The full lineup of exclusive titles for April’s Record Store Day has been announced, with the expected title from official RSD 2022 ambassador Taylor Swift. Her first-time release of a “The Lakes” single leads the way for hundreds of releases that range from a deluxe “Blue Velvet” soundtrack reissue and two John Williams 90th-birthday releases to rarities collections from Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed and David Bowie… and from unreleased jazz concerts by Charles Mingus and Bill Evans to vinyl reissues of albums by Prince, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Childish Gambino, Stevie Nicks, the Cure, Kacey Musgraves and Pearl Jam.
This year’s RSD will be on April 23 — the weekend after Easter, and Tax Day, to lighten the load on religious or business conflicts. But there’s an asterisk to that. A minority of the releases won’t make it on time, due to supply-chain issues, and those are being scheduled for what you might think of as a bonus Record Store day (or, officially, a “RSD Drops date”) on June 18. So before you get in line in April, check the listings carefully and make sure what you really want isn’t on the June list.
Check out the full list in either one-page PDF form here or as a roundup of individually clickable web pages for each release here. But if you want a head start on these long lists, here are two dozen highlights from various genres that immediately grabbed our attention:
Taylor Swift: “The Lakes” – 10,000 copies
The RSD ambassador offers a first-time release in any physical format of “The Lakes (Original Version),” released to digital last year — it’s the mix that Jack Antonoff did that included more orchestration before Swift thought it was better off without it. The A-side, of course, is the version that came out on her 2020 “Folklore” album — but as a bonus track, so the B-side is really a bonus of a bonus. It’s on clear vinyl to match the monochrome sleeve, another outtake from the “Folklore” photographic sessions. (Swift also has a track on another RSD release, as “The Man,” the feminist anthem from “Lover,” appears on the compilation album “Portraits of Her,” benefitting the We Are Moving The Needle organization.)
“Blue Velvet (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Deluxe Edition)” – 4500 copies
This was previously on the schedule for last year, and postponed, to the lament of many. But fans of David Lynch and composer Angelo Badalamenti may be quite happy that it was held up, because what is being described now for the release sounds more extensive than what had been planned for the release in 2021. Previously, the “Blue Velvet” LP soundtrack had been a single disc, but it expands to a double now with 60 minutes of additional music, including not just the addition of the Bobby Vinton title song but previously unreleased outtakes and alternate versions of the Badalamenti score. Variety contributor Tim Greiving wrote new liner notes based on interviews with the creators and stars; the cover recreates the (possibly controversial) Italian poster art for the film; and the discs are on marbleized blue (what else) vinyl.
Joni Mitchell: “Blue Highlights” – 9000 copies
Warner Records and Rhino have made a nice tradition in recent years of providing “alternate” versions of classic ’60s, ’70s and ’80s albums from their archives using selections from boxed sets that have come out. This one from Mitchell doesn’t beat an “Alternative Blue” title, but the concept isn’t far off — it digs into her recent, very extensive “Archives” boxed set of previously unreleased material and picks out some of the key rarities from her “Blue” period for a single-LP distillation. A track list has not been released, but this album is said to have been “created with Joni’s insight, cooperation and creative input.”
Prince: “The Gold Experience” – 24,150 copies
At that quantity, about as many as have ever been pressed for an RSD title, it almost doesn’t count as a limited edition. But you can be sure there will be a gold rush for “Experience,” the 1995 album from the then-glyph-monikered superstar that is being reissued as a two-LP set on gold vinyl with a fourth side comprised of bonus alternate versions of “Eye Hate U.”
Bill Evans: “Inner Spirit: The 1979 Concert At The Teatro General San Martín, Buenos Aires” – 4000 copies
Bill Evans: “Morning Glory: The 1973 Concert at the Teatro Gran Rex, Buenos Aires” – 4000 copies
Evans is the jazz patron saint of Record Store day, and when Resonance Records makes it rain with previously unreleased Evans recordings, it makes it pour. For the first time, the label is putting out two Evans concerts on one RSD, and of course there’s a tie-in — both are ’70s shows from Argentina, albeit with different trio lineups and utterly distinct setlists. Both feature the usual elaborate Resonance packaging and not-to-be-beaten, world-class liner notes; each includes fresh interviews with the surviving players from the bands in question (Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell from the ’73 show, Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbera from ’79) as well as star pianists who can speak to Evans’ style and history (Enrico Pieranunzi, Richie Beirach). The ’79 show includes an unusual setlist ranging from “I Loves You, Porgy” to “Someday My Prince Will Come” to “Theme From MASH.” As usual, both sets will come out on CD soon enough, but the relishable vinyl editions are the quickly snapped-up collectibles.
