7 awesome releases coming on Record Store Day 2024

Record Store Day is on April 20.
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Where can you find new releases from the Beatles, Stones, and Who? Maybe you’re looking for something different from U2 or the Grateful Dead. You want old stuff? How about Howlin’ Wolf? New? Olivia Rodrigo will be there, along with Noah Kahan. Willie Nelson to Lainie Wilson, Public Enemy to Lil Wayne. Bowie, Biggie, Pearl Jam, Queen …. Everyone from Cannonball Adderly to Frank Zappa. If you love music, Record Store Day 2024 has something for you.

Record Store Day began in 2007 as a way to bring attention to the thousands of independently owned music stores in the USA and across the planet. They press a limited number of copies of old classics, rarities, and rediscovered live shows or studio sessions. Often, the pressings are on cool-looking colored vinyl and come with other artistic flourishes.

This year’s Record Store Day is rapidly approaching. On April 20, you will be able to buy exclusives made only available to independent record stores, or RSD Firsts, which may or may not eventually be sold through other outlets, but initially will only be sold in participating stores. As the very brief sampling above suggests, there will be a treasure chest of music on offer. Here are seven of the pressings that excite me the most. (Pressings totals are for US stores only. There are more available internationally.)

Seven Record Store Day releases you will not want to miss


The three-song 2022 EP from Dylan Brady and Laura Les gets its first-ever physical release (on dye-cut weed, no less). If you were a fan of 2023’s 10,000 gecs, you will love the cacophony of “Hey Big Man” (“I smoked two bricks, now I can’t pronounce “anemone” – Went to a party and did a human centipede”), the Skrillex collab “Torture Me,” from the “757” brand of gecs tune, and the gentle “Runaway,” which shows off the gecs at their most poignant, while still maintaining the audio assault they have become known for.


Gene Clark’s story is one of the sadder ones to come from the formative years of ‘60s/’70s popular music. As a co-founder of the Byrds, he was at the forefront of early genre blending – combining folk and rock, along with jazz, blues, country – virtually any American form of music. He wrote many of the Byrds classics but was eventually overshadowed by Roger Hillman and David Crosby. He left the Byrds to pursue a solo career, but never found much success.

By 1974, when he released his fourth solo album, No Others, its eclectic blend of styles confused most of the public and many critics. The album flopped and Clark, despite releasing a few more albums, would never be recognized as the innovator he was during his lifetime. After his death in 1991, reissues of No Other revealed that he was simply ahead of his time. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of its release, 4AD is releasing 18 tracks from the No Other sessions which contain alternate versions of the album’s original eight tracks.


A reissue of the 1987 satirical punk classic. Bucky Fellini opens with an homage to The Sweet’s 1973 glam classic “Ballroom Blitz” (homage or dis – your call). From there, it is pure snarky pop-punk before anyone really knew what that was. It includes one of the Milkmen’s big hits, “Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance to Anything),” and a song called “I am the Walrus” which doesn’t even bear a passing resemblance to Beatles' (“I sold my niece to Edwin Meese and I wonder what life’s about.” For those of you who remember Ed Meese…)

The album also has such gems as the Milkmen take on surf rock, “Surfin’ Cow,” and the truly unhinged medical nightmare “Watching Scotty Die.” The release is on ducky yellow and has artwork from band members Joe Jack Talcum and Dean Clean (who, for the record, was an art student.)


Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr. was one of the giants of sessions piano players for sixty years, until his death in 2019. In 1968, he launched his solo career as “Dr, John, the Night Tripper.” You can hear him introduce himself to you on the first track on this collection, “Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya.” He released seven albums between 1968 and 1974 for the Atlantic Records offshoot, Atco. All of his singles – A and B sides – are collected here so you can trace his evolution from the swampy, voodoo-tinged Night Tripper persona to the more traditional New Orleans-based R&B of his biggest hit “Right Place Wrong Time.” In all, 26 tracks of some great swamp rock, blues, and funk.


John Hartford is a bluegrass treasure. His clever, flippant songwriting and virtuoso banjo and guitar playing helped broaden the reach of traditional bluegrass in the late 1960s without sacrificing any of its classic values. He helped pave the way for the mainstream success of today’s bluegrass stars like Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle. Molly’s unrelated banjo player Kyle Tuttle occasionally performs one of Hartford’s best-loved numbers, “Up on the Hill Where They Do the Boogie,” at Golden Highway shows. That tune came from Hartford’s first Warner Bros release Aereo-Plain in 1971.

Now Real Gone Music is releasing the somewhat lesser-known WB follow-up, Morning Bugle, originally out in 1972. Not only have they remastered the eleven original tracks, but they also have included eleven other songs from the recording sessions, along with alternate takes of the title track and the bluegrass guitar instructional manual “My Rag.” This is a must-have for any fan of modern bluegrass.


Paul Westerberg, Bob and Tommy Stinson, and Chris Mars – AKA The Replacements – were famous for putting on some of the greatest live shows that post-punk had to offer. And some of the absolute worst. It kind of depended on how sober guitarist Bob Stinson was and how seriously frontman Westerberg was taking the whole band thing at the moment.

The title of this live recording refers to their notorious performance on SNL the night of January 18, 1986, when they opened with a very solid rendition of the Green Day-esque “Bastards of Young,” then returned, clearly inebriated and wearing each other’s clothing, to stumble through a sloppy version of “Kiss Me on the Bus.” They were subsequently banned from the show. Imagine, being the most abrasive act on a show that featured Sam Kinison. This new release finds them one week earlier, ripping through 28 songs at Metro in Chicago, the famed venue just north of Wrigley Field. Replacements live shows were always an event.


The Slits only toured for five years at the end of the 1970s, so there’s a pretty good chance you didn’t get the chance to see them. This collection of live recordings which spans their short, explosive career is probably the closest you can come to hearing what a Slits show sounded like. They were enormously influential on punk and on female hard rock bands as a whole.

Half of the 15 tracks on this collection come from a show at Dingwalls in Camden Locks in 1977 and another half are culled from several shows in the USA three years later. There are also two specials – an acoustic version of “Number One Enemy” with Nina Hagen singing, and “In the Beginning” from their final show, sung by Neneh Cherry. Essential listening for fans of punk.

That’s just seven out of hundreds of eclectic releases coming on April 20. You can check out a list of the titles and find participating record stores at the RSD website – https://recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases.

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