Record Store Day 2023: Exciting New Vinyl Releases
Every vinyl enthusiast's favorite time of year has finally come. Record Store Day is Saturday, April 22, the perfect time to head to your local record store. Whether you're in search of a super rare new release, or looking to pick up some vintage vinyl, going to a record shop is something special. Music is something of a universal language, a genre-spanning unifier that fosters community and conversation. So in a world where listening to music is as simple as pressing a button on our phones, why bother with vinyl?
Vinyl, above all else, is about the ritual, with the limitations to the ability to hop from song to song making it all the more special. Dropping the needle, hearing the signature pop as it hits the record's grooves, and sitting down to listen and take in the entire record is something that just can't easily be replicated. Everyone has had that feeling of envy of watching someone pull a particularly interesting record, and nothing beats the almost euphoric feeling of finding exactly what you were looking for. At Victrola, there's nothing we love more than vinyl, so we encourage you to get out, head to your local shop, and see if you can find some of these cool, new drops.
In 2020, Taylor Swift surprised fans by dropping a film featuring a live studio performance of her album Folklore. Swift performed all 17 of the album's tracks during a session at Long Pond Studios, armed with nothing more than her acoustic guitar and a handful of collaborators. Swift is a unique musician, able to move seamlessly from her earlier twang-tinged pop to energetic dance music to heart-wrenching folk ballads, while leaving her devoted fans wanting more every time. Swift has emerged as one of the most talented lyricists of her era, weaving together stories while leaving clues for her Swifties. Folklore: the long pond studio sessions is a limited release, available only at stores participating in Record Store Day, so we suggest getting in line early.
The Chronic was Dr. Dre's first solo outing after leaving N.W.A. and remains one of the best selling hip-hop albums of all time. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Interscope Records announced a special limited edition re-release of the record that helped to shape West Coast hip-hop. The Chronic helped to launch the career of Snoop Dogg, who appears on several tracks, and also highlighted Dre's skills as a producer as well as a rapper. Dre combined beats inspired by '70s funk, soul and jazz with his signature lyricism to put together an album that has stood the test of time and has fans excited to grab this weekend.
It wouldn't be a Record Store Day without a Grateful Dead live album, would it? The culture around the Dead is something to behold, with Deadheads encouraged to bootleg the band's live shows, and being happy to travel across the country to see a performance by Jerry Garcia's third cousin's tailor's friend. Still, their 1977 Boston concert is known as one of the best in their canon, featuring most of their biggest hits and recognizable songs. For someone who wants to step into the daunting world of the Grateful Dead, this record is a perfect place to start, as well as an exciting release for longtime fans.
With just three studio albums released over a four year period, Sublime managed to leave their mark on the ska revival of the '90s with their humorous, creative lyrics and impressive musicianship. Bradley Nowell's untimely death in 1996 led to the band's dissolution, but they had already attracted a dedicated fanbase eager to get their hands on any unreleased material. $5.00 at the Door is Sublime at their musical peak, a raucous performance that serves as a time machine to '90s California. With influences of reggae, surf rock and even some Grateful Dead covers, the band's energy manages to jump off the record.
To help bring her Off-Broadway dance project, The Catherine Wheel, to life, legendary dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharpe tapped Talking Heads frontman David Byrne to compose and produce the score. Byrne's skill as a producer was on display, layering anxiety-inducing beats with ethereal sounding synth and frantic vocal pieces. The Catherine Wheel gave Byrne free reign to experiment as much as he wished, free of the confines of popular music. Even without the accompanying dance numbers, Byrne's score remains an engaging listen and is an interesting portrait of how he saw himself as an artist.
Stevie Nicks began working on her debut solo record amid the turmoil of Fleetwood Mac in the late '70s. Bella Donna was released in 1981 and turned out to be a massive hit, and introduced her signature song, "Edge of Seventeen." Nicks embarked on her White Winged Dove tour in support of the album, including a stop at the Fox Wilshire Theater, where this live performance was recorded. Nicks treats fans to a few Fleetwood Mac selections as well, closing with a heartfelt, soulful performance of "Rhiannon."
British rockers Enter Shikari are difficult to define. While their early work was more influenced by hardcore and punk, they have seemingly added new layers with every release. Their newest album, A Kiss For the Whole World is due for release on Record Store Day, and offers some of their most polished work yet. Blending elements of djent, synth-pop and alternative rock, frontman Rou Reynolds looks at the new release as a sort of rebirth after a creative rut. Enter Shikari is known for their energetic live performances, and a European tour is set to support the new record.
Tori Amos' debut record remains one of the best albums of the 1990s, a perfect showcase of her talent as a songwriter, vocalist and pianist. While 12 tracks made it onto the final cut, Amos was left with a trove of B-sides and unreleased material. All these tracks have been released as one record for the first time, including her beautifully haunting, solo piano cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
Live at Knoxville Civic Auditorium captures Yes at their musical apex, just after the release of their most commercially successful studio album, Close to the Edge. Along with bands like Rush and Pink Floyd, Yes helped to move progressive rock into the mainstream. Yes checks every box of prog rock royalty, combining complex musical themes and rhythms with virtuoso musicianship, while incorporating catchy hooks that endeared them to the listening public. The record features a scorching rendition of one of their biggest hits, "Roundabout", as well as the full 19 minute performance of "Close to the Edge."
The White Stripes were a band out of time in the early 2000s, incorporating a number of throwback elements into their music reminiscent of '60s garage rock. True to form, Elephant was recorded without any digital technology, giving an authenticity to their sound that few other bands can replicate. The album opens with one of their most recognizable tracks, "Seven Nation Army", a gut punch distilled into a four minute song. 20 years after its original release, Elephant remains a tremendously influential record in the alt-rock genre.