The Spins #7: Top Picks for Black Friday Record Store Day 2015

The Spins #7: Top Picks for Black Friday Record Store Day 2015

The second Record Store Day of 2015 sees no letting up in terms of killer reissues, new albums, deluxe packaging and limited editions. As per usual, rather than focusing just on titles released specifically for RSD, I’ve thrown in a few other recent goodies to help keep you abreast of what’s happening in the world of vinyl. It’s an exciting time for sure, with vinyl coming out for virtually all worthy new releases, which is something we haven’t seen in eons. Read on to see what’ll be gracing my turntable for RSD.

Sisters of Mercy

Sisters of Mercy
First And Last And Always

This mammoth 4-LP release wins reissue of the year so far. Not only do we get the death rock heroes’ landmark first album in pristine remastered form, but three EPs from the era—all on thick 180-gram vinyl along with faithfully rendered artwork from the period. As part of Rhino’s reissue program, keep an eye out for the Sisters’ second album Floodland in a similarly amazing box set. (Rhino)

 

The Clash

The Clash
Self Titled

Pressed on “White Riot/Protex Blue” split-color vinyl, The Clash’s debut gets a stunning RSD release. With just 5,000 numbered copies released, the little demon is going to go fast, especially as it sounds as sweetly street as it looks. (Sony/Legacy)

 

 

Jesus and Mary Chain

Jesus and Mary Chain
Barbed Wire Kisses

One of the great bands from the ’80s alternative scenes sees its classic comp get the deluxe reissue treatment in this 2-LP package. Known in equal measure for its infectious melodies and jarring feedback noise, the JAMC originally released Barbed Wire Kisses in 1988 to satiate fans between studio albums. Now you can have it in expanded form on two shiny slabs of bright red. (Rhino)

 

 

The Who

The Who
Live At The Isle of Wight Festival 1970

The Who was at its heaviest during the early ’70s and this 3-LP release is the perfect document of the era. Leaning heavily on the Tommy album, the set comes across raw and energized in newly remastered and remixed sound—on thick, high-quality vinyl—making it a treat for Who die-hards. The plush gatefold sleeve also adds an extra layer of specialness. (Hint: make sure to play this bastard loud!) (Eagle)

 

 

Judas Priest - Painkiller

Judas Priest
Painkiller EP

To pay homage to the 25th anniversary of the album that re-established Priest as serious metal contenders, Sony has released this nifty little 10-incher in blue vinyl with buzz-saw edges. The late ’80s weren’t so kind to Judas Priest, having released a couple of doozies aimed straight at commercial US radio. Predictably, the band’s fan base waned as metal fanatics looked to younger bands like Slayer and Megadeth to get their fix on. Enter Painkiller. A vital return to form if there ever was one, the album had the riffs, the screaming leads and the incomparable voice of Robert Halford, as evidenced on the title track, plus “A Touch of Evil” and “Hell Patrol”—all of which, are included on this EP. (Sony Legacy)

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden
Book of Souls

With Bruce Dickinson on the mend after a bout with cancer, the thought alone of a new Maiden album in 2015 is a miraculous one. Book of Souls sees the metal stalwarts taking on longer, more complex material that fits well on the heavy grade double vinyl in this gatefold package. (BMG)

 

 

 

Scorpions

Scorpions
Return to Forever

Germany’s favorite sons return one last time with a vinyl slab loaded with pop-metal goodies dashed with a sentimental streak just before calling it a day—after 50 friggin’ years. (Sony)

 

 

 

Slash

Slash
Live at the Roxy 09.25.14

Hitting up his old GN’R stomping ground, Slash and his cohorts took the Roxy by storm last year for a homecoming of sorts. The occasion was caught on tape and can now be had in a limited double-vinyl package, which makes the guitar-slinger’s six-string sound extra potent. (Eagle)

 

 

Tommy Bolin

Tommy Bolin
Teaser 40th Anniversary Edition

For the uninitiated, Tommy Bolin was the young American chosen to fill the mammoth shoes of departing Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore during the mid ’70s. The young virtuoso helped take the fledgling arena rockers in a new direction, but success was short-lived due to drugs and soon, death at age 25 in 1976.

Solo album Teaser was released when Bolin was already a member of Purple in 1975, and thus, didn’t earn the young axe man the recognition he deserved as the fully formed solo player and accomplished songwriter that he was. Featuring loud, inventive jams, riffs and solos, Bolin’s fluid playing borders on both jazz and heavy metal, and stands as a major milestone for such a young player. Now, 40 years after its original release, the album gets a massive, deluxe reissue. This killer box features three high-quality LPs featuring the original album, plus studio outtakes and rarities, as well as two CDs of live material from the period and a book. (UDR)

Aerosmith

Aerosmith
Rocks Donington 2014

Okay, so I agree there have been way too many Aerosmith live releases hitting the streets these days. And for some, the band has been massively over exposed with Steven Tyler’s stint on TV and such. But, there’s no denying the awesomeness of the band’s first few albums, and they are obviously aware of that, given the inclusion of so many killer early numbers in this massive live collection. This set includes three LPs, plus a DVD of the proceedings, making it one of the most comprehensive packages I’ve seen all year. And tracks like “Last Child,” “Toys In the Attic” and the more obscure “No More No More” make it a worthy live document for fans and newcomers. (Eagle)

Holly Golightly

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs
Coulda Shoulda Woulda

With an unforgettable voice and tongue pressed firmly in cheek, Holly Golightly and her Brokeoffs crank out a twisted concoction of garage rock, folk, rhythm and blues and rockabilly and sound like nothing else. With dashes of the band X mingling with Patsy Cline, Coulda Shoulda Woulda is a stunner of a release. (Transdreamer Records)