Charles Mingus: “The Lost Album From Ronnie Scott’s” – 3000 copies
Was Resonance Records done when it scheduled two Bill Evans live albums for RSD? No, it was not. The archival jazz label dips into Mingus territory for the first time with a 3-LP set capturing a previously unreleased recording of the legend performing in London in 1972 (the band: alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, tenor saxophonist Bobby Jones, trumpeter Jon Faddis, pianist John Foster and drummer Roy Brooks). The usual elaborate liner notes include rare photos and fresh interviews with everyone from Mingus scholars to current jazz great Christian McBride to… Fran Lebowitz? Yes, the famed writer was a good friend of Mingus’s.
Lou Reed: “I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos” – 7550 copies
One of this year’s most hotly anticipated RSD releases, due to it already having been released and then very quickly pulled as a streaming-only release. This set of demos from Reed’s very first post-Velvet Underground solo sessions was released for a matter of mere days for streaming at the very end of 2021, for 50-year copyright protection purposes. It immediately picked up acclaim from those who were lucky enough to hear it (see Variety‘s report on that blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment here), along with wonderment that it was not being released in any more permanent form. Well, now it is. The treasure trove of a dozen tracks includes selections that ended up being re-recorded for four albums: “Lou Reed,” “Transformer,” “Berlin” and “Sally Can’t Dance.”
David Bowie: “Brilliant Adventure EP” – on CD and vinyl; no quantities given
David Bowie: “Toy EP (You’ve got it made with all the toys)” – on CD and vinyl, no quantities given
Bowie, a posthumous stalwart of RSD, has been absent from the last few rounds of releases but returns to the Record Store Day fold with two releases, both of which are on CD (a welcome sight for people who want to support the day but haven’t jumped back on the turntable bandwagon) as well as vinyl. In alignment with the recent “Brilliant Adventures” boxed set, this exclusive EP of the same name will include four unheard songs from the “Outside” time frame — including “Johnny Downloader” (!), a new-to-us, early version of “I’m Afraid of Americans” — plus two tracks performed by the star with pianist Mike Garson at a New York Public Theater fundraiser in 1995. The “Toy” EP includes an unreleased, stripped-down version of “Shadow Man,” two previously unreleased live tracks from 2000, and three other numbers previously available only in streaming form.
Miles Davis: “What It Is: Montreal 7/783” – 10,000 copies
Not only has this set from the the Festival International De Jazz De Montreal never been released before (except for brief, heavily edited excerpts), but the gatefold packaging for the double-LP features another late legend: the recently passed music writer Greg Tate, who completed this album’s liner notes before he died.
Blondie: “Sunday Girl EP” – 3000 copies
U2: “A Celebration” – 7500 copies
Both these releases offer multiple variations on a theme — to be specific, distinct versions of the same classic song. The formats are different, though: Blondie’s is a double 7-inch single in a gatefold package, and U2’s quartet of variations comes on a single 12″ disc. “Sunday Girl,” from the essential ’79 “Parallel Lines” album, will be found in the original single version, a French translation, a 1978 demo version and a live track from 1979, pressed on yellow vinyl. U2 is old hands at doing this sort of thing, regularly gracing RSD with multiple versions of the same song. Their 40th anniversary EP includes the original “A Celebration” plus a previously unreleased studio alternate version, B-sided by the studio “Trash, Trampoline and The Party Girl” and a 2015 unreleased live version of that tune.
