No one really knows how many "official" Record Store Day releases are dropping on Sat., April 16. Until recently, head count had settled at 314 albums, singles and EPs. But as the annual indie holiday dedicated to pitch has broken out, record labels both small and large are moving release dates to and fro just to get in on the action. This year, Atlanta's fraternal order of participating stores, Decatur CD, Wax 'n' Facts and Criminal Records are joined by North Georgia CD and DBS Sounds. With so many choices this year, judicious shopping habits are in order — unless you're stacking racks like Donald Trump. So here's a short list of essential picks from my personal RSD shopping list.
13th Floor Elevators, "Wait For My Love" b/w "May the Circle Remain Unbroken" 7-inch — Green vinyl pressing of an unreleased 1968 single. The B-side is remixed by Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3).
Bad Brains, "Pay to Cum" b/w "Stay Close to Me" 7-inch — The oft-bootlegged 1980 debut from D.C.'s legendary reggae/punk rabble-rousers is an underground staple. Absolutely essential.
The Beach Boys, "Good Vibrations" b/w "Heroes & Villains" double 10-inch — The shining star of RSD 2011, this reissue of the group's '66 hit spins at 78 RPMs. Nobody can play it, but everybody needs it.
Big Star, Big Star's Third — The original track list for this beautiful train wreck of an album has been restored. It's limited to 1,000 copies, and one of every 300 comes with an original test pressing — kind of like a golden ticket with your Wonka Bar.
Black Angels, Another Nice Pair — Texas shoegazers reissue their first two face-melting EPs together on one red vinyl platter.
Kate Bush, Hounds of Love — Bush's U.S. breakthrough reissued as a 10-inch on pink vinyl.
Cults, "Abducted" b/w "Go Outside (remix)" — Internet art pop darlings finally release a physical product.
Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity — Translucent green vinyl reissue of Deerhoof's excellent '07 LP — its first with guitarist John Dietrich.
Deerhunter, "Memory Boy" b/w "Nosebleed" 7-inch — The second single from Halcyon Digest is a white vinyl gem that's (not very) limited to 1,800 copies.
Dennis Coffey, "Space Traveller "b/w" Android" — Detroit soul guitarist Dennis Coffey's songs have provided rich fodder for samples for generations of hip-hop artists. The two cuts on this 7-inch picture disc illustrate why.
Dio, Killing the Dragon — Dude, the artwork features a fire-breathing dragon that's about to have its ass handed to it by villagers with pitchforks and torches. Any questions?
John Fahey, Requia — Gorgeous '67 classic, remastered from the original tapes to preserve every bluesy and folkie intonation, and every haunting bit of musique concrète.