Okayplayer's 16 Must-Cop Releases For Record Store Day 2016
If we can agree on anything in 2016, it's this: despite damn-near seven decades of shelf-life, vinyl remains king. In fact, records have been subject to such a resurgence in the last 10 years, that new pressing plants have sprung up all over the globe just to keep up with demand. Hell, even the majors are catching wind. That in itself is an entirely separate branch of the discussion, but certainly furthers the point that vinyl, in all its popping and crackling glory, is here and here to stay.
And so, on this first edition of 2016's Record Store Day(this Saturday, April 16th,)we celebrate not just the continued dominance of the medium that won't let up, but the arrival of a whole new batch of reissues and even some first-ever pressings that should not be slept on in any way. But let's be honest, every year, whoever commands the pulpit of this crate-digging holy day, inundates the vinyl-loving community with more titles than any one brain can bear. So we went ahead and put in the work for you, compiling 18 of the year's tastiest releases into one streamlined list for your perusal; a compendium of cosmic jazz a la Sun Ra, drum machine funk from Egyptian Lover, bone-bruising blues courtesy of Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, and of course, that long-lost-but-now-found vocal album from the lateJ Dilla.
But even those titles don't begin to convey just how lush this year's crop of acetates is, so get comfy and take notes. Here's OKP's guide to your Record Store Day sojourn. We wish you only the best in your excavations. Please do keep in mind that each title is limited to only a few thousand copies (at most) and with that in mind, we advise you get to your local shops bright and early to beat the crowds. Hit the link below to pinpoint your nearest participating record store.
1. Egyptian Lover- 1983-1988
This stunning blackout box inscribed with gold foil packs four LPs-worth of the pioneering producer's seminal recordings, contextualized and brought to life by a 20-page booklet of photos and liner notes provided by Jeff Weisswill make for a perfect companion piece to that "Egypt, Egypt" 12-inchreissue from last year.
2. The Notorious B.I.G. - "Mo Money, Mo Problems" b/w "#!*@ You Tonight"
140 grams of money green wax, B-side featuring the R. Kelly collaboration everyone hates to love so damn much. 5,000 copies total.
3. Allen Toussaint -Live In Philadelphia 1975
Honoring the late American musical treasure, this 180 gram pressing captures the magic of Toussaint's stage show, celebrating 50 years of NOLA-bred excellence. The album is limited to 5,000 copies,which may seem like a lot compared to some of the other releases on this list. But then you realize there are roughly 100 participating stores in NYC alone and it becomes all the more clear just how crucial locating this funky little thing will be in your RSD travels.
4. Buddy Guy & Junior Wells -The Criteria Sessions
As two of the baddest bluesmen in history, Guy & Wells are practically unbeatable. This 180 gram black vinyl, limited to 3,500 copies, completes Rhino's HandmadePlay The Bluestitle and should be considered this year's prize for the burgeoning blues collector.
5. John Coltrane -The Roulette Sides
Finally, something for you jazz cats of the crate-digging world. This heavy-duty 10" acetate toasts to 40 years since the release of the Love Supremacist'srecordings for Roulette's labels. Limited to just 4,500 copies.
6. OutKast - "Elevators"
WithATLiens hitting the 20 year mark this summer, the album's lead-off single (the very first Outkast cut to be produced by Big Boi & Dre) will see a breakout release this year for the first time ever. Pressed to extraterrestrial green, glow-in-the-dark wax, there may not be a more fitting salute to theATLienduo, stocked with remixes and a cappella mixes for you, selectors of earth.
7. Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 - "I Go Shout Plenty" b/w "Frustration"
2000 copies of these peak Afrobeat-era Fela gems will be pressed on an RSD-exclusive 10" vinyl, bringing the high-life to you and yours, straight from the dust and grooves.
8. Sun Ra - Spaceways
Those familiar with the space-time-defying ways of Sun Ra, know his live incarnations to be some of the headiest and most transcendent performances of any musician on any planet. And so, for the first act of RSD in 2016, the powers that be have forged a remastered set of live recordings by Sun Ra and his Arkestra in NYC that took place between 1966 an 1968, pressed to psychedelically-swirled color vinyl.
9. David Bowie - 1966
As we continue to remember the eternal genius of David Bowie's thin white funk, this RSD-exclusive commemorates the oft overlooked early years of Bowie by compiling six of his 1966 recordings for Pye into one easy-to-digest piece of wax. Putting more than five fingers up for the fallen Starman, whose eternal glow now surrounds planet Earth and continues to inspire the whole and brokenhearted.
