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ABKCO Record Store Day 2016 ABKCO Record Store Day 2016

Record Store Day 2016 is in the books, and EXCLUSIVE MAGAZINE wants to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who went out to the stores on Saturday, April 16th to support and celebrate them.

We hope you found something you loved to take home with you, whether that was something released exclusively for Record Store Day or something fantastic from what they regularly stock.

Yes, every day should be Record Store Day, so we encourage you to make stopping by your favorite record store AND stopping by this website a regular thing - because we'll be telling you about awesome things going on at record stores all year long!

Today we are highlighting, and reviewing, the three (3) Record Store Day 2016 vinyl releases that were kindly sent to us for review from ABKCO Records.

Indeed, Saturday, April 16th marked the RSD that ABKCO Records, one of the world’s leading independent record labels, brought forth these three (3) unique releases on vinyl. One is the soundtrack for David O. Russell’s critically lauded film JOY (on colored vinyl double LP), the next was Animal Tracks, the final installment of ABKCO’s Animals 10-inch EP reissue series, and then, finally, we have The Jimi Hendrix Experiences' Smash Hits album.

JOY – MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE [Colored Vinyl Double LP] (12" Vinyl) - 'Joy - Music From The Motion Picture' is the soundtrack for the David O. Russell film, JOY. A story of a family across four generations and centered on the woman who creates an empire and becomes a matriarch in her own right, Jennifer Lawrence stars as the titular Joy, with Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper also along for the cinematic ride.

In JOY, allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy's inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces. Luckily for us, the soundtrack to the film, featuring a wonderful array of musical talent, including Jennifer Lawrence herself, is out now and a pure delight to sit back, kick back and take in.

The quite excellent soundtrack album (which I am SO glad that I now have on vinyl LP, it's just that old school brilliant), kicks off Side A in fine style with Cream's classic 'I Feel Free,' before heading into the sweepingly majestic instrumental that is 'Joy Romantic Theme' (David Campbell). Edgar Ramirez's near spoken word foreign tongue 'Aguas De Marzo' and Lee Morgan's bewitching over-ten-minutes long jazz trumpet combined with drum 'The Sidewinder' are next.

Side B begins with the dazzlingly beautiful 'I Want To Be Happy' from Ella Fitzgerald, before moving into the angelic pairing of both 'In The Bleak Mid Winter' by Thomas Bullard, Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Benjamin Bayl and Stephen Cleobury, and 'Notre Pere, Op. 14' (Salzburg Bach Choir/Alois Glassner). The simply divine 'Mama Told Me Not to Come' from Edgar Ramirez and Ray De La Paz and The Pedrito Martinez Group is next. Taking all the best elements of the original from Three Dog Night (although it was actually written by Randy Newman for Eric Burdon's debut 1966 solo album), the guys reconstruct with a Latina bounce perfectly. Then this side of the first LP is brought to a close with 'Something Stupid,' which allows star Jennifer Lawrence to channel Nancy Sinatra, and along with Edgar Ramirez, provides another real stand out highlight on this soundtrack.

Indeed, five time Oscar nominee David O. Russell has commented, “There are songs here I have been waiting almost 40 years to use in a movie, from ‘Aguas de Marzo’, Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘I Want to Be Happy’, Bee Gees ‘To Love Somebody’, to the rare Nat King Cole ‘A House With Love In It,’ with his singular spoken radio introduction to the song." And the aforementioned Bee Gees tracks is exactly what Side C starts with, and that is followed by Willie West's 'Baby, Baby I Love You,' then come a trio of orchestral compositions from David Campbell and/or West Dylan Thordson ('I Am In Love,' 'Mop Drawing,' and 'Racing In The Street'), before the third side is wrapped with 'Sleigh Ride' by the Ronettes.

Side D is opened by another significant track, 'Stray Cat Blues, from the Rolling Stones’ acclaimed 1968 album Beggars Banquet. Blake Mills and David Campbell and West Dylan Thordson then bring us 'Texas,' Mills is then alone on 'Markham,' and the the aforementioned 'A House With Love In It' from Nat King Cole. The 'Joy Theme' from West Dylan Thordson is next, with the entire 2LP collection book ended by another version of 'I Feel Free' – this one remade by Alabama Shakes vocalist Brittany Howard.

This will be the first time 'Joy - Music From The Motion Picture' is available on the LP format. It will come as a 150 gram 12-inch double album, in gatefold jacket and on colored vinyl – blue with white swirl.

