RECORD STORE DAY 2021

Vinyl summer…

This year will once again see the return of Record Store Day, an opportunity to snap up some rare and collectable records – which includes some intriguing releases that fall under the electronic banner.

Record Store Day 2021 will be taking place on Saturday 12th June and Saturday 17th July. It will involve over 200 independent record shops all across the UK. As well as special vinyl releases, many shops and cities will also be staging live performances and events to mark the occasion.

Record Store Day originally began in 2007 as a joint effort by independent record stores to encourage people to buy records from the shops themselves. In the face of declining high street sales and cheaper online outlets (not to mention streaming and pirating in general) this seemed like a shrewd move at the time.

On the surface, the process makes a lot of sense. The record shops get to sell more records and the participating bands and record labels benefit from a higher public profile. This is largely down to the fact that RSD releases tend to be exclusively pressed editions that offer unusual or rare tracks and are thus enticing to the record collector market.

There are a number of issues that have arisen in recent years however that have previously attracted criticism of the event. The chief complaint amongst many music fans is getting access to the records they want in the first place. The very collectability of the records tends to attract scalpers. Post-RSD, many of these releases skyrocket in value due to their limited numbers. On that basis, it’s no surprise to see records turn up on eBay with a mark-up considerably in excess of the retail value.

The result of this is disgruntled fans who are angry at having to queue up at shops for records – records that they might not even get (shops usually only get limited numbers – and don’t stock everything listed on the RSD inventory). Seeing those records then turn up online for exorbitant prices likely doesn’t help.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to conceive of a solution that would benefit everyone. The fact that the records are collectible items to begin with creates the market that attracts both collectors and scalpers. Plus, outlets such as eBay have been thriving off high-priced collectable records since its inception.

Regardless of the ongoing debate, for those with an interest in the electronic end of 2021’s RSD releases, here’s a guide to some of the choice releases (Note that these releases are being scheduled in two batches in both June and July).

ULTRAVOX – Vienna [Steven Wilson Mixes]

Ultravox’s Vienna album marked its 40th Anniversary in 2020. Produced by the legendary German producer Conny Plank, the album featured 4 UK charting singles (including 3 which were Top 40); ‘All Stood Still’, ‘Passing Strangers’ and ‘Sleepwalk’ as well as the title track ‘Vienna’. It’s considered as one of the landmark albums of the classic synth-pop era and still sounds amazing today.

Vienna’s 40th Anniversary release (see TEC feature previously) boasted a wealth of extras, which included mixes by Steve Wilson. This RSD release features the 2020 Wilson stereo mixes and also includes a previously unreleased instrumental version of the album – not included on the 40th Anniversary box set.

This release comes in two flavours: a Limited Edition double clear vinyl version as well as a 2CD release.

Release Date: 12th June 2021


ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK – Enola Gay

2020 marked the 40th Anniversary of the release of ‘Enola Gay’, one of OMD’s most iconic songs which gained them their first UK Top Ten back in 1980 – and also became their first international hit single.

To celebrate ‘Enola Gay’s anniversary, Hot Chip were recruited to produce a new remix of the song. Their interpretation opts for a more spacey approach with more of a lean-in to the bass and percussion elements. Meanwhile, DJ and producer Theo Kottis drummed up a remix that has a more contemporary flavour to it with some robust club flourishes.

Both remixes feature on this special 12″ vinyl release, which also comes on coloured vinyl.

Release Date: 12th June 2021


HOWARD JONES – The 12″ album

The Cherry Red label have a special translucent red vinyl release scheduled for RSD featuring The 12″ Album, Howard Jones’ 1984 compilation release.

Appearing between his classic studio albums Human’s Lib and Dream into Action, The 12″ Album featured extended versions of songs such as ‘New Song’, ‘What Is Love’, ‘Pearl In The Shell’ and was the only album at that point to feature the single ‘Like to Get to Know You Well’, which had been a hit in the summer of 1984.

This release features brand new sleeve-notes by Stephen W. Tayler (who originally mixed the tracks on The 12” Album) and Glenn Kelly, plus rare and unseen images.

Release Date: 12th June 2021


SUZANNE CIANI – Xenon

As an innovative electronic musician during the 1970s, Suzanne Ciani was a likely choice to provide suitable sounds for a new pinball machine back in 1979.

Her work on the Xenon machine also included electronically-treated vocal effects (which marked the first time a female voice had been heard in a pinball game). Ciani’s work on the game later resulted in the composer being inducted into The Pinball Expo Hall of Fame.

