Record Store Day is normally marketed as the one day in the year when more than 200 independent record shops around the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture. It is, quite literally, like all their Christmases come together.
However, the coronavirus pandemic – which was at its height around the time that RSD was originally scheduled in April – put paid to all that for the 2020 celebration.
Bricks and mortar record stores closed their doors – some probably never to reopen – as the world went into lockdown as Covid-19 claimed thousands of lives and hospitalised many other victims.
Like people, however, the record industry is resilient, so the organisers of RSD came up with a novel way of celebrating the event when it became safe to do so. This year, instead of one release date, there are three ‘RSD Drops’, in August, September and October.
The first drop date is 29 August, and it’s a big one, featuring some 350 releases, but social distancing rules mean the usual in-store parties and performances have bitten the dust.
Stores have also had to get creative, and think outside the box instead of relying on the tried, trusted (and frustrating) format of queueing round the block to snag the records you want.
Some will have socially-distanced queueing, while others are using pre-booked time slots, and, for this year only, anything not sold over the counter on the day will be available online from 6pm on Saturday (the web sales embargo is usually a week).
You can find a whole list of RSD items on the Record Store Day website here, but here’s some indie, punk and alternative items you might want to add to your collection.*
Broken Bones – Dem Bones LP (Fall Out/Jungle). The seminal UK hardcore punks’ classic 1984 debut album is reissued in black & white quartered vinyl. Broken Bones formed from the ashes of D-beat pioneers Discharge, and themselves influenced an army of thrash-metal bands. 500 copies only.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – End Of Suffering Live to Vinyl 10in
(International Death Cult by AWAL). This is a special limited run (700) of 10in blue transparent & signed vinyl which the band recorded at Metropolis studios as part of their Live To Vinyl series. The tracks are taken from their 2019 album End of Suffering.
The Cure – Seventeen Seconds LP (UMC/Polydor). It’s the first time on picture disc for this 40th anniversary RSD 2020 exclusive, which features their best song, A Forest. Another Cure album, Bloodflowers, is also being given a 2LP pic disc re-release for its 20th anniversary.
The Damned – Evil Spirits LP (3rd Party). Formed in 1976, The Damned were the first British punk band, and have released 11 albums, with 2018’s Evil Spirits their most recent. Comprising the original line-up and produced by Tony Visconti (Bowie, T. Rex), this limited edition is 666 copies on transparent green vinyl.
Ginger Wildheart – Excess GASS LP (Round Records). 500 copies on blue vinyl. The final selection of solo songs from Ginger’s 2016 G.A.S.S.Project, which saw the prolific Wildhearts frontman release three digital songs a month for a year on a groundbreaking fanclub-only subscription. This is a first physical release for these tracks.
The Lovely Eggs – I Am Moron LP (RSD special edition) (Egg Records). Another inimitable Lovely Eggs handmade release, this is a very special version of the Lancashire indie-psych-punks latest album. It’s in neon pink vinyl, comes in a special reflective mirror cover, and is strictly limited to 1,000 copies only.
Membranes – Kiss Ass Godhead LP (Glass Modern). A pink vinyl 30th anniversary edition of the first album by John Robb’s noisemakers, who he still leads around the world, in between TV appearances and editing his Louder Than War magazine.
The Menzingers – Chamberlain Waits LP (Red Scare Industries). A limited edition (570 copies) vinyl pressing of the album which put the Philly punks on the map. First issued in 2010 and in and out of print ever since, this version includes a throwback tour poster, and on coloured vinyl for the first time.
Motorhead – Ace Of Spades 12in (BMG). This is a shaped picture disc release to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Lemmy and co’s speaker-smashing, worldwide outlaw anthem, which changed their career. It’s limited to just 1,000 copies and will be extremely sought-after.
Operation Ivy – Energy LP (Epitaph). The classic album by the band that laid the foundations for punk big-hitters Rancid, available for the first time on vinyl in Europe. Strictly limited to 1,000 pieces, it’s pressed on a half-black half-white record to fit the album’s artwork.
Pennywise – The Fuse LP (Epitaph). This was the only album by legendary US skatepunk band Pennywise that has never been available on vinyl, so it was time for a change! It gets its debut on RSD in Europe only, on orange vinyl with black splatters, and there are only 500 of them, so they’re bound to be sought-after.rictly limited to 1k ldwide!
Refused – Not Fit For Broadcasting (Live At the BBC) (3rd Party). An ultra clear 12in featuring six exclusive tracks, recorded for the BBC Maida Vale session, Rock Show with Daniel P Carter. Five are from their 2019 album War Music, plus fan favourite It’s Not Okay…from their debut album Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent.
The Wipers – Is This Real? (Jackpot). A limited edition (2,000 copies) clear colour vinyl reissue of the debut album by Portland, Oregon’s, best-loved punk band, who were a huge influence on Nirvana. Comes with a bonus 45 featuring four songs from the original 4-track sessions.
There’s loads more we could have included in this list, including releases by The Big Moon, Carter USM, Iggy Pop, Jah Wobble, Madness, Manic Street Preachers, The Murder Capital, The Pogues, and a few more, but we figured there’s enough to be going on with here.
- Half of the list of 10 recommendations I made back in April are being kept for the September and October drop dates, so this is an updated list of goodies to tempt you.