Record Store Day is much-discussed, and the upcoming 10th anniversary event is proving to be no exception.
The organisers released the full list of releases for 2017 a few hours ago, and almost immediately critics pointed out some of the more obtuse releases.
Look a little deeper, though, and you'll find plenty to smile about. Here's a few selections...
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Blossoms – ‘Blossoms’
The Stockport outfit unveils a real treat for Record Store Day this year with an unplugged EP pressed on beautiful coloured vinyl. The EP is recorded live at Festival No. 6 with Joe Duddell, and contains some true bangers such as ‘My Favourite Room’, England ode ‘Blown Rose’ and their absolute anthem, ‘Charlemagne’. And if that isn’t enough, the ten inch is also incredible aesthetically pleasing with its pink and violet design.
The Smiths – ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Hand’
The Smiths are in many ways the gift that keeps on giving. Though the band broke up in 1987 we still receive glimpses of their magic from time to time. This release takes the form of a previously unheard demo recording of ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’, exclusively released in Record Store day. The limited edition seven inch also features an unreleased version of original B-side ‘Rubber Ring’.
Alice Coltrane – ‘Harp Improvisation’
In every sense the spirit of Alice Coltrane remains with us, inspiring us almost every day. Luaka Bop have compiled a volume of her ashram recordings, but this Record Store Day release offers yet another treat. A nine-minute harp improvisation recorded in Poland in 1987, it comes with a lotus flower etched on the flip. Limited to 1000, so best be quick.
Spacemen 3 Re-Issues
Normally Clash would shy away from recommending re-issues, as they can generally drop at any point of the year without the Record Store Day hype – but we’ll make an exception for the Spacemen 3. Rugby’s finest aural cosmonauts, the band’s lysergic adventures pushed through inner space while Thatcher reigned, each new album feeling like an illicit thrill. ‘All The Fucked Up Children’, ‘Recurring’, and ‘Playing With Fire’ are all iconic for very good reasons: they present an entirely unique template, one that has never been bettered.
Elastica – ‘Elastica’
Members of Elastica popped into Abbey Road studios earlier this year, and when photographs were leaked it seemed – just for a minute – like the band might actually get back together. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. What we have instead, though, is a re-mastered (at Abbey Road, funnily enough) version of their debut album, complete with a new flexi-disc and fanzine. Time to fall in love with Elastica all over again.
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Record Store Day takes place on April 22nd.