After that epic exercise in daft listing, I thought I would take a break. Oh, sure, I threw my two-cents in about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and its increasingly maddening nomination process as well as its insane backlog of worthy candidates for induction. To be honest, I did not become a big fan of the Hall until my family visited it back during the summer of 2001. After that, we were all hooked, though due to my being on the autism spectrum I get a little more hooked than the rest of my gang. All of which brings us to my favorite economically-driven holiday, Record Store Day.
This new “holiday” was started in 2008 in an attempt by a consortium of independent record stores to get people back in their stores. Originally, the day was intended for artists to release limited edition vinyl versions of rare and unreleased material. Personally, I had not heard about it since my vinyl-purchasing days seemed to be a distant memory. But, it seems now that the holiday may have sparked a vinyl revival. But, I also have to give credit to the college-aged millennials back in the first decade of the 21st century who made it hip to listen to vinyl again. Once my older son moved back from San Diego, he told me about this holiday in 2010. So, my three boys and I decided to take an afternoon to see what it was all about.
Prior to that day in 2010, I had not been bin diving for vinyl since we moved from Oxford, Ohio, back in 1990 when the boys were five and one. Of course, the three of us had a fantastic day hanging out together. That day, we walked away with a special release of an unreleased single by The Rolling Stones called “Plunder My Soul,” which happened to be a terrific song that did not make their Some Girls album back in 1978. Additionally, I picked up a clear blue vinyl version of R.E.M.’s legendary debut EP, Chronic Town, that was released in small quantities that day. From that day onward, this day, and its more recently added Black Friday version, is an annual event for the Keller boys.
Over the years, we have purchased some winners, like Seth’s 7-inch special edition Wu-Tang Clan single that is cut in the band’s logo shape or Graham’s special edition of an OutKast album. Initially, I focused on 7-inch releases, with the occasional album by one of my favorite artists, though, since I no longer have to pay for college tuition for anyone, I now have a bigger budget. Perhaps, my most favorite memory has nothing to do with any purchases, but the morning we stood in line for an hour with my boys doing one of their patented back-and-forth dialogs about they hoped a Goo Goo Dolls’ box set would still be available when they got in the store. Of course, it was all pure Monty Python-esque sarcasm with band member quotes from their VH-1 Behind the Music episode thrown in for good measure. They had a small crowd around them laughing hysterically. Honestly, it is during those moments when I wished they had become writers for SNL, The Daily Show or some other late-night comedy show because they can create some brilliant bits right on the spot.
Lately, though, Record Store Day seems to have gotten itself in a little rut. No longer are some little gems from major artists are getting released to the public, even if it was a little fad release like Jimmy Fallon’s “Tebowie” or something I thought was more substantial like a re-release of Carl Douglas’ 1974 novelty hit “Kung Fu Fighting.” And, then there are two purchases that remain my favorites to this very day, a DVD of a documentary about collecting Christmas Music called Jingle Bells Rock! or the triple-LP version of the Raspberries’ early 2000s reunion concert with each record being a different primary color. Lately, what we have been offered have been first-time offers of vinyl versions of albums that were only released on CD. The creativity and excitement are missing these days.
Back in 2011, Rhino records started a brilliant seven-inch single series of songs by the original artist and a cover version by another on some colored vinyl. Three singles were released that year with the pairings of Hüsker Dü and Green Day, Ramones and Red Hot Chili Peppers and Gram Parsons/Jenny and Johnny. It was a nice change of pace. So, I started to collect that series until it ran out of steam in 2018 with some uninspired pairings of newer bands that are way outside of the mainstream.
Today, I would like to suggest some pairings that I feel would revive that Record Store Day series, known as the Side-by-Side Series. I would LOVE to see all of these released over the next decade on some exciting colored vinyl.
- “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – The Rolling Stones/Otis Redding/Devo
- “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” – Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello & the Attractions
- “Africa” – Toto/Weezer
- “American Skin (41 Shots)” – Bruce Springsteen/Mary J. Blige ft. Kendrick Lamar
- “Blinded by the Light” – Bruce Springsteen/Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
- “Closer” – The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey/Boyce Avenue ft. Sarah Hyland
- “Doin’ Time” – Sublime/Lana Del Rey
- “Easy” – Commodores/Faith No More
- “Every Time You Go Away” – Daryl Hall & John Oates/Paul Young
- “Freedom Highway” – The Staple Singers/Rhiannon Giddens ft. Bhi Bhiman
- “Funky Town” – Lipps Inc./Pseudo Echo
- “Gin & Juice” – Snoop Doggy Dogg/The Gourds
- “Hooked on a Feeling” – BJ Thomas/Blue Swede
- “Hurt” – Nine Inch Nails/ Johnny Cash
- “I Feel Love” – Donna Summer/Sam Smith
- “I Fought the Law” – The Bobby Fuller Four/The Clash/Green Day
- “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor/Cake
- “In Bloom” – Nirvana/Sturgill Simpson
- “Killing Me Softly” – Roberta Flack/The Fugees
- “Lady Marmalade” – Labelle/Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Maya & P!nk
- “Landslide” – Fleetwood Mac/The Smashing Pumpkins/The (Dixie) Chicks
- “Midnight Rider” – The Allman Brothers Band/Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
- “My Way” – Frank Sinatra/Sid Vicious
- “Shake It Off” – Taylor Swift/Ryan Adams
- “Superstar” – Carpenters/Sonic Youth
- “Take Me to the River” – Al Green/Talking Heads
- “The Boys of Summer” – Don Henley/The Ataris
- “The Man Who Sold the World” – David Bowie/Nirvana
- “Tim McGraw”- Taylor Swift/Maggie Rogers
- “Wonderwall” – Oasis/Ryan Adams
And, that 30 pairings is just a start as I have a total of 116 pairings that I would love to see in this series. And, that does not even count any new brilliant covers that are happening right now, such as Chris Cornell covering Guns N’ Roses’ “Patience” or his cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” both of which would make brilliant additions to the series.
Next time, I have a list of shelved albums that I would love to see be released on vinyl for this holiday, all of which would make record collectors salivate in anticipation of getting their mitts on these.
So, until next time, peace.