Founded in 2007, back when buying vinyl wasn’t much more than a curious hobby, Record Store Day has now become a proper holiday for music lovers all over the world. A day to celebrate your local vendor, see your favourite bands performing ‘in-store’ gigs up close, and queue up way early to get your hands on limited editions and RSD vinyl exclusives. Every store will have certain rules to make sure no one ends up in a fist fight over a particularly rare item. Most will have a first come, first served policy, and sell a maximum of one copy of each release per person. Check your local store’s opening times, as those may differ from their usual hours.
And finally, every record store will do their best to order everything they can, but remember: these are exclusives. You could shoot them a message in advance, but heading out there and getting lucky (or not) is undoubtedly part of the RSD thrill. All of the releases mentioned below will be available in the UK and the Netherlands. Some of them will also be available in France.
The 1975 – Live With The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Unstoppable indie rock force The 1975 has taken the world by storm these last few years with their gen-z pop appeal and lead singer Matty Healy’s notorious on-stage antics. Named this year’s Record Store Day UK ambassador, the band has dug up a remarkable, seven-year old live recording with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, with a lavishness that highlights the ‘love it or hate it’ quality of their second album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. On vinyl, CD and cassette for the very first time.
Björk – The Fossora Remixes, Dirty Projectors + Björk – Mount Wittenberg Orca
Big day for Björkheads! Both ‘Atopos’ and ‘Ovule’, two highlights from the Icelandic singer’s fungi-themed and gabber-inspired tenth album Fossora, are getting a remix treatment, both of them featuring UK club icon Shygirl. Additionally, a classic 2010 collaboration between Björk and the New York art pop outfit Dirty Projectors, Mount Wittenberg Orca, is getting a ‘definitive’ physical release that includes thirteen never-before-released bonus tracks.
Various Artists – Brazil 45 Boxset Vol. 4 It’s Beastie Boy Mike D’s turn to compile a new instalment in the ongoing Brazil 45 boxset series: Six seven-inch singles that represent the rarest, best and weirdest of Brazilian music, this time including one Inês Soares’ 1975 ode to Toyota, the lush MPB of the late Erasmo Carlos, and some raw, psychedelic nuggets by Nicholas Mariano and Modulo 1000. It’s the closest you’re likely to get to having hip-hop royalty spinnin’ records in your living room. Oh, and while in Brazilian spirits, you might want to check out Bossa Nova at Carnegie Hall, the first ever reissue of one illustrious night in ’62 at New York’s Carnegie Hall, featuring performances by Sergio Mendes, Oscar Neves, Carmen Costa, and João Gilberto – all sharing the same stage.
Kae Tempest – Nice Idea
Acclaimed English spoken word performer, poet, playwright and novelist Kae Tempest has reunited with their long time collaborator Dan Carey (Black Midi, Fontaines D.C. Wet Leg) for an incredibly tight new EP, Nice Idea. It’s the wordiest, most high-energy of soundtracks, made for a day of just staying in and laying in bed. Quite a nice idea.
Arooj Aftab – Live in London
It’s hard not to be enchanted by Arooj Aftab’s deep and silky voice, as well as her patient and atmospheric approach to music, both of which are on full display on her RSD 12” release Live in London. The EP features two songs from her 2022 performance at the Barbican Centre with none other than famed sitar player and fellow Grammy laureate Anoushka Shankar, who, alongside Aftab’s rich vocal performance, gets plenty of space to bedazzle herself, especially on the b-side ‘Aey Na Balam’.
Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking
What started with two teenage girls jokingly ad-libbing to a deejay track, became a surprise number one-hit when John Peel accidentally played ‘Uptown Top Ranking’ on BBC Radio 1 and landed the truly infatuating Althea & Donna a spot on Top of the Pops in 1977. The long overdue reissue of their only album for Record Store Day proves that they’re not just one hit wonders but bona fide reggae legends. It’s impossible to resist songs like ‘No More Fighting’ or ‘If You Don’t Love Jah’ – go ahead and try.
Wilco – Crosseyed Strangers: An Alternate Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of what is arguably one of the most remarkable albums of this century, Wilco has already put out a gargantuan boxset with several reimaginations of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Now comes another version called Crosseyed Strangers that mixes alternate takes and acoustic renditions with live performances old and new to create a wholly different listening experience. An LP’s worth of what could have been and what’s become.
M.E.B. – That You Not Dare to Forget
“The history of music on this track.” M.E.B. know how indebted they are to the jazz legends that precede them – it’s their whole thing. That You Not Dare to Forget is the ensemble’s first album and combines archival recordings by Miles Davis and his late proteges with modern performances by musicians young and old – including Marcus Miller, Ron Carter, and John Scofield. It’s a riveting tribute to music history without ever getting overly wistful. The exact kind of energy to channel going into this year’s Record Store Day.
Edited by Kate Pasola