Record Store Day returned in a big way earlier this year, with St. Vincent tapped as the official ambassador and much-needed celebrations of the icons lost in 2016. A recent addition to the Record Store Day festivities is a special Black Friday installment, where independent record stores around the country once again get special access to limited vinyl pressings from some of the biggest names in music.
This year is no different, with offerings including Janis Joplin’s Greatest Hits, Danger Mouse’s single for the Baby Driver soundtrack featuring Run The Jewels and Big Boi, and a picture disc of the Game Of Thrones original soundtrack. The list is very extensive, so we decided to narrow down the options into ten that are either extremely limited or highly desirable. Check them out below, and get ready to wait on long lines at your local independent record store!
Ryan Adams, Prisoner
Ryan Adams was once known for his prolific nature, particularly in the aughts when his album-a-year release schedule peaked with three full-lengths in 2005. But these days, he’s slowed down to a more reasonable rate, waiting three years between his last two original music releases, 2014’s self-titled record and this year’s quite good Prisoner. And in true Adams fashion, for Record Store Day he is showing his reverence for physical music releases with a very limited cassette run of his most recent album. It’s a bonus that Prisoner is the kind of release that music fans will want in their collection regardless of the collectability. Adams captures heartache and longing like few others, and his craft is maturing beautifully with age. –Philip Cosores
Tori Amos, Native Invader Russia
Format: 12″ LP
Some RSD releases are about the music, and some are more for the collectors. And though Tori Amos’ Native Invader Russia takes a pair of the strong songs she released earlier in the year on her first album since 2014, Native Invader, and another couple that were offered as part of the deluxe edition of that record, the songs aren’t any different from those already presented. No, the draw here is for the collector’s item packaging and the ability to have a couple songs on vinyl that weren’t included in the standard release. Amos takes inspiration for one of her song titles, “Russia,” and goes all-in with labels printed in Russian for the release. The EP is also pressed to orange vinyl, giving the RSD Exclusive an aesthetic boost to complement its rarity. In a year that’s seen Amos get a lot of her due as one of the exceptional songwriters of her time, this should act like a little thank you to her most devout fans. –P.C.
Gary Clark Jr., Come Together
Format: 12″ Single
Our first glimpse of the recently released Justice League film came with a soundtrack provided by Gary Clark Jr.’s rollicking rendition of the Beatles’ classic “Come Together.” The track features a heavy kick-snare beat backing Clark Jr.’s vocals that are somehow smooth and gravely at the same time, as well as massively distorted guitars. Judging from the pre-release footage of Justice League, it seems like this track is the perfect accompaniment to the dark and brooding visuals, with a spastic guitar solo soundtracking shots of explosions and general crime-fighting antics. There’s even a video for the track as the song receives a 12” special edition vinyl — limited to 2600 copies — at a participating indie record store on Black Friday. As if you needed more reason to appreciate this artist, our very own Corbin Reiff recently caught up with Gary Clark Jr. in Los Angeles for an epic conversation about Eric Clapton, the Beatles, and Donald Glover, which you can read in full here. –Zac Gelfand
Danger Mouse ft. RTJ & Big Boi, Chase Me (from ‘Baby Driver’ OST)
Format: 12″ Single
Other than being a really fun movie, Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver received a lot of praise for its eclectic soundtrack, featuring tracks from Sky Ferreira, Queen, and Blur. It also featured an original track from the all-star collaboration of Danger Mouse, Run The Jewels, and Big Boi. If you haven’t heard it, “Chase Me” is a spirited and groovy cut that perfectly fits the visuals of scenes from Baby Driver — in typical Edgar Wright fashion. During the four-minute runtime, the track somehow moves throughout several different sonic landscapes, from upbeat and energetic to laid back and smoked-out. For RSD, a special edition 12” vinyl of the epic track will be available in select stores around the country, limited to 2,000 copies. Before shelling out the cash for the vinyl, be sure to check out the awesome video here. –Z.G.
