Bob Dylan, Elton John and Queen Highlight Record Store Day Releases
Record Store Day, the annual event celebrating independently owned brick-and-mortar music outlets, has unveiled its list of this year’s limited-edition releases.
With nearly 400 (mostly) vinyl options available, there’s seemingly something for every music fan.
Some of the many artists contributing work include Bob Dylan, Prince, Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, John Lennon, Roxy Music, R.E.M. the Rolling Stones and many more.
“We’ve got amazing support from all the labels again this year,” proclaimed Record Store Day co-founder Michael Kurtz. “It’s sort of separate from the music business in general, which is pretty much all streaming now, with some effort being put into vinyl.”
One of the most anticipated items is Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks — Original New York Test Pressing. The LP is being billed as “an exact duplicate of those original test pressings” of the singer-songwriter’s landmark 1975 album. Dylan famously went back into a Minneapolis studio and re-recorded half the material for the original LP. Though much of what was on the 1974 test pressing was included in last fall’s More Blood, More Tracks box, the Record Store Day exclusive promises “unique mixes available for the first time ever.”
Continuing to ride their Bohemian Rhapsody wave of success, Queen will unveil a picture disc of the Oscar-winning film’s soundtrack for Record Store Day. Separately, an exclusive single will see the band’s surviving members collaborating with the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins and, posthumously, the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson.
The Flaming Lips will use Record Store Day to release their 15th studio album, King’s Mouth, as a special 12" solid gold vinyl. The album marks the band’s first new music since 2017. The LP’s 12 original songs are tied together by narration from the Clash’s Mick Jones. Those who don’t score one of the 4,000 LPs released on Record Store Day will have to wait until July to purchase the album.
Exclusive live albums have become a Record Store Day tradition, and this year’s crop looks especially strong. Elton John’s Live From Moscow, recorded during the singer’s visit to the then-USSR in 1979, is being released for the first time on any format. This year’s Record Store Day ambassador, Pearl Jam will celebrate with the first-time vinyl release of Live at Easy Street Records. The original was released on CD to indie stores 14 years ago and quickly went out of print.
Elsewhere, U2 will unleash a new live EP for Record Store Day, culled from their recent Experience tour. The Rolling Stones will release a limited-edition 10’’ one-sided, colored vinyl single featuring “She’s a Rainbow” recorded during a 2017 performance at the U Arena in Paris. And while R.E.M. aren't officially on the list, the band will release Live at the Borderline 1991 under the name Bingo Hand Job.
Other live releases of note include Dio’s Last in Line (live), Billy Joel Live at Carnegie Hall 1977 and the Ramones Live at the Palladium.
Those looking for “alternative” versions of classic LPs will have some amazing artists to choose from. John Lennon, Van Morrison and Fleetwood Mac will all release material derived from previous CD boxed sets — Imagine, Astral Weeks and Fleetwood Mac, respectively. Meanwhile, Pink Floyd will provide a rare mono version of their 1968 album A Saucerful of Secrets. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young will also get in on the act, delivering a three-LP expanded edition of their hit 1971 live album 4 Way Street.
Two late, great icons will be adding to their respective catalogs. Prince has two releases coming on Record Store Day. One is a two-LP set called His Majesty’s Pop Life; the other a cassette-only release titled Prince: The VERSACE Experience. The latter is a replication of a tape that was given to attendees at a 1995 fashion show, featuring exclusive tracks and remixes.
Meanwhile, a reissue of David Bowie’s late-’60s compilation The World of David Bowie will be released, along with a picture disc of the Pin-Ups album and a split single alongside his Just a Gigolo costar Marlene Dietrich.
Upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Roxy Music will deliver a double 12" containing remixes that were previously planned for the recent box set commemorating the band’s debut album.
Mastodon will release a limited 10" vinyl covering Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." The single is dedicated to Mastodon's manager, Nick John, who died in September.
Other artists represented with new or previously issued material: Def Leppard, Alice Cooper, Eric Clapton, Jethro Tull, Robert Plant, the Police, Rush, Santana, the Doors and Motorhead.
Record Store Day is April 13. Details on all of the releases, including a full list of titles and participating stores can be found here.