Sony Legacy Record Store Day [April 2022]
Record Store Day 2022 (Saturday, April 23rd, 2022) is fast upcoming and EXCLUSIVE MAGAZINE wants to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who are intending to burst into your local independent record store retailers to spread the support, love and money, whilst celebrating everything great about RSD!
We hope you find something you love enough to take home with you, whether that item is something released exclusively for Record Store Day 2022 or something fantastic from what they regularly stock.
Yes, we wholeheartedly agree, 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!
As our dear friends at Sony Legacy Recordings have, once more, kindly sent us quite a few of their RSD 2022 (April) releases for review, as always, we shall review those whilst at the same time highlighting all the others.
These nine new April titles run the gamut from rock and metal to electric jazz, and boundary-pushing pop and hip hop from the ‘90s onward and, as always, are all a terrific tribute to the unbelievable artistry and musicianship upon which the Sony Music catalog has been built for decades.
Reviewing those that were sent to us below, please know the one solitary outlier of the released titles is listed and accounted for at the base of this article.
Up first is Future – DS2 (2LP – Teal Colored Vinyl).
Driven in part by three singles — “F*ck Up Some Commas,” “Where Ya At” and “Stick Talk” — DS2, Future’s game-changing third studio album, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 following its initial release in July 2015 and has been certified double platinum by the RIAA. The album has been pressed on teal colored vinyl across 2LPs for this RSD special edition.
1. “Thought It Was a Drought”
2. “I Serve the Base”
3. “Where Ya At”
1. “Lil One”
2. “Stick Talk”
3. “Freak Hoe”
5. “Slave Master”
1. “Blow a Bag”
3. “Rich $ex”
4. “Blood On the Money”
1. “Trap Niggas”
2. “The Percocet & Stripper Joint”
3. “Real Sisters”
4. “Kno The Meaning”
5. “F*ck Up Some Commas”
Perhaps it was the threat of Young Thug beginning to rise, but whatever the reason, 2015 was the year when Future leapt forward artistically, captivating the mixtape circuit with three releases (56 Nights, Beast Mode, and Monster) that all pushed the envelope.
His massive hit “Commas” - which only appears on the Deluxe version of this album - was more of an expected move coming from a party rapper who’s always drenched in Auto-Tune, and often with purple drank in hand.
With the release of the album DS2 - Dirty Sprite 2, named after his hit mixtape - he becomes a hip-hop version of Lee “Scratch” Perry, a strange and yet in command figure standing at the center of a slick, inventive swirl of music.
Strange as in “I ain’t got no manners for sluts/I’ma put my thumb in her butt,” which he declares during the Xanax-fueled highlight “Stick Talk.” Singer Miguel might make that sound smooth, but butt man Future also notes “Started sipping syrup, I’ve been geeked ever since.”
Could be true, since hallucinatory seems to be home base for everything here, including the persuasive “Rich $ex,” which is Ludacris’ “Pimpin’ All Over the World” melting into a Salvador Dali painting. The love of drugs comes from the quest to see something new as “Groupies” declares “Sip on my cup, it’s a movie/I pop a perc, it’s a movie” before delivering the album’s ultimate punch line, “I smoke that ooh-la-la like a Fugee.”
“Slave Master” is the album’s bad trip, and still a highlight, as slowly dissolving keyboards and a melancholic Future pay homage to the late A$AP Yams, who died of accidental acute mixed drug intoxication, an irony the rapper seems to acknowledge by drifting over words as the song comes to a close.
Even so, “I just took a piss and saw codeine comin’ out” is the way he rolls, so consider this a Schedule 2 album and lock up the medicine cabinet because Future makes it sound like the gateway to a magical, luminous place!
We next look into Mariah Carey – #1’s (2LP Vinyl).
Originally released in November 1998, #1’s is a collection of the first 13 Mariah Carey singles to hit #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 plus four then-new bonus tracks the artist recorded for the album as a special treat for her fans.
Showcasing chart-toppers (released from 1990 – 1998) including “Vision of Love” (Mariah’s first single), “Always Be My Baby,” “Fantasy” and “One Sweet Day,” this special RSD edition of #1’s marks the first vinyl repressing of the album since 1998.
Having hit the top slot on Billboard Hot 100 with nineteen separate singles since 1990, Mariah Carey holds the record for most #1 US singles by a solo artist.
