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Noah Kahan, the Weeknd, Paramore, Beatles, More



David Bowie: “Waiting in the Sky (Before the Starman Came to Earth)” (LP, black vinyl, 8000 copies)

Here’s a space oddity: An alternate version of the “Ziggy Stardust” album that has a significantly different track listing, put together provisonally in late 1971 before the record took a different turn with some additions and subtractions in 1972. Missing are the not-yet-recorded “Starman,” “Suffragette City” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”; in their place are four songs that eventually came out under other circumstances, including “Velvet Goldmine” and covers of Chuck Berry and Jacques Brel songs. Will this seem as transformative as the “Young Americans” alternate version that came out in a boxed set, or just a trifle for Bowie completists?

Talking Heads: “Live at WCOZ 77” (2 LPs, black vinyl, 8000 copies)

There may be no better way to celebrate the T-Heads resurgence spearheaded by the recent re-release of their concert film with with this 1977 live show for a Massachusetts radio station, originally excerpted on the “The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads” concert compilation but never released in full until now. Pressed in 45 rpm, presumably for the fidelity, the set spreads 14 tracks across two LPs. Your bass speakers will no doubt thank you.

Various Artists: “The Power of the Heart: A Tribute to Lou Reed” (LP, silver vinyl, 3000 copies)

We put this in the classic rock category, but note that it’s all new recordings – 11 freshly recorded covers of Reed classics. It was produced and has liner notes from the well-known writer Bill Bentley, who has previously done similar duties for Roky Erickson salutes. With Keith Richards, Lucinda Williams, Joan Jett, Rufus Wainwright, Rickie Lee Jones and others, this seems a walk on the must-buy side.

Neil Young with Crazy Horse: “Fuckin’ Up” (2 LPs, clear vinyl, 5000 copies)

Pearl Jam timed their new album to come out in stores one day before a special RSD edition, but Young went them one better, timing his new album to come out the Friday after Record Store Day, giving fans who venture to indie stores for the occasion a six-day head start on owning it. Although it’s being characterized as “re-recordings” of old songs tracked in late 2023, it appears to be a live album recorded at a private party in Toronto in November, where Young and his band did the “Ragged Glory” album almost in its entirety.

Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman & Marty Stuart: “Sweetheart of the Rodeo 50th Anniversary – Live” (2 LPs, gold vinyl, 2500 copies)

Anyone who saw the unofficial Byrds reunion tour in 2019 hasn’t soon forgotten it, and will have even less reason to after this surprise commemoration in vinyl form. McGuinn and Hillman, minus David Crosby and obviously Gram Parsons, teamed up again for a full-album reading of the essential 1968 “Sweetheart” country-rock album, plus bonus classics. Ex-L.A. Times scribe Randy Lewis worked on the liner notes. It’s marked as an “RSD First,” meaning this probably won’t be the only edition to ever come out, but some of us won’t be taking any chances on getting a later shot at it.

Sparks/Noël: “No. 1 Song in Heaven (Sparks)/Is There More to Life Than Dancing? (Noël)” (2 LPs, 1500 copies)

One of the Maels’ most legendary efforts — the discofied Giorgio Moroder production that made Sparks bigger stars in Europe in the late ‘70s — is paired in a vinyl two-fer with a little-known album I a similar vein that Ron and Russell produced for another artist, the female singer Noël. (That singer was so obscure that there was a rumor Noël’s voice was really Russell’s played at a different pitch speed, although she did make a subsequent album without them, so if it was a prank, it was one that got played out quite elaborately.) Quite a few number-one-songs-in-heaven will be getting their due with this wholly unexpected package.

The Beatles: The Beatles Limited Edition RSD3 Turntable (turntable and 3” single bundle)

The Beatles: “Til There Was You” (3” single, 1500 copies)

The Beatles: “She Loves You” (3” single, 1500 copies)

The Beatles: “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (3” single, 1500 copies)

The Beatles” “I Saw Her Standing There” (3” single, 1500 copies)

These can’t be properly called vinyl releases, because 3-inch singles are pressed on something a little more primitive than that. Will you ever pull out your mini-mini-turntable to play these Beatles songs through your Bluetooth speakers in something less than the highest fidelity? Of course you will — when you have friends over, and you want to impress them with what a completist you are, although single Beatles geeks should probably be reminded that this is the kind of devotion that could send first dates fleeing. The four songs included on these tiny discs are all numbers the Fab Four performed on the Ed Sullivan show in ’64.

