Record Store Day April 20th 2013

The line snaked down the block outside of Music Merchant in Westwood, N.J. the morning of Record Store Day April 20th 2013. It was 7:30 AM well before I got there, you can be sure. Others told me about the scene, including the store's owner.

All of the most prized collectible limited edition records were quickly gone. Is this good? I'm not sure. Why were the buyers there so early in the morning? Why did they buy? Were they fans of the music? Fanatical record collectors? Or were they mercenaries buying up what they knew would soon possibly fetch big bucks on Ebay to the actual fanatical record collectors? I surely hope the former, but who knows?

Record Store Day has become a worldwide phenomenon and that's good. The "last shops standing" need the revenue boost but the disturbing undertone of commercial exploitation lingers.

The major labels, hardly "major" as they once were, are anxious to generate revenue however possible. This is good in that the vaults are now open for the responsible reissue labels to cut lacquers from master or tape copies (either one works for me). Unfortunately it also opens the vaults to the charlatans and phonies for whom printing on the jacket or label sticker "cut from the original master tapes" is easy, whether or not it's true.

Yesterday I received an email from an overseas reader who wrote: "Earlier today I popped down the one of my local record stores in Brighton (UK) and picked up today's RSD 2013 Grateful Dead double lp "Rare Cuts & Odities 1966". The cover said printed in the USA and is of nice heavy card; the notes on the back say "Lacquers cut by CHRIS BELLMAN at…" BUT what did I find but two European pressed slabs with no CB scribed. Should I be worried? will they really sound inferior? - I probably won't find out - but it just annoys me that someone went to the trouble of choosing and stating the cutting location and then not following through."

What is that all about? I asked Chris Bellman and Rhino. Bellman got right back to me and said he'd check into it. I hope to hear back from Rhino. I will let you know.

There's a glut of new vinyl on the market today. In some ways, the more the merrier! But in others it's ominous and disturbing. I took the photo above at my local store. I do not mean to criticize the store or to single it out. I've seen this same thing at Amoeba and at many other stores around America: multiple editions of the same record. How is a record buyer to know which is the one? Or what are the differences or why?

At Amoeba once I found multiple versions of Bob Dylan albums in the Bob bin. I knew what was going on but the average consumer? No way. Analogue Productions has licensed from EMI the Beach Boys catalog. But apparently that has not stopped EMI from also reissuing Beach Boy albums on 180g vinyl surely cut from CDs if the sound of the recent Capitol reissues of Roxy Music, Merle Haggard and other artists are any indication.

In the case of The Ramones, above, I found two versions of Leave Home. One for $18.99 has a gold and black sticker on it that was copied from one created by Sundazed a few years ago. Though Bob Irwin is an industry veteran, he forgot about the lurking vipers and produced a sticker that did not say "Sundazed" on it.

So this other company was free to borrow, leaving Sundazed customers confused and thinking they were getting Sundazed when they were getting Scorpio Music's edition. This Ramones' reissue is from Scorpio though it doesn't say anything on the label about who reissued it.

Scorpio has also issued some of Dylan's catalog and other Columbia Records titles. When you ask label execs about this they have no comment. Enough said?

The other Leave Home costs $1.00 less and if from Rhino. It says right on the sticker, "mastered from the original analog tapes" and I bet if I cracked it open I'd find Chris Bellman's "CB" scribe on it. Which do you think will sound better? But not everyone knows what you know and the price is close. Maybe the more expensive one is that much better? Again not your thinking but probably someone's. And that someone will get an inferior product in every way.

So RSD 2013 left me somewhat disheartened and later Saturday night I watched two DVDs "Last Shop Standing" and "Brick and Mortar Love" that didn't pep me up much. I'll review those ASAP but you should see both.

