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The Gun Club “Live In London 1983” (2020 Record Store Day LP)

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For Record Store Day 2020, a live LP was released from The Gun Club, the long-defunct American punk rock band which was led by the late, enigmatic Jeffrey Lee Pierce. Live In London 1983 was limited to 1,700 copies, and was released on September 26, 2020, the second of three RSD “drop dates” brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live In London 1983 was recorded at the Lyceum at a particularly odd time in the Gun Club’s history. This show was performed by an almost entirely different lineup than the one which had previously played on the band’s first two studio albums, which are regarded as being among the first recordings to incorporate blues and country elements into punk rock. Along with singer/guitarist Pierce – who was the only constant member – this lineup included bassist Patricia Morrison (later of The Damned and Sisters Of Mercy), guitarist Jim Duckworth (from Tav Falco’s Panther Burns), and drummer Dee Pop (from Bush Tetras). This is almost the same lineup (excluding Morris…

And Also The Trees - 2020 Record Store Day reissue of 1984 debut album

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For Record Store Day 2020, the self-titled 1984 debut album by the British goth-rock band called And Also The Trees was released in America for the first time, as an expanded limited-edition double-LP. The two discs were pressed in green and black splattered vinyl, and the set was limited to 2,000 copies. It was released on August 29th of 2020, the first of three unusual RSD “drop” dates resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This album will be of interest to fans of The Cure, because it was produced by original Cure percussionist Laurence “Lol” Tolhurst, who gave the debut a more Cure-like aura than most of the Trees’ later work – none of which, to the best of my knowledge, has ever been released in the U.S. in non-digital formats. Most recordings by And Also The Trees – who are still active to this day – may be too esoteric for American tastes, and possibly for others as well. After all, this band’s sound was once described by the late English DJ John Peel as “too English for the E…

Def Leppard “Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 29 March 2019” (2020 Record Store Day EP)

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For Record Store Day 2020, Def Leppard’s live performance at the 2019 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony was issued on a limited edition EP. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 29 March 2019 was limited to 4,000 copies. It was released on August 29th of 2020, the first of three unusual RSD “drop” dates resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2019 induction ceremony took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on the titular date of March 29th. The British metal band were certainly deserving of their induction into the Rock Hall. After they rose out of the so-called “new wave of British heavy metal” in the early ‘80’s, Def Leppard went on to define the type of pop metal (now commonly referred to as “hair metal”) that flourished during the remainder of the 1980’s with their mega-selling Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987) albums. And who can forget the incredible story of how Rick Allen continued to perform as the band’s drummer after losing his arm in a late-1984 car accide…

Billie Eilish "Live At Third Man Records" (2020 RSD August Drop LP)

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For Record Store Day 2020, Billie Eilish’s November 2019 performance at the Third Man Records Blue Room in Nashville was released on a limited edition LP. Live At Third Man Records was pressed in blue vinyl, and was limited to 17,000 copies. It was released on August 29th of that year, the first of three unusual RSD “drop” dates resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shortly after the teenage art-pop sensation’s performance took place at Third Man on November 9, 2019, this album was sold in two earlier limited editions exclusively at Third Man’s retail stores. One of these was pressed in blue-and-black-split vinyl, and was packaged in sleeves with blue paint-splatter marks made by Eilish herself. This edition reportedly had only 220 copies printed, and was sold only at Third Man's Nashville store. Another limited edition, sold only at Third Man's Nashville and Detroit locations, was pressed in lime green vinyl. The Third Man catalogue number for both of these two editions was…

Celebration with Mike Love

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Someone who has detailed knowledge of the Beach Boys’ long history would probably agree that the late-1970’s marked a bad period in the band’s career. By that time, the former ‘60’s surf-rock legends had risen, fallen, risen again, and then fallen again. The band nearly disintegrated over disagreements about their musical direction, and Brian Wilson was regressing back into a withdrawn mental state after he had been showing signs of increasing activity. The M.I.U. Album from 1978 and the L.A. (Light Album) from 1979 showed how tired the aging Boys had become, and how badly their chemistry was hurt by their internal struggles.

If there was a bright spot for the Beach Boys during this time period, then Mike Love’s short-lived side band Celebration was not it. Celebration apparently began as a casual throwback to the pre-psychedelic ‘60’s, and then went downhill from there as they attempted to update their sound to fit the late-‘70’s pop mainstream.

Among the various musicians who too…

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 44: The White Stripes “De Stijl XX” (2020)

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The 44th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in July of 2020. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (usually one full-length album and one 7” single) to its members every three months.

The 44th Vault package contained a 2-LP set celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the White Stripes’ 2000 sophomore album De Stijl, along with a DVD containing two White Stripes live performances from that year, and a book of photos taken during that era.




The White Stripes’ second album De Stijl from 2000 found the duo progressing from the minimalist blues-rock of their 1999 self-titled debut album. It was no larger in scale, but was larger in scope, with more variance in its folk-, blues-, and punk-inspired sounds…

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 43: The Raconteurs “Live In Tulsa” (2020)

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The 43rd set of exclusive vinyl items offered to Platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in March of 2020. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (usually one full-length album and one 7” single) to its members every three months.

The 43rd Vault package contained a triple-LP live set by the Raconteurs, a Blu-Ray disc featuring two live performances by Jack White and Brendan Benson, and a Raconteurs flexi-disc.




The 3-LP set Live In Tulsa – pressed in green, black, and “gold foil” vinyl discs – culls recordings from three concerts performed by the Raconteurs at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma in October 2019. It was certainly not the first live Raconteurs album to be issued through the Vault, but it was the first one to be issued a…

Distractions "Nobody's Perfect" (2020 reissue of 1980 album)

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Something that I’ve wished for for decades has finally happened: the 1980 album Nobody’s Perfect, a rare gem recorded by a short-lived band called the Distractions, has been reissued on CD – at least in the U.K. The album was originally released on Island Records. When it failed to sell, the label dropped the band in favor of U2 – a decision that certainly paid off well for Island, but sadly led to the demise of the Distractions, a new-wave-era band who drew inspiration from all three decades of rock and roll that preceded them. Nobody’s Perfect was the only full-length album recorded by the quintet from Manchester, England during their original existence, and it quickly disappeared from the face of the Earth after its commercial failure. In 2020, Nobody's Perfect was finally reissued in the U.K. by the indie label Man In The Moon, on vinyl LP and in a 2-CD expanded edition.

(Although the band split up in 1981, singer Mike Finney and guitarist Steve Perrin eventually reunited to …