Record Store Day’s 2021 Release Slate Includes a ‘Reimagined’ Tom Petty Album, Lady Gaga, Prince and 450 Exclusives

Chris Willman
·8-min read

A “reimagined” version of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “She’s the One” soundtrack album, now retitled “Angel Dream,” is one of the highlights of Record Store Day’s just-announced slate for its main 2021 event.

Make that events, plural; with retail shops’ and customers’ sensitivity to pandemic conditions still in mind, the usual singular blowout day in April is being split into two separate rollout dates, June 12 and July 17.

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On the docket for the mostly vinyl-focused RSD 2021 are LPs (and, very occasionally, cassettes or CDs) from artists including Lady Gaga, Prince, Twenty One Pilots, Tom Petty, Ariana Grande, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Lupe Fiasco, Rage Against the Machine, Elton John, rising country star Jimmie Allen, U2, Beck, Bill Evans, Haim featuring Taylor Swift, Thelonious Monk, the Police, Sublime, Amy Winehouse, the Beastie Boys, Steely Dan, the Doors, the Cure, Joni Mitchell, the Grateful Dead, Flaming Lips, Deftones, Al Green, Tune-Yards, Garbage, Fela Kuti, Iggy Pop, the Notorious BIG, Randy Newman, the Replacements, Miles Davis, the Kinks, the Who, the Grateful Dead, Shaun Cassidy, Charlie Parker and Motley Crue.

The number of copies pressed for these limited editions range from 400 copies to 18,000, with most falling in the low four figures, ensuring the usual early lineups, which happened at several RSD Drops events last year, social distancing and limited-entry procedures notwithstanding.

The editions with the biggest number of pressings — which is still no guarantee they’ll be in stock through the evening:

  • Pearl Jam’s “Alive,” at 18,000 copies. The 12-inch single compiles a promo version of their signature hit with three bonus tracks, including a not currently available cover of the Beatles’ “I’ve Got a Feeling.” Besides the 18K vinyl copies, 6,300 will be made as cassettes.

  • Twenty One Pilots’ “Location Session,” at 16,000 copies. The EP includes a live version of the duo’s quarantined-themed 2020 single “Level of Concern,”

  • Prince’s “The Truth,” at 13,000 copies. His mostly acoustic accompaniment to 1998’s “Crystal Ball” set appears independently for the first time and also as a first-time LP release, in purple vinyl with a foil-embossed cover.

  • Amy Winehouse’s “Remixes,” at 13,000 copies. Although all the tracks are previously released, they’ve never been put together as a collection until now.

  • Rage Against the Machine’s “The Battle for Mexico City,” at 12,350 copies. A 1999 show from the Palacio de los Deportes debuts on vinyl colored red and green, per the Mexican flag.

  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Angel Dream,” at 12,000 copies. Perhaps the most newsworthy release in this crop for mainstream rock fans, this Petty release “reimagines” the “She’s the One” soundtrack for its 25th anniversary. It’s tied in to the recent “Wildflowers” boxed set — but it’s complicated, as Petty fans would guess. As the annotation for the release says: “‘She’s The One’ included some songs that were left off the original ‘Wildflowers’ album, recently included in the ‘Wildflowers & All The Rest’ reissue. To take the place of those songs, four previously unreleased songs have been added here – two Petty originals (“105 Degrees” and “One of Life’s Little Mysteries”), a cover of JJ Cale’s “Thirteen Days”, and the instrumental “French Disconnection”. An extended version of “Supernatural Radio” is also included.” And it’s all been remixed and remastered.

  • Flaming Lips’ “The Soft Bulletin Companion,” at 11,250 copies. This double-LP, an addendum to one of the band’s most popular albums, was originally released as a promo-only title, and now comes to the consumer pressed in silver.

  • Lady Gaga’s “Chromatica,” at 11,000 copies. Her latest release is reissued on translucent yellow vinyl, “with a 28 page book, collectible zine and never-before-seen Gaga images and artwork.”

  • Beastie Boys’ “Aglio E Olio,” at 11,000 copies. On clear vinyl, the vinyl reissue includes two bonus tracks, one of which is a cover of the Doors’ “Light My Fire.”

  • Ariana Grande’s “k bye for now,” at 10,000 copies on double-CD and 7,500 copies as a triple-LP. The live album from her 2019 “Sweetener” tour had previously only been released in digital, not physical, form.

  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Deja Vu Alternates,” at 10,000 copies worldwide. A la the “alternate” Fleetwood Mac albums that have been perennial hits at RSD, this LP collects outtake versions to present a different experience of the same running order, with a similarly familiar feeling but distinct album cover.