So what did I buy at RSD? I bought Calexico's Spiritoso (Anti 87260-2) a limited to 3500 copies release (I got 2882) featuring the band backed by two symphony orchestra in live performances. Nicely packaged and recorded but cut by John Golden, I suspect from a CD. It sounds like a good recording flattened and lacking in transparency. Again, I hope to find out how this was produced from the mastering engineer credited on the jacket. In 2013 there is NO excuse for cutting lacquers from a CD resolution file. I doubt the recording was produced 16 bit/44.1K. I played it once so far and liked the South of the Border bullfighty "rich Corinthian Leather" music very much. At times like this I wish we had a mandatory SPARS code (that's the code used in the early days of CD that told you how the disc was sourced: AAD, ADD, DDD)

. I picked up Leonard Cohen's double live LP Songs From the Road (Legacy 8869777112-1) Fitz and The Tantrums 2010 release Pickin' Up the Pieces that was priced at $24.99 (!) and turns out to have been mastered by Wes Garland at Nashville Record Productions and pressed at United. He'll tell me the source but I'm not optimistic. I bought the new double LP from The Mavericks that being in UMG I was sure was pressed at United and mastered by Wes and I was correct. But that double 180g set was $17.99 not a single at $24.99. Why was the Fitz $24.99? Maybe it's already out of print and collectible? Who knows? I was in a "support my local record store on RSD" mode and so didn't care.

I bought Father, Son, Holy Ghost from Girls on a double LP set for $21.99 just because there was a song on it called "Vomit" and because the label was Fantasy Trashcan. I know nothing about this group but I remember buying the first Love album the same way. I knew nothing and boy was I glad I bought that. Of course that was on Elektra and everything I'd previously bought on Elektra was not just good but great! Don't yet know about Fantasy Trashcan but if Girls is good I'll let you know.

I also bought the re-creation of the Nick Drake sampler LP issued by Island in 1971. The backstory is that his first two LPs were not issued in America by Capitol.

His first American release was this compilation containing tracks from the first two but the album was DOA because the Island/Capitol deal fell through subsequent to pressing and the records were immediately cut out (cut corners or holes drilled through) catalog # SMAS-9307. The compilation was mastered at Abbey Road, overseen by John Wood the original engineer (like the Pink Moon reissue) so I bought this to fill out my Nick Drake catalog.

When I cracked the shrink wrap I found it had been plated and pressed at United, not at Optimal as I'd been expecting. Oh well, it still fills out the catalog for me.

So that was my RSD April 2013. How was yours?

krell's picture

RSD went off well down (under) here in Melbourne. Stores were doing a brisk trade and there was a big turnout. Picked up the Rhino Kiss me kiss me kiss me reissue and a few used LP's.

I agree that it's impossible for a newb to know which pressing/release/label version is the good one and what to avoid. Luckily I tend to buy newish music rather than reissues of old stuff so it doesn't really matter. Some sort of legal labelling similar to the AAD on early CD's is a great idea!!

WaxtotheMax's picture

My record store day 2013 was a bit tainted by my college writing course that bled into my local shops regular 11:00am opening hour so I missed some of the most sought after stuff, but did manage to grab the Pink Floyd See Emily Play/Scarecrow pink 45 rpm. The Aerosmith reissues were not sent to this small store, and was looking forward to those as well but no worries. Most everything else was gobbled up before I could dig deeper, but enjoyed the freebies and supporting my local independent even if wasn't much. Overall I thought there were some great reissues, but have to agree will Michael when talking about trying to distinguish between three or four different versions of the same albums. I certainly do not want four identical mixes of the same lp or end up with a sub-par pressing because the product has misleading labels.

JC1957's picture

I was a my local haunt mostly for used which was 20% off but my only beef with RSD is the lack of quantity available. I was lucky enough to find the Sundazed Chet Atkins "Blackjack" EP but the store only had one copy?? Same with the McCartney & Wings 12" "Maybe I'm Amazed" live whch a friend of mine snagged but wasn't so lucky with Chet Atkins. So what's the point with some of this stuff? I remember last year the McCartney "Another Day" single was like this too. People have their wallets out willing to buy and the industry creates a "shortage?" I think it's load of crap to reissue something only a few people can buy. Someone enlighten me here....please. Rant over.

lionelag's picture

was unable to get to either of my usual haunts at an early hour due to the ordinary parade of little kid weekend activities.  There were lines everywhere when I did go.

And the limited edition EP by a local band who I've been following for at least 15 years sold out hyperfast.  I see some entrepeneurs have already put it, unopened, on ebay for $50-$60.  I would have actually *listened* to it.  There doesn't seem to have been any other even medium-res release, just a 256kbps download from iTunes, which I've downloaded and listened to enough to realize that I could tolerate it on CD, but that it really, really wants to be played either on vinyl or at 96kbps.  Hopefully they'll eventually reissue it-- and I'll email the band early next week to see if they kept any copies aside that they're willing to part with. 

