The dust is shaking off the crates and the crackle from the needle is coming through the speakers: Record Store Day is back.
On April 23, 2022, indie record stores across the country will participate in the 15th annual celebration of music and vinyl. After a few years of pandemic-induced delays and staggered releases, it's down to one big day on the calendar (with a special "RSD Drop" day on June 18 for those titles that couldn't make it in time for the spring due to supply chain issues or other circumstances).
But let's be real: you're not here for the technical minutae - you want to know what killer rock titles are coming to vinyl. Well, it's time to lift the lid off the box and share our favorites!
Grateful Dead, Wembley Empire Pool, London, England 4/8/72: 50 years ago, the Grateful Dead took a landmark trip (heh) through Europe, culminating in the live album Europe '72. All 22 shows from the tour were recorded and released in a box set about a decade ago - and now, one of those shows comes to vinyl - five discs' worth - for Deadheads just over 50 yearsafter it was recorded.
The Doors, L.A. Woman Sessions: The bonus material and outtakes featured in last year's L.A. Woman box set is now going to be available as a 4LP vinyl box set of its own.
The Replacements, Unfit for Broadcast: The Lost KFAI Concert: Also breaking out of a bigger box set and onto vinyl is the earliest soundboard recording by Midwestern punk heroes The Replacements, as heard in the 40th anniversary edition of Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash last year.
Stevie Nicks, Bella Donna (Deluxe Edition): Anyone who missed Stevie Nicks' power as a member of Fleetwood Mac surely picked up on it when she released her debut solo album, Bella Donna, in 1982. Featuring the thunderous "Edge of Seventeen" and Top 10 duets with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers ("Stop Draggin' My Heart Around") and Don Henley of the Eagles ("Leather and Lace"), Bella Donna makes a powerful case for Nicks as one of rock's greatest frontwomen. This set includes the original album on vinyl alongside nearly a dozen B-sides, outtakes, demos and soundtrack songs - many of which are making their debut on the format.
Ramones, The SIre Albums (1981-1989): changing line-ups and tastes couldn't stop the Ramones from making gutter-punk excellence in their second decade together. This numbered 7LP box set is the proof, offering fresh new pressings of Pleasant Dreams, Subterranean Jungle, Too Tough to Die, Animal Boy, Halfway to Sanity, Brain Drain and a neon pink splatter-colored disc of rarities.
The Everly Brothers, Hey Doll Baby: intended to be an introduction to potential new Everly Brothers admirers in 2022, this collection - curated by Adia Petty, daughter of Everly fan Tom Petty - features hits ("Cathy's Clown," "When Will I Be Loved," "('Til) I Kissed You") and lesser-known cuts pressed on baby blue vinyl.
Chicago, Chicago at Carnegie Hall, April 9, 1971: Also taken from a big box set last year - a 50th anniversary collection of every show the jazz-rock heroes put on in the spring of 1971 at the legendary New York concert hall - this special show captures the heart and electricity of Chicago's timeless live sound.
Blur, Bustin' + Dronin': In 1997, hot off the success of their self-titled fifth album, Britpop icons Blur put out this collection of remixes on CD in Japan. Now, it's on vinyl and available worldwide, complete with an obi that wraps around the package containing details in Japanese. Pressed on transparent blue and green vinyl discs, it features mixes from Moby, William Orbit, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and others.
READ MORE: Woo-Hoo! 'Blur' and the Britpop Boom
Joni Mitchell, Blue Highlights: available on a recent archival box set (but not, uh, on Spotify), these outtakes and alternates celebrate the recent 50th anniversary of Blue, one of the finest folk-rock albums of all time.
America, Alternates & Rarities: a curated collection of hard-to-find tracks from beloved '70s band America, including rare takes and mixes of "A Horse with No Name," "Ventura Highway," "Sister Golden Hair" and many more.
Devo, Oh, No! It's Devo: A tongue-in-cheek rejoinder to critics who deemed the quirky New Wave icons "fascists" and "clowns" - their mission was to make a record that sounded like it was created by fascist clowns - Oh, No! It's Devo features fan favorites "Peek-a-Boo!" and "That's Good" plus the controversial "I Desire," with lyrics taken from a poem by would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley. It, too, will get a picture disc reissue for its 40th anniversary.