The Essentials: Record Store Day 2020 (Black Friday Edition)
Featuring psychedelic folk retrospectives, unearthed live and studio recordings from jazz giants, first-ever vinyl issues of early work from hip-hop icons, glimpses at guitar gods moments before their breakout, and almost too much more.
Once a biannual event, Record Store Day 2020 has officially taken over the last quarter of the year. And on Black Friday, the vinyl-hunting holiday is finally closing up shop with one last run through the crates.
Each of the year's (now four,) Record Store Day installments have featured limited edition pressings of beloved recordings, reissue treatments of forgotten marvels, and crucial compilations that scrape eras, regions, and disciplines for unheralded gems. Yet, somehow, there's still more to uncover. The closing RSD outing is faithful to the formula. There are psychedelic folk retrospectives, unearthed live and studio recordings from jazz giants, first-ever vinyl issues of early work from hip-hop icons, glimpses at guitar gods moments before their breakout, and so much more.
Comb through our picks for the Black Friday edition of Record Store Day 2020. And for those who may have missed out on the exclusives from the last few months, feel free to revisit our selections from August, September, and October. There could very well be some drops left on the (physical and digital) shelves.
Various Artists - Jesus People Music: The End is at Hand Vol. 1 (LP)
Aquarium Drunkard and ORG Music team up to document a distinct strain of post-Summer of Love psychedelic folk on translucent aqua blue wax.
Beastie Boys - Same Old Bullshit (LP)
One of the more abundant pressings on the list contains the Beastie Boys' pre-Def Jam EPs, along with segments from appearances on a long-defunct hardcore radio show that aired on WNYU in the early-80s.
Raphael Toine - Ce Ta Ou (LP)
Though it's not technically an RSD-exclusive, this funk-fueled mid-80s zouk/boogie rarity is headed back to wax, courtesy of the good folks at Light in The Attic. And it happens to begin shipping out on Black Friday.
Various Artists - Jugoton Funk Vol. 1 (2xLP)
Another one from the Light in The Attic squad, this 21-track compilation highlights an unsuspecting hub for funk, disco, and soul, in Eastern Europe, and brings earned attention to Yugoslavia's slept-on Jugoton label.
Curtis Knight - No Business: The PPX Sessions Vol. 2 (LP)
Before launching a short, but wildly-impactful, solo career on the other side of the pond, Jimi Hendrix played sideman to a number of r&b groups in the states, including, but not limited to, Curtis Knight & The Squires. Previously showcased on a 2015 compilation of mid-60s session work, this follow-up from Legacy and Hendrix's estate houses the icon's earliest composition, "Working All Day," making it a must-cop for collectors.
Sonny Rollins - Rollins in Holland: The 1967 Studio and Live Recordings (3xLP)
On this expansive triple-LP issue from Resonance Records, the legendary saxophonist takes flight in the Netherlands, leading Ruud Jacobs on bass Han Bennink on drums across three separate 1967 performances that have never before been released.
Various Artists - NuLeaf: Smooth Jazz Underground (LP)
Another retrospective that's been on the shelves for a bit, the latest era-excavation from Numero Group digs into sleek and commercial-friendly, synth and drum machine-drenched jazz-funk from the mid-80s. And, of course, it's pressed to a cellophane-green acetate.
Various Artists: Afrikan Blood (LP)
This 14-track Studio One compilation collects politically-charged and previously-unreleased outtakes from mainstay artists in Coxsone Dodd's legendary Kingston camp.
Jahari Massamba Unit - Pardon My French (LP)
In what is likely a first, Madlib and Karriem Riggins' debut album as Jahari Massamba Unit was announced when it appeared on the list of Record Store Day's Black Friday drops. It was initially available in two versions; a limited edition package with a silk-screened cover and a standard-issue with artwork from Quasimoto creator and longtime Stones Throw art director, Jeff Jank. With just 500 copies made available, the former is long gone. But you can secure a copy of the latter via Rappcats today.
The Herbie Hancock Trio - Self-Titled (LP)
Originally released exclusively in Japan, The Herbie Hancock Trio's debut studio album is finally getting the stateside pressing it deserves, thanks to Get On Down. The first US issue of the trio's 1977 session is packaged in a replica of the Japanese cover, complete with color insert and OBI strip. Jazz heads take heed, Hancock leading Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums is not to be missed.