “The Murder.”
Hitchcock insisted that Herrmann write the score for “Psycho” despite the composer’s refusal to accept a reduced fee for the film’s lower budget. The resulting score is perhaps Herrmann’s most spectacular Hitchcock achievement. Hitchcock was pleased with the tension and drama the score added to the film, later remarking, “33 percent of the effect of ‘Psycho’ was due to the music.”
Herrmann used the lowered music budget to his advantage by writing for a string orchestra rather than a full symphonic ensemble, contrary to Hitchcock’s request for a jazz score.
Various Artists — “The Wrestling Album” and “Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2” (12” two LP red/yellow vinyl)
This RSD 2015 release brings “The Wrestling Album” and “Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2” together as a two-LP collection in a handsome spiral-bound jacket, celebrating a golden era in American pro wrestling mania.
Originally released by the World Wrestling Federation in 1985, “The Wrestling Album” features theme music for wrestlers on the WWF (now the WWE) roster at the time, like Hulk Hogan, Junkyard Dog and Hillbilly Jim. The 1987 follow-up, “Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2,” showcases vocal performances from the wrestlers, including “Stand Back” by WWE boss Vince McMahon, manager Slick with “Jive Soul Bro” and Koko B. Ware doing the album’s title track.
George Thorogood — “George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers”
The debut album by George Thorogood and the Destroyers exploded onto the FM airwaves in 1977, bringing a dose of hard-driving roots reality back to rock radio. His versions of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” and John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” still resonate to this day.
Now, 38 years later, here is the first album by George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers — though the “Delaware” was later dropped — as it was initially recorded, newly mixed by legendary producer Paul Q. Kolderie. In this stripped-down setting, the focus and drive of George’s performance, which is what has always set him apart in the blues-rock world, is even more apparent.
The White Stripes — “Get Behind Me Satan”
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the release of “Get Behind Me Satan,” Third Man Records is unleashing the first commercially-available version of the album on vinyl. It includes a full-size, 12-by-12 3-D lenticular cover and has disc one pressed on red vinyl with disc two pressed on white vinyl.
Newly-created artwork reprising themes of the original promo-only version of the “Satan” LP will be exclusive to this release. A download code for the album in MP3 format is also included.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out his blog at our sister publication www.delcotimes.com