AnalogPlanet’s Record Store Day 2023 Preview

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Record Store Day — and it really should, as the very next RSD is slated for this Saturday, April 22. Since its 2007 debut, RSD has grown into an international pilgrimage event for vinyl-loving music fans around the world — and it shouldn’t surprise you in the least that we collectively love Record Store Day here at AnalogPlanet, seeing how we’ve been proud RSD supporters since Day 1.

Regardless of sometimes having to stand around waiting in long lines and occasionally missing out on our prime RSD wishlist entries, in general, we’ve found the whole RSD concept to be uplifting, fulfilling, and ultimately community-building. We’ve spent many hours at RSD events over the years and all across the country with longtime friends, colleagues, and fellow collectors alike — and we’ve also met new, likeminded LP-seeking music-obsessed acquaintances during those times we’ve waited patiently and/or semi-impatiently for our favorite independent record stores to open.


If you want to join in on all the RSD fun this upcoming weekend, go here for all the Record Store Day 2023 offerings, and then follow the adjacent prompts to find out which indie record shops near you will be carrying them.

In the meantime, two of AP’s intrepid album lovers, vinyl evaluators, and inveterate collectors — namely, chief LP reviewer Mark Smotroff and AP editor Mike Mettler — are here to share their RSD 2023 choices. Take it away, gents!

I have already pinpointed a handful of gems I’m quite eager to get my hands on during RSD 2023, so let me get right to them!



2LP (Rhino/Sire)
Deep fans of this December 1981 work of David Byrne’s figured out the only way to hear the full 23-song score was to get the cassette version of The Catherine Wheel, seeing how the 1LP vinyl edition was an abridged, 11-track collection of highlights. After CDs caught on, The Catherine Wheel was eventually issued in that format in 1988 — and I still have it in my collection — but I’ve long hoped for the full score to be issued on vinyl, and now we’re finally getting it on 2LPs on RSD 2023. It is perhaps not a coincidence this release precedes the much-anticipated full soundtrack of Talking Heads’ 1984 masterpiece Stop Making Sense in August, which includes songs from The Catherine Wheel such as “What a Day That Was” and “Big Business.” (Talking Heads were also playing “Big Blue Plymouth (Eyes Wide Open)” on that tour, btw.) The Catherine Wheel is a great work, featuring performances by guitar wizard Adrian Belew (King Crimson, David Bowie), Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic), Byrne’s fellow Talking Head Jerry Harrison, and many others. An essential release.



2LP (Rhino)
I can’t believe it’s taken nearly 25 years for Rhino to see fit to issue this fantastic late-period Captain Beefheart concert on vinyl, but here we finally have it. When the CD version came out in 2000, I was thrilled, as it sounded better than my multi-generation cassette of the original radio broadcast that had been circulating among fans back in the day. Here, we have the latter-day Magic Band in full flower, performing music from the then-new and still amazing Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) album released in October 1978. For us audiophiles, the big question will be what source was used for making this new-to-vinyl 2LP set. According to the liner notes on the original CD, the album was initially recorded directly to 2-track stereo reel-to-reel tape and then duplicated, with the duplicate version used for the classic WLIR-FM broadcast of December 11, 1978. The CD was reportedly made from the original master, not the duplicate. Hopefully, this new vinyl edition will have a similar pedigree! I also hope they include the neat concert poster reproduction that came with the CD, and I further hope this 2LP collection sounds richer than the recent Rhino remaster of October 1972’s Clear Spot LP, which I found a bit on the bright side. (Go here to read my review of that particular RSD 2022 release.) Guess I have a lot of hopes for What I Wanna Do, don’t I?

 0419.23.Billy JoelRSD.jpg


2LP (Columbia/Legacy)
This fine 2LP set initially came within 2021’s The Vinyl Collection, Vol. 1, a box set that compiled seven of Billy Joel’s LP releases between 1971 and 1981. For those of us who don’t really need that whole box, the new RSD 2023 release of this wonderful early Billy Joel concert from San Francisco’s intimate, 500-ish seat theater is a welcome joy — plus, it’s my favorite venue in SF proper! I liked both the sound on and the pressings of the box set version of Live at the Great American Music Hall, 1975, but I will admit the bland, single-pocket cover design left me a little cold. Hopefully, this RSD 2023 edition will have a bit more substance to the release itself — and I additionally hope the opaque gray vinyl will be as quiet as the black vinyl in the box set is.



