Record Store Day 2018 is delivering quality and quantity, with a noticeable uptick in label participation. The psychedelic/underground genre gets its due, with featured vinyl from Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Arthur Lee, the Doors and the Grateful Dead.
Other acts mined for RSD gold include the Allman Brothers, Eric Burdon, the Rolling Stones, Tangerine Dream, Frank Zappa and Sun Ra.
Releases are all on vinyl and are “Record Store Day exclusives” unless noted. The big day is Saturday April 21. Arrive early for a full psychedelic breakfast menu.
Pink Floyd’s debut album, “Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” arises again on vinyl in a mono edition remastered by Bernie Grundman and Co. There’s a bold new psychedelic cover from Hipgnosis, left, with the old familiar group portrait artwork folded inside. The package includes a black-and-white poster with Syd Barrett front and center. The 1967 album uses the original U.K. track order, with the killer tracks “Astronomy Domine” and “Interstellar Overdrive” opening the two sides. Via Legacy.
Jeff Beck’s “Truth” recently enjoyed special treatment on an SACD. Now it’s back on LP. Friday Music’s new version has a gatefold jacket and blue vinyl. Rod Stewart on vocals, before he was a star. Highlights include the psychedelic swirl of “Shapes of Things” and “Beck’s Bolero.” Title is limited to 1,000 copies with a “regional focus.”
Eric Burdon & the Animals: “Nights in San Francisco” dates back to 1967, when singer Burdon put together his hip new band. Side 1 has familiar R&B workouts such as “C.C. Rider” and “Tobacco Road.” Side 2 is where the psychedelic action is: “Paint It Black,” “When I Was Young” and “San Franciscan Nights.” Side 1 recorded in Germany. Rhythm & Blues label. (RSD first)
The Doors: Rhino checks in with “Live at the Matrix: Let’s Feed Ice Cream to the Rats” (aka “Part II”), composed of more tracks from the band’s stand at the San Francisco club March 7-10 1967. “Newly mastered by Bruce Botnick.” Key perfs include “Moonlight Drive,” “People Are Strange” and “When the Music’s Over.” Follows up on 2017 RSD compilation from the Matrix shows. Sorry, no comprehensive Matrix set in sight.
Arthur Lee and Love: “Coming Through to You” is a double-LP “collection of rare live recordings” stretching from 1970 through 2004. The set, which surfaced on CD in late 2015, was put together by archivist David Skye, who had the blessing of Lee’s widow. It features a great cover illustration by William Stout. Almost all songs date back to the classic studio Love albums of the 1960s, but were recorded by Arthur Lee in concert after the original group disbanded. Audio quality varies. Includes cover of “Instant Karma.” RockBeat Records. (RSD first) > Read about the new “Forever Changes” box set.
The Allman Brothers Band: “Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival, July 3 & 5, 1970.” First time on vinyl for these electrifying sets from the second Atlanta fest. Listen for the part where the fences come down. Key tracks include “Statesboro Blues,” “Dreams” and “Stormy Monday.” With Duane Allman at his peak. Numbered, limited to 3,000 copies. Via Legacy. (RSD first)
Bob Dylan & the Grateful Dead: The 1987 tour highlights, back on vinyl. Tracks include “All Along the Watchtower” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” Via Columbia. (RSD first)
The Grateful Dead: Previously released but almost impossible to find offline — “Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA 2/27/69.” Was part of the CD box set “The Complete Fillmore West 1969” of 2005. Four-LP set with one side an etching. From Rhino and the Dead.
Jerry Garcia: “Run for the Roses” was Garcia’s fourth and final solo studio album. Several Garcia/Robert Hunter originals plus covers of “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” Limited, numbered on “black/orange marbled vinyl.” ATO/Round Records. (RSD first)