Last weekend was Record Store Day 2012. I had a great time even if I was not able to go to the record store that I intended to go to originally. I wanted to go to The Electric Fetus in Minneapolis. By the time I rolled out of bed in the morning I realized that it would have been too late, 6:30 AM. I did drive by the store to see how big the line was, at least 70 people, before moving on to my second choice. I ended up at Down In The Valley in Golden Valley. I was second in line at 7:15 AM. The kid in front of me biked down from Plymouth. He got there at 7. Our local public indie radio station (89.3 The Current) stopped by to say hi while we waited. I got a pin and a can cooler. The store did not open until 10 AM so there was a little bit of waiting and getting to know the folks on either side of me in line. The kid in front of me just started to collect records and had two records before the store opened. I was very proud to find that one of those records was the Capitol re-release of Radiohead's first album, Pablo Honey. Anyway, here we go...
This was a non album single released for the Converse three artists one song marketing campaign. It was released in February of 2012 as a download dubbed the radio edit. For Record Store Day (RSD) 2012 the full length version was released on a 10” record. Originaly, one could only listen to the full length version on the Gorillaz web site. It was pressed as a single sided record. I was actually disappointed with this because they could have put the radio edit or etched a graphic on the other side. Either way the rest of the song that I hadn’t heard is still interesting if lacking in lyrical content. Teaming up with the Gorillaz on this track is Andre 3000 from Outcast and James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem. Andre has most of the lyrics and all of the rapping on this track. The things that he can do with his voice are amazing and he shows what he can do all over this track. James Murphy produced the percussion and played the bass on this track and he does a magnificent job with that as well. He, James Murphy, also sings the chorus and plays the strange keyboard during the chorus. Really, The lyrics are very funny. The content after the radio edit would end is really lame if you are just listening while doing something but if you listen to the words that are being said it is really funny. I really like this song and was worried that I would not get the vinyl release. I ended up going to a local record store that happened to have two copies are a good price, about ten bucks.
Pretty In Pink soundtrack
Originally released in 1986, this was a re-released for RSD 2012. It was pressed in a limited quantity. It is actually numbered on the back cover. It was also pressed in hot pink vinyl. This was very fitting given not only the title of the movie but the content as well. If you are into the 80s high school movies I would recommend this one for sure. Any way, There are some really great singles that came from this soundtrack. I don’t know what the release order is for these singles, not that it really matters with a soundtrack. The first single is called If you Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. This song was written specifically for the soundtrack. It is the biggest charting single from the group in the US. It is one of my favorite songs from the 80s. It is simple and elegant. The next single is called Pretty In Pink by The Psychedelic Furs. The song was originally released on the second album from the band called Talk Talk Talk. The song inspired the making of the film and the title of the film. The song was re-recorded for the soundtrack. The song features a horn section that was popular in the early 80s. The vocals for this song are very unique. They seem strained and quiet, giving the feeling that something is not right but they are striving to make it right. The next single from the soundtrack is called Shell Shock by New Order. This song was recorded just for the soundtrack for the movie. The song was inspired by the John Robie club hit called One More Shot. John Robie was given production credit for Shell Shock next to New Order. I like New Order and the song is good but there are better songs on this soundtrack. The next single from the sound track is called Round Round by Belouis Some. This song did not chart at all. The song really isn’t that great. It is just rock. The track that was not released as a single and should have been in my opinion is the last track on the soundtrack, it is called Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths. It may not have been released as a single because the song is so short, less than two minutes long. It is another beautiful song from such a famous band that may not have been that popular at the time. It was originally a b-side track to the song William, It Was Really Nothing. The song was also used in the soundtrack for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This is truly a great sound track as is most of the John Hughes soundtracks.
Empire Records soundtrack
Originally released in 1995, This album was released for the first time on vinyl for RSD 2012 on clear orange double vinyl. This was also pressed in limited quantities and is numbered on the back of the jacket. There are some really great songs that were released from this album. The first one that I remember is Til I Hear It From You by Gin Blossoms. The song was included on the bands album called Congratulations, I’m Sorry in Europe only. It was only found on the Empire Records soundtrack in the US. It is a classic pop song. It is not a song that I really like but it fits the soundtrack. The next song that I remember hearing on the radio is called A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins. This song was originally from Edwyn Collins album Gorgeous George. It is a soul inspired track that uses a drum sample from Len Barry’s 1965 song called 1-2-3. It is a really cool song that reminds me of the mid to late 90s. I did not like much music during this time so, although this is a good song, it reminds me of all the bad music that was being pushed at us, the public, from big corporate music. There are some other songs that I really like from this album but I am not sure if they were released as singles or to the radio. The first track that I want to highlight is called Free by The Martinis. This song reminds me of a mellow song that The Breeders would have written. I actually thought that it was them the first time I heard it. The lead singers’ voice sounds very close to Kim Deal. I would guess that the similarity is in the Guitarist who was a part of the Pixies which is the first group that Kim Deal was with. The next song that I like from the album is called Bright As Yellow By The Innocence Mission. This song originally comes from their album called Glow. Glow was the groups third album. The song seems to shine like the sun with beautiful female vocals and slow tremolo guitar. The song Circle Of Friends by Better Than Ezra doesn’t stand out as much as the others but is still a good song. I really liked their first and second albums and this is a touch of that sound. The last track that actually works for me on this album is a supper poppy punk song called Ready, Steady, Go by The Meices. There is not much to say about them except that they rock. If you are looking for a good compilation of what was happening in the 90s music scene this is a good place to start. The album is a bit long with fifteen tracks though.
In the recent past I reviewed an internet only nine track album from Violens. Five of those tracks have been pressed in to a 10” vinyl album called Fragment #1. This has been put out by a French record company called Monopsone. They are a nice group of folks that sent me the record quickly and easily. I actually got the record faster than the 7” from California here in the US. Fragment #1 is part of a three piece series from Monopsone. I have no idea who the other two groups are so I did not buy the other two fragments but the bands are Zaza (Fragment #2) and Epic45 (Fragment #3). Like I said before all five tracks are a part of the download only album called Nine Songs – 2011. It is nice to have physical copies of albums though. I am not sure if that is me personally or if it is a part of my generation where you did not have an album unless you could hold it in your hands. The 7”, that I just got today, is also composed of tracks from that Nine Songs – 2011 album. The song Totally True, the A-side of the single, is a super catchy tune that has tendencies toward the current crop of shoegaze bands out there today. The B-side, Something Falling, is just as good as the A-side in my opinion. It is a bit slower than Totally True but flows just as nicely. This single was a Slumberland Records release. It was pressed on a hazy clear vinyl. I am happy to say that Slumberland will be releasing the groups second full length in the beginning of next month too. There are only a couple of tracks that will be included on the album from the Nine Songs – 2011 download album making the new album mostly new material. I am very excited about this. I am pretty tired of that download album at this point.
That is all I have for now...