1LP (MPL/Capitol)
This April 1973 release is one of those Macca and friends albums that could definitely benefit from a thorough remixing — but, in lieu of that, a really great remaster could also definitely help. Fans are somewhat divided on this second Wings record — some love it, while others write it off. Me, I have found a happy balance with it over the years, appreciating Red Rose Speedway for containing many of Macca’s strongest melodies since May 1971’s Ram, in addition to some of his most offbeat lyrics since that album’s “Monkberry Moon Delight” — a song I still love, by the way. Hence, I have learned to enjoy Red Rose Speedway in all its lyrical whimsy, instead focusing my attention on Sir Paul’s melodic musical majesty on very Beatlesque tracks like the album-closing medley of “Hold Me Tight,” “Lazy Dynamite,” “Hands of Love,” and “Power Cut,” as well as the Side 2 opener “Single Pigeon” and the Side 1 ender “Little Lamb Dragonfly.”

I’ll put it this way: I still prefer this album over December 1973’s Band on the Run and May 1975’s Venus and Mars. That’s something I know certain Macca fans would say I’m wrong about — but, hey, we each have our favorite jams! Regardless, the U.S. pressings have never been amazing for Red Rose Speedway and finding clean UK pressings is not super-easy on this side of the Pond, so having access to a nice half-speed remaster courtesy of Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios could be really, really nice indeed. Fingers crossed.

 0419.23.Hal BlaineRSD.jpg


1LP (Jackpot)
Out in the wilds of collecting, finding the solo records of Hal Blaine, a drummer who reportedly played on some 10,000-plus recordings, is remarkably difficult. In all my years of cratedigging, I’ve only recently found one complete album, 1965’s Drums! Drums! A Go Go (which is just so-so), and an empty cover for 1963’s Deuces, “T’s,” Roadsters & Drums. Psychedelic Percussion, originally issued in 1967 on Dunhill Records, is supposed to be one of Blaine’s best — or at least his most interesting. The album includes Moog pioneer Paul Beaver (on “electronics”) and percussion from the great Emil Richards (who played on Frank Zappa’s Lumpy Gravy, among many other albums), so I feel Psychedelic Percussion is bound to be interesting, with Blaine playing everything from gongs and congas to xylophone and organ. Original Psychedelic Percussion copies from collectors’ sources can be a bit pricey, so a reasonably priced reissue like this one will be most welcome.


There are some other titles I’m also contemplating getting on RSD 2023, which include Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros: Streetcore (20th Anniversary) (1LP Dark Horse; this is Strummer’s fantastic, posthumous October 2003 swan song — something I have had on vinyl since it first came out, but do I need another copy? Not sure yet!); Sigur Rós: Kveikur (2LP Krunk; a June 2013 release I don’t have on LP, and now it’s being issued on limited edition Sulphuric Yellow vinyl in celebration of the album’s 10th anniversary); Prefab Sprout: Steve McQueen Acoustic (1LP Legacy; this one features lead Sprout Paddy McAloon’s 2006 unplugged remakes of the band’s classic 1985 album that was released in the U.S. as Two Wheels Good).


Great selections all, Mark! I’ll take one of everything, please and thank you. Naturally, I also have an RSD 2023 wishlist of my own, and I’ll be presenting ten of my top choices that don’t overlap with any of the ones Mark has mentioned above. I’m also keeping a few other hopefuls off this list and closer to my vest for the time being. (’Fess up — I bet more than a few of you AP faithful might also have some of those semi-hidden RSD gems in mind as well, depending on the scarcity of quantity and/or distribution.) At any rate, feel free to chime in below in the Comments section with your own RSD wishlist items. And, as always — happy hunting, everyone!