It was a good idea for the first few years.  It's not about music anymore-- it's about collecting.  And that really pisses me off.

Michael Fremer's picture

I attended a "vinyl summit" today and expressed to the attendees my concern that it would turn into this and become a turn off.... thanks for posting this...

Martin's picture

A comment on this, basically we're all collectors. One way or another. I don't see it as a bad thing. Rather on the whole, I think it's quite good. 

Those of us with a metric tonne of vinyl or more...  Are we realistically going to play all this? I have stuff I haven't listened to in years, unfortunately. 

Sure the "classic" stuff gets played a lot. And if people out there are like me, you'll have multiple pressings of stuff you like, Rolling Stones multiple pressings of early records, like 6 different variations of Let it Bleed and Sticky Fingers...    Variations of the Beatles LPs, a stack of Sinatras, various Hendrix pressings, Bowie pressings from various countries, and and. But that original pressing of Disneys Jungle Book might get played only when little 6 year old daughter wants to jump around the room to "Bare Necessities". 

Paul Boudreau's picture

...if you buy vinyl (or anything, for that matter) for long enough, you end up with "a collection."  I think between vinyl & CDs I have seven copies of "Fotheringay" - does that make me a bad person?  No duplicates among those seven, either. 

I try to keep it about the music, but occasionally I'll veer into "collecterism" - I've been known to buy a colored-vinyl release simply because I like the way it looks. 

Also, I have no problem with paying more online for an RSD release that I couldn't find locally; I just avoid those resellers who are clearly trolling for suckers. 

lionelag's picture

Look, I understand the collector's impulse.  I probably have 4-5 copies of Electric Ladyland of different pressings, 3 pressings of Ziggy Stardust, 3 pressings of Raw Power, etc., not to mention all the classical records I have in both stereo and mono.  That's fine.  I get that.  I'm just as guilty as anyone else.

This is different.  This is a band with a fairly small worldwide following which releases *new music* (well, two studio covers of songs they've been doing live for years) in a limited edition of less than 5000, and people buying multiple copies for the sole purpose of selling them on eBay for almost three times the original price, still sealed. 

The pedantic lawyer in me points out that this was called engrossing at common law, and was a criminal offense....

Mazzy's picture

I hate it too but ticket agents seem to do legal scalping. It's too bad but its reality. 

mraudioguru's picture

I scored BIG time.

David Bowie Drive-In Saturday b/w Drive-In Saturday (Russel Harty Plus Pop Version) Picture Disc 7" 

Ringo Starr Singles Box (3x7" box featuring Photograph b/w Down and Out; It Don't Come Easy b/w Early 1970; and (It's All Down To) Goodnight Vienna b/w Oo-wee

Deep Purple/Type O Negative Highway Star Side By Side 7" on purple/clear vinyl

Paul McCartney & Wings Maybe I'm Amazed (live 12") 

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts s/t 180g LP with CD featuring live footage and bonus tracks, individually numbered 

The Band The Last Waltz 3LP 180g deluxe version with 12 page booklet, individually numbered

Cream Live at the Royal Albert Hall 3LP Deluxe Set on "Cream" colored vinyl 

ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK--DAZED AND CONFUSED (1st time on vinyl--features artists such as Black Sabbath, Kiss, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Foghat and more) LP is individually numbered on GREEN vinyl

Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) The First Five--Picture Disc Collection--The first 5 ELP albums, as Picture Discs, in a individually numbered box (1250 copies total) 

The ELP BoxSet is REALLY cool! I spent around $400 and couldn't be happier.

The crowds before the store opened were about twice as large as last year. Everyone was helping each other find titles and the sense of camaraderie was infectious.


Mistermuse1's picture

I literaly got the last copy of The White Stripes "Elephant" remastered colored vinyl before it was gone. I actually had one guy offer me 20.00 bucks for it, and I haden't even gotton in line yet. Played it today and it sounds great, flat, clean centered, and gorgeous color. Much better than the Euro version I have which is the only way to get this particular title these days.

I missed out on the Caribou reissues. Oddly, Amoeba only got the two copies of the first and none of the others.

