Like seemingly anything the year has wrought, Record Store Day is hitting a little different in 2020.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this most unfortunate year’s chase is spread across three separate days at the tail-ends of August, September, and October, with drops slated for each installation. To aid your pursuit, we’ve compiled a 10-pack of Record Store Day exclusives to keep in mind as you raid the crates. From first-ever pressings to requisite reissues, limited edition variants, and well beyond, there’s something for every shade of wax enthusiast.
Scroll on for the August 2020 edition of our Record Store Day guide. Tune in next month for another batch of selections to seek out for your collection and head over to the official RSD site for the full list of releases.
The catalog-starter to Black Jazz, Gene Russell’s innovative and ravenously-pursued mid-’70s hub for boundary-pushing players, is the subject of a new reissue campaign from Real Gone Music. Housed in a translucent acetate with a black swirl effect, the new packaging on the label’s debut release will catch as many eyes as it has ears over the decades.
The debut album from proto-prog darlings, Roxy Music is a dense and challenging body of theatrical rock compositions. Pressed to clear 180-gram wax, the reissue of their self-titled 1972 introduction is see-through, but sturdily-built for heavy rotations.
Though his last two albums garnered more critical acclaim than anything in his repertoire, Tyler, The Creator’s third studio album, Cherry Bomb, is arguably his most ambitious project. Featuring a roll-call of top-tier producers, singers, and rappers — including Kanye West and Lil Wayne, who team up to deliver their best bars of the decade on “SMUCKERS” — Cherry Bomb‘s vinyl debut brings Tyler’s music nerd musings to a translucent red double-LP pressing. For those seeking the standalone suite, the album’s instrumentals are also seeing their first-ever wax issue with one of the three alternate covers designed by Tyler. Keep your head on a swivel for both versions while you’re in the trenches.
One of the most trusted compilers of rare and obscure cuts from across the globe is honing in on the unending bounty of Brazil’s funk and soul cannon. Soul Jazz’s latest 7″ box-set gathers hard-to-find and heavily-sampled singles from Cassiano, Tim Maia, Azymuth, Donato, and plenty more of the country’s pioneering ensembles, in a five-piece collection that’ll run you far less than copping any one of these on their original 45s.
Step into the front row of a brain-breaking Don Cherry set from 1971. Recorded at The Donaueschingen Music Festival in Germany, the free-jazz ambassador’s performance is backed by an ensemble led by Krzysztof Penderecki, the heralded Polish composer best known for scoring The Exorcist, The Shining, and, more recently, the third season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
Al Green’s sophomore album may not be his most celebrated release, but it does glimpse the iconic singer just ahead of one of soul’s most impactful album runs. In celebration of its 50th-anniversary, the album is being pressed to a heavyweight (and fitting,) split green/blue colored vinyl with original liner notes and a tip-on jacket seasoned collectors.
The second studio outing from RZA’s mid-’90s horrorcore outfit, Gravediggaz, is getting the reissue treatment from eOne. Spun to a cream wax pressing, the double-LP will be available on vinyl for the first time since it was initially released in 1997.
Those familiar with the warmth of Bob James’ chords likely got their first introductions through the ubiquitous hip-hop quotable, “Nautilus.” Released in 1974, the source material for some of the hip-hop’s most instantly-recognizable cuts is an easy entry point to one of jazz’s most sampled composers. On this upcoming collection of previously unreleased session work, James runs through standards and original compositions as a piece of two respective trios, offering a rare glance at the early chops of a maestro in the making, along with interviews and previously unseen photos from the sessions for context.
One of the more elusive selections on this year’s list, a recently unearthed and remastered live show from Thelonious Monk is being pressed to vinyl for the very first time. Recorded in 1963 at Palais Des Beaux-Arts in Belgium, the set features heroic performances of soon-to-be-standards from the avant-garde jazz giant, backed by Charlie Rouse (sax,) John Ore (double-bass,) and Frankie Dunlop (drums.) Another heavyweight pressing, the set is packaged with an exact replication of the show’s promotional poster, offering equal consideration for your bookshelf and the wall it lines.
The late Ennio Morricone may be known for a singular kinship with Spaghetti Western legend, Sergio Leone, but the iconic composer struck up a connection of commensurate potency with Henri Verneuil. For the French director’s 1975 cop drama, Peur Sur La Ville (Fear Over The City,) Morricone blesses the picture with hallmark flares of sweeping orchestral compositions lined with shots of sophisticated and symphonic funk. This limited-edition pressing of Morricone’s soundtrack for the film features the full score, as well as a handful of previously unreleased arrangements getting their first-ever touch of the needle.
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