The freshly unveiled lineup for indie record shops’ biggest day of the year, Record Store Day 2020, is out, promising exclusive LP releases featuring releases by everyone from Billie Eilish to Britney Spears to Miles Davis. This year, the blessed event for the “High Fidelity” set falls on Saturday, April 18.
At the top of many fans’ want list, considering that she’s the biggest phenomenon of the past year, is an acoustic live album by Eilish that was until now only available if you stopped in at one of Jack White’s two regional record shops in the flesh. It’s being pressed in several times the quantity that were available at the Third Man stores, but could still go fast, even at a high-for-RSD 11,000 units.
Classic rock dominates the list, as ever. Live albums capture Cheap Trick, the Pretenders, Alice Cooper and others back in the day. David Bowie, the unofficial posthumous king of Record Store Day, has two releases that will be eagerly snapped up — a double album from his 1974 tour, right at the moment he was going “soul,” and another shorter set that was recorded live in the studio in 1996. Both of the Bowie albums will come out for RSD on compact disc as well as LP, the only major releases that are getting the twin format treatment this time around.
Among the slightly odder but lovable items that keep RSD special, there’s a Warren Zevon best-of curated by super-fan Judd Apatow, and a pair of Soundgarden covers by RSD ambassador Brandi Carlile. You can also be on the lookout for a new live album from country’s Midland, vintage jazz from Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, a re-release of very rare material from Charli XCX, a fresh studio session from Brittany Howard, the first-time LP release of beloved albums by the likes of Robyn and Tyler, the Creator, and boxed sets of complete multiple albums from John Prine, Jerry Garcia and the Notorious B.I.G. — among more than 400 exclusive releases coming out for the day.
A full rundown is available on the RSD web site, along with a guide to participating stores, but here are more than two dozen highlights we culled from the list:
Billie Eilish, “Live at Third Man Records”
Previously, you had to stop in in person at one of Third Man’s storefronts in Nashville or Detroit to get a very limited-edition copy of Eilish’s excellent acoustic live album, which was recorded in the performance room behind Jack White’s Nashville store. Now it’s being repressed in considerably larger quantities for a nationwide buying audience. Don’t worry, the other version is still collectibe; that was on hair-green vinyl and included a paper insert, whereas the RSD version is blue and includes a poster. (This edition is also on Eilish’s label, Interscope, not White’s.) Copies: 11,000.
Brandi Carlile, “A Rooster Says”
This year’s official Record Store Day ambassador, Carlile, participated in the all-star tribute to another Seattle favorite, Chris Cornell, L.A. in early 2019. Now, she’s recorded two Soundgarden songs, “Black Hole Sun” and “Searching with My Good Eye Closed.” Both are included on one side of a 12-inch single with an etching on the flip side. Total U.S. copies: 10,000.
David Bowie, “ChangesNowBowie”
Not to be confused with any prior Bowie greatest hits releases that had “Changes” as part of the title, this release has Bowie running through a few catalog songs in 1996 with just Gail Ann Dorsey and Reeves Gabrels in the studio for a BBC radio broadcast that aired once in ’97. It and the other Bowie release are the only major titles this year being issued for RSD simultaneously on LP and CD. The number of copies being made available has not been released.
David Bowie: “I’m Only Dancing (The Soul Tour 74)”
The latest in a series of posthumously released live albums getting their first issue via RSD features a gig much talked about by fans, at a time when Bowie had just interrupted his “Diamond Dogs” tour midway through to record “Young Americans,” and he brought some of those songs and soul elements (and background singer Luther Vandross, too) into his live show for the first time. Available in both LP and CD form, as with the other Bowie release, above.
Charli XCX, “Vroom Vroom EP”
Four years ago, Charli XCX released fewer than 600 copies of a four-song EP produced with Sophie. Now it re-emerges on clear vinyl in a less limited edition… but not that much less limited. Copies: 2,000.
The Notorious B.I.G., “It Was All a Dream: The Notorious B.I.G. 1994-1999”
Four albums are spread across nine LPs on clear vinyl, digitally remastered for the first time in any physical format, and packaged in a boxed set. Liner notes from hip-hop journalist Kathy Iondoli and artwork from Masaki Koike complete the package. Copies: 2,000.
My Chemical Romance, “Life on the Murder Scene”
The newly reunited band’s 2006 release makes it to LP format for the first time, on red-splattered clear vinyl. Copies: 8,000.
Midland, “Live from the Palomino”
The retro-leaning band that’s brought classic country sounds back to the contemporary charts had the famous Palomino club in North Hollywood brought back to life last year for a VIP gig. A 10-song condensation of the group’s set has already been announced for digital release. But this two-record vinyl set includes all 17 songs they played that night — the only form in which the complete concert will come out. Copies: 3,000.
Fleetwood Mac, “The Alternate Rumours”
These tracks have all previously appeared in a “Rumours” boxed set, but as with previous popular RSD releases like “Alternate Tusk,” this vinyl edition takes one outtake version or demo of each song from the album and sequences them in order for a familiar yet surprising listening experience. Copies: 16,000
John Prine, “The Atlantic Albums”
Similar to sets that have been done for RSD for artists like Randy Newman and Emmylou Harris, Prine gets his first four classic 1970s LPs reproduced in their original packaging for a boxed set. Copies: 2,000.
The Pretenders, “LIve! at the Paradise, Boston, 1980”
A 1980 live album previously released only as a radio promo LP 40 years ago finally makes its way to public consumption on red vinyl. Copies: 6,500.