2. “When You Believe (From The Prince of Egypt)”
3. “Whenever You Call”
4. “My All”
1. “Always Be My Baby”
2. “One Sweet Day”
2. “I’ll Be There”
4. “I Don’t Wanna Cry”
2. “Love Takes Time”
3. “Vision of Love”
4. "I Still Believe"
Protest as she may - and she did, claiming in the original liner notes that #1’s is “not a greatest hits album! It’s too soon, I haven’t been recording long enough for that!” - it’s hard to view #1’s, Mariah Carey’s first compilation, as anything other than a greatest-hits album!
Carey was fortunate enough to have nearly every single she released top the pop charts. Between 1990’s “Vision of Love” and 1998’s “My All,” all but four commercially released singles (“Anytime You Need a Friend,” “Can’t Let Go,” “Make It Happen,” “Without You”) hit number one, with only a handful of radio-only singles (“Butterfly,” “Breakdown”) making the airwaves, not the charts.
That leaves 12 big hits on #1’s, all number ones. Since Carey’s singles always dominated her albums, it comes as no surprise that #1’s is still her best, most consistent album, filled with songs that represent state-of-the-art ’90s adult contemporary and pop-oriented urban soul.
That said, it isn’t a perfect overview - a couple of good singles are missing because of the self-imposed “#1 rule”; plus, the Ol’ Dirty Bastard mix of “Fantasy” is strong, but fans familiar with the radio single will be disappointed that the chorus is completely missing on this version.
The album is also padded with a personal favorite (her Brian McKnight duet “Whenever You Call,” taken from Butterfly) and three new songs - the Jermaine Dupri-produced “Sweetheart,” the Whitney Houston duet “When You Believe” (taken from The Prince of Egypt soundtrack), and “I Still Believe,” a remake of a Brenda K. Starr tune - which are all fine, but not particularly memorable.
Still, that’s hardly enough to bring down a thoroughly entertaining compilation that will stand as her best record until the “official” hits collection is released!
We next get one of my all-time favorite artists having been loving curated here for RSD, Patti Smith – Curated by Record Store Day (2LP Vinyl).
This new 2LP compilation of 15 classic Patti Smith tracks from 1974 – 1996, curated by Record Store Day, includes “Gloria,” “Because The Night,” “Dancing Barefoot,” “People Have The Power” and more.
1. “People Have the Power”
3. “Ask The Angels”
1. “Dancing Barefoot”
3. “Because The Night”
4. “Pumping (My Heart)”
2. “About A Boy”
3. “Free Money”
4. “Piss Factory”
2. “Till Victory”
3. “Paths That Cross”
Punk rock’s poet laureate Patti Smith ranks among the most influential female rock & rollers of all time. Ambitious, unconventional, and challenging, Smith’s music was hailed as the most exciting fusion of rock and poetry since Bob Dylan’s heyday.
If that hybrid remained distinctly uncommercial for much of her career, it wasn’t a statement against accessibility so much as the simple fact that Smith followed her own muse wherever it took her: from structured rock songs to free-form experimentalism, or even completely out of music at times.
Her most avant-garde outings drew a sense of improvisation and interplay from free jazz, though they remained firmly rooted in noisy, primitive, three-chord rock & roll.
Stand out tracks here for me on the wondrous Patti Smith – Curated by Record Store Day are cuts such as “Dancing Barefoot,” which is dedicated to Jeanne Hebuterne, a French artist and mistress of Amedeo Modigliani. Here, Smith’s lyricism shines through, and her mystical lyrics depict a love of Shakespearean caliber.
There’s a beauty that comes with seeing the softer side of a previously perceived diamond in the rock and, on “Paths That Cross,” Smith’s gentle moments come to the fore. Like any great art, the song is widely open to interpretation, just as many of Smith’s finest poems were too.
In what is renowned as perhaps being one of Smith’s greatest ever, her first release had her covering the Jimi Hendrix original “Hey Joe” (not included here) and pushing the track into a new light. However, the B-side “Piss Factory” is something all in its own. Originally written as a poem, this represents her change over from simply being a poet to being a musician.
And then comes the song “Gloria” with its opening line: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine” has always stuck as one of the greatest opening lines of any song or album.
