Record Store Day is so close, you can almost taste all the limited edition special releases! On Saturday, April 22, 2017, indie music stores everywhere will join forces and unleash this year’s rare and drool-worthy RSD releases. (Download a PDF of those exclusive releases HERE.) It’s our Xmas and we are going to town, no Santa needed!
The vinyl soundtrack selection is especially plentiful and exciting this year, full of scores and collections that are being released for the first time ever, first time on vinyl, or are re-releases of out-of-print albums. Film fans will flip for the fabulous colored vinyl, deluxe additions and packaging, and - in a couple of cases - beautiful picture discs.
Here's my 10 favorite from those being offered:
Part of Andy Warhol's Factory in the mid-'60s, Edie Sedgwick was “It Girl” of the Pop Art age. 1973's Ciao! Manhattan was the model and actor's final film. Written and directed by John Palmer and David Weisman, the movie tells a somewhat fictionalized account of Sedgewick's life. She portrays Susan Superstar, a New Yorker who ends up living in a drained swimming pool in Santa Barbara, always in a narcotic daze. The film was shot over a five-year period, at the end of which Sedgwick died of a barbiturate overdose at the age of 28.
Never before released in any format, the soundtrack for Ciao! Manhattan includes songs by Richie Havens, John Phillips, Skip Battin, and more, plus surreal dialog selections from the film. Brought to you by the fine folks at Cinewax/Light in the Attic, pressing is limited to 2,700 on “Angel Shock” colored vinyl. Includes a 20-page book with rare archive photos and liner notes Q&A with writer/director David Weisman.
Cobra Verde by Popol Vuh
German Electronic/World music pioneers Popol Vuh partnered with director Werner Herzog on several films (including Aguirre The Wrath of God, Nosferatu the Vampyre, and Heart of Glass), but Cobra Verde (1987) was their last collaboration. For this tale of a Brazilian outlaw (Klaus Kinski) in West Africa, Popol Vuh mixes chants accompanied by hand drums, guitars, piano, and clavier with haunting synthesizer themes. African ceremonial music mixes with the Choir of the Bavarian State Opera for an accomplished meditative and ambient work.
This is the first time the soundtrack has been released on vinyl outside of Europe, and it’s done well. Pressed on green vinyl in a very limited edition of 900 by One Way Static, the extensive liner notes make this a must for fans of Popol Vuh and Herzog.
Metropolis, original re-score by Metavari
The silent classic Metropolis continues to haunt us to this day with its imagery that combines the mechanical and the occult. The 1927 expressionist Sci-fi epic has inspired many musically, from Freddie Mercury to Jeff Mills to the Club Foot Orchestra and Alloy Orchestra. New to the Metropolis re-scoring scene is Metavari, Indiana-based electronic musician Nathaniel David Utesch, who brings sparse live drums, alto saxophone, vocals, and an 1981 ARP Odyssey Mark III into the mix. The sound is retro-futuristic (more in an ‘70s/‘80s way than a ‘20s way) - an intergalactic cool that could easily rival a Cliff Martinez/Nicolas Winding Refn joint.
One Way Static brings it to vinyl for the first time in a double LP edition with a gorgeous gold-foiled jacket. It’s limited to just 1,000 copies and comes with a download card.
Valerie & Her Week Of Wonders by Lubos Fiser
Can we just take a second here to appreciate the label Finders Keepers/B-Music? Not only have they brought this world joy in the forms of albums like Well Hung: 20 Funk-Rock Eruptions From Beneath Communist Hungary and THAI? DAI! The Heavier Sound Of The Lukthung Underground, but they also unearth amazing soundtracks like Werewolves On Wheels and Belladonna of Sadness.
Ten years after they brought out the first-ever releases of the spooky orchestral soundtrack to the Czechoslovakian surrealist film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, they’re back with a special additional 7” of unreleased variations, vocal tracks, and newly resurrected themes from the original master tapes of composer Lubos Fiser. Also included are macabre sound effects and dark atmospherics not available on the original Finders Keepers LP and the packaging is based on a rare variation of the original Czech film poster. This RSD release is limited to 700 copies, so act fast.