10. Pete Rock - "Give It To Y'all"
15 years with Pete Rock's solo breakout record,Petestrumentals, and it still holds up as one of the finest beat suites to have ever grabbed up our ears. To show proper reverence, this year's RSD list brings one of the album's hardest hitting selections back for your to rock at your next set or simply bump at the next cookout. Only 1,000 copies will be pressed, so be sure to land at the front of the line.
11.Todd Rundgren & Utopia -Disco Jets
A lost treasure of the prolific, experimental, damn-near savant-level songwriter, who's been a consistent sample source for the likes of J Dilla and Madlib. This particular gem, however, had only seen the light of day as part of a Japan-exclusive compilation. And so, this year, diggers will be able to dive deep into Rundgren's astrally-projected four-to-the-floor numbers on wax for the very first time. But be warned, at only 500 pressed copies, this will no doubt be one of the most difficult to find. We advise a friendly pre-RSD reach-out to your local shop to make sure you're not chasing your tail out there.
12. The James Brown Revue - Get Down At The Apollo With The J.B.'s
You simply can't deny magnitude of each and every time The Godfather took to the blood-and-sweat-soaked planks of the Apollo Theater. The two names alone are practically synonymous with black excellence, and when heard in the same sentence, virtually guaranteeing that whoever's on the receiving end is about to catch a life-changing lesson in good-footing.This particular performance, recorded in 1972, captures Mr. Dynamite mid-explosion, right in the meat of his genius period, backed by Lyn Collins, Bobby Byrd and, of course, The JBs. In fact, this will be the first time this recording has ever been heard in its entirety, and what better way to do so than a full-bodied 2xLP release.
13. Joe Bataan - "Chick-A-Boom" b/w "Cycles Of You"
Two of the Latin Soul phenom's later grooves, now modern soul classics, pressed to an ultra-mobile45 for you to take the funk on-the-go as you please.
14. The D.O.C. -No One Can Do It Better
Toasting to 27 years of an oft unsungclassic,Get On Down is bringing us The D.O.C.'s platinum debut, which hosts contributions from every member of NWA, including some ofDr. Dre's earliest non-NWA productions. In a year that has been touched by west coasters of all generations and denominations, D.O.C.'s first-time-out is a powerful reminder of just how broad that spectrum of westward brilliance really is, and certainly earns its sliver of your bookshelf.
15. Ol Dirty Bastard - "Brooklyn Zoo" b/w "Shimmy Shimmy Ya"
Two stone-cold classics from ODB pressed to an eye-grabbing picture disc with the Brooklyn assassin's hallmark stamp blasted to its waxy grooves. Limited to 2,000 copies.
16. J Dilla -The Diary
At this point, The Diary should need no introduction. In fact, it did that all by itself. But just in case you forgot (or only come through when that new K Dot lights up your timeline) the myth behind The Diary states that the album was found on 2-inch tapes stashed in that massive trove just after Dilla's death. The tapes, featuring his canned MCA solo debut, found Dilla blazing bars over a host of productions from fellow legends and disciples alike (Madlib, Karriem Rigginsand Pete Rock to name just a few.) Pressed to only 4,000 pieces of wax and furnished with a 16-page booklet containing liner notes from Ronnie Reese (who helmed Ruff Draft's notes,) The Diary is already this year's hottest item. The wait will be long if even manageable, so make sure you line up nice and early if you've got your sights set on this one.
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Lester Young -Blue Lester
The hallmark of the true vinyl digger is that one too many is never enough. So in that spirit, here's two honorable mentions to chase the Top 16 binge-buy, for the hardcore wax addicts. Capping off this year's list we have a reissue of a classic from the innovative tenor, comprised of recordings cut between 1944 and 1949, with the accompaniment of none other than The Count's band. Jazz heads will hear a young Roy Haynes, Freddie Greene, of course, The Count himself, as well as a good grip of marquee names in the game. These recordings hold some of Young's very first notes, and with only 1,500 copies being pressed should at least be on your radars as either a new addition to an already well-rounded Young collection or the first brick in an impressive one to come.
Etta James-At Last
You know the song. You know the voice. Now it's time to finally know the album, plus four bonus tracks, pressed to 2,000 copies of colored vinyl. Queen Etta deserves nothing less.