J Dilla, Dilla’s Delights Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
Format: 12″ LP
Quantity: 1350 each
One of the great marvels of modern music remains Detroit legend J Dilla. Now more than ten years since his untimely death, the hip-hop production wizard is still seeing unreleased music finding its way into the world. In fact, it’s still happening on such a regular basis, it’s worth asking if this particular bank will ever run out of cash. This is a double LP collection of two never-before-released beat tapes, using colored vinyl (green for Volume 1, purple for Volume 2) and donning the silhouettes of Dilla’s two daughters on the cover. The image serves as a reminder of who he left behind, and who stands to profit from this set, as a portion of the proceeds promises to go directly to their needs. But the album isn’t just a fundraiser. Dilla’s beats will provide both a solid listen to his loyal fans or a tool for any budding DJs who wanna add some new beats to their vinyl artillery. –P.C.
Fleet Foxes, The Electric Lady Sessions
Format: 10″ LP
When you go away for as many years as Seattle folk rockers Fleet Foxes did, every bit of new recording can feel like an event. So while The Electric Lady Sessions feature four songs that appear on the band’s lovely third album Crack-Up, the opportunity to hear these session recordings still rings special because of the band’s long absence. Each side holds two songs cut together as a single track, recorded at the famed studio as part of a WFUV session just days before the album was released. Add to the equation the history of the studio space, which was built by Jimi Hendrix and has hosted artists like Kanye West, Daft Punk, and David Bowie, and you have the makings of a collector’s item that should be adored by the band’s core fanbase. –P.C.
Game Of Thrones Season 7 OST
Format: 12″ Picture Disk
There might not be a more iconic theme song in recent memory than that of HBO’s addictive fantasy Game Of Thrones. And it’s not surprising that there is a demand for the music from the show, as they’ve already turned it into a well-received touring concert event. For Record Store Day, fans get a vinyl release of Season Seven’s soundtrack, the most recent the air on TV. The release comes as a two-sided picture disk, featuring a menacing Night King image on the A-side and a dragon for the B-side. The fire and ice separation also applies to the tracklisting, with the first group of songs coming from the colder of the show’s scenes, while the second offers music from the more southern settings. Whether obsessed with the music of Ramin Djawadi or just really into Jon Snow, the Game Of Thrones release is enough to get many fans of the show to their local independent record store on Friday. –P.C.
Format: 2xLP Picture Disk
Gorillaz first new music in seven years came earlier this year in the form of Humanz. It was one of the most interesting records to come out of 2017, featuring collaborations from across the wide spectrum of genres and culminating in a wild 20-song opus that Damon Albarn has called something of a soundtrack for the end of the world. We premiered the album’s first single “Hallelujah Money” back in January, which featured Benjamin Clementine and was accompanied by an eerie anti-Trump video that saw Clemetine standing in the gold-plated elevators of Trump Tower while he denounces everything happening around him. For the occasion of Record Store Day Black Friday, the record will be available as a 2xLP set, with each side of the record featuring a different member of the virtual band. –Z.G.
Janis Joplin, Greatest Hits
Format: 12″ LP
Three years after her death at 27 in 1970, Janis Joplin’s Greatest Hits was released, featuring classic tracks like “Piece of My Heart” and “Cry Baby” and the posthumous chart-topping hit “Me and Bobby McGee.” Out of press since 1990, the collection will finally see a repress for RSD Black Friday 2017 on green smoke colored vinyl. Joplin’s rise during the legendary Summer of Love in 1967 made her into a cultural icon in the year before her untimely death, and it should go without saying that the ability to hold a collection of her greatest tracks is something to be on the lookout for this year, with only 3,500 copies available in select stores. –Z.G.
Third Man Records Limited Edition Beats Solo3 Wireless
From a distance, it might seem like Beats By Dre and Third Man Records exist at opposite ends of the tech spectrum. The former, it appears, focuses on sonic innovation through digital technology while the latter is a creator of meticulously crafted analog devices. However, Third Man co-founder and spokesperson Ben Blackwell begs to differ: “I think points to keep in mind that these are both artist-run companies,” he notes. “They’re artists who are very, very strong, visionary men in their respective fields, whether it’s music or record labels. So to me it seemed like a very obvious connection… It seemed really appropriate.” The headphones are aesthetically gorgeous, and have a truly wonderful sound that captures the intricacies and beauty of all genres, from rock to pop to hip-hop. Check out our deep-dive on the headphones with Third Man’s Ben Blackwell here, and pre-order the headphones, limited to 500 pairs and priced at $329.95 here. They will also be available at Third Man’s Nashville and Detroit storefronts on Black Friday. –Z.G.