Record Store Day is coming — consider this a warning.
It used to be a day many people looked forward to, a day designed to celebrate independent record stores and support them with exclusive and unique releases. Yet with each progressive year Record Store Day has become a parody of its original intent — an opportunity to push needlessly expensive releases from major labels while ignoring independent labels.
It hit a peak last year when some labels began speaking out against the way RSD floods record plants and ruins pressing schedules and pointing out some of the creative releases that RSD rejects. The organization’s condescending official response was that “the purpose of Record Store Day is not to promote independent labels. It is to promote independent record shops (the clue is in the name).” We’d like to think those two things go hand in hand — that without supporting independent labels and music, independent record stores would be as bad as, well, Record Store Day.
As reported today, a list of exclusive releases from Record Store Day 2016 has leaked onto the internet. RSD was quick to respond, blaming Universal for accidentally revealing an inaccurate list of releases that are still subject to change. Well, let’s hope so.
In past few years, we’ve taken the time to round up the essential Record Store Day releases, but it’s gotten harder and harder to write. So here’s a different kind of round-up for those 70-odd leaked releases with the hope that none of them end up on the official roster. It’s gone on long enough: get your shit together Record Store Day.
Carl Douglas – ‘Kung Fu Fighting’/;Dance The Kung Fu’ 7” (updated artwork, indie-retail exclusive)
We’re not going to say anything bad about the novelty classic ‘Kung-Fu Fighting’ — we’re not monsters. But the fact is, you can get a copy of this for 25 cents on Discogs while you can bet this will cost a damn sight more. Everybody was getting ripped off, is more like it.
The Kinks – Dave Davies Hits
The lesser Davies’ contributions to Something Else By The Kinks with a reject tossed in. ‘Death Of A Clown’, co-written with Ray, is great, but this is like if they cut The White Album down to just the Ringo songs and released it as a single.
Wojciech Kilar – The Ninth Gate Soundtrack
The soundtrack to Roman Polanski’s dullest, most forgettable film is more unpleasant than at least six of the nine levels of hell. RSD has managed to dig up something so undesirable, it’s almost impressive. Almost.
The Weeknd – The Hills Remixes (feat. Eminem and Nicki Minaj) 12’’
“Can we get there early? I really want to grab that Eminem remix of The Weeknd single on vinyl.” — No one, ever.
Various Artists – Across The Universe Soundtrack 2LP (Colored vinyl, Beatles composition, first time on vinyl, gatefold, numbered, indie-retail exclusive)
The silver lining to this soundtrack getting its first vinyl release is that, stripped of Julie Taymor’s lofty visuals, its defenders might realize how embarrassingly bad Across The Universe’s music was. Maybe next year, RSD can reissue the Bee Gees’ soundtrack to the Sgt. Pepper movie.
Cheap Trick – Found New Parts 10’’
I’m not saying there aren’t fans of Cheap Trick’s new material — but will any of them be lining up Saturday morning for this? Sidenote: Did you know Cheap Trick still release their music on 8-track? Don’t let RSD know, otherwise we’re going to give them ideas.
Mumford & Sons + Baaba Maal – TBD
Giving them the benefit of the doubt, the actual content of this release is still TBD, so who knows? Maybe Mumford & Sons will prove us all wrong after all!
The Shaggs – ‘Sweet Maria’/’The Missouri Waltz (Missouri State Song)’ 7”
No one is going to think you’re cool for having the Shaggs on vinyl. Just go listen to ‘My Pal Foot Foot’ on YouTube like everyone else.
Various Artists – Music From The Motion Picture JOY 2LP
Joy has a strong, expensively licensed soundtrack including the Rolling Stones, the Ronettes and Ella Fitzgerald. None of this is surprising. Susan Jacobs was the music supervisor and she’s one of the best in the biz. That said, does anyone need this on vinyl? Does this need the “RSD exclusive” treatment? Just go see Joy — actually, don’t. Joy was bad. Treat yourself to a Ronettes album instead.
Justin Bieber – Purpose
Everything about Record Store Day’s complete artistic bankruptcy summed up in one “indie-retail exclusive picture disc”.