Get out that shopping list, vinyl fans, because it’s almost the best holiday of all: Record Store Day! Among the many festivities associated with the annual event, which arrives Saturday April 16, Record Store Day sees multiple artists sending specialty albums to independent record shops worldwide.
With dozens of special edition pressings to choose from, it can be hard to decide just where you should begin. But look no further, vinyl-ites, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. Below are our top ten albums to look for on this year’s Record Store Day. So get out to your favorite local shop, and keep your eyes peeled for some of these sweet and unique cuts.
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Related: Vinyl made more money than every free on-demand streaming service in 2015
J Dilla — The Diary
A long-awaited vocal album from the late producer J Dilla, The Diary could be considered the belle of this year’s Record Store Day ball. The LP will feature anticipated production work and verses from the famed artist which, until a series of tapes were discovered following his death, were thought to be lost forever. For musicians who were heavily influenced by the legendary beatsmith — Kanye West, Madlib, MF Doom, and other superstars among them — the new record will likely be spinning on repeat for months to come. Provided, that is, that they can get their hands on one of the record’s 4,000 Record Store Day-exclusive pressings.
David Bowie — The Man Who Sold the World
2016 will forever be remembered as the year that the world lost David Bowie. But what better way to commemorate the passing of a musical icon than to purchase a special edition picture disc of one of his best albums. This year, event organizers release several special Bowie tributes, with the prettiest being a special 12-inch photographic vinyl edition of his famed 1970 record The Man Who Sold The World, which has been limited to 5,000 copies worldwide.
Mac DeMarco — Another (Demo) One
Gap-toothed indie rocker Mac DeMarco has been making waves via his vintage-sounding home recordings for some time now, and he celebrates this fact with a special set of demos for fans this Record Store Day. A 16-song LP which acts as a behind-the-scenes companion to his latest record Another One, the similarly titled demo version will give fans a glimpse into his musical method — a sonic trip which should prove just as interesting as the polished final cut.
The Flaming Lips — Lightning Strikes The Postman
Ever the oddball, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne has produced a special version of the band’s Lightening Strikes the Postman album for this year’s festivities. A beautiful release which will feature an alternative mix from the original studio version, the album also comes with a comic book illustrated by Coyne himself.
Outkast — Elevators (Me & You)
A special glow-in-the-dark pressing of Elevators (Me & You) from famed Southern rappers Outkast will appear on select shelves this weekend, in celebration of the song’s 20th anniversary. A 10-inch pressing which has been limited to just 5,000 copies, the record will feature special remixes as well as acapella and instrumental versions of the tracks.
Big Star — Complete Columbia: Live at University of Missouri
To some, Big Star are most famous for penning the theme song used for That 70s Show, but to most vinyl lovers they’re better known as cult heroes, considered by many fans to be among the most influential classic rock groups of their era. A flash-in-the-pan outfit who were together for just three years in the early 1970s, the band was convinced by a group of fans to perform live again at a special concert in 1993, two decades after they broke up. The recordings of that historic concert are being released for the first time commercially this Record Store Day as a double LP, with just 4,000 copies available to die hards everywhere.
Air — Cassanova 70
French electronic outfit Air release a beautiful and specially-pressed piece of 12-inch colored vinyl, giving fans two versions of their popular hip-hop influenced track Cassanova 70. A fantastic and beautiful LP by any measure, this rare pressing will be limited to 5,000 copies, making it a must-have for fans of beat music worldwide.
Low/S. Carey — Not A Word
A special 10-inch single on translucent vinyl greets fans of Minneapolis musicians Low and S. Carey, better known as Sean Carey — the drummer in famed indie group Bon Iver. Featuring two tracks which have yet to reach public ears, this exclusive pressing is expected to showcase the midwest’s musical melancholy, much in the style of Carey’s other fantastic work from Supermoon EP. The pressing is limited to just 4,000 copies worldwide.
Bill Evans — Some Other Time: The Lost Sessions from the Black Forest
Legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans passed away in 1980, but fans are still digging up rare tracks from the depths and releasing them to eager audiences. The latest of these records, Some Other Time, is a recently discovered gem featuring two other iconic musicians, drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Eddie Gomez. Recorded in Germany just weeks after Evans’ legendary set at the 1968 Montreux Jazz Festival, the release features liner notes with interviews from DeJohnette and Gomez, as well as rare photos of the musicians together.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Soundtrack
The house of mouse gets into the action again this year as Disney releases a two-sided picture disc featuring the Millennium Falcon. A Record Store Day exclusive with two of The Force Awakens’ most popular new tracks, The March of Resistance and Rey’s Theme, the new LP should prove popular among two often-coalescing groups of nerds: Vinyl junkies and Star Wars fans.
To see the full list of records which will be on shelves this Record Store Day, or to find your nearest participating record store, be sure to check out the event’s official website.