2LP (Allman Brothers Band Record Company)
The Allmans do the Steel City for the first time, at the outset of 1971 — and, quite fittingly, Syria Mosque is pressed on steel gray vinyl. This concert was recorded direct from the soundboard, and it has been duly restored and remastered for this 2LP set. The original ABB lineup starts this electrifying show on Side 1 with “Statesboro Blues” and wraps up with, of course, a 20-minute “Whipping Post” jam on Side 4. Incidentally, this particular gig took place about eight weeks before the Brothers cut one of the most seminal live albums ever, At Fillmore East.



1LP (Fat Possum)
Guitarist/vocalist John Doe and his fellow Folk Trio-mates — upright and electric bassist Kevin Smith, and drummer/percussionist Conrad Choucroun — made sure to deliver the down-home goods on Doe’s May 2022 studio album, , and these six Bunker cuts prove their three-man mettle for doing the dark-folk thing to a T. Two Bob Dylan covers constitute Side A, while the four tracks on Side B are drawn from Fables. I recently interviewed Doe for our sister site Stereophile (and I’ll share that link here once that story is posted), so I can affirm firsthand the iconoclast X co-frontman and solo artiste is a master at making the emotional concepts of loneliness and isolation more appealing than you might expect.



Look, up in the sky! It’s Klark Kent, the long-sought-after 1980 EP that was originally put out on 10-inch green vinyl under an alias for its creator, Police drummer Stewart Copeland — and now it’s returning on green vinyl and upped to the full 12-inch format for RSD 2023. The right-side corners of the capital K’s on my own die-cut 1980 original (even in its 12-inch protective sleeve) are woefully bent and the vinyl itself is well past its reasonably playable date — it wasn’t all that well taken care of to begin with before I got my hands on it, and cleaning it has only helped to a certain degree — so I’m very much looking forward to spinning this one again on new wax. There’s also a cool, shall we say, artist identifier on the spine I’m hoping they replicate for this one.



2LP (Rhino/Sire)
I never did get myself a copy of this 1981 new-wave funkified solo album from Talking Heads multi-instrumentalist Jerry Harrison on vinyl, so I’m quite intrigued to hear how it plays out over 2LPs. This edition was recut from the original tapes and includes a bonus LP of previously unreleased outtakes and alternate mixes. Color me intrigued, to say the least. My one addendum/request here — can the reissuing powers that be slate an updated vinyl edition of Harrison’s January 1988 solo project, Casual Gods, for the next RSD in November, or at least RSD 2024?



5LP (Rhino/Elektra)
Nuggets is one of my personal favorite compilation multidisc LPs of all time, and I suspect it might be one of yours as well. The stats are these: Originally released in October 1972, Nuggets centered on the first gen of American psychedelic and garage bands. Lenny Kaye (a.k.a. the guitarist for Patti Smith Group) compiled the 27 tracks on the original 2LP set under the supervision of Elektra Records’ founder Jac Holzman. Both gentlemen are involved in this 5LP 50th anniversary edition that expands the original by 42 additional tracks, including some songs left off the 1972 release as well as adding some tracks Kaye selected for a second Nuggets volume that was never issued. This collection also contains new liner notes and artist bios written by Kaye. Needless to say, the expanded 5LP Nuggets box set is one of the most essential “artyfact” releases on this RSD, imo.


The second tier of my Top 10 RSD 2023 choices include Tori Amos: Little Earthquakes – The B-Sides (1LP Rhino/Atlantic; singles and rarities that were released in conjunction with Amos’ career-defining January 1992 Little Earthquakes album, with “The Pool” and “Sugar” being two of my faves of what’s included here); Miles Davis: TURNAROUND – Unreleased Rare Vinyl From On the Corner (1LP Columbia/Legacy; four choice cuts culled from an expansive 2007 Sessions box set for Davis’s October 1972 space-funk classic, as presented here on sky blue vinyl); Jonathan Richman: Jonathan Goes Country (1LP Craft Recordings; first time on wax for Richman’s 1990 Rounder Records venture into the country genre, on what’s been dubbed “Red Cowboy Boots” vinyl); Travis: The Invisible Band – Live (2LP Craft Recordings; Scottish alt-rockers do what they do in their hometown of Glasgow in May 2022 during the 20th anniversary tour celebrating their stunning June 2001 album The Invisible Band, on clear vinyl); Yes: Live at Knoxville Civic Auditorium (3LP Rhino/Atlantic; culled from December 2022’s mondo 21LP Progeny box set, with the band’s prime Close to the Edge lineup doing their uber-progressive thing to the max. In short — Yes, please!).


rich d's picture

I have zero interest in picture discs, digitally-mastered reissues of records I already own or anniversary editions containing a host of tracks which the artist rightfully left in the can. Happily, this year's batch features a shedload of records I really want but don't yet have. Guess I better get in line early and stuff my underwear full of cash.

rich d's picture

It reads like AI. Just saying.

