Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Record Store Day 2017

Well, the official Record Store Day 2017 list has finally released. The whole event always feels a bit conflicted: the idea is to release special/limited/early items in order to celebrate Independent Record Stores and encourage folks to actually set foot inside one, but the limited nature of the items on offer nearly guarantees that your only sure chance of acquiring the object of your heart's desire will come through the online secondary market. So, it's fun, it grabs the attention of folks who aren't already frequenting their local Independent Record Stores, those Stores garner a big day of sales, but in the end it just sends people back online for their purchases.

Nonetheless, RSD delivers--as always--with some truly cool items. From Pink Floyd and ELP reissues to a Yes picture disc and a much-heralded double-dose of Bowie vinyl, all the way around to a Johnny Cash children's album and Lemmy's last Motörhead live LP, there's something on the list to tickle most music fans' fancies. We've got a short list ourselves. Here's our Radio Eclectic picks to Grab-'Em-If-You-Can-Snag-'Em on April 22.

The Dark Crystal OST by Trevor Jones, 1,500 Copies
Classic movie, classic score, great LP jacket art. This'll prompt repeated listens, and it serves a dual-purpose as a conversation piece.

Batdance by Prince, 300 Copies
RSD 2017 features the first appearance of several Prince 12" reissues, but ain't none as precious as the Batdance. The single was a #1 smash in 1989, but didn't even make WB's The Hits compilation in 1993, and has since been largely squirreled away by the artist himself. 

Cygnus X-1 by Rush, 5,000 Copies
Finally, both Cygnus X-1 epics are together on one LP! Not that there's anything wrong with spinning A Farewell To Kings and Hemispheres back-to-back, but this is an obvious pairing that's taken nearly 40 years to appear. This also features new, funny art from Hugh Syme, which makes it feel like an honest-to-goodness Rush concept album that never was.

Kashif: The Queen Symphony by Tolga Kashif & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, 400 Copies
Sure, this one comes off as a bit of a novelty release, but it appears to be a true novelty. It's Queen music, and it's a symphony, but it's not just orchestrated versions of Queen songs. The combination of majestic source material with a big classical engine sounds like the recipe for a real emotional powerhouse.

If you don't manage to snag one of the above releases, or your own personal favourite from the list, you can easily still make RSD 2017 count in your favour. Go into your local Independent Record Store with a couple of choice artists in mind, and pick up a used LP that's missing from your collection. Many stores will have deep sales on RSD Saturday, so maybe even pick up two LPs. Alternatively, purchase a new copy of a recent album that you never quite got around to before. And make a New Music Year's Resolution to hit up your local shop at least once a month until RSD 2018, if only for the mental health benefits of crate digging and human interaction with other music lovers.

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