 

 

Garden State

Garden State
Soundtrack

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since Zach Braff’s Garden State hit the screens, Aside from its angsty appeal and stellar performance by Natalie Portman, it featured a bevy of indie-ish tracks that still hold up rather well today. Compiled by Braff, the soundtrack features the likes of The Shins, Remy Zero, Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunkel and others that amp up the melancholia for a thematic listening session. This anniversary issue is pressed on double yellow and orange vinyl. (Sony Legacy)

Difference Engine

Difference Engine

For fans of ’90s obscurities, look no further than Saint Marie Records, a label that specializes in unearthing lost treasures, especially that of the twisted pop variety. Difference Engine was a mid ’90s band playing an Americanized version of shoegaze. Swirling guitars mingle with melancholy vocals and busy beats for a complex pop sound that’s atmospheric and all encompassing. This reissue comes available on either black, white or white/green vinyl. (Saint Marie Records)

 

Secret Shine

Secret Shine
Untouched

Secret Shine was part of the shoegaze scene that briefly flourished during the mid ’90s. Hailing from Bristol, England, the band released Untouched in 1993. Brimming with noisey guitars and pop hooks for days, the album is a massive statement of intent, but unfortunately, the band’s fortunes would be slim. This new reissue boasts remastered sounds, a high-quality sleeve and black or purple/white vinyl. 9Saint Marie Records)

 

 

Ks Choice

K’s Choice
The Phantom Cowboy

One of my top new albums of 2015, The Phantom Cowboy sees the Belgian band cranking out the rock as evidenced on the driving “Private Revolution” and the aptly titled “As Rock And Roll As It Gets.” To vary things up the title track takes things in an airier direction while “Bag Full Of Concrete” thrives with a glammy stomp and haunting vibe. To make things even better, this stunner can now also be had in a slick vinyl package. (Wallaby Records)

 

 

Roommate

Roommate
Make Like

Chicago band Roommate released this little sleeper earlier in the year and it’s a gem of hazy, off-kilter atmospheric pop. Think Jesus and Mary Chain sharing a hookah with MGMT and you get the picture. This release comes complete on thick 180-gram vinyl with a free download copy. (Strange Weather Records)

 

The Beyond

The Beyond
Soundtrack

In my book, The Beyond stands as one of the great Euro-horror films of all time. Trashy, atmospheric and still scary as all hell, the film found director Lucio Fulci in fine form. To further celebrate the legacy of the Italian masterpiece, the kind folks at the Death Waltz Recording Company have reissued the ultimate soundtrack experience. Featuring the work of Fulci’s long-time partner in crime Fabio Frizzi, the album is a caustic exercise in doomy orchestrated pieces interwoven with funky, proggy experimentation.

This reissue comes complete on ultra high-quality vinyl in assorted splatter colors with an extra-thick sleeve, plus a booklet featuring rare, on-set photos. (Death Waltz)

Frizzi 2 Fulci

Frizzi 2 Fulci Live

As part of the Death Waltz label’s tribute to Italian horror, it’s recently released Frizzi 2 Fulci Live, an all-new live recording of film composer Fabio Frizzi’s 2013 performance in London. The show featured bits from Lucio Fulci films The Beyond, City Of The Living Dead, Zombie Flesh Eaters and others. With two thick slabs of splatter vinyl and the scary-ass artwork, it’s the perfect way to pay homage to the man and his recent US performances, and should be an essential addition to every horror fan’s collection. (Death Waltz)

 

Martin Rev

Martin Rev
Clouds of Glory

As one half of original punk/electronic legends Suicide, Martin Rev made a name for himself creating off-kilter music beds and caustic beats. But for his solo outings, he took to stretching his musical boundaries even further. Second solo album Clouds of Glory (1985) sees Rev concocting eerie aural pictures using analogue synths with cinematic sound effects. To commemorate the album’s 30th anniversary, the insightful folks at Permanent Records have reissued the album in its full glory—it’s first vinyl release in the US. (Permanent Records)

SPC ECO

SPC ECO
Dark Matter

From the mastermind behind the ’90s band Curve, comes SPC ECO (pronounced “Space Echo”) and a brand-new, highly limited vinyl release. With just 250 vinyl copies floating around, Dark Matter is sure to sell out fast, especially if you’re a fan of meticulously crafted ambient sound scapes, sultry female vocals and a wispy, loungey feel. (Saint Marie Records)

 

 

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash
Man In Black: Live in Denmark 1971

While on tour in Scandinavia in 1971, Johnny Cash starred in his own Danish TV special, now captured here on red and white vinyl, in a 2-LP set. The set features Cash and his entourage sounding upbeat, animated and just a little eerie. (Sony Legacy)

 

 

 

Neil Hefti

Neil Hefti
Batman Theme/The Batusi

Holy smokes! This groovy little 7-incher comes complete on opaque yellow vinyl with notes from composer Hefti himself on the origins of the famed Batman TV theme. The classic proto-punk instrumental was unlike anything else upon its 1966 release, and now it can be all yours for a song—in limited-edition packaging. (Sony/Legacy)

 

 

X_X

X__X
Albert Ayler’s Ghosts live at the Yellow Ghetto

Pronounced “Ex Blank Ex,” this obscure Cleveland combo recently exhumed itself after a 37-year hiatus. Known for its disjointed sounds and raucous performances, the band made quite an impression back in the day. This new disc finds leader John D Morton and his cohorts stepping in where they left off, and the results sound as unhinged as ever. The album can be had on plush blue vinyl that serves to enhance the raw performances contained within. (Smog Veil)

 

For questions, comments or something you’d like to see, send me a note at Retrohead77@yahoo.com. Cheers, JK

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