Smith’s combination of the poem ‘Oath’ with the Van Morrison classic “Gloria” illustrates that no artist is alone and no artist is quite like Patti Smith. Her constant use of material from other musicians who inspire her is a reminder that inspiration comes from those we admire, working in tandem with our own creativity.
Along next is Santana – Splendiferous Santana (2LP Vinyl).
Splendiferous Santana is a new 2-LP compilation, personally curated by Carlos Santana, showcasing highlights drawn from Santana’s musical output spanning 2003-2019. It focuses on the too-often-underappreciated, yet creatively fertile period following Santana’s 1998 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the massive success of 1999’s Supernatural.
In the wake of Supernatural, Santana released a series of remarkable recordings — among them 2003’s Shaman, 2005’s All That I Am and 2014’s Corazón — that stand with the best that Carlos, or his band, have ever made.
Many of these songs and performances were overlooked at the time of their release and are being presented anew on Splendiferous Santana as essential musical elements in the Santana canon.
1. “Novus (feat. Placido Domingo)”
2. “Eres La Luz”
3. “Aye Aye Aye”
4. “Con Santana (feat. Ismaila & Sixu Toure)”
1. “El Fuego”
3. “I Am Somebody (feat. will.i.am)”
4. “Saideira (feat. Samuel Rosa)”
5. “Da Tu Amor”
1. “Into the Night (feat. Chad Kroeger)”
2. “You Are My Kind (feat. Seal)”
3. “Twisted (feat. Anthony Hamilton)”
4. “Sideways (Feat. Citizen Cope)”
5. “Hoy Es Adios (Feat. Alejandro Lerner)”
1. “Amor Correspondido (feat. Diego Torres)”
2. “The Game Of Love (feat Tina Turner)”
3. “Just Feel Better (Feat. Steven Tyler)”
4. “Victory is Won”
As noted, this brand new, two-vinyl RSD collection primarily focuses on the too-often-underappreciated, yet creatively fertile period following Santana’s 1998 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the massive success of 1999’s Supernatural.
Nobody could have predicted the amazing, supersonic success of the star-studded Supernatural in 1999, but it revitalized the career of Santana, plus Clive Davis, who cooked up the whole idea of the comeback in the first place.
Given its blockbuster status, a sequel that followed the same blueprint was inevitable, which is exactly what 2002’s Shaman was. If anything, there’s even less Carlos Santana on the album (which was harped on about for years after by his fans), but that only went to prove Davis right in the way he formulated the tracks.
Most say, given the era, that Supernatural was a success because of Rob Thomas and “Smooth,” not the typically tasteful, excellent guitar playing that Santana brought forth. Regardless, it is no surprise that Thomas has a strong presence throughout the tracks on the album, even if he doesn’t sing.
He wrote two songs, flexing his muscles as a neo-soul songwriter (not badly, either, on cuts sung by Musiq and Seal, albeit the former is not included here), and providing the template for all the other guests (who obviously wanted to launch a new stage of their career, finding a wider audience).
On 2005’s All That I Am, Santana once again followed the previous guest star blueprint that producer/record mogul Clive Davis had laid down on Supernatural, which meant that apart from a cut or two, Santana functions as a supporting musician to a parade of guest stars singing pop songs on his own album.
With Corazón, Santana actually sounded hungry again for his own flare of music and having coupled together once more with Davis, and then billed by RCA as his “first Latin album,” Corazón is the studio counterpart to the guitarist’s HBO Latino concert special.
Next up is Sara Bareilles – Little Voice (12” Vinyl).
The 15th anniversary pressing of Sara Bareilles’ major label debut, Little Voice, contains some of Sara’s biggest songs, including the #1 radio hit “Love Song,” fan favorite “Gravity” and “Bottle It Up.”
The album went on to become RIAA platinum in the US and earned two Grammy® nominations for “Love Song.”
1. “Love Song”
3. “Bottle It Up”
4. “One Sweet Love”
5. “Come Round Soon”
1. “Between The Lines”
2. “Love On The Rocks”
4. “Many The Miles”
For her first major outing, Little Voice, now some 15 years ago, Sara Bareilles put forth an intimate, emotionally charged album that sounds remarkably polished for a fledgling self-taught songwriter/performer.
In fact, even then her voice stood up to professionally trained pop divas such as Christina Aguilera although her only potential downfall was that she fit so perfectly in the adult contemporary female pianist mold that comparisons were inevitable ie: her vocal range being similar to Fiona Apple whilst she struck a physical resemblance to a merged composite of Vanessa Carlton and Michelle Branch, of their day.
