Staff Picks: Record Store Day 2018

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Record Store Day is coming up on April 21st, and we here at Vinyl Mag are very excited! In an effort to convey our joy, we got the staff together to list their most anticipated RSD exclusive releases for your reading pleasure! We’ve got something for everyone here, from booming ambient shoegaze (Brian Eno + Kevin Shields) t0 Mac Demarco‘s demo tapes for This Old Dog and obscure Swans deep cuts! Make sure to check with your local record store for availability! Now without further ado, here are our staff picks:

Brian Eno with Kevin Shields

The Weight of History + Only Once Away My Son

Like chocolate and peanut butter, Kevin Shields and Brian Eno make perfect sense together. Both have discographies that explore outer reaches of sound either through dense noise or sparce, barely there ambience. Listening to them together on a release will make this record store day like Christmas to hardcore audiophiles and fans of wonderful ambient music. Expect it to get loud. Very loud. — Sebastian Marquez, Managing Editor

Sun Ra


Sun Ra is an interglactic ambassador, genius and prolific mastermind, but for the uninitiated his vast discography can be quite intimidating. Obelisks of noise and improvisational freakouts pepper his compositions, and those who aren’t accustomed to his brand of experimental Jazz will have a hard time finding an easy entry point unless they check out this album. Sun Ra’s interpretations of Jazz standards like “Easy to Love” and “Time after Time” make for a wonderful middle ground for new fans to get acclimated before taking Rocket Number Nine to Venus with the rest of his discography. — Sebastian Marquez

Car Seat Headrest

Twin Fantasy (Mirror to Mirror)

Twin Fantasy is considered to be Car Seat Headrest’s bandcamp opus, the defining moment in his pre-matador career. Having just released a full rework of the album as the Face to Face edition, the original bandcamp version of Twin Fantasy is getting pressed to vinyl in what sure must be a dream come true for Will Toledo. While the album was downloaded over thirty three thousand(!!!) times on Bandcamp, only four thousand copies of Mirror to Mirror will be available. — Sebastian Marquez

Johnny Cash

At Folsom Prison: 50th Anniversary Elegacy Edition

Let’s talk about one of the most prolific country artists of all time and one of his most legendary albums. At Folsom Prison, when released in 1968, fostered excited chatter around the nation – acclaimed by music critics, revered by music fans, and monumentally important to Cash’s prison reform campaign, it rose to number one on the Top Country Albums chart and established itself as one of the defining albums of the 60s. 50 years later there is still nothing that compares, and you can buy the Anniversary Elegacy Edition at participating record stores, which includes both full concerts and “a bonus 12” single featuring previously unreleased audio of Cash and friends rehearsing at the El Rancho Motel in Sacramento, CA the night before. — Harper Bridges, Staff Writer

Florian Fricke

Spielt Mozart

Those who know of Florian Fricke probably aren’t half-hearted fans; an indelible legend in Germany, Fricke commanded the krautrock group Popol Vuh, pioneered the use of the Moog synthesizer, and cemented a rich bond with Werner Herzog, scoring several of his films. Once a spacey electronic figurehead, Fricke ultimately settled into the world of euphonic composing, and Spielt Mozart (Plays Mozart) might be the fastest track to a glimpse into his profoundly enchanting soul. Being released for the first time on vinyl, you can hear Fricke’s captivating tributes to his favorite Mozart Allegro’s and Adagio’s – if you can snag one of 1000 copies. — Harper Bridges


Die Tur ist zü

An obscure gem for hardcore Swans fans, the Die Tur ist zü (The Door is Closed) EP was released in 1996 as a bizarre amalgamation of studio and live recordings of then-unreleased songs and outtakes, and oh yeah, was only available in Germany. Now you can buy it for the first time on vinyl and in your home country, and the word on the block is that it will even include art by Swans mastermind Michael Gira. Buckle up, because one of the most experimental releases by an oft-aggressively experimental band is guarenteed to be a wild ride. — Harper Bridges



Flume’s self-titled debut album helped to cement him as a mainstay in the EDM scene. While the album is full of classics like “Holdin’ On” and “Sleepless”, there are other experimental gems hidden throughout. Solid collaborations with artists like Chet Faker peppered throughout the album add to the richness of the songs. Flume shows how well the artist tells stories and sets moods in his songs with the usage of little to no lyrics, which in my opinion is an arguably impressive feat. If one reads the title to a song on the album before hearing it, one can immediately understand the title and how it fits into the song. For fans of electro-pop, this album is a must-listen. — Erica Kastner, Staff Writer


