Record Store Day: Our pick of 10 of the best releases

By Mark Savage
BBC Music reporter

Image caption,
More than 500 records will be released to celebrate the 10th annual Record Store Day

Ever wanted the new Little Mix album on pink vinyl? Then you're in luck.

The band are releasing a special neon edition of Glory Days for Record Store Day 2017, in the hope it will tempt you into a nearby vinyl emporium.

They're among 500-plus artists supporting the 10th Record Store Day - the annual event celebrating independent record shops - with David Bowie, Madonna and Babymetal all joining the fun.

Best of all, Aqua are celebrating 20 years of Barbie Girl by re-issuing their global smash in a plastic sleeve.

Why? Because "life in plastic, it's fantastic".

The full, exhaustive list of releases (PDF) has just been published and, as usual, it mixes must-have exclusives with brain-scrambling obscurities by bands you've probably never heard of.

Luckily, we've ploughed through it so you don't have to. Here are 10 of the records you might actually want to track down on Saturday 22 April.

David Bowie: Cracked Actor

Image source, Rhino

A year after Bowie's death, and the vaults are slowly being opened.

Cracked Actor (Live in Los Angeles 1974) is a three-album set recorded on the so-called "Philly Dogs" leg of his Diamond Dogs tour - the same show that was captured in an infamous BBC documentary of the same name.

Over five sides of vinyl, you'll hear material from Diamond Dogs and Aladdin Sane; as well as a handful of tracks intended for (but eventually dropped from) the soul-inflected Young Americans, which was released the following year.

The set is completely different to Bowie's patchy 1974 concert album David Live - and features a brand new band, including Luther Vandross on backing vocals.

The sixth side of the three-album set features an etching of Bowie.

Madonna - Dance Mix EP

Image source, Rhino

A worldwide release for a mid-80s Argentinean EP, featuring Into The Groove, Vacacion (Holiday) and extended mixes of Angel and Chica Material (Material Girl).

The artwork will authentically replicate the original, which changes hands for about £200 in the second-hand market.

Doctor Who and the Pescatons

Image source, Demon Records

The first-ever Doctor Who audio drama, this features Tom Baker as the Doctor and Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, defending London from a violent attack by the Pescatons, a race of humanoid sharks, who crash land in the Thames Estuary on a meteorite. As you do.

The double album also features a second disc of classic sound effects from Doctor Who.

Bruce Springsteen: Hammersmith Odeon, London '75

Image source, Legacy

When Bruce Springsteen flew into London for his first-ever UK show, he was greeted by posters declaring "FINALLY! London is ready for Bruce Springsteen".

Enraged, he ran around the Hammersmith Odeon destroying them all. "My business is SHOW business not TELLING. You show people and let them decide," he fumed in his autobiography, released last year.

That energy fuelled his performance, which went down in history as one of The Boss's most incendiary performances (although Springsteen himself, wracked with doubt, felt otherwise).

Released as a live album and DVD in 2006, it gets its first vinyl outing for this year's Record Store Day.

The Comet Is Coming: Death To The Planet

Image source, The Leaf Label

This is a brand new, four-track EP by the London-based trio, which they describe as the "sound of total planetary destruction, produced with laser-guided accuracy and aimed directly at the dancefloor".

The songs will not initially be available to download or stream - so this is the only way to hear the new material. For now.

Deee-Lite: Groove Is In The Heart

Image source, Rhino

Perhaps the ultimate sampladelic psych-pop disco party song, this has been out of print on vinyl ever since it was (contentiously) denied the number one spot by the Steve Miller Band's Joker in 1990.

Re-released as a solid pink 12", the song is backed by the original B-side, What Is Love?

The Fall: Masquerade (PWL mix)

Image source, Ozit Dandelion

AKA The moment when Manchester's angular, vinegary post-punk hero Mark E Smith met 80s pop overlords Stock Aitken and Waterman.

Masquerade was originally a track on The Fall's 19th album, Levitate, but was re-recorded and remixed in February 1998 to coincide with Smith receiving the Godlike Genius award at the NME Awards.

