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Record Store Day

Arts & Culture

Cop This: Top 12 Picks for Record Store Day

From the experts at Diggers Delight & Premium Sound

Photo credit: Brian Twitty

From the experts at Diggers Delight & Premium Sound

It’s almost here! The twelfth-annual Record Store Day is taking place worldwide this Saturday, April 13th.

This is a day to honor music and celebrate the unique culture of our local record stores and the special role they play in our community.

There are a lot of U.S. releases this year, so as certified vinyl addicts, we sat down and put together our must-buy list.

Art Ensemble of Chicago “The Spiritual” on ORG Music

The Spiritual, a free jazz album recorded by the Art Ensemble of Chicago in 1974, finds this group of stellar musicians at their creative peak. The quartet, consisting of Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, and Malachi Favors, explore the depths of Avant-Garde Jazz through a means that has yet to be touched on in a comparable capacity.

The Spiritual was remastered by Infrasonic Mastering and and press at Pallas Group in Germany, the first vinyl pressing in over four decades.

James Brown “Sho Is Funky Down Here” on Now Again

James Brown’s psychedelic album, created by his then-bandleader David Matthews. Underground, fuzzy, rambling psych-funk. The genesis of Brown’s “Talking Loud And Saying Nothing,” a 1990s hip hop sample staple, informing A Tribe Called Quest, Large Professor, Brand Nubian and others.

Lacquered directly from the original master tapes at Capitol Studios. This is the first official reissue of this rare title. Contains an extensive booklet with full annotation, liner notes by Brown historian Alan Leeds and never-before-published photos.

The Grodeck Whipperjenny “S/T” on Now Again

A psychedelic classic, created by James Brown’s bandleader David Matthews,and  the first album issued on Brown’s famed People imprint. One of the deepest albums in the Brown catalog, its story is finally told.

Like “Sho Is Funky Down Here,” this is the first reissue lacquered directly from the original master tapes at Capitol Studios, and it contains an extensive booklet with full annotation, liner notes by Brown historian Alan Leeds and never-before-published photos.

Buari “S/T” on Nature Sounds

Afrobeat pioneer Sidiku Buari is a singer, percussionist, composer, and musical luminary in his homeland of Ghana. His debut album Buari was one of the first mainstream afro-funk albums to hit stores in the United States. This album was originally released in 1975 shortly after Buari moved the New York City, and features the legendary Bernard Purdie on drums.

John Cage Meets Sun Ra “ST” on Modern Harmonic

The never-before-seen in its entirety, visual documentation proving this avant-garde collaboration of mythic proportions did indeed occur. Recorded at Sideshows by the Seashore along the Coney Island boardwalk on June 8th, 1986. It was long believed that Cage and Ra never performed together but as you’ll see,these two shared the stage the entire time. The VHS footage has been combined with the audio master (containing several silent sections and some mic issues that occurred during the production), which breathes new life into the tiny reels of tape.

Included here is an additional audio track of commentary featuring event producer Rick Russo, plus a 45 RPM record documenting John Cage performing verses from his Empty Words writings while accompanied by Sun Ra. The B side features one of the two “Silent Duets” the two performed together that night.

Fela Kuti & Roy Ayers “Music of Many Colours” on Knitting Factory

After a three week tour of Nigeria’s major cities in 1979, where Roy Ayers performed as the opening act for Fela’s band, the two artists decided to do a joint album as a round-up to the tour. This album was the result.

On the A side Fela’s “Africa Centre of the World,” and on the B Side Roy Ayers’ “2000 Blacks Got To Be Free.” Out of print since the 1989, now on a limited edition rainbow starburst vinyl, exclusive to Record Store Day.

Rasputin’s Stash “Stash” on Family Groove

Rescued from a haze of drugs, alcohol and questionable women comes a potent blend of heavy Chicago Funk, Modern Soul & Psychedelia. Influential recordings from the group’s sought-after funk classics have been sampled by Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Jim Jones, Raekwon & Leaders of The New School.

Stash is a previously unreleased 1976 album as mystical and mysterious as the great Rasputin himself. There is very little information available detailing where these recordings originated from or the reason why the album was never made available to the public. It was cut directly to vinyl from the recently-found master tapes.

Robyn “Body Talk” on Interscope

This exclusive version of Body Talk for Record Store Day brings together tracks from the Body Talk EPs on vinyl for the first time, including hit single ‘ Dancing On My Own’ . The release also includes a previously unreleased acoustic version of the track ‘ Stars 4-Ever’ .

It’se pressed on 180-gram limited edition white vinyl and includes a digital download voucher.

Cecil Taylor “The Great Paris Concert” on ORG Music

Cecil Taylor has always been considered one of the most daring and radical improvisers within the jazz genre, and the Great Paris Concert is no exception Taylor’s reputation. The artistic communication between the players of Taylor’s quartet is second to none, and palpable on every track of the album. Echoing each other’s melodies, and ‘battling’ each other with solos, the group may have never sounded better.

This historic concert – long out of print on vinyl – has been remastered and is presented across two audiophile-grade LPs, complete with photos and liner notes.

V/A “Disco Not Disco” on Strut

Strut Records was there first. ‘Disco Not Disco’ preceded the punk funk explosion by a good two years. Forward-thinking and open-minded New York clubs like Paradise Garage and The Loft form the inspiration for the album as rock, reggae and disco merge into one blistering soundscape.

Tracks include Yoko Ono’s paranoid “Walking On Thin Ice,” the Sly & Robbie-produced “Spasticus Autisticus’” by Ian Dury, and Steve Miller Band’s epic “Macho City.” A perfect snapshot of a period when the unlikeliest acts got busy with the hi-hats and turned up the bass.

Link Wray “Vernon’s Diamond”/”My Brother, My Son” on Easy Eye Sound

In late 1958, Link was in New York for a gig. He walked into Broadway Recording Studio and laid down the song, “Vernon’s Diamond,” which was cut live to 45 acetate disc. The disc sat on a shelf for 60 years before being recently discovered. One label had a typewritten title, “A Cook for Mr. General,,” that was crossed out, and the title “Vernon’s Diamond,” had been handwritten in ink across it.

“Vernon’s Diamond” is a never-released track from the Link Wray Archives. This song, along with another never-heard B-side track,”My Brother, My Son,” are being released as a 7-inch vinyl on Record Store Day.

Wipers “Alien Boy EP” on Jackpot Records

Four track EP originally released in 1980.  First time reissued, from the original master tapes.

Record Store Day exclusive releases are available at Lunchbox Records and Repo Records. The lines are always crazy, so you better get out there early. At Lunchbox, they’re giving away free canvas Lunchbox/RSD bags for the first 500 customers.

No matter what you pick up, we hope you play it loud and often. Peace!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Scott K Homewood

    April 12, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Great picks guys – already was blessed with copies of the Org music releases and they are amazing…the James Brown and David Matthews sets are on my want list for sure!

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