Mike Mettler's picture
As "phishy" as they come, and hence, it will be excised ...
Mike Mettler's picture
It's now gone -- there was a "phishy" word/link embedded in the middle of all the blather. At any rate, I hope you find some fine RSD goodies on Saturday, Rich -- and please let us know whatcha get!!
Mike Mettler's picture
Here's what my first round of RSD 2023 begat... now, let's see yours!!!


rich d's picture

I picked up Miles, Alex Chilton and the new Jazz Dispensary compilation. Soul Jazz re-issued their best-ever release (200% Dynamite) so a friend who didn't already have it wisely picked one up.

I had the Warren Zevon and Ali Farka Toure on my list but the prices were extortionate so I spent the money later at a brewery. As one does.

Mike Mettler's picture
Round 2 -- found the Miles Davis RSD LP today, as you can see in the new photo below. Forgot to show the ABB Live LP cover yesterday, so here it is. Plus, I grabbed a few other LPs today for, er, "research"...

One addendum -- the clerk at the shop I went to today, Revolver Records, said they had 25 copies of the Grateful Dead's Boston Garden, Boston, MA 5/7/77 (Live) 5LP RSD release in hand after closing time last night, but between then and mid-afternoon today, they received a number of mail orders for it, and only
seven copies were left at the time I was checking out of the shop. Veddy interestingk, as one might even say...


Anton D's picture

Wasn't that 2020?

I can't keep up!

Mike Mettler's picture
That one is not an RSD release -- I just picked it up for a potential live Stones albums (plural intended) review I'm contemplating doing...
Anton D's picture

Looking forward to it.

Plenty to choose from!

Mike Mettler's picture
Glad you agree, Anton! The idea here would be to focus on the balance of the live albums The Stones have released in the past decade-plus or so under the Official Bootlegs umbrella. We all pretty much know how great Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! is to this day, as well as the bits 'n pieces of Got Live If You Want It!, Love You Live, Still Life, et al, that we still enjoy dropping the needle on.

For this combo-review concept, I'll probably focus on whatever deep cuts show up depending on the tour/gig at hand, plus I'll likely choose some of the perennial setlist staples as a baseline to see how, or if, they've evolved from tour to tour, and if they equal, surpass, or fall short of any earlier live renditions that can be cross-referenced. Y'all like that idea?

2_channel_ears's picture

...Red Rose Speedway "RSD half-speed mastered" vs Red Rose Speedway "Special Edition" released a few years ago?*/Paul-McCartney-and-Wings-Reissues/Red...

HiFiMark's picture

There are two go-to record shops in downtown Santa Cruz, and both were scheduled to open at 10:00 on RSD. I gamely hoisted my sorry self out bed at 7:30 and soon headed down the hill with a strategy of checking out the line at the big store first. If long, I decided to give the tiny corner shop a shot first. Nice guys, personal service, good environment and, Hey!, only four young hipsters waiting at the door.

Bad, bad decision. But I get ahead of myself.

It's 8:15 and surely these friendly young ones are no threat to my hopes of grabbing the live YES, Bill Evans (enough BE already, but I just can't resist), and the intriguing Jazz Artist Guild release (love me some Dolphy, Mingus, & Roach).

I set up my chair, we all chat a bit, and I try to read. But adrenaline is high in this intrepid RSD hunter and I keep wondering if I made the right call. It's 9:00 and the proprietors show up, greeting everyone. They go in and start rattling around and we all hope they'll open early. I ask my line companions what they are after and they might as well be aliens in the Star Wars bar scene. I have no idea what they say. Presumably record titles and artists. Not sure. But as suspected, I don't hear anything on my short list.

Still, I wonder and debate.