Micheal, you will enjoy the Girls LP if you can get past the syrupy lyrics, and it's actually pretty well recorded, at least for an Indie.

torturegarden's picture

I love Record Store day and celebrate every year. My usual local store (Music Saves in Cleveland) gets in what they can and people line up well before they open at Noon. The people that shop there are music lovers and they don't seem like the type that flip stuff on Ebay. The whole street celebrates all day. Other stores (record and other) have events and live bands play at the Beachland Tavern (local rock club) and Blue Arrow Records. It is a fun atmosphere made up of music lovers. I do wish that some of the limited stuff was less limited but I buy what I can and only stuff I will listen to. My list is below. Most are RSD exclusives, but a few aren't. I sorted by size.

Kill Rock Stars 3x compilation tapes box

4.75" shiny disc
R.E.M. Live In Greensboro EP

David Bowie - The Stars Are Out Tonight b/w Where Are We Now
Public Image Ltd - Public Image b/w Cowboy Song
The Stooges - No Fun b/w The Black Keys - No Fun

Sly and the Family Stone - I Want to Take You Higher
V/A - Factory Records: Communications 1978-92

Maurcio Kagel - Ludwig Van (used)
Michel Gondry & Jim Jarmusch - Remix Blue Orchid by the White Stripes (used)
Nicolas Jaar - Brian Eno / Grizzly Bear remix EP
Thurston Moore & Loren Connors - The Only Way to Go is Straight Through
James Blake - Overgrown 2LP
Robyn Hitchcock - There Goes the Ice 2LP
Oval - Systemisch 2LP
Oval - 94 Doskont 2LP
Miles Davis - 'Round About Midnight (mono)
Miles Davis - Milestones (mono)
Miles Davis - Someday My Prince Will Come (mono)
M. Geddes Gengras - Test Leads
Sun Araw - Ancient Romans 2LP
V/A - No ALternative 2LP

Michael Fremer's picture

If I lived in Cleveland I'd be requesting a visit... some stuff I'll probably never get to hear...

torturegarden's picture

If you are ever in Cleveland you are more than welcome to drop by. I would feel honored.

NRVinyl82's picture

Very cool. I was ~10th in line at Music Saves myself, great place. Some great finds at Blue Arrow as well

torturegarden's picture

I was around 10th or so in line as well. I had red pants, black jacket, glasses.

rakalm's picture

After an all night shift, I drove past Soundgarden to see the line 1 1/2 blocks long at 8am.  I gave up and went home.  Luckily I drove back that night expecting everything to be gone.  But I was wrong: this is my list from 2 late nights on Sat and Sun:

The Last Waltz 

Maybe Im Amazed

Jail (Big Mama Thornton)

Hold That Plane (Buddy Guy)

Round About Midnight (Miles)

5X5 (Stones)

Wigwam (Dylan, just because)

Woke up next day and felt guilty later that night (Sunday), I had forgotten to get my daughter anything at all for her new turntable (XMAS),  So, went back 9pm expecting nothing again, but guess what?

Song Cycle (Van Dyke Parks, her 1st choice, what a kid)

Captain Beefhart (#985/1000, The gig John Peel drove him to), purple vinyl

Double Dagger (333)

Animals is Here 

Animals are Back

Wigwam (they had lotsa of those left)

5X5 (could have bought 15 buy I don't resell)

Vol 2. Gary Clark Jr. (this one was for me), 1 side 33, 1 side 45 

So, a great day in Baltimore and we are fortunate to have such a great store here in town.  Switched my browser to Chrome and was able to post, glitch in IE for me at least, wouldn't let me post this sooner.

Ariel Bitran's picture


Michael Fremer's picture

That's another great one cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman's. He ROCKS!

Cam08529's picture

I didn't do so well at the store Saturday. I only found one record (Aerosmith toys) on my list. A buddy also found the Small Faces LP at another store for me. I just got an email from an online store which still had the Band and Cream LPs in stock and offering a RSD 11% discount to boot. I snapped them up right away. I am not sure if I am getting actual RSD copies but I don't care. I am more interested in having the LPs, rarity or not.

MicallefK's picture

Here in NYC we had a bevy of beautiful record stores hosting RSD -- In Living Stereo, J&R, Generation, and Other Music. Lines around the blocks, and if one didn't have what you wanted, the other one did!

