There are some things that will never change about buying an album: searching your local music store, the people you meet along the way, the smell once you remove the cellophane plastic, and the sound of that first track. It’s all in the thrill of being a music fan, and being apart of the unique culture that surrounds independent music shops. Tomorrow, Saturday, April 13 will be the 12thannual Record Store Day, a world wide event focused on celebrating the uniqueness of independent music culture. Record Store Day 2019 will see hundreds of vinyl and cassette releases sold exclusively through independent record shops for one day only.
Throughout its twelve years, cities across the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles, Boise, Charleston and Las Vegas have declared Record Store Day an official holiday. It is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store – the staff, the customers and the artists – to come together and celebrate the culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities.
“Independent record stores are hugely important to me, and have been ever since I was 12 years old. Before I even really knew what they were, there was a certain feeling of ‘this is a dream come true,’ and it’s a wonderland. There’s so much to learn in here… and it’s still that way,” says Mike McCready, guitarist and a founding member of 2019 Record Store Day Ambassadors Pearl Jam. “Support every independent record store that you can. They’re really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it. And it helps people who work here and that’s important, too. And it kind of takes an effort, you have to look for something that you want; you have to talk to people. I had to talk to people to figure out which Aerosmith record to get first or anything back in the day. It’s a place to learn. It’s a place to have fun. And it’s a place to discover new music.”
There are over 100 music shops across the state of New York participating in Record Store Day, with an impressive list that includes exclusive releases from Green Day, IDLES, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Iggy Pop, Prince, David Bowie, Elastica, Jeff Buckley and many more. Here are the top ten that stand out:
Grateful Dead: Sage and Spirit – The limited edition 10-track LP was curated by the band’s archivist, David Lemieux. “ My directive was, ‘You’re sitting on the porch. It’s a summer day. You’re drinking a Dogfish Head American Beauty and listening to the Dead, I was so inspired by that directive that the record turned out to be just that; the soundtrack to a summer day.”
Humble Pie: Official bootleg Vol 1 – Selections of never-legally-released bootleg live versions of the 1970’s supergroup concerts from Chicago 1972, Tokyo 1973 and Charlton Athletic Football Ground in 1974. This is the first time that they have been officially and legitimately released, with much improved audio, and with the input and consent from Humble Pie’s, Jerry Shirley.
Billy Joel: Live at Carnegie Hall – On June 3, 1977, Billy Joel and his band wrapped their tour with a performance at New York’s venerable Carnegie Hall. The audience was treated to a stellar set, accompanied by a live orchestra and featuring several, then-unreleased songs, including the newly-written epic “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” and the romantic “Just The Way You Are.”
Elvis Presley: Live at the International Hotel Las Vegas 8/23/69 – Following his triumphant comeback special for NBC at the end of 1968, Elvis Presley made a highly-publicized return to live performance in 1969, booking an exclusive engagement at The International Hotel in Las Vegas.
Elton John: Live From Moscow – 2019 is the 40th anniversary of Elton John’s historic first tour of Russia – He was the first Western rock star to ever perform in the country. The show in Moscow on 28 May, 1979 also features Ray Cooper, and was broadcast on BBC radio in the UK.
Prince: The Versace Experience – In anticipation of the release of The Gold Experience, the first album credited to his infamously unpronounceable symbol, Prince issued The VERSACE Experience: PRELUDE 2 GOLD as a gift to attendees of the designer’s collection at Fashion Week in Paris during the summer of 1995. The cassette, which featured remixed versions of future favorites “Pussy Control,” “Gold” and “Eye Hate U” as well as rare and commercially unreleased selections by The New Power Generation and Prince’s jazz-fusion project Madhouse, remains one of the rarest Prince releases of all time.
Pearl Jam: Live at Easy Street-Pearl Jam’s live performance at Seattle’s Easy Street Records in 2005 available for the first time on vinyl.
The Garage: Live Music from WTF with Marc Maron Vol. 1- The first vinyl release of material from the hugely successful WTF with Marc Maron podcast, In the Garage: Live Music from WTF with Marc Maron collects ten acoustic performances from some of contemporary music’s most respected songwriters and musicians. A portion of the proceeds of this record will benefit Musicians on Call, who bring music to the patients of healthcare facilities, to add a dose of joy to their day.
Bob Dylan, Blood On The Tracks- Original New York Test Pressing an alternate version of one of Dylan’s most acclaimed albums, this heavily bootlegged release contains unique mixes and is available on vinyl for the first time.
Get out and support you local music shops find a participating one in your area and a full list of all the amazing music being released!