Record Store Day 2016 was another fun day for me, though I physically paid dearly for it yesterday. Let’s just say that for an hour-and-twenty minutes of driving plus a couple hours of standing/slight walking resulted in my sleeping nearly all day long yesterday along with severe back spasms that are still blessing my life today. You see, every time I try to do something fun with family and friends I will be “down” sleeping and in severe pain. The pain is incomprehensible for most of you out there. It’s not a little headache pain nor the pain you feel when you sprain your ankle or break your wrist. This pain is on a whole new level, with a whole rating scale to use and everything. The scale runs from 0 to 10. 0 is the lowest, meaning you have NO pain whatsoever. 10 means that the pain is so intense that you are seeking help from an emergency room and have passed out due to the pain. Though my symptoms yesterday sound like a 10, they were not. I had not passed out; I was only sleeping. Simply put, I was at an 8 on the scale and nearing a 9, which would have required a visit to the ER. Fortunately, I only felt like I had played three hours of basketball, followed by a six-mile run, and finished up with someone beating my body with a baseball bat for a couple of hours. But, today, I feel a little better, so I am going to tell you about RSD 2016.
Saturday was a successful dayF for this frugal shopper. Unfortunately, I tend to stay away from the big album releases since they tend to be pretty expensive. That way I can focus on some special 7″ 45 rpm releases, 10″ EPs and maybe a single album here or there. In my opinion, the coolest purchase of the day was a special 45 release by The Monkees for my older son Graham. The vinyl is clear, but it has the Monkees guitar symbol jutting through the center of the record. It is such a beautiful record that I’m certain he will hang it in his home. For Seth, I purchased this year’s Frank Zappa 45 since he has a little Zappa RSD collection going throughout the last few years.
Me? I pretty much got what I was looking for. The first thing I found was the special 10″ Cheap Trick EP release called Found New Parts. It is the follow up to their 1980 10″ EP release called Found All the Parts. There are four songs on this new EP, three of which are on their new CD, along with one new song that was unreleased until Saturday. Being a huge Trick fan, I needed the record for my collection.
Five years ago, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers released a RSD 12″ EP called Kiss My Amps Live, that had songs from the band’s previous tour. This year, Tom & the boys made another live collection of songs entitled Kiss My Amps Live, Vol. 2, which was a full album. Well, when you have the first volume, the completist in my needs Volume 2. Now, the rest of my purchases were singles, also known as 45s. Eight years ago, Tom Petty got his original band, Mudcrutch, back together to create music. They released a brilliant, laidback southern rock-type of album. This year, Mudcrutch has reconvened to create their follow-up album. As a special teaser, the band release a 45 for RSD. It is a remake of a Heartbreakers B-side from 1985 finally recorded the correct way by Mudcrutch. The song is called “Trailers”, and I picked up a copy.
The rest of my purchases of special RSD 45s are from a special set of singles that Rhino Records has been releasing since 2011. The series is known as the “Side By Side” Series. First of all, a song is selected by the original artist and printed on Side 1. Then, Side 2 is reserved for a “cool” cover version of the song, and the single is printed on some crazy colored vinyl. For example, my favorite record of the day was from this collection. Side 1 was “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads, record way back in 1983. The Side 2 cover version was done by Echosmith, of “Cool Kids” fame. The vinyl of the record is half opaque white and half a clear cool mint blue color. Since records today are being made of thicker, higher grade viny, the sound is much better than the original 1983 vinyl album.
The other singles in the series are Bee Gees/Faith No More doing “I Started a Joke” (mint green vinyl), Albert King/The Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s recordings of “Born Under a Bad Sign” (olive green & white mix vinyl), “Truck Drivin’ Man” by Willie Nelson & Uncle Tupelo (brown & black mix vinyl) and “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon/Flamin’ Groovies (a werewolf picture disc – very cool artwork!). And for the past four year, the Series has included a “Mystery Single”. This year it was a clear red vinyl version of MC5 and Melvins doing their renditions of “Rocket Reducer No. 62”.
The “big” records that I passed on for budgetary reasons that I will keep an eye out for in the next couple of years are a bunch of double albums or expensive albums on colored vinyl, or some combination of the two. Those releases for which I will continue pining include Big Star’s The Concert at Columbia, Missouri (2xLP); Cheap Trick’s The Complete Budokan Concert (2xLP); Goodfriend, a double-album remix of his Girlfriend album by Matthew Sweet; Fleetwood Mac’s alternative mix to their successful 1979 double album Tusk called Alternative Tusk, and a special double album addition to the Nuggets collections of Sixties songs that were forerunners to the punk, alternative, power pop & metal genres of the late 70s and beyond called Nuggets: Hallucinations.
Record Store Day is a fun day for record collecting. Plus, you can meet new friends and join them in their quests to discover the gems for which they are looking. In the past, I have visited Luna Music in Broad Ripple, Indy CD & Vinyl in Broad Ripple, The Exchange in Castleton and Village Green Records in Muncie, which is quickly becoming a favorite place of mine at which to shop and browse. Still, wherever you frequent, at least go out to support your favorite independent record. Keeping vinyl alive keeps a whole era of history alive as well.