My only bummer: I bought Cal Tjader and Dave Brubeck 10"s from Concord, and both have distortion in multiple spots. I am thinking, surely this would have been a mastering flub, and didn't appear on the original 10"s. But this am I listened to a mint MJQ 10": distortion!

Michael, are you aware of a common distortion problem among 50s era 10"s?

I contacted my pals at Concord, and they are looking into it, but curious as to your thoughts.   


Michael Fremer's picture

I am not aware of distortion being a typical characteristic of 10" records from the 50's. However, if you followed the Bryan Ferry distortion issue, that was caused by a scratched stamper. I don't know who pressed those Concords but if they were rushing to meet the RSD deadline it's possible the QC was poor..

AnalogJ's picture

 In spite of The Vinyl Factory's willingness to send me another copy, the cost of sending it to them in England just wasn't worth it to me.  if I were to have insured it, it would have cost about $40.  And given the low fidelity of the mix, I'll buy the CD.

Martin's picture

That Songs from the Road double LP was I believe recorded at 48/24, then upsampled to 96/24. I have it and I think it sounds pretty good. It is a live recording after all. 

hishou's picture

Great article Michael, translates really well the frustration i had with this year's RSD. I just wanted the Sigur Ros release, by the time it was my turn to get into the shop, they were already gone. So unfair, such a big band should know better regarding their releases.

And what do I read??? Beach Boys on Analogue Prod? That's pretty exciting! Any info? :) :) :)

Michael Fremer's picture

I hope I didn't "spill the beans" on this! If so I'm going to have to remove it from the site but yes. They license just about everything from the Capitol era.... they might even do "Stack of Tracks" the "karaoke" record. I am going to double check on whether this should have been publicized... if it disappears soon, you didn't hallucinate it.... but it is coming...

Martin's picture

Buying vinyl in Europe is sometimes a bit hit and miss. Stuff that is supposed to be "mastered analogue fromthe original tapes" is on opening the European produced stuff is sometimes nothing of the sort. It's pressed from old or new digital files and may or may not sound any good. Occasionally you find that stuff re-issued in the US with tender loving care has been just put out here with CD files pressed to vinyl. Admittedly it's not so common, but does happen. After I got burned I just started ordering everything from Elusive disc.

Michael Fremer's picture

Read these comments. You guys/gals are the BEST! 

Box860's picture

I picked up a copy of Rhino's reissue of The Cure's Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me stamped on red vinyl.  It's a limited run of 3,500 and supposedly a RSD exclusive release.  I assume it is a repressing of Rhino's 2006 reissue of the album.  Does anyone know whether Rhino used the master tapes?  At any rate, I do think it sounds better than the original CD release, but I haven't played that in awhile.

And as far as RSD becoming more about collectibles than music, I found at least 10 copies of the RSD release of Kiss Me on eBay Saturday evening, with many sellers trying to get upwards of $70 for what cost them $35 that morning.

Steelhead's picture

Well I am a tourist in LA and did not realize it was record store day until I hit Amoeba Hollywood.

Talk about crowds!  People had to wait to even enter the store. A lot of promos and I almost bought a special ten inch Beach Boys but went for the new Hendrix on vinyl instead.  Also picked up a Zombies reissue.

The place was packed and lots of youngsters buying vinyl as well as the boomer crowd I am part of.

Lucinda Williams played a short set and Amoeba sure knows how to promote record store day.

A great day to hang in a music store.

Dpoggenburg's picture

Mike, you raise valid points, of course, principally 1) the greed component of scalpers buying product to re-sell at a profit, and 2) the greed component of some labels offering shoddy products, misleading the consumer, creating confusion in the market, etc. Point #2 is same as it ever was, same as it ever was, EXCEPT at least we have the Analog Planet! So while it's always a "buyer beware" world, at least there's a credible source to turn us on to what sounds good, warn us when there is something shitty afoot, and go to bat on our behalf when called upon. For that, thank you! As for point #1, with SOME limited editions you have the same gap between sales price and market value as we have had for decades with concert tickets. Until the labels and artists decide to address the problem the same way many have addressed ticket pricing (which won't happen: the economics aren't as compelling as the concert biz), then be prepared to pay "market" price on an item you aren't lucky enough to snag on RSD. So that's the sour milk. But despite the smell, how FUCKING GREAT is it that there are lines out the door to get into a record store on ANY day of the year? I've been going since year two (I'm in Marin County, so in addition to Amoeba SF and Berkeley, we have a pretty fair number of stores in the bay area), and the treasure hunt energy, the cameraderie, the celebration of this struggling industry -- all contribute to a helluva fun day out, all the while knowing that the sales are CRITICAL to each store's survival. So yes, I've literally seen the last copy of a coveted 45 get snatched from my greedy paws a fraction of a second before I could lay hands on it, or in many cases never even SEE an item as it's already sold out. But the good still far outweighs the few negatives. Now I have to go track down that Macca "Maybe I'm Amazed" 12 inch. Shit...

