Although Record Store Day is now five years strong, 2010 was the first year that I formally recognized the holiday, and 2011 was the first year that I fully indulged. Record Store Day seems to grow each year. Artists and labels dish out increasing amounts of exclusive releases, and a growing number of customers happily part with some of their hard earned pay to snag these collectibles, while supporting their local shops.
The RSD release list is now one of my most highly anticipated moments in the Spring, to catch a glimpse of what treasures will be ripe for scavenging come that holy day. The 2012 list is an expansive roster of artists, serving up both catalog / vault material and more contemporary exclusives. Although my list of wants is lengthy, I’ve selected a few choice items that I hope to tuck under my arm come Saturday morning.
Each year, Record Store Day names a an “ambassador” to serve as a sort of figurehead for that year’s festivities, but also to recognize that person’s musical achievements. This year’s ambassador is the incomparable Iggy Pop. That means a few special Iggy-related RSD releases. The one that I’m most excited about is a special vinyl reissue of The Stooges’ Raw Power album. Beyond the fact that Raw Power is one of the most aggressive and influential records of its time, it was also a bit of a gateway album for me. It certainly opened me up to the world of Iggy and The Stooges, but also led me to check out Stooge contemporaries and progeny such as The Clash, The Misfits, and The Dead Kennedys. So the album holds a special place in my heart.
Raw Power also has a bit of an infamous sonic history. Originally produced and mixed by David Bowie in 1973, for years critics charged that Bowie’s mix was uneven, unpolished and a bit muddied. In the mid-1990s, Iggy released a new mix for the Columbia Legacy series. Of course, purists then retaliated that despite it’s merits, Iggy’s mix was not the way that the album was “meant” to be heard. For Record Store Day, Iggy and the boys attempt to please everyone with a 2-LP issue of the album, featuring both Bowie’s 1973 mix and Iggy’s 1997 mix, as well as a 16-page commemorative booklet. More than any of the other releases, this is my must have for RSD 2012.
The Stooges are also issuing a special 12″ picture disc featuring their performance at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in 2010. This is an admittedly less exciting release for me, but may end up coming home with Gonzo, depending on how things pan out otherwise.
Another anticipated release for me is the late Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. Sundazed is reissuing the group’s first single, an excellent rendition of Bo Diddley’s “Diddy Wah Diddy.” Although available on a series of comps and other peripheral releases (most notably the first Nuggets boxed set), “Diddy” was never issued on a Beefheart album.
There are a number of other enticing pieces coming out to play on Saturday as well: Beach House’s first single in advance of their new album, Ra Ra Riot giving Steve Winwood’s pop classic “Valerie” a go, and a trio of Rough Guide compilations covering African Psychedelia, African Roots music, and New Orleans music. I’m holding out hope for these and other goodies, but my sights are most directly set on Iggy and the Captain.
Happy Record Store Day, everyone – may all of your music geek wishes come true.