Despite the plethora of comparable looking and sounding artists, she still managed to stand out. The songs are sultry and generally upbeat, and delivered in a soulful manner with polished production and arrangement, but her X factor was in her ability to make it all sound unforced and very, very easy.
Unquestionably, she’s a natural with a huge voice and personality that shine through with spirited energy here. Perhaps the best and most original track is the ultra-peppy (think “Benny and the Jets”) “Love on the Rocks” (not to be confused with the Neil Diamond number). With a warm wah-wah guitar and meandering Motown-esque harmonies, it makes for a perfect summertime love song.
Undoubtedly her expertise is writing love songs like this, evident by song titles like “Love Song” and “One Sweet Love,” but there are enough uniquely spun takes on the subject to make it interesting. In “Fairytale,” children’s stories are used as a metaphor for escapism and dealing with depression, and with the moody ballad “Gravity,” falling in love is compared to getting caught in an inescapable gravitational pull.
In the latter tearjerker of a tune, she shows off her chops with a song-stopping vocal crescendo, further proving that she has a style that’s something special, even among all the stiff competition.
Along next is Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Acoustics (12” Vinyl).
Acoustics is the first-ever acoustic vinyl release from Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. This eight-song collection includes five newly recorded acoustic tracks plus three previously unreleased acoustics exclusive to this Record Store Day piece only, including hits “I Hate Myself For Loving You” and “Bad Reputation” (Live In Los Angeles).
1. “You Drive Me Wild”
2. “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got”
3. “School Days”
4. “Good Music”
1. “Fresh Start”
2. “I Hate Myself For Loving You”
3. “Androgynous – Live in Los Angeles”
4. “Bad Reputation – Live in Los Angeles”
As noted, this brilliant eight-song collection, new to vinyl, includes five newly recorded acoustic tracks plus three previously unreleased acoustics exclusive to this Record Store Day piece only.
With a husky, slow intro, “You Drive Me Wild” is first brought forth and is as stripped back, as bare-boned raw as they come and is backed by the slightly lighter fare of “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got,” the scratchy, yet vibrantly melodic “School Days,” the first side rounding out with gentle hipsway of “Good Music.”
The second side opens on the enjoyable fervency of “Fresh Start” and then brings us the loving rock embrace of “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” the RSD recording closing out on two live tracks from Los Angeles, the fantastic, and highly-underrated “Androgynous” and the resoundingly exhilarant, even in this form, “Bad Reputation”.
Then comes the uber-tastic Alice In Chains – We Die Young (12” Vinyl Single EP).
Originally released in 1990 as a promotional only vinyl, Alice In Chains’ first studio EP, We Die Young,will see a limited edition release on Record Store Day.
With remastered audio by Bob Ludwig, the three track EP includes two tracks which later ended up on the band’s debut album, Facelift, along with the track “Killing Yourself,” exclusive to this EP.
1. “We Die Young”
1. “It Ain’t Like That”
2. “Killing Yourself”
In my humble opinion, major league grunge grinders, Alice in Chains, blew out the walls with an all-out heavy onslaught of dark, metalizied mayhem throughout the killer drug cut, “We Die Young”.
Pulled from the group’s brilliant Facelift album, the hard-edged “We Die Young” carries the power and buzz of a Seattle sawmill! The group’s 1990 three song EP is - which was filled out with “It Ain’t Like That” and “Killing Yourself” - now back again for RSD and from the off, showcased a band at the forefront of the Pacific Northwest, angst-riden alternative scene!
The last vinyl kindly sent to us for review is Cypress Hill – The 420 Remixes (10” Vinyl Single).
Cypress Hill’s debut album has always been an instant classic. For the 30th Anniversary in 2021, two brand new remixes were released digitally of your favorite tracks and now they are ready to take the turntables.
The 420 Remixes — “How I Could Just Kill A Man” (The Alchemist x Beat Butcha Remix) / “Hand On The Pump” (DJ MUGGS 2021 Remix) — are pressed on Black 10″ Vinyl.
It’s hard enough to transform an entire musical genre, but Cypress Hill’s eponymous debut album revolutionized hip-hop in several respects. Although they weren’t the first Latino rappers, nor the first to mix Spanish and English, they were the first to achieve a substantial following, thanks to their highly distinctive sound.