This 7″ release in a die-cut 7 sleeve on blue vinyl features Ciani’s musical effects in their isolated form for the first time outside of their use in the actual game.

Release Date: 12th June 2021


TEARS FOR FEARS – Live at Massey Hall

Taken from the band’s successful Songs From The Big Chair era, this double album and single CD captures the band live in Canada in 1985.

The album has been mixed from newly found multi-tracks and is first time the band has had a live album in both vinyl format and CD.

The performance features live versions of classics such as ‘Pale Shelter’, ‘Head Over Heels’ and ‘Mad World’ and showcases Tears For Fears at the height of their powers.

Release Date: 12th June 2021


GOBLIN – L’Alba dei morti viventi (alternate take)

Italian prog rock outfit Goblin made their mark on George Romero’s iconic 1978 horror film Dawn of the Dead. Not surprisingly, filmmaker Dario Argento (who co-financed the film) utilised more of Goblin’s music on his cut of the film. That led to this track opening Argento’s edit when it screened in Italian cinemas.

This 7″ release boasts an alternative version of ‘L’Alba dei morti viventi’ coupled with ‘La Caccia’ (another classic composition from the Dawn of the Dead soundtrack). Pressed on coloured vinyl with a mini-poster featuring reproductions of the original Italian and German film posters.

A vinyl release of Goblin – Greatest Hits Vol. 2 is also scheduled for release in June. More info: Goblin – Greatest Hits Vol. 2

Release Date: 12th June 2021


TANGERINE DREAM – The Keep Soundtrack

The history behind Tangerine Dream’s soundtrack to the 1983 Michal Mann film The Keep is almost a story in itself.

The box office failure of the film prompted Virgin to abandon plans for a soundtrack release at the time. As a result, the master tapes were shelved for more than 35 years. A limited edition CD release emerged in 1997, ostensibly an official release by the band (with some material reworked by Edgar Froese). Since then, a variety of bootleg variations have turned up over the years.

Finally getting its official release as part of the band’s boxset Pilots Of Purple Twilight in 2020, this standalone vinyl release marks a ‘lost’ period in Tangerine Dream’s extensive electronic music legacy.

Release Date: 17th July 2021


ART OF NOISE – Who’s Afraid of the Art Of Noise? / Who’s Afraid Of Goodbye?

A reissue of The Art of Noise’s debut album featuring Oscar and Grammy Award winning composer Anne Dudley and legendary producer Trevor Horn. Notable for the classic ‘Close (to the Edit)’ single, the album reached No. 8 in the UK charts. Who’s Afraid of the Art Of Noise? was one of the first releases on the fledgling ZTT label back in 1984 and has been unavailable on vinyl since it was repressed and repackaged in 1985.

This special RSD release will see the album packaged on 180gm vinyl including a second LP of rare Art of Noise recordings, presented as Who’s Afraid Of Goodbye? (previously only available as part of the 2006 box set, What Have You Done With My Body, God?) here making their first appearance on vinyl.

Release Date: 17th July 2021


THE RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP – Possum Soundtrack

Surprisingly, this release marks the first time that the pioneering electronic outfit have scored a feature film, despite their 50 year career in producing music for radio and television.

Possum is a psychological horror film crafted by Matthew Holness which relies on a disturbing and unsettling film score. The Radiophonic Workshop’s combination of flute and strings with synth tones presents a consistent sense of unease.

The soundtrack also features sound elements and drones from Delia Derbyshire’s archives. These sound elements, discovered in boxes of tapes in the late composer’s attic, have been restored and used in the foundations of the soundtrack and sound design.

This vinyl release comes in a gatefold sleeve designed by Julian House with sketchbook insert.

Release Date: 17th July 2021


HAROLD BUDD – I Know This Much Is True Soundtrack

The tragic passing of Harold Budd (see TEC obituary) in 2020 robbed the world of an exemplary musician and composer.

Budd had continued to keep busy in his later years, which includes his haunting compositions for the award-winning HBO TV drama I Know This Much Is True (which also marked the first new music that the legendary musician has released in over 6 years).

This clear vinyl release features the original score by Harold Budd, alongside curated archive selections that were used in the show.

Release Date: 17th July 2021


Record Store Day 2021 will be taking place on Saturday 12th June and Saturday 17th July. More details about releases and participating stores via: https://recordstoreday.co.uk/

Elements of this article previously featured in The Romance Of Record Store Day on the Messages website.

Paul Browne
Follow Me