Everly Brothers: “Hey Doll Baby” – 4500 copies
Adria Petty doesn’t just help put together the releases from her dad Tom’s estate — she curated this Everlys set, with help from Don Everly, when he was still with us, and Phil Everly’s widow. The goal of the 17-song set of blue vinyl was not to do another greatest hits package (although it does include “Cathy’s Clown”), but to mostly collect some of the lesser-heard early Everlys tracks that she believes would make the greatest case for the brothers’ greatness to a young audience that may not know the act. In the process, she’ll surely please a lot of the existing fans, too.
John Williams: “Lost In Space: Title Themes from the Hit TV Series” – 900 copies
John Williams: “The Cowboys (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (50th Anniversary)” – 3000 copies
The composer, who just turned 90, is celebrated with two RSD releases. One dates back to when he was still “Johnny” Williams, with Side 1 of the “Lost in Space” release devoted to themes and cues (used and unused) from that sci-fi series (the other side is cast interviews). WIth only 900 copies, Will Robinson may be in danger of losing out if he doesn’t grab it fast. You can find the legendary scorer in a more elegiac mood with his soundtrack for the Western that famously had John Wayne dying on screen. Varese Saraband says of Williams’ most notable pre-blockbuster score that “a much-needed restoration job featuring a complete rebuild, remix, remastering and expansion was done for a CD reissue in 2018” — which sold out, just as this two-LP version will.
Karen Dalton: “Shuckin’ Sugar” – 2000 copies
For the cult that adores the late folk singer, news that the Delmore label obtained three reel-to-reel recordings of Dalton performing in 1962-63 is a godsend. Pressed by Third Man and including a vintage-style tip-on jacket, “Sugar” has among its dozen tracks six that no one has heard her sing on record before, and a substantial eight-page insert includes unseen photos and a new 6,000-word essay.
Foo Fighters: “Making A Fire (Mark Ronson Re-Version)” b/w “Chasing Birds (Preservation Hall Jazz Band Re-Version)” – 9500 copies
OK, so maybe this single from the Foos is a little too esoteric in concept to become nearly the collectible that the Bee Gees cover set they released for RSD last year instantly did. But it’s still intriguing: They gathered some friends together to come up with alternate arrangements of a couple of their songs (on the A-side: imembers of the Dap-Kings, the Budos Band, Antibalas and the Tedeschi Trucks Band; on the B-side, Ben Jaffe, Charlie Gabriel, Clint Maedgen, Walter Harris, Branden Lewis, Ronnell Johnson and others).
Steve Earle: “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother” b/w “Night Rider’s Lament” – 2500 copies
Earle recorded these two tracks as a tribute to Jerry Jeff Walker exclusively for this RSD 7-inch single.
The Muffs: “New Improved Kim Shattuck Demos” – 1200 copies
Shattuck tragically passed away after battling to work on a final Muffs album; now, demos for the group’s “Really Really Happy” album are presented for the first time, with liner notes from longtime musical partner Ronnie Barnett that are sure to make us really, really wistful.
Ramones: “The Sire Albums (1981-1989)” – 10,000 copies
The punk progenitors’ six 1980s albums, which are said to have been out of print on vinyl practically since that era, are packaged together in a numbered slipcase with a bonus LP of rarities pressed on neon pink splatter vinyl.
The Cranberries: “Remembering Dolores” – 5000 copies
Patti Smith: “Curated by Record Store Day” – 5050 copies
A couple of key best-ofs that have never been released in this form before. The former album, a best-of honoring the late Dolores O’Riordan, previously available only as a digital release six months ago, adds three bonus tracks for its physical debut as a double-LP. Meanwhile, the Smith best-of, as you might guess from its title, has never come out even in a digital format before.
The Replacements: “Unsuitable for Airplay: The Lost KFAI Concert (Live)” – 10,000 copies
The ‘Placemats’ recent “Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash” boxed set was worth the price of admission just for this live show, captured in their hometown of Minneapolis when they were still working on their debut album. A good number of the songs never made it to a Replacements record, and not because they weren’t worthy, but because Paul Westerberg was just that prolific out of the gate. This soundboard recording of the band in much, much tighter form than you might assume for a group still in its youth also includes covers of Slade, Kinks, Heartbreakers and Dave Edmunds songs.