I am a fully formed adult, in theory. Why am I even here at this silly event, much more getting nervous about my game plan?

9:30 and the door opens. By now the line has swelled to about 20, but I'm in prime position at number 5. Inside the door, there are donut holes and a three section rack of RSD goods. Looks rather spartan given all the RSD hype, but surely there's a hit or two for me in there. Two hipsters clear out with some finds and one of the three sections opens up. I flip through while keeping a side eye on the other two sections as my new friends dig. We then perform, if I may be so bold, the smoothest three way twisty maneuver of changing bins as we finish each section. It was pretty.

Sadly, that was the highlight in this store. Bins 2 and 3 prove just as fruitless as number 1.

How can this be? How could my strategy have been so very misguided?

I looked at proprietor #1, shrugged, said thanks, and bolted for the big store. They still haven't opened... it was 9:50 and anticipation was high. Some chipper gentlemen made their way down the line handing out RSD selection lists, but more importantly, numbers. My heart sinks as I'm handed #60. He asks what I'm looking for. A look of doubt crosses his face when I rattle off my hopes, giving away precious intel to those in line ahead of me, but he quickly recovers with a smile and assurance, "there's a chance." Not being one to doubt what people tell me, I gain a small amount of encouragement.

Suddenly the line surges into the store. The set-up is simple: sales folks call out your number, you step up to the counter and say what you want. 40 minutes pass and after many fist pumps, smiling faces, "Oh shoots," (well OK, and worse), and "Yessssses, I realize my parking meter is about to go red. In a flash I decide I'd rather delay my turn than pay a $30 ticket, so I race to the car. Pumping the meter with all the coins I have left, I race back in to hear "number 57!".

Solid move. No ticket and kept my place.

58, 59, 60!

I step up: Live YES! "Nope," with a rueful shake of the head and sympathetic look of sadness. Jazz Artist Guild! "Nope," with a repeat of the well rehearsed customer relations maneuver, powerfully reflecting my pain back to me. I feel cared for.

Bill Evans? I say, holding out some small hope that all is not lost.


Oh my, this is stupid expensive, And it's only my third choice. Do I?

Succumbing to the joy that is RSD I assure myself that Bill is worth it. But no YES? That was the one. That was the absolute must.

I get home and my gem of a wife is genuinely disappointed for me.

I immediately bust out the computer and do what any respectable RSDer would do and head to Discogs to see if there's anything reasonable before all the US based sharks double the price and put theirs up for sale.

Hey! There's a guy in Greece who's got one for only $25 more, delivered, than I would have paid. I click Add To Cart, PayPal, and done. Sweet.

And hey, an almost as precious copy of the Jazz Artist Guild, (near mint, previous release), can be had for $16 delivered. What a great day!

Fast forward. Sunday.

I'm in San Jose. On a lark, I drop in at a large shop to see if there's gold in their RSD dreg crate.

I find a copy of YES for $49.

Greece guy is very gracious and lets me cancel.

Jazz Artist Guild is on the way from Europe. In theory.

Mike Mettler's picture
Hey Mark -- wow, what a saga that was indeed! I really appreciate you giving us the full blow-by-blow here, and that you were also able to track down most of what you wanted.

I'm sure many of us can relate to a) waiting in long(ish) lines and once we get inside, our quest is sadly proven fruitless, b) being handed a list in an even longer line, checking off our main hopefuls and handing it back to the clerk with a bit of trepidation, and then only getting handed a few of them once we're inside, and c) logging onto the computer, phone, or other portable device to see if our prized RSD choices are available on Discogs, eBay, or "other." (I've sometimes done the latter while waiting in line or when I'm in the shop and don't see what I wanted.)

I too have done all of the above in years past. One year when I was out in L.A. on business, I got in the loooooooong line outside of Amoeba in West Hollywood, filled out my hopefuls on the big list, and got handed a stack of some of them once I got inside. Not really how I want to shop on RSD since technically someone else did the shopping for me, but it was an experience nonetheless. And then I stayed inside Amoeba and found some other goodies to tide me over (read: make me feel better about the RSD factors out of my control).