e.s.'s picture


Hearing everyone complain that Record Store Day is "not about the music anymore" or that it's only about collecting is beyond tedious at this point. There are definitely some collectors out there, and you only have to look at eBay to see there are some flippers, too, but based on my own RSD experiences over the last few years, I truly believe the majority of people showing up on RSD are genuine music lovers.


This year, I hit my first store - 1-2-3-4 Go! in Oakland - for their 8am opening. When I got on line, there were over 100 people ahead of and I would guess the whole line topped 200 at its peak. I was really impressed by the mix of dedicated folks who'd shown up so early, because it was everyone from young guys and girls to 30-something couples with dogs in tow to the stereotypical middle-aged record collector and almost everything in-between. There were hipsters, long-haired death metal dudes, spiky-haired punks, grey-haired button-down types, grey-haired long-haired types... you name it. There were a lot of young women there – the woman standing directly behind me couldn't have been over 25. I later saw her at the cash register buying a couple records she seemed genuinely excited to own. I'm speculating here, but she didn't strike me as a collector at all: She looked like she was going put those records on the minute she got home.


I went to three other Bay Area stores before I called it a day: Amoeba and the nearby Rasputin in Berkeley, then Mod Lang in El Cerrito. I had to stand in line to get into Amoeba, too, and it was a similar experience to the one I'd had at 1-2-3-4 Go!, in that there was a broad cross section of people in line. The couple in front of me talked enthusiastically about music the entire time, and everybody seemed friendly and excited. I got to Rasputin and Mod Lang well after the opening rush at both, but both stores still had customers perusing the used bins, which in all honesty is kind of what makes RSD so great. People come for the exclusives and as near as I can tell, they frequently walk out with all kinds of other stuff.


Were there lines? Yes. Were there crowds? Yes. Did it take visiting more than one store to get everything I was after? Absolutely. I did find everything I was after, though, and I had as much fun traveling from store to store on my quest as I did when I got home and started playing my purchases. (At this point, I've made it through 12 of them: Listening to the Bowie single turned into putting The Next Day on, which somehow segued into Hatful of Hollow and The World Won't Listen by The Smiths...)


Here's what I got:


David Bowie - The Stars Are Out Tonight 7”
Billy Bragg - No One Knows Anything Anymore 7"
Miles Davis – Milestones (mono)
Miles Davis - 'Round About  (mono)
Miles Davis - Someday My Prince Will (mono)
Nick Drake LP

Bob Dylan - Wigwam 7"
Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe 7" (mono)

Orange Juice - You Can't Hide Your Love Forever LP
Orange - Texas Fever LP
Orange Juice - Rip It Up LP
Orange Juice LP
Van Dyke Parks - Song Cycle LP (mono)
Pink Floyd - See Emily Play 7" w/ poster

Pornography - 7 Minutes in Heaven 7"
Pulp - After You 12”
Rolling Stones - 5x5 7" EP (mono)
Small Faces - Green Circles 7” (mono/stereo)
Small Faces - Here Comes the Nice 7"
Elliot Smith - Alternate Versions from Either/Or 7” EP
Tame Impala EP
Paul Weller - Sonic Kicks 5x7” Box Set w/ autographed poster
White Stripes - Elephant LP

Wings - Maybe I'm Amazed 12" (mono/stereo)

The Zombies LP (mono)
Plus a couple of non-RSD releases:
Charles Bradley – Victim of Love LP
Lilys – In the Presence of Nothing LP


If you couldn't find what you were looking for, that's a drag, and I'm sorry. It's still a fantastic day that brings a lot of attention to the fact vinyl is still a viable format, and I think the growing throngs of people showing up to buy records is a positive thing. There are almost certainly speculators amongst the crowds, but there are lots of new music fans, too.