On the b-side was a remix from Stock Aitken Waterman's in-house team of Jason Barron and Richie Reed.

A sought-after rarity, it's being released for the first time ever on 7".

The Smiths: Boy With The Thorn In His Side

Image source, Getty Images / Rhino

A prime example of what Record Store Day is all about - The Smiths releasing a previously unheard version of one of their best singles.

The limited edition 7" also contains an early version of Rubber Ring, the original b-side to Boy With The Thorn In His Side.

The release is an early sample of the material being unearthed for a reissue of The Smiths' seminal album The Queen Is Dead next year.

Johnny Cash: The Johnny Cash Children's Album

Image source, Columbia

It's a long journey from "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die," to "There's a little green fountain on a little green mountain" but Johnny Cash went there on this, his 49th album.

Available on vinyl for the first time since 1975, it's worth a listen just for Cash's self-penned and scientifically-inaccurate Dinosaur Song, in which the country star imagines opening his very own Jurassic Park.

"Now can't you just see yourself walking along / Leading your pet Trachadon?" he asks. "Or feeding your Brontosaurus Rex? Or scratching your Diplodocus neck."

"And if we had dinosaurs, now / Could they get along with a horse and a cow?

"Well, I wish they hadn't become extinct / Dinosaurs would be nice pets and friends."

Truly bizarre.

Bastille: Comfort of Strangers

Image source, Virgin / EMI

A brand new song from Dan and the Bastille Boys, this was recorded during sessions for their number one album, Wild World, last year. Given the band's literary and cinematic proclivities, it's entirely likely that the lyrics were inspired by Ian McEwan's disturbing horror / thriller of the same name.

The B-side is a live version of fan favourite Warmth, which gave Wild World its title; and the whole package comes on white vinyl, with a holographic sleeve. Fancy.

Ten more to look out for

Image source, UMC / Universal
  • Sex Pistols: God Save Sex Pistols - The first configuration of the band's seminal Never Mind The Bollocks album, with slightly different versions of the key tracks and completely different artwork.
  • Fleetwood Mac: Alternate Mirage - A completely new version of the band's 13th album, featuring alternate versions of every song, including Hold Me and Gypsy. Available for the first time on vinyl.
  • Kate Nash: Agenda EP - Kate Nash's first new material since 2013; following her well-received appearance at the SXSW festival last week.
  • Iggy Pop: Post-Pop Depression Live - A full recording of the star's already-legendary 2016 shows at the Royal Albert Hall, backed by members of Arctic Monkeys and Queens Of The Stone Age
  • Pink Floyd: Interstellar Overdrive - A full, 15-minute version of the Pink Floyd instrumental, released for the first time on one-sided black vinyl with a fold-out poster.
Image source, Warner Bros
  • Prince: 12" collection - Reissues of seven classic Prince singles, including Sign O' The Times, Batdance and Pop Life, with the original B-sides and remixes. Little Red Corvette will also be re-released as a 7" picture disc.
  • Kate Tempest: Let Them Beat Chaos / Let Them Speak Chaos - A deconstructed version of the punk poet's latest album, with just the beats on one vinyl and just the spoken word on the other.
  • Ramones: Ramones singles box - A box set of the band's first 10 singles, including Blitzkrieg Bop and Sheena Was A Punk Rocker.
  • Paul McCartney: Flowers In The Dirt (Demos) - A three-track cassette featuring early versions of the songs Sir Paul wrote with Elvis Costello in 1987.
  • Wiley: Godfather - One of the few grime releases for Record Store Day, this is a white label vinyl of Wiley's current, and allegedly final, album.

Record Store Day takes place on Saturday 22 April. BBC Radio 6 Music will premiere a selection of the exclusives in the week leading up to the event, culminating in a live broadcast from Vinyl Tap in Huddersfield on Friday, 21 April, hosted by Lauren Laverne. BBC Radio 3's Record Review will also celebrate the initiative with a live show at Spiritland, a listening cafe just north of King's Cross in London, on the day itself.

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