In keeping with their promarijuana stance, Cypress Hill intentionally crafted their music to sound stoned - lots of slow, lazy beats, fat bass, weird noises, and creepily distant-sounding samples.
With both these tracks having originally come from their highly-acclaimed debut album, the surreal lyrical narratives were almost exclusively spun by B Real in a nasal, singsong, instantly recognizable delivery that only added to the music’s hazy, evocative atmosphere; as a front man, he could be funny, frightening, or just plain bizarre!
And finally, as promised, here is the only other RSD Sony Legacy Recording release for you to delve into from the April 23rd, 2022 schedule:
Lou Reed – I’m So Free: The 1971 Demos (12” Vinyl)
On October 27, 1971, Lou Reed walked into the first recording session of his solo career. I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos is a collection of those rare recordings. This is Lou as few have ever heard him: the songwriter at work, pure and alone, before the noise, swagger and legend.
Released on vinyl for the first time, the 13 tracks on this LP are an unprecedented addition to Reed’s rock & roll life on record. His next four decades – more than 30 studio and concert albums of lyric challenge, incendiary guitar and iron-willed vision until his death in October 2013 – start here.
The final iterations of these demos can be found across Reed’s discography on albums including Lou Reed, Transformer, Berlin, and Sally Can’t Dance.
UPCOMING June 18th, 2022:
Miles Davis – What It Is: Montreal 7/7/83 (2LP Vinyl)
This double LP release showcases one of Miles Davis’ final great bands including John Scofield on guitar, Bill “The Other Bill Evans” Evans on saxophones, flute and electric piano, Darryl Jones on bass, Al Foster on drums and percussionist Mino Cinelu. Miles was back in amazing form (“incandescent and iridescent as ever” as Greg Tate noted) when he mounted the stage at the Theatre St-Denis during the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal in July 1983 and this 2LP 12″ vinyl pressing marks the first release of this revelatory performance.
The recording has been lovingly mixed and mastered and will be included on CD and digitally in the next edition of the Miles Davis Bootleg series (focusing on the 1981-1985 period) coming later in the year; but the Record Store Day pressing of What It Is: Montreal 7/7/83 is its exclusive release on vinyl. What It Is includes tracks from Star People, the Marcus Miller tune “Hopscotch,” and the song “Jean-Pierre” that appeared on 1982’s We Want Miles.
Miles thought so well of these recordings of”What It Is” and “That’s What Happened” that he utilized them, in heavily edited form, for his 1984 release Decoy; What It Is presents these tracks for the first time in their complete form.
Packaged in beautiful gatefold packaging, What It Is: Montreal 7/7/83 features liner notes penned by the incomparable music journalist Greg Tate in one of his final writing pieces.
Pearl Jam – Live On Two Legs (2LP Translucent Vinyl)
Originally released in 1998, Live On Two Legs documents the band’s US Summer tour that year in support of the Yield album. This new RSD edition features 16 tracks and 2LP gatefold packaging.
Prince – The Gold Experience (2LP Translucent Gold Vinyl)
The Gold Experience was the first full-length Prince album to be credited to his unpronounceable symbol and was released at the most public, heated stage of his battle with the major label industrial complex. With the word “SLAVE” written on one cheek, Prince shined on the opulent ballads “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and “Gold” and the defiant single “Eye Hate U” while the album earned widespread critical acclaim.
The Record Store Day re-release of The Gold Experience is an homage to the rare US-only promo version of the album that was released in 1995. The two-LP set is pressed onto translucent gold vinyl with a bonus suite of “Eye Hate U” remixes on Side D.
Various Artists, Sweet Relief: A Benefit For Victoria Williams (2LP - Previously Unreleased On Vinyl)
In 1992, Victoria Williams was a talented singer-songwriter with a big problem: diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as she started gaining widespread exposure, she had no health insurance to cover her treatment costs.
Within a year, an army of fans and friends, including Pearl Jam, Soul Asylum, Lou Reed, The Jayhawks and Giant Sand, recorded favorites from her songbook for Sweet Relief; that same year, the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund was established to offer funds for any musician in need of care.
For the first time, this landmark album is available on vinyl to once again remind music lovers of the need for fair, affordable medical treatment for everyone.
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