Record Store Day 2020: 10 Great Exclusive Releases From the October Drop
October 24th marks the final release date for Record Store Day’s rescheduled 2020 events. The worldwide celebration, normally held on a Saturday in April, split its offerings this year into three separate “drops,” beginning with August 29th and September 26th. This way, the highest number of record stores have been able to partake, providing revenue during the pandemic while minimizing crowds. We’ve combed through the October drop to pull out our favorite records you can pick up this Saturday, from Miles Davis to Warren Zevon. And don’t worry — there’s another RSD around the corner just next month for the regularly scheduled Black Friday event.
Alice Cooper, Live from the Apollo Theatre Glasgow Feb 19.1982
Nineteen eighty-two was one of Alice Cooper’s “lost years,” when Ol’ Black Eyes was so steeped in alcoholism that he recorded new albums by divine will and muscle memory. The most shocking thing about the shock rock on ’81’s Special Forces, though, was how unsucky it was; his body really could cut a decent record like some modern Promethean marvel and carry on, on tour, like Frankenstein’s monster. That’s where this Apollo live album comes in; Cooper may have sung in a stupor while dressed like a pirate that escaped a Dalí painting, but he somehow nevertheless sounded great. Only three songs here have been previously released the rest are a mix of expected classics (“I’m Eighteen,” “Only Women Bleed”), contemporary hits (“Clones (We’re All),” a cover of Love’s “Seven and Seven Is”), and curiosities like “Generation Landslide,” which he had refigured for Special Forces with military drums. — Kory Grow
Miles Davis, Double Image: Rare Miles From the Complete Bitches Brew Sessions
The revolutionary recordings that Miles Davis made in his electric phase starting in the late Sixties were as much about producer Teo Macero’s innovative editing as they were about live improvisation. That means there are tons of eye-opening outtakes to be found from this era. Last year, Legacy Recordings gave Record Store Day shoppers an LP’s worth of extras from 1969’s In a Silent Way; now they’re following it up, appropriately enough, with two LPs drawn from the wildly creative studio environment that led to Davis’ 1970 double album Bitches Brew. Truly dedicated fans may already have heard this music on The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions box set, but the RSD version offers a more affordable way to get lost in Miles’ radical jazz-rock reinvention. — Simon Vozick-Levinson
Warren Zevon, Warren Zevon’s Greatest Hits (According To Judd Apatow)
Judd Apatow — a major Zevon fan who honors the late songwriter with a tribute show in Los Angeles every year — compiled this set of his favorite Zevon tracks. It contains well-known songs (a live “Werewolves of London,” “Desperados Under The Eaves”) and some obscurities (“The Indifference of Heaven” from the underrated Mutineer). Zevon died from mesothelioma in 2003; a portion of the proceeds will be given to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. — Angie Martoccio
Clutch, The Obelisk
The Nineties saw an unprecedented boom in underground bands being drafted into the major-label big leagues, but for most, the thrill was short-lived. Clutch are one of the few survivors of that surreal moment: After a few strong efforts on labels like EastWest, Columbia, and Atlantic that earned them a solid cult following, and a string of well-received indie releases, the Maryland hard-rock eccentrics founded their own label, Weathermaker, in 2008, and went fully DIY. This massive, limited-edition vinyl box collects everything they’ve put out since, including career highlights like 2013’s Earth Rocker and 2015’s Psychic Warfare, two live collections, a rarities disc, and reissues of mid-period favorites like 2004’s Blast Tyrant. Goodies like a turntable mat and a signed lithograph round out the collection, a handsome monument to a band that — as the Weathermaker name suggests — has navigated a changing industry better than most. — Hank Shteamer
The Who, A Quick Live One
The Who’s historic set at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival has been bootlegged for decades, but it’s finally appearing on vinyl as a Record Store Day release. They played just six songs, but the performances of “Substitute,” “Happy Jack” and, especially, “My Generation” were so explosive that the only way Jimi Hendrix felt he could follow them was to literally set his guitar on fire. — Andy Greene
Various Artists, Double Whammy! A 1960s Garage Rave-Up
This comp is yet another bastard son of Lenny Kaye’s classic Nuggets comps — and that’s not a bad thing. Double Whammy! contains 16 groovy, shimmying raw rock dance tunes, some of which are previously released, with a few familiar names. The party kicks off with an unedited version of Count Five’s acid-rock classic “Psychotic Reaction” and that sets the tone for tunes like Jack Bedient and the Chessmen’s guitar-wiggling “Double Whammy” and the Music Machine’s Farfisa-tinged “The People in Me.” As with Kaye’s favorite nuggets, the songs here are close to as good as era signposts like “96 Tears” and “Incense and Peppermints” and would keep an Animal House–style frat party going long enough until it’s time to pick another garage-rock comp (maybe RSD’s last Nuggets knockoff, Behind the Dykes). — K. Grow
Lou Reed and John Cale, Songs for Drella
Former bandmates Reed and Cale put aside their differences for this 1990 song cycle about their late mentor and friend Andy Warhol — the two musicians’ only full-length studio collaboration aside from the first two Velvet Underground albums. With its tender retellings of Warhol’s life story (“Work”) and stormy instrumental clashes (“Trouble With Classicists”), it’s an oddly sweet tribute to one of the key artistic figures of the 20th century, and now it’s available on vinyl as a two-LP set for its 30th anniversary. — S.V.L.
The Obsessed, Incarnate Ultimate Edition
It was fabulously uncool to worship Black Sabbath in the early Eighties, an era when primo heavy metal meant neck-snapping Megadeth riffs, flashy Van Halen solos and tunes about partying, getting laid, and, if there’s time left, worshiping Satan. Nobody told the Obsessed. The Washington, D.C. doom-metal crew — led by a dude who improbably called himself “Wino” — played as slow as possible and sang lugubrious lyrics about feeling like a forgotten misfit, stuck in the “normal” world. Of course, nobody noticed and the Obsessed didn’t get a proper record deal until the Nineties, after Wino joined more successful doomsayers Saint Vitus. The 1999 comp Incarnate collected many of the band’s great lost tracks (including surprising Skynyrd and Grand Funk covers) from the Eighties and Nineties, and this new “ultimate edition” contains four previously unreleased tracks and liner notes by Wino himself. —K. Grow
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, Piñata: The 1974 Version
Six years ago, Midwestern slick-talker Freddie Gibbs and SoCal sample maestro Madlib teamed up for a refreshingly blunt full-length called Piñata. This RSD reissue gives it Seventies-style cover art that matches Gibbs’ description of the album as “a gangster Blaxploitation film on wax.” MadGibbs are one of the best rapper/producer duos of the past decade — and with new half-speed mastering, their first outing should sound greater than ever. — S.V.L.
Booker T. and the M.G.’s, McLemore Avenue
This 1970 instrumental spin on the Beatles’ Abbey Road, reinterpreted in the groovy, soulful style of the Stax Records house band at their peak, is a fun trip for any fan of either act. Most of the album takes Paul McCartney’s sequencing approach even further, filling the album with leisurely medleys (see the pleasant-Sunday-afternoon take on “Because/You Never Give Me Your Money”). It’s a winning combination of two of the Sixties’ greatest pop sounds. — S.V.L.
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