Try and pick up David Bowie’s earliest 45s and the money’s scandalous. But with new release Laughing With Liza – The Vocalian And Deram Singles 1964-1967+ (Decca) you get box-fresh facsimiles of his first four singles, plus a bonus 7-inch of the Love You Till Tuesday version of Space Oddity and an unheard take of notorious Bowie cupboard-skeleton The Laughing Gnome.
Welcome to Record Store Day 2023, coming to a vinyl outlet near you on April 22. A global celebration of physical formats now in its 16th year, there are more than 400 limited-edition releases, with much to tempt the music connoisseur. Consider The Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet (UMR/ABKCO) on Salt Of The Earth-inspired coloured vinyl, for example, or 2020 John Lennon best-of Gimme Some Truth as a box of nine 10-inch EPs (Apple), or on 7-inch from Bob Marley, non-LP rarity Mr. Chatterbox (Gorgon) and a 50th anniversary unreleased version of Stir It Up (UMC/Island).
New takes on familiar records are also plentiful. The five-LP Nuggets 50th Anniversary Box (Rhino), for example, adds an LP of songs that didn’t make Lenny Kaye’s original cut and, intriguingly, the never-released double-disc Nuggets Vol. 2. Brian Eno’s 2022 LP FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE gets an instrumental release as FOREVER VOICELESS (UMR), while Marc Almond has curated a new 2-LP Artist’s Cut of his 1996 solo album Fantastic Star (UMR/Mercury).
Other albums expanded with bonus material include Elton John’s Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player (Mercury/UME), Pearls Before Swine’s One Nation Underground_and _Balaklava (Earth), and Björk and Dirty Projectors’ Mount Wittenberg Orca (Domino). Bill Evans’ Treasures – Solo, Trio & Orchestral Records From Denmark (1965-69)(Elemental), meanwhile, presents unreleased recordings in a three-LP set. Albums getting their first ever vinyl pressings include Wilco’s Crosseyed Strangers: An Alternate Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch), Bert Jansch’s ’90s LPs Toy Balloon and When The Circus Comes To Town (Earth), and Cesária Évora’s Radio Mindelo (Early Recordings) (Music On Vinyl).
Elsewhere, other trends emerge: with Blur’s Japan-only 1994 flipsides comp The Special Collector’s Edition (Parlophone) getting its first vinyl pressing, there are also newly-curated B-side LPs from Madness, The Pogues and Tori Amos. Foals, Leftfield and Hugh Cornwell all present dub versions of recent releases, while demo collections include Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells prelims Opus One: The 1971 Demos (UMR/EMI), Carole King’s The Legendary Demos (Legacy) and Suede’s The Suede Demos (Demon).
The allure of coloured wax is, as ever, represented. The Fall’s Live 1977 (Cherry Red) is ‘Blood Red’, Ali Farka Touré’s Green (BMG) gets its first vinyl pressing since 1988 on, of course, green vinyl, and Jonathan Richman’s Jonathan Goes Country (Craft) is on a ‘Red Cowboy Boots’ coloured LP. Picture discs include albums by The Cure, ELP, Sea Power, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Simple Minds, and singles including Suggs & Paul Weller’s Oo Do U Fink U R (BMG) and selections from cult horror movie The Devil Rides Out (Silva Screen), the latter on pentagram-shaped 7-inch.
We could go on – how about that covetable red vinyl 12-inch of M’s classic Pop Muzik (BMG) with unreleased song Baby Close The Window, or edition-of-666 demonic country comp Hillbillies In Hell (LITA), or Suicide playing Born In The USA live in Paris in 1988 on A Way Of Life – The Rarities EP (BMG)? Or those live albums from Stevie Nicks, The Black Keys and Tangerine Dream? Good hunting, record junkies.
Record Store Day 2023 is on April 22. See recordstoreday.co.uk for participating shops and releases.