Back in Black

One would be hard-pressed to compile a list of some of the best albums without at least a nod to one of the highest-grossing albums ever – AC/DC’s album Back in Black. While this album was the first time the band used a new lead singer, Brian Johnson, after the death of previous lead singer Bon Scott, Johnson surely doesn’t disappoint. Johnson’s distinctive voice gifts him the ability to simultaneously sing with grit as well as scream high notes that leave fans coming back for more. The album contains hits that even a modest fan would know, like “Hell’s Bells” and “Back in Black” but also contains addictive tracks like “What Do You Do for Money Honey” that pay homage to the band’s uncanny ability to deliver in-your-face lyrics while drawing the listener in with powerful guitar parts. — Erica Kastner



Sublime is the final studio album by the genre-blending band whose sound has been described as both “ska-punk and reggae-rock”. The album contains popular hits like “Santeria” and “What I Got”. The album was recorded while the band was under the influence of heavy drug and alcohol usage. This could have influenced some of the lyrical themes and ideas in the album, which vary to everything from prostitution to addiction. While songs like “Burritos” have a light-hearted theme to match the relaxed reggae tone that makes its way into various songs, other songs like “The Ballad of Johnny Butt” create an ironic tension between the song’s chill sound and dark lyrical themes that is worth listening to. — Erica Kastner

Jeff Buckley

Live at Sin-é

Jeff Buckley’s soulful crooning and heartbreaking ballads, paired with his out-of-nowhere death at such a young age, cemented his status as one of music’s great enigmas. Live at Sin-é was Buckley’s four-track debut with Columbia records in 1993 and will be a limited edition release (only 2,500 copies) for RSD 2018. The “legacy” release will be expanded to a 34-track, four-LP set, and will include extended content such as monologues and an eight-page booklet of liner notes and photos. — Emma Korstanje, Staff Writer



As one of the establishing bands of the late 1990’s grunge movement, Soundgarden’s generation-defining sound has lasted long after the band’s end. Available on vinyl for the first time ever, this compilation album is a chronological breakdown of the band’s prime—its first 13 years. First released in 1997, the album contains most of the group’s most famous singles as well as a few extras such as “Bleed Together,” a track not available on previous albums. — Emma Korstanje

Wu-Tang Clan

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) [cassette]

Considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is the debut album that introduced the world to Wu-Tang Clan. The album and group then went on to be a staple of the East Coast Renaissance era, influencing artists like NAS, The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z. For the first time, the album will be released in a limited edition (2,500 copies) run of cassette tapes in honor of RSD 2018. — Emma Korstanje

Courtney Barnett

City Looks Pretty/ Sunday Roast

Australian indie rocker Courtney Barnett is one of the most refreshing and exciting names in music today. With the combination of breezy guitar rock and brilliant story-telling lyrics, Barnett fully hit the scene with the success of her 2015 album “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.” Her new full length “Tell Me How You Really Feel,” is out May 18th, but she is releasing a limited 12″ of two new tracks off of the upcoming album. — Nate Bramel, Staff Writer

Miles Davis

Rubberband EP

In 1985, one of jazz’s greatest legends, Miles Davis, made the switch from Columbia Records to Warner. He began recording a new album “Rubberband,” that featered a new emphasis on funk and soul. Miles Davis never finished “Rubberband” and the record was never released. Four tracks off of the album as well as a re-recorded version of the title track will see a 12″ release. — Nate Bramel

Mac DeMarco

Old Dog Demos

A recent Record Store Day tradition for indie rock’s favorite slacker Mac DeMarco is to release the demos for his full-length records. He will maintain this tradition with “Old Dog Demos,” containing the preliminary cuts off of his terrific 2017 album This Old Dog. This album will feature unreleased tracks from the This Old Dog sessions. — Nate Bramel


Billy Breathes

It’d be tough to find a Phish fan who’s not completely over the moon about Phish. “Billy Breathes” is widely considered to be one of the albums that really established Phish’s extremely dedicated fanbase, and with the impressive tracklist the album contains, it’s hard to argue with that logic. This record store day, “Billy Breathes” will finally be released on vinyl as a triple-sided LP in a numbered limited edition package. — Anna Lee, Staff Writer

Neil Young

Live at the Roxy

There’s something about Neil Young’s unique, crooning voice that sounds like home, which is largely what made him so popular in the first place. This double-sided LP will feature Neil Young’s first performance of Tonight’s the Night at the Roxy in Los Angeles. The show, performed in 1973, quickly came to be considered one of Young’s most legendary performances. — Anna Lee

Van Morrison

Alternative Moondance

Van Morrison’s iconic album is being released yet again, but this time with two never before released alternative versions of “And It Stoned Me” and “Crazy Love.” Morrison’s classic tracks exemplify his ability to blend soul, rock, R&B and folk to create a timeless sound like no other. Van Morrison’s award-winning, classic tunes have been enjoyed for generations now, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. — Anna Lee

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