Other titles of particular interest — being pressed at the sub-five-figure level — include:

  • Bob Dylan’s “Jokerman / I and I Remixes,” at 7,000 copies. This 12” strongly supports rumors that a boxed set themed around the “Infidels” album may be in the works. The single features two reggae remixes each of the two named songs, produced by Doctor Dread. The “I And I” remixes previously appeared on a 2003 reggae Dylan tribute album; the “Jokerman” remixes are fresh.

  • John Prine’s “Stay Independent: The Oh Boy Years Curated By Indie Record Stores,” at 3,000 copies, and “Live at the Other End,” at 3,000-8,500 copies. Prine boxed sets from his Atlantic and Asylum eras have been quick sellouts at recent RSD events. As the title of “Stay Independent” suggests, this is a best-of from the subsequent few decades after the late singer-songwriter formed his own label, Oh Boy. If you want some previously unheard Prine from one of those more vintage eras, the first-time release of a live set recorded at the Bottom Line in 1975 is being given a first-time release, with 8500 copies allocated for the four-LP (!) set and 3,000 for a double CD. (A Prine tribute album from some indie Nashville artists, “Kiss My Ass Goodbye,” is also coming out for RSD.)

  • Elton John’s “Regimental Zippo,” at 7,000 copies. Sir Elton looooves RSD and often comes up with true exclusives for the occasion. His late ’60s would-be concept album has never before been released in its complete form, and now arrives with a cover picturing young John amid psychedelia in a handlebar mustache.

  • Bill Evans’ “Behind The Dikes – The 1969 Netherlands Recordings,” at 3,500 copies. Highly coveted live Evans releases are as much a staple of RSD as David Bowie releases (which, surprisingly, there are none of this time).

  • Fontaines D.C.’s “Live at Kilmainham Gaol,” at 3,500 copies. A Dublin live set from the recently Grammy-nominated, critically hailed rock crew.

  • Aretha Franklin’s “Oh Me Oh My: Aretha Live in Philly 1972,” at 5050 copies. Aretha biopic fever is not going unrecognized in the RSD sphere as this set gets its first vinyl issue as a gatefold orange/yellow double-album.

  • Bobbie Gentry’s “Windows of the World,” at 2,500 copies. This aborted album of pop and jazz covers from the brilliant country-soul singer went unreleased until a recent boxed set. This is its first issue as a free-standing album, augmented by a couple of demos and one previously unreleased alternate version.

  • Haim’s “Gasoline,” at 4,500 copies. Taylor Swift fans will take an interest in getting ahold of the remix version that features the superstar as a guest duet partner finally released in physical form, with a cover that includes an outtake from the sister group’s Canter’s shoot with Paul Thomas Anderson as photographer.

  • Lupe Fiasco’s “Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor Series,” at 7,000 copies worldwide. Four Fiasco LPs — two on vinyl for the first time — are packaged in a slipcase.

  • Maria McKee’s “Live in Hamburg” and “High Dive,” both at 500 copies each. The two solo albums from the former Lone Justice singer have never been issued on vinyl; pressed in the mid-three digits, both double albums should go quickly.

  • Joni Mitchell’s “Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1 (1963-1967): Highlights,” at 5,500 copies. At the title indicates, it’s a single-disc best-of from her recent origin-story boxed set, with artwork bearing an image of the icon at a very early stage when she dared rock a bob.

  • Randy Newman’s “Roll With the Punches: The Studio Albums,” at 1,300 copies. Newman’s initial albums as a singer-songwriter were previous boxed up, and this sequel gathers everything from 1979’s “Born Again” on through his latest vocal album in 2017.

  • Steely Dan’s “Two Against Nature” and “Everything Must Go,” at 5000-5050 copies each. Remarkably, “Two Against Nature,” the comeback that won the duo a heavily contested album of the year Grammy, has never been on vinyl, and neither has been the studio swan song that followed it.

  • Roy Hargrove’s and Mulgrew Miller’s “In Harmony.” The Resonance label, which usually unearths lost jazz concert tapes from the mid-20th century, makes a rare leap into the 21st with this 2007 set from trumpeter Hargrove and pianist Miller, both of whom died in the 2010s. The typically elaborately annotated 2-LP package, mastered by Bernie Grundman, may not stick around on shelves much longer than one of Resonance’s Bill Evans releases would.

  • Warren Zevon’s “Preludes,” at 1,800 copies. A collection of outtakes and demos from the late master, first released on CD in 2007, finally gets a vinyl issue, gussied up with a 20-page perfect-bound book in a hardbound slipcase

Fred Armisen is serving at this year’s Record Store Day Ambassador. The actor/comic has his own three-song EP of instrumentals, recorded and produced by Ty Segall, coming for RSD.

For a complete list of the approximately 450 titles being spread across the two RSD dates, click here.

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