akovo's picture

e.s., fellow East Bay resident here who also showed up at 1-2-3-4 Go!. I rolled up about 7:15 and the line was already forty or fifty deep. Asked the folks at the front of the line when they posted up: 4:30am! I was hoping to get my hands on At the Drive In's "Relationship of Command" reissue. But I figured those would be gobbled up instantly, if they even had any, so I cut bait and went to a newish shop on Telegraph and 65th called Stranded (first time I went I left with a dead mint copy of Alice Coltrane's "Ptah the El Daoud." Wasn't cheap, but was worth it.). They didn't have the ATDI album, but I was one of a small handful of people there. So browsing was really pleasant and the shop owner is nice. I walked out with:

Steven Malkmaus - Covers Can's Ege Bamyasi

Shuggie Otis- Introducing Shuggie Otis

Ty Segal - Ty Rex vol. 2 7"

I've been telling myself that those folks who did get there in the middle of the night rushed home to give their treasure a spin, with the only flipping being being carried out at the end of a side. 

krell's picture

Great post Dpoggenburg! It's kind of a miracle, lines out the door to buy vinyl in 2013! Sometimes we forget how close to death vinyl was...

Michael Fremer's picture

Thanks to everyone posting (so far)! Yes, vinyl did come close to death but now we're facing the opposite problem: on our way to taxing pressing plant capacity. More about that soon!

tbromgard's picture

Ive wanted to add ths one to my collection for a while but mint copies go for $200 plus. It was reissued for RSD along with Sippin Time on double gate fold, only 3500 copies. What a score for $25! I also purchased Calexico and reissues from Nick Drake and Aerosmith (Toys-one of my favorites). It was a good day! My only complaint is I have not been able to listen to any of them yet. I hope I get some time tonight! Cheers.

thefinalsound's picture

Michael, I'm hoping that you might read this comment based on the subject line "Vomit". I'm really excited to see what you think of the Girls album that you bought. When I first listened to Girls I was a little put off by what I percieved as a whiny vocal style by Christopher Owens. I've always been slow to warm up to most high pitched male vocalists (sorry Rush, Hot Hot Heat, Suede). Something about the music really stuck with me though, and actually the vocals eventually became endearing in their earnestness and heart-on-sleeve-iness. Part of it was the realization that something about the vocals smacked of Elliott Smith, which is welcome anytime with me.

Also mentioned in a previous comment was that it actually sounds quite good. People who listen to a lot of indie have become accustomed to an average quality in most of the recordings, and Father, Son, Holy Ghost seems to exceed the norm by a good margin. It's rare to hear such great guitar tones so carefully crafted and recorded in indie music.

I'm especially interested in your impressions as an older experienced listener and critic. In interviews it seems that Owens has a real affinity to music of 60's girl groups, and even lamented that if he had a girl vocalist that he could write and produce hit pop tunes, but that he's unfortunatley limited by himself vocally. Anyways, the record draws heavily upon that era historically and me being pretty young I feel a bit ignorant of some of the references, though I know I've heard many of the cues before.

Love what you do Michael, keep up the good work. BTW Vomit happens to be a great track!

floweringtoilet's picture

My Dad (RIP) was an antique dealer for many years. He could look at table and in an instant tell if the legs were "right" or whether they had been replaced after 50 years. He could tell by the kind of nail used when the piece was built. He seemed to have a sixth sense for when a painting was by a "listed artist" and when it was a nice decorative piece.

Educated consumers make out better. This true of any hobby. And it has always been true with music collecting. People who don't bother to educate themselves generally don't care about sound quality. Those who can't tell the difference between the Scorpio and the Bellman pressing in the store probably won't be able to tell the difference at home either.

storym's picture

I bought: 2005 Cream Reunion Box, Emerson,Lake, and Palmer First 5 Picture Disc Box(yes, I've actually played them and they have noisy backgrounds but the music sounds better than I read from posts of picture discs on the Internet), The Animals Is Here EP, Robert Pollard's Happy Jack Rock Records Singles Collection, Robyn Hitchcock There Goes the Ice(excellent!), and (heresy) The REM Live @ Greensboro EP CD. Spent too much money but had fun @ The Bop Shop in Rochester,NY.

