Make that events, plural; with retail shops’ and customers’ sensitivity to pandemic conditions still in mind, the usual singular blowout day in April is being split into two separate rollout dates, June 12 and July 17.
On the docket for the mostly vinyl-focused RSD 2021 are LPs (and, very occasionally, cassettes or CDs) from artists including Lady Gaga, Prince, Twenty One Pilots, Tom Petty, Ariana Grande, rising country star Jimmie Allen, Lupe Fiasco, Rage Against the Machine, Beck, Elton John, U2, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, the Police, Sublime, Amy Winehouse, the Beastie Boys, Steely Dan, the Doors, the Cure, Joni Mitchell, the Grateful Dead, Flaming Lips, Deftones, Al Green, Tune-Yards, Garbage, Fela Kuti, Iggy Pop and Motley Crue.
The number of copies pressed for these limited editions range from 400 copies to 16,000, with most falling in the low four figures, ensuring the usual early lineups, which happened at several RSD Drops events last year, social distancing and limited-entry procedures notwithstanding.
The editions with the biggest number of pressings — which is still no guarantee they’ll be in stock through the evening:
- Twenty One Pilots’ “Location Session,” at 16,000 copies. The EP includes a live version of the duo’s quarantined-themed 2020 single “Level of Concern,”
- Prince’s “The Truth,” at 13,000 copies. His mostly acoustic accompaniment to 1998’s “Crystal Ball” set appears independently for the first time and also as a first-time LP release, in purple vinyl with a foil-embossed cover.
- Amy Winehouse’s “Remixes,” at 13,000 copies. Although all the tracks are previously released, they’ve never been put together as a collection until now.
- Rage Against the Machine’s “The Battle for Mexico City,” at 12,350 copies. A 1999 show from the Palacio de los Deportes debuts on vinyl colored red and green, per the Mexican flag.
- Tom Petty’s “Angel Dream,” at 12,000 copies. Perhaps the most newsworthy release in this crop for mainstream rock fans, this Petty release “reimagines” the “She’s the One” soundtrack for its 25th anniversary. It’s tied in to the recent “Wildflowers” boxed set — but it’s complicated, as Petty fans would guess. As the annotation for the release says: “‘She’s The One’ included some songs that were left off the original ‘Wildflowers’ album, recently included in the ‘Wildflowers & All The Rest’ reissue. To take the place of those songs, four previously unreleased songs have been added here – two Petty originals (“105 Degrees” and “One of Life’s Little Mysteries”), a cover of JJ Cale’s “Thirteen Days”, and the instrumental “French Disconnection”. An extended version of “Supernatural Radio” is also included.” And it’s all been remixed and remastered.
- Flaming Lips’ “The Soft Bulletin Companion,” at 11,250 copies. This double-LP, an addendum to one of the band’s most popular albums, was originally released as a promo-only title, and now comes to the consumer pressed in silver.
- Lady Gaga’s “Chromatica,” at 11,000 copies. Her latest release is reissued on translucent yellow vinyl, “with a 28 page book, collectible zine and never-before-seen Gaga images and artwork.”
- Beastie Boys’ “Aglio E Olio,” at 11,000 copies. On clear vinyl, the vinyl reissue includes two bonus tracks, one of which is a cover of the Doors’ “Light My Fire.”
- Ariana Grande’s “k bye for now,” at 10,000 copies. The live album from her 2019 “Sweetener” tour had previously only been released in digital, not physical, form.
Fred Armisen is serving at this year’s Record Store Day Ambassador.
For a complete list of titles, click here.