Vinyl Spring Exclusives…

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 2024 will be taking place on 20th April. It will involve over 270 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 2024’s RSD releases, here’s a guide to some of the choice releases…

SOFT CELL – Non Stop Extended Cabaret

For Record Store Day 2024 Soft Cell will be releasing ‘Non-Stop Extended Cabaret’, a double-vinyl album release featuring extended mixes of each of the tracks from ‘Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret’ including a new rework of ‘A Man Can Get Lost’ and new remixes of ‘Memorabilia’ from The Hacker and Daniel Miller.

A – Frustration (2023 Extended Version) / Tainted Love (Dave Ball 2021 Extended Mix) / Seedy Films (2023 Extended Version). B – Youth (Dave Ball 2018 ‘Wasted On The Young’ Mix) / Sex Dwarf (2023 Extended Version) / Entertain Me (2023 Extended Version) / Chips On My Shoulder (2018 Extended Mix). C – Bedsitter (1981 Extended Version) / Secret Life (2018 Extended Version) / Say Hello, Wave Goodbye (2018 Dave Ball Lateral Mix). D – A Man Could Get Lost (2023 Extended Version) / Memorabilia (Daniel Miller 2023 Remix) / Memorabilia (The Hacker 2023 Remix).

OMD – Junk Culture: Demos & Rarities

OMD are taking part in Record Store Day this year with two special releases.

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of OMD’s 5th album Junk Culture with a limited edition 2LP on blue and purple vinyl consisting of the 15 bonus tracks featured on disc 2 of the 2015 deluxe edition, previously only made available on CD. Featuring the B-sides: ‘The Avenue’, ‘Wrappup’, the re-recorded version of ‘Julia’s Song’, as well as 12” versions of original album tracks ‘Locomotion’, ‘Tesla Girls’ and ‘Talking Loud And Clear’. Also includes three of the Highland Studios Demos which are new to vinyl. Cut at half speed on 180g vinyl by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios.

OMD – Bauhaus Staircase Instrumentals

OMD’s 14th studio album Bauhaus Staircase (see review previously) followed on from 2010’s History of Modern, 2013’s English Electric and 2017’s The Punishment Of Luxury to emerge as, arguably, the best of the post-reformation releases. The album featured the anthemic ‘Kleptocracy’, the synth crush of ‘Veruschka’ and the pure electronic pop appeal of the album’s title track.

For Record Store Day this year, OMD present a special pressing of the instrumental version of the album, limited to 3000 copies worldwide on classic pitch-black vinyl. As frontman Andy McCluskey puts it: “Old school black vinyl just looks better with a red label out of a black sleeve. Love the art!”

LADYTRON – Light & Magic

Ladytron’s classic 2002 album Light & Magic is also being reissued to coincide with Record Store Day this year. The band’s second studio album, it boasts tracks such as ‘Seventeen’, ‘Blue Jeans’ and ‘Evil’. Drowned in Sound ranked Light & Magic at No. 14 on its Top 41 Albums of the Year list while Rolling Stone included the album on its 50 Best Albums of 2002 list.

Light & Magic is being issued on blood red vinyl for Record Store Day.

MIDGE URE – The Gift

A new collection of ‘early versions’ of tracks that became Midge Ure’s debut solo album from 1985, The Gift. Originally released while Ultravox were taking a break, the album reached No. 2 in the UK Albums Chart, partly due to the large attention drawn to it by the hit single ‘If I Was’ which reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart.

This vinyl exclusive of The Gift includes a previously unreleased track only available on this release. This will be a one-time pressing on The Vinyl Factory’s ‘Eco-Jazz Recycled Vinyl’.

ULTRAVOX – Lament (Steven Wilson 12″ Remixes)

Lament marked the seventh studio album by Ultravox, released in 1984. It was the last album featuring original drummer Warren Cann until the band’s reunion album Brilliant in 2012. It featured the singles ‘One Small Day’ and ‘Dancing with Tears in My Eyes’ and reached No. 8 on the UK Albums Chart.

For Record Store Day, Ultravox are issuing the Steven Wilson 12″ Re-mixes: Two tracks Remixed by Steven Wilson from the forthcoming Lament box set, along with two previously unreleased 12” remixes, exclusive to this release.

ALISON GOLDFRAPP – The Love Reinvention

With her debut solo album The Love Invention, pop auteur Alison Goldfrapp delivered an intoxicating cocktail of synth-pop innovation with the disco and house touches that are an integral part of her extensive musical DNA – all capped with her enigmatic and ever alluring voice.

Now Alison takes those songs deeper into the dancefloor as she releases The Love Invention on vinyl for the first time with a very limited run. It sees two of the original album’s key contributors, Richard X and GhostCulture (aka James Greenwood), reimagining its acclaimed songs through a sonic prism of techno, electronica and deep house.

AIR – Kelly Watch The Stars

French music duo Air consists of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel who released their critically-acclaimed debut Moon Safari album in 1998.

Originally released as the second single from that album, ‘Kelly Watch The Stars’ proved to be French outfit Air’s most commercially successful single in the UK. It entered the UK Singles Chart at No. 18 and spent a total of three weeks in the top 50.

For Record Store Day, it’s being released as a special picture disc.

HARMONIA – Musik von Harmonia – anniversary edition

Celebrating the 50th anniversary for the first Harmonia record Musik von Harmonia Record Store Day will see the release of this limited edition containing the original album and a second vinyl with reworks by Matthew Herbert, Stuart Braithwaite, James Holden and many more.

Musik von Harmonia was the 1974 debut album from krautrock group Harmonia. Formed by the addition of Neu! guitarist Michael Rother to Cluster (the duo of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius), they recorded the album from June to November 1973 in Cluster’s Forst recording studio. It was self-produced by the group using a primitive mixer and three tape recorders.

Record Store Day takes place on 20th April. Releases for Record Store Day will only be available via independent record shops.