John Lennon: “Mind Games EP” (EP, black vinyl or glow-in-the-dark vinyl)

Lennon’s 1973 “Mind Games” album is due to get a boxed set this year (for its 51st anniversary?) with an “ultimate mix,” similar to what was already done to sonically enhance the “Imagine” album. This EP will offer a four-track teaser of that work — the most intriguing inclusion being a non-album track, “I’m the Greatest,” that Lennon wrote and demo-ed for a Ringo Starr album around that time. It’ll be interesting to see if this remix ups the Ringo and George Harrison parts to the point that it feels like a real Ultimate Group effort.

George Harrison: “Electronic Sound (Zoetrope Picture Disc)” (LP, picture disc, 3400 copies)

George Harrison: “Wonderwall Music (Zoetrope Picture Disc)” (LP, picture disc, 3400 copies)

The administrators of Harrison’s one-time label, Dark Horse, is working with Record Store Day on a multi-year plan to put the ex-Beatle’s entire solo catalog out on picture disc, starting with these two strictly experimental, synth-driven and/or Indian-music-based titles he put out while he was still in the band. If they’re going chronologically, we’ll get a three-LP picture-disc set of “All Things Must Pass” next, but hardcore Beatlemaniacs may be just as excited about having fresh editions of these oddball outliers.

Ringo Starr: “Crooked Boy” (EP, marble vinyl, 2000 copies)

Paul McCartney has also been oft-represented in RSD rollouts lately, with half-speed releases, but not this time. It’s up to Starr to pick up the slack and make sure at least three out of four Beatles are represented this time around. “Crooked Boy” is the latest in a series of EP Ringo has been putting out, with the main wrinkle in this one being that Linda Perry wrote all four songs, and the featured guitarist is the Strokes’ Nick Valensi. The quantity is slim, but undoubtedly this will also appear in at least a digital format, if nothing else.

A sampling of other classic-rock titles to look out for:

The Doors “Live at Konserthuset, Stockholm, September 20, 1968” (3 LPs, 6000 copies; or 2 CDs, 8000 copies)

Elton John: “Caribou (50th Anniversary Edition)” (2 LPs, blue vinyl, 3000 copies)

Ramones: “The 1975 Sire Demos” (LP, black vinyl, 6000 copies)

The Replacements: “Not Ready for Prime Time: Live At The Cabaret Metro, Chicago, IL, January 11, 1986” (2 LPs, 6000 copies)

Lowell George: “Thanks, I’ll Eat It Here (Deluxe Edition)” (2 LPs, black vinyl, 3500 copies)

Grateful Dead: “Nightfall of Diamonds” (4 LPs, black vinyl, 6300 copies)

Jerry Garcia Band: “Electric On The Eel: June 10th, 1989” (4 LPs, green vinyl, 3000 copies)

America: “Live From The Hollywood Bowl 1975” (2 LPs, milky clear vinyl, 3000 copies)

Lenny Kaye & Friends: “Live At The Cat’s Cradle A 50th Anniversary Celebration of Nuggets” (LP, 900 copies)

The Who: “The Story of the Who” (2 LPs, pink and green vinyl, 4500 copies)

Yes: “Yale Bowl ’71” (LP, black vinyl, 4500 copies)

The Roches: “The Roches (45th Anniversary)” (LP, ruby red vinyl, 1000 copies)

Thin Lizzy: “Live at Hammersmith 16/11/1976” (LP, black vinyl, 4500 copies)

The Rolling Stones: “The Rolling Stones (UK)” (LP, blue/black swirled vinyl, 6000 copies)

The Rolling Stones: “Live at Racket, NYC” (LP, white vinyl, 7000 copies)

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons: “The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette” (LP, black vinyl, 2000 copies)


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