The Dark Crystal by Trevor Jones
In honor of the 35th anniversary of Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s 1982 creepy, dark fantasy puppet epic The Dark Crystal, Enjoy The Ride Records releases the first vinyl reissue of Trevor Jones’ score. Recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abby Road Studios in 1982, the dramatic and atmospheric musical score was arranged specifically for an album listening experience…preferably one shared with Gelflings in a magical place.
The album is pressed on "Crystal Clear" 140-gram vinyl, of course, with a new cover from the poster design by Richard Amsel. Make your quest quickly because this comes in a limited run of 1,500.
Blade Runner by Vangelis
Another 35th anniversary release coming at ya this year (just to remind you that YES, it was THAT long ago) is the soundtrack to Ridley Scott's 1982 pinnacle cult film Blade Runner. The future-noir’s synthy, ambient sounds come courtesy of Greek keyboardist/composer Vangelis, who originally wouldn’t allow the soundtrack to see release for 12 years after the film’s release. Since then, there have been a few reissues in various permutations, but this marks the first time it will appear on a 140-gram 12” picture disc! Rhino is putting out 3,500 of these moody puppies and they will go fast.
The Andromeda Strain by Gil Mellé
Jackpot Records unleashes a prize indeed with a special re-release of composer Gil Mellé’s groundbreaking soundtrack to Robert Wise’s 1971 film The Andromeda Strain. One of the first all-electronic scores for a major motion picture, Mellé composed it using only instruments he created himself and employed distortion on many samplings of things like buzz saw and bowling alley sounds. The original soundtrack’s format was also outstanding – the record was pressed on hexagonal-shaped vinyl and came in very complicated silver foil packaging! This makes it one very expensive and sought-after collectable soundtrack. Plus, it was never reissued, but now there’s Record Store Day to the rescue!
The Jackpot reissue mirrors the exact original design – silver foil, hexagonal record, and all. Recorded from the original stereo analog masters and limited to just 1,500 copies. Be prepared to blast off!
Lost in Space: Title Themes from Irwin Allen's Hit TV Series
Lost in Space, TV’s first prime-time science fiction adventure series, gets a special 12" EP RSD release from Spacelab9. Featuring America’s favorite space-colonizing family (and robot), Lost in Space ran for three seasons between 1965 and 1968. Each season’s theme music was written by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams…when he was just a lad named “Johnny Williams.”
This is the first release of both versions of Williams’ theme on vinyl, and that vinyl happens to be a clear disc with the iconic Lost in Space robot “floating” in the record. Only 1,000 copies were pressed, but you should probably be warned that there will be a follow-up full-length soundtrack album coming from Spacelab9 in late 2017. But this is super outta this world.
"Batdance" Single by Prince
2017 is a big year for Prince fans. There’s the long-awaited Purple Rain reissue coming this summer, and seven – that’s right, seven – vinyl singles releasing on Record Store Day, which happens to be a year and a day after the Purple One’s passing. The one I’m here to talk about today is the 12” maxi-single (that just means more than two songs) for “Batdance” from the 1989 Batman soundtrack.
This single features two mixes of the fun and chaotic “Batdance” (“The Batmix” and “The Vicki Vale Mix”) as well as “200 Balloons,” a track that wasn’t on the original soundtrack but clearly served as an earlier version of “Batdance.” The kids of the ‘60s had “The Batusi” and we kids of the ‘80s had “Batdance.” Don’t pass up this very collectable piece of our childhood. Pressed in a limited number of 3,000.
Star Wars: A New Hope by John Williams
In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope, Walt Disney Records (the new keepers of The Force) releases an RSD-only piece of nostalgia candy that will hit you right in the Tatooine – a 10-inch picture disc featuring two iconic tracks from John Williams’ soundtrack. There’s only 4,000 of these and demand will be high.
And while you’re at it, you’ll need the limited-edition RSD Crosley Star Wars Cruiser turntable, complete with pitch control, dynamic full-range stereo speakers, a headphone jack, RCA outputs, Bluetooth capability, and stunning original poster artwork on it! Just think of how cool the combo is gonna look in your Millennium Falcon.