Another year, I went to Princeton Record Exchange in NJ, ran into a colleague of mine from Sound & Vision, and we waited in line together for way too many hours before getting inside to sift through the RSD bins alongside way too many people in way-too-narrow aisles. More fun being able to thumb through the titles personally, yes, but a bit too cramped to truly enjoy.

In recent years, I've decided to show up a few hours after my main store opens, and if I find what I want there, then great. If not, I head to my next stop (or two, or even three, if I'm up to it) and hope to fill in some of the blanks. Finally, if there's a must-have (or two) regardless of cost, I'll look on Discogs and/or eBay and decide if I actually have a price threshold, or if I'll just bite the bullet. (Spoiler alert: It's rare that I reach such a price threshold, but it has happened once or twice.)

What all of this ultimately reminds us is, in terms of the joys of record collecting in general and of RSD itself specifically -- i.e., the thrill of the hunt -- there's something that will never go away for us tried-and-true audiophiles-slash-record collectors, lovers, and listeners, regardless of any/all obstacles that may be in the way.

And, with that, I now say... here's to the next RSD in November! I have a few early leads about what might be coming that day, but I'm very much looking forward to whatever is on the slate for that hallowed event, which is happening only, what, exactly seven months from now...

HiFiMark's picture

Thanks for humoring me and reading. I really didn't expect anyone to get through my missive! I got a little caught up in what a silly lot we all are. We will do some pretty funny things to score that coveted album. Or 10.

Yeah... being an audiophile and music lover is sure a lot of fun.

I don't smoke, gamble, chase women, swear, and don't drink a lot. My wife graciously puts up with my music addiction. As long as it all fits within a specific set of shelves. Good news: there's quite a bit of linear footage to go.

Mark Smotroff's picture

My modest haul for Record Store Day from Amoeba Music included a couple interesting bargain bin scores:
-- a white label promo of The Jackson Five's Goin Back To Indiana (in pretty decent shape... but how often do you see white label promos of albums on Motown... so I had to grab it)
-- a neat 1969 Jimmy McCracklin LP (which turned out to be pretty great).

As far as new RSD things I bought there were:
-- the new Vocal-less version of ENO's latest
-- Hal Blaine's Psychedelic Percussion
-- Sir Paul's Red Rose Speedway Half Speed Master
-- Prefab Sprout's acoustic remake of Steve McQueen (aka Two Wheels Good in the US)

They were all out of the Billy Joel live album which I'll hopefully pick up at some point down the pike. I also forgot to get the Bill Evans orchestral album so I'll hopefully find that at some point...

Finally, the other exciting find I picked up at Originals Vinyl here in San Francisco. This store does not stock RSD merchandise but they often put out some special gems on RSD so I made a point of stopping by when they opened at Noon. They didn't disappoint.

There I found an album I'd been seeking for years now: an almost perfect condition promo copy of the very elusive 1968 Impulse Records release by the great Emil Richards.

"Emil who," you say?

Well, if you are a Frank Zappa fan (as I am) you have heard his vibraphone and percussion work on Lumpy Gravy and Läther. But you've probably also heard his playing on recordings by The Monkees, The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, George Harrison, Joni Mitchell, Emitt Rhodes, Phil Spector's productions and many others. He apparently beat the bongos on the Mission: Impossible theme and is the finger-snapper on The Adams Family theme song! He was a Wrecking Crew member (and is in the film, talking about Zappa in particular).

So, for the price of one of many of the new deluxe RSD releases, I got an original copy of this wild and wonderful album -- called "Journey To Bliss" credited to Emil Richards and The Microtonal Blues Band (I'm not making this up, folks!) -- which I am loving immediately. My only regret is that I didn't get a copy of this sooner. BTW, the so-called "Microtonal Blues Band" here includes Wrecking Crew greats Tommy Tedesco and Dennis Budimir on guitar.

This album sounds quite amazing.

RSD was a long but fun day. We got to Amoeba at 6:30 only to find about 100 people ahead of us! I had a great time waiting in line with my record collecting buddy Frank and all the Taylor Swift fans there -- the latter of which helped the line eventually wrap around three city blocks! Bravo to Taylor for getting her fans out to the stores, which is the purpose of RSD.

All in all it was a very happy Record Store Day for sure.