THE ANIMALS – ANIMAL TRACKS (EP) (10" Vinyl) - Not the same as the album of this title, the Animals’ final Columbia/EMI 7-inch extended-play record was only available in the UK and European markets at the time of its 1965 release.

This Record Store Day release is the set’s first in the U.S., and first ever as a 10-inch. The Mickie Most-produced Animal Tracks contains Animal-ized versions of Chuck Berry’s “How You’ve Changed,” Ray Charles’ “I Believe to My Soul,” Shirley & Lee’s “Let The Good Times Roll” and Big Maceo Merriweather’s “Worried Life Blues.”

This is the fifth and final installment of a series of EP reissues for ABKCO, which earlier released 10-inch vinyl editions of The Animals Is Here and The Animals Are Back (RSD 2013), The Animals (RSD 2014) and The Animals No. 2 (RSD 2015).

1) 'How You’ve Changed'
2) 'I Believe To My Soul'

1) 'Let The Good Times Roll'
2) 'Worried Life Blues'

For the record, Animal Tracks was the second British album by The Animals. Released in 1965 it reached #6 on the UK Album Charts. Weirdly enough, some might say, an identically titled album with a different track listing was released in America the same year!

Back to this delightful vinyl gem, and having been never before released in the U.S. this fantastic 10" vinyl EP is a dream come true for all us Animals fans! ABKCO have been releasing Best Of albums from The Animals for years, oh so many years now, but they never let the listener down.

And here on this 4 track EP songs like the hit single 'How You’ve Changed' encapsulate The Animals recording style perfectly. Eric Burdon's voice is the key to the Animals sound for me. The music is good, but Burdon's young, less-smoky, naively emotional, and relaxed delivery add a beautiful polish to The Animals sound here.

The Jimi Hendrix Experiences - Smash Hits (12" Vinyl) - Carefully restored from the original analog master tapes, featuring original poster and alternate cover art, the Legacy/RSD 2016 edition of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Smash Hits (created in conjunction with Experience Hendrix L.L.C.) includes timeless classics like "Purple Haze," "Hey Joe," "Red House" (a different take from the UK Are You Experienced version), "Fire" plus 8 more essential Hendrix tracks.

First released in 1969, Smash Hits has proved to be immensely popular, serving as a critical introduction to the Hendrix canon for successive generations of fans. Indeed, it was the very first compilation album for Jimi Hendrix, and as no new studio album was on the horizon in 1969, partly owing to the disbanding of the Experience by Hendrix exacerbated by tensions with Noel Redding, the label decided to issue the same album title, with different covers, in two countries, a year apart!

So, Smash Hits (which Reprise Records, at that time, actually felt that a greatest-hits collection, in general, would have been premature in 1968, as up to then Hendrix had only had three low-charting singles in the US), was released first in mono in the United Kingdom in 1968 (on Track Records), and a year later in stereo in the United States on, of course, Reprise Records. It peaked at #4 on the British album chart and #6 on the Billboard 200, and has since been certified double platinum by the RIAA.

This exclusive RSD 2016 edition of Smash Hits includes a recreation of the poster that came with the original U.S. LP release, depicting band members Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding dressed in western attire on horseback. The photograph, taken by Grammy-winning photographer Ed Thrasher (Grateful Dead, Neil Young, the Beach Boys) at Warner Bros. film studios in Burbank, CA in early 1969, was conceived as sleeve art for the album.

01) Purple Haze
02) Fire
03) The Wind Cries Mary
04) Can You See Me
05) Hey Joe
06) All Along The Watch Tower

01) Stone Free
02) Crosstown Traffic
03) Manic Depression
04) Remember
05) Red House
06) Foxey Lady

All tracks recorded October 1966 – August 1968.

This wonderful collection, containing some of Hendrix's best known songs along with some rare gems too, was almost entirely written by Jimi Hendrix (except "Hey Joe" - Billy Roberts, and "All Along the Watchtower" - Bob Dylan). Also, the stereo take of "Red House" derives from a different session than the original mono take found on the UK version of Are You Experienced. Now, for the first time ever, Thrasher's photo finally graces the cover of Smash Hits, as originally intended.

The first 5,000 units of this 150 gram 12" vinyl edition of Smash Hits will be exclusively numbered for Record Store Day.

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