Roxy Music, “Roxy Music – The Steven Wilson Stereo Mix”
The boxed set that came out two years ago celebrating Roxy Music’s debut album from the early 1970s was brilliant in every way except for including on CD the fresh remix by Steven Wilson that was commissioned for the project but left off the set for some reason. Now, frustrated fans finally get their wish with a vinyl-only (at least for now) issue of the coveted Wilson mix. (A wider release in some form is expected at a later date.) Copies: 4,000.
Is it really possible that Robyn’s brilliant self-titled 2005 album has never been on vinyl before? It is (possible), and it is (as a red-colored double LP, now). The track list has been reconfigured from the original and adds two bonus tracks, the Prince cover “Jack You Off” and “Dream On.” Expect this to disappear just as quickly off the shelves as a recent RSD edition of Robyn’s “Body Talk” did. Copies: 2,000.
Cheap Trick, “Out to Get You! Live 1977”
At a Record Store Day event last year, a newly released live album of Cheap Trick at the Forum at the end of ’79 was one of the first items to disappear in most stores. Expect the same for this never-before-released double-album follow-up, which captures them two years earlier in a much more intimate L.A. venue, the Whisky. Copies: 4,700.
Miles Davis, “Double Image: Rare Miles from the Complete Bitches Brew Sessions”
Ten “embryonic recordings” from sessions for the classic “Bitches Brew” album, previously available as part of a boxed set, are assembled in this form for the first time, as a double-LP pressed on red vinyl, to commemorate a half-century passing. Copies: 6,000.
Tyler, the Creator, “Cherry Bomb”
The hip-hop adventurer’s stylistically diverse fourth album from 2016 finally gets a vinyl release on two LPs, colored — as you might guess from the title — cherry-red. (A non-exclusive standard black vinyl LP with different packaging is expected to follow some time later in the year.) Copies: 7,250.
The Rolling Stones, “Metamorphosis UK”
The Rolling Stones, “Let It Bleed”
ABKCO has two Stones releases this year, one in far more limited quantities than the other. The one more widely available will be the 1975 rarities collection “Metamorphosis,” back on vinyl for the first time in many years. The more collectible item looks to be a fresh vinyl edition of “Let It Bleed” in the remastered form included in a 50th anniversary boxed set last year. “Each copy of this exclusive collector’s edition is handcrafted on the press, using layers of color on top of one another to create a truly unique edition,” says the release info. “Due to the nature of the manual process to pour each color onto the press by hand, each piece is unique in design. Hand-numbered certificate of authenticity included.” Copies for “Metamorphosis”: 7,600. Copies for “Let It Bleed”: 900.
The Doors, “The Soft Parade: Stripped”
As the title would indicate, these are barer-bones versions of the tracks from the “Soft Parade” album, previously only available as part of a CD boxed set. Copies: 12,000.
The Replacements: “The Complete Inconcerated Live”
A brilliant 1989 show by the ‘Mats at arguably their peak, previously available in its entirety only as part of a CD boxed set, makes its vinyl bow… not including the bare handful of songs that made their way onto a radio promo EP at the time. Copies: 8,500.
Britney Spears, “Oops!… I Did It Again (Remixes and B-Sides)”
It can’t all be classic rock, right? This baby blue-colored slab of 12-inch vinyl includes eight tracks total, with four remixes from the period on the A-side and rare studio tracks only released in Japan or otherwise outside the American market on Side 2. The release is a permanent RSD exclusive, so go for it now or say “oops” forever. Copies: 4,600.
Tegan and Sera, “Tonight in the Dark We’re Seeing Colors”
The duo have a never-before-released album exclusive to RSD 2020, on black-splattered violet vinyl. Copies: 4,000.
U2, “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”
A blue-colored 12-inch EP includes their seminal 1980 single and its then-B-side, “Touch,” on Side A, and two previously unreleased live tracks from a September 1980 gig at the London Marquee on the flip side. Copies: 7,000.
The The, “I Want 2 B U”
Two songs from a coming feature film, “Muscle,” are included on this 7-inch single, the first music Matt Johnson has released under the name The The since “We Can’t Stop What’s Coming” was released first for Record Store Day two years ago. The RSD release of the new songs is exclusive for two months before they get a general release. Copies: 1,500.
The Unrighteous Brothers (Orville Peck and Paul Cauthen): “Unchained Melody/You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”
Despite the duo moniker they’ve adopted for this apparent one-off, alt-country sensations Orville Peck and Paul Cauthen will attempt to righteously live up to the Brothers’ standards in these previously unavailable covers being put on 7-inch. Copies: 2,500.
Warren Zevon, “Warren Zevon’s Greatest Hits (According To Judd Apatow)”
The writer-director, who has held shows at L.A.’s Largo saluting the late singer-songwriter, curates his favorite songs from the master and throws in a live Largo bonus track of “Something Bad Happened to a Clown” sung by Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and Blake Mills.
Neal Casal, “Fade Away Diamond Time”
Commemorating the beloved musician’s recent passing, Casal’s first solo album from 1995 makes its vinyl debut as a red-colored double-LP. Copies: 1,000.
Greg Dulli, “A Ghost / Girl from the North Country”
On a 7-inch single, it’s the debut in any format of a song from Dulli’s debut solo album, backed with an exclusive cover of a Bob Dylan classic, accompanied by Mark Lanegan on guitar. It’ll be a few weeks before these numbers show up on streaming services. Copies: 2,000.
Drive-By Truckers, “The Unraveling / Sarah’s Flame”
Patterson Hood must really like Record Store Day — the band recorded a title track for their recent album “The Unraveling” but then left it off and held it back for this RSD single, which also has a previously unreleased B-side. Copies: 2,000.
Brittany Howard, “Live at Sound Emporium”
Six songs cut by Howard with her touring band at the Sound Emporium studio in Nashville make their official debut as an LP, although some have previously been seen in video form on YouTube. Copies: 5,000.