Mazzy's picture

I pretty much pass on the collectors  RSD 45s except I did get the Dylan. It is the music for me and the best record I got was the Calexico album. Great music, great songs and a great soud. A beautiful record all around and not the tenth copy of something I already have.  

Goochified1's picture

I had been thinking it was time for a new stylus or cartridge, and after a day of playing my RSD 2013 buys, the decision was made for me. I picked up the tonearm off a record, it flew outta my hand, and as I reached to grab it and save it from hitting the vinyl hard, I flicked the cantilever with my fingers and bent it up something fierce. After a 25 minute discussion with my friend Pat at one of my fave vinyl/audio stores, I decided on a Nagaoka MP-300 cartridge (my old one was the stock Elys 2 that came on my Rega P3/24). So I am in analog limbo waiting for my new cartridge to arrive...

That being said, I scored a number of great records: the Big Star 2LP on Omnivore is very nice! (Yay Omnivore!). I also got a bunch of 10" releases (including two by The Animals), and a dozen or so 7"ers (including I'm the Slime by Zappa on slime green vinyl). Will get back to the wax soon!

RoBoKok's picture


do you have a Rhino email address for me besides Dr Rhino? I want to ask them a question about their products during this RSD. I went especially to my store in Amsterdam last friday only to find that in our country (The Netherlands) no copies of both VDP releases were delivered.  The Bella Union was supposedly 800 copies (Super Chief) so very limited, but the Rhino was 2500 numbered copies and I have the feeling they were not distributed to Europe at all!

Mendo's picture

Your article is on the spot Mr. Fremer. But, do remeber, you are partially to blame. You played a LARGE hand in this whole analog resurgence thing. Who else fought tooth and nail in the one of the largest audio rags every month? Nobody. Who has done countless TV and radio interviews, written letters to major newspapers etc. ad nuaseum. Nobody. Mikey you are an analog super hero!

Once thing I did notice is that the 'limited' releases were a lot less limited. One guy in front of me grabbed every piece in front of me before I could even see what the were. So I said, "What are you playing all your nice new vinyl on?" A sub $200 USD Audio Techincs pile of excrement that's what. We talked and I got him staighteded out.

My favorite record I bought was Willie Nelson 7" single titled "Roll Me and Smoke Before I Die" on green vinyl. Dope!

AnalogJ's picture

 Michael, it seems as if this The Last Waltz set has a different mastering than the previous Rhino debacle, but complaints about extremely noisy vinyl abound.  Lots of returns on this.  Have you heard this one?

rakalm's picture

This was my 1st selection, I hope my copy is OK.  I will listen tomorrow and post the results.

Mazzy's picture

No distortion.  Just pick off an remove some of the residue that for some reason was included.  Easy removal if you take care. 

Dr Freejazz's picture

Hi everybody, this is my first posting here. My number is 4064 out of 5000, bought in Kiel, Germany. The beginnings of both sides 1 and 2 of Record 3 had a white line, about an inch long that seemed like a bad scratch. It turned out to be a series of tiny white dots that formed a line. They went away after cleaning the record with my Keith Monks. They left 6-7 moderate pops per side, the first three before the music begins. Apart from that no other problems on any record. Certainly no skips. The cover top seam disintegrated very quickly and I will repair it. As far as sound quality is concerned the new RSD edition doesn't make The Last Waltz a sonic masterpiece by any means, but imho it does sound clearly better than my really NM (btw also Chris Bellman mastered) U.S. original.


stretch35's picture

If you are looking for that elusive disc you couldn't find on RSD on EBAY be careful. The Poltergeist glow in the dark version (500 items) has a "glow in dark sticker" on front. Otherwise no way to tell short of opening it. Same goes for the random clear disc only way to tell is to open that one.  Some novice sellers on ebay think they have the valuable version when they just have the regular version.  One guy in Kennebunk Maine told me he picked up several at his store. No store on RSD got more than 1 or 2 and if you shopped that day you know 1 per customer of most things.  Of course he was advertising the Glow version along with a picture of label but just sent the regular version while relisting it again on ebay for the next person to buy.   Be very Careful out there.

stretch35's picture

I've visited a couple retailers that are still just getting items in from RSD. If you didn't see what you wanted on the day don't give up just yet. Haven't seen the DMBand box set however.