An Okayplayer Guide to Record Store Day 2017 Essentials: Black Friday Edition
Featuring repressed classics from The Pharcyde and Fela, as well as compilations of unheards from Isaac Hayes and J Dilla.
With the greens, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, and yams all out of the way (until, of course, the right balance of weed and wine spurs a late-night leftover binge,) it’s time to get to the best part of Thanksgiving weekend: the vinyl.
That’s right. This year’s Black Friday edition of Record Store Day is just hours away. And while this particular Black Friday offshoot should pass without any casualties, it doesn’t escape us that it can get a little crazy between the crates. Naturally, we’ve gone through the exclusives (a little short this time around) to bring you a hand-picked selection of titles that deserve your attention should your finger run over them in your respective excavations.
As there’s no correct path to a fruitful haul, we’ve spotlighted both oddities and essentials that should not go unnoticed in your wrecka stow sojourn, whether that leads you to a local brick and mortar or the end-all-be-all wax emporium of the internets. And unless it’s a deal of the century situation, please opt for the former and preserve that regional vinyl exchange.
Scroll on for some of the year’s best Record Store Day exclusives and a few you worth snatching while you’re making the digital and, hopefully, physical rounds.
Bill Hicks – Revelations: Live in London
Celebrating 25 years of the comedy giant’s final special, this limited edition pressing of Bill Hicks’ legendary London performance contains unreleased bits from the evening, during what many have regarded as his absolute peak.
John Lee Hooker – Black Night is Falling
Mythical blues force that he was, John Lee Hooker spent the decade following the creation of his most notable standards riding a freshly-bloomed festival circuit and making his due as a traveling ball of smoke, booze and fire. This 1977 recording from a one-off with a band of ringers in London is Hooker at his rawest and most drunken-sage-like.
The Pharcyde – Bizarre Ryde II The Pharcyde (25th Anniversary 5xLP Box Set)
You’ve seen this massive tributary set in these pages before, but today’s it’s officially out and about in digital and storefront shelves. Those looking to indulge in this hefty, 5xLP collection (comprising the original on two and rare remixes on the other three) can find it in the shop via the link below.
Sun Ra – Exotica
Quantity: 1, 000
It appears there’s no end to the OG Afrofuturist’s vaulted treasures. This 3xLP compilation album makes a case to the cosmos for Sun Ra’s inclusion amongst “exotica” pioneers like Les Baxter, Henry Mancini and Tak Shindo. If Sun Ra’s space is the place, then the universe is rich with elemental jazz, painting lush lunar landscape with Afrocuban melodies and percussion. The collection comes with two sets of liner notes and a rare portrait of the planet-jumping jazz giant, while its cover is adorned with an illustration by space art vaportrail-blazer, Chesley Bonestell.
Fela Kuti Vinyl Box Set #4 (curated by Erykah Badu)
This 7xLP box set of albums hand-picked by Miss E. Badu, pairs perfectly with your prefered couch-locking substance, as the r&b goddess puts it in a press release. It’s amongst the steeper acetate investments on this list (or any other) at $120. But that’s still less than $20 per album, many of which have never been pressed to vinyl at all.
Bernie Worrell – All The Woo in The World
The real pilot of the P-Funk mothership was none other than the late Worrell. This limited edition colored vinyl reissue of the pioneering keyboardist’s debut album arrives in a small batch, but should be in the crosshairs of any faithful funkateer’s RSD haul.
Talib Kweli – Radio Silence
The BK MC has a lot to celebrate with the arrival of his eighth studio album. And what better way to join in on the festivities than a double LP of his all-star return. Silence could never sound this good.
Isaac Hayes – The Spirit of Memphis
Nearly a decade has passed since Isaac Hayes moved on from his soul-drenched physical existence. In celebration of an immutable mark on r&b, soul and funk for the ages, this 2xLP compilation gathers cuts from a monumental stretch as the Stax man. Spanning 67 cuts, dozens of writing credits for labelmates throughout multiple eras of Stax supremacy, there’s no Memphis soul crash course more thorough, expansive or heart-healing.
Leonard Nimoy – Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space
Live long and prosper with the Star Trek icon’s first collection of music, featuring otherworldly sounds and very Spock-like narrations from Nimoy that should launch even the most terrestrial palettes into the stars from which they came. It’s also a deceptively funky album, cover-to-cover, with plenty sample-friendly moments for the aspiring chopstar. Keep your eyes to the sky for this one.
Prodigy – H.N.I.C.
As the world continues to mourn the loss of the forever infamous, Prodigy, the Queensbridge legend’s debut solo album has been reanimated for your bookshelf collection, courtesy of Get On Down. As a 2xLP, H.N.I.C. hums and hisses as P certainly would, and it’s available in limited quantities in The Shop below.
NxWorries – Yes Lawd! Remixes
The long-awaited update to Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge’s debut collaborative full-length arrived just last week. But it’s not a legitimate Stones Throw release without an accompanying acetate treatment. Lo and behold, the Yes Lawd! remixes are available on vinyl as an RSD exclusive with little physical investment. For those of you that missed out on the 100 test pressings, here’s your chance to hear Knxwledge’s twisted recalibrations with a glossy finish.
J Dilla – J Dilla’s Delights Volume II
The latest installment in J Dilla’s Delights puts yet another extension on our grace period with the late Motor City Maestro. For this final RSD haul, both volumes are landing between the waxy grooves on royal green and purple colored vinyl with proceeds heading directly to Dilla’s surviving daughters, whose silhouettes grace the cover of the album(s).