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Area Resident’s Record Store Day Picks

New vinyl from John, George, Ringo, The Who, Yardbirds, Stones & plenty more.

I must admit, I don’t usually line up for Record Store Day. If there’s something I really want, I’ll let some of my shop-owning pals know. But I buy records like some people buy newspapers — so, I generally haven’t got the budget for an “event.”

That said, I do love to see what cool stuff is in the offing. That’s what I’ve just done, and I’ve got some stuff to share which I think is kinda cool. First, though — one of the releases is a two-record set of The Best of The Box. Don’t get me wrong — there are about five songs of theirs which I seriously love. But TWO records worth? I digress…

Tragically Hip | Live at CBGB

This is a bootleg-looking live album recorded at the legendary CBGB club in New York while the Hip were touring Fully Completely in 1993. The first time I heard Courage, it became apparent this band was more than just New Orleans Is Sinking (which is not included on this set). I bet the band was up for this show — but were they ever not up for a show?

Ace Frehley | 10,000 Volts Picture Disc

Love the Space Ace, but I’d definitely preview anything of his before I bought it. KISS Kollector types might be interested in this special picture-disc version of his new album, but they generally sound crappier than the proper black wax.

Groovie Ghoulies | 40 Years of Kepi & the Groovie Ghoulies

You don’t see their records that often, so this might be a good time to get your hands on a nice two-record set — on purple and orange vinyl, no less. The pop punkers have never had a best-of compilation before. Could be a popular item.

Tricky | Angels With Dirty Faces

His other great album — repressed for the first time, and expanded on two discs of orange vinyl.

The Dead Milkmen | Bucky Fellini

Besides the single, Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance To Anything), this is somehow a Dead Milkmen album I haven’t heard. I love Eat Your Paisley and Beelzebubba, and enjoy Big Lizard in My Backyard and Metaphysical Graffiti — but this classic from 1987 came out between my two favourites. Is Record Store Day an occasion to try something? I dunno. Not without a road test. Generally, the Milmen are good for a listen once a decade. They’re like Bazooka Joe gum.

Gorillaz | Cracker Island

The multi-media outfit put out this album last year. For RSD, they’re putting out a two-record version, on pink vinyl — with a different cover. Malibu Stacey.

Ringo Starr | Crooked Boy

This is actually surprising. Ol’ Ringo is gonna be 84 years old this summer. I’ve only heard the single from the forthcoming Crooked Boy EP, February Sky, which dropped on April 12. I think it’s his best music in 50 years. Produced and written by Linda Perry, and featuring guitars by Nick Valensi of The Strokes, it’s not cringey at all. Black & white marble vinyl, and yes — Ringo is on drums.

Pearl Jam | Dark Matter

Like Ringo, PJ are putting out a new album on RSD. Dark Matter comes on really, really cool yellow & black “ghost matter” vinyl — in a gatefold sleeve with a book and one of three different sticker sets. As for the music? I don’t care for Pearl Jam. Never have. If you do, you should probably get this.

George Harrison | Wonderwall Music & Electronic Sound

I already have Beatle George‘s second solo album, Electronic Sound. It’s stupid, and half of it isn’t even Harrison — it’s just a recording of Bernie Krause demonstrating the Moog synthesizer he’d just sold him. When you’re a Beatle, you can get away with this kind of crap. Harrison did the cover, which shows Apple press agent Derek Taylor in his big rattan chair. But this album was initially pressed on Apple’s experimental sub-label Zapple — the last of two albums to be pressed on it. The other was Lennon/Ono’s Life With The Lions, which is equally unlistenable. This RSD pressing, and the debut solo album Wonderwall Music, both come on cool zoetrope vinyl. That’s when the images on the picture disc become animated when in motion on your turntable. I do, however, plan to get a copy of 1968’s Wonderwall Music. It’s mostly instrumental crap — heavy on sitar — but there’s a few cool tracks I love.

G Love & Special Sauce | G Love & Special Sauce

The band’s debut is still their best album — not for the annoying Cold Beverages, but for Blues Music. You never see this album, so it’s worth grabbing in a lovely, expanded two-record set.

Be Bop Deluxe | Futurama

Bill Nelson’s band never made a perfect record, but they have a bunch of great, great songs. One of them is on this record: Made In Heaven. It also has awesome artwork by George Hardie, who you can thank for Dark Side of the Moon (especially the stickers), the Led Zeppelin debut, Black Sabbath’s Technical Ecstasy, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the Venus & Mars album stickers and inner-sleeve, and the handshake-hype sticker on Wish You Were Here. Nelson is one of the most underrated guitarists of all time, and he has around 450 albums.

Dr. John | Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya

A collection of the late doctor’s singles from 1968 to 1974. I’ve been hunting for his albums from this era, so I’m tempted by this. No way it’s as good as the 2012 Dan Auerbach-produced Locked Down, though.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe | Live In France

This I’d like to get. It’s hard to find any Sister Rosetta albums for under $100, so this is attractive. Restored audio from the original tapes of her 1966 concert in Limoges.

John Lennon | MInd Games EP

Lennon’s 1973 album is set for a “definitive ultimate” mix box set release in July. A whopping 72 tracks, with a book. But if you are having trouble waiting, there’s a RSD EP version featuring “ultimate” mixes of the title track, Aisumasen (I’m Sorry) and I’m The Greatest (with George & Ringo!) — a song he gave to Ringo for his 1973 self-titled album. There’s also a studio outtake of You Are Here.

Snoop Dogg | Murder Was The Case

Snoop’s 1995 soundtrack album is about to celebrate 30 years. It hasn’t been reissued in 23 years. RSD seems like a dandy opportunity to get your hands on a copy. He looks so young on the cover — back when he was still being credited as Snoop Doggy Dogg.

Harmonia | Musik Von Harmonia

Legendary debut by the Krautrock trio featuring Neu! guitarist Michael Rother and Cluster’s Moebius and Roedelius. One of the greatest albums of the genre. This 50th anniversary edition is a 2LP set, containing the original album plus a second of previously unreleased reworkings.

Yardbirds | Psycho Daisies

A collection of the band’s B-sides. This is one I think I will get. Comes on red vinyl and features all three phases of the band — the Eric Clapton era, the Jeff Beck era and the Jimmy Page one.

Willie Nelson | Phases And Stages

A 50th anniversary edition of Willie’s failed-marriage concept album. A bona fide classic.

The Ramones | 1975 Sire Demos

The first recordings by The Ramones, on wax for the first time.

The Rolling Stones | The Rolling Stones

A lavish repackaging of the band’s debut album. No word if it’s in mono or stereo.

The Who | Story of The Who

Never released in the States, this 1976 compilation is considered the best anthology devoted to the band. Comes on coloured vinyl with a replica booklet. There are only a few Who albums that you absolutely need to own — Tommy, Live At Leeds and Who’s Next. So this seems like a legit option, though the 1979 The Kids Are Alright soundtrack suits me perfectly.

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Area Resident is an Ottawa-based journalist, recording artist, music collector and re-seller. Hear (and buy) his music on Bandcamp, email him HERE, follow him on Instagram and check him out on Discogs.