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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 …

The Stooges (John Cale Mix) (2020)

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The Stooges, the Ann Arbor, Michigan band that launched the career of Iggy Pop, are widely regarded as progenitors of punk rock, much like their fellow ‘60’s fashion-resistors in the Velvet Underground. How fitting it seems, then, that the Stooges’ self-titled 1969 debut album was produced by John Cale, who had recently left the Velvet Underground. The first two VU albums recorded with Cale were groundbreaking creations that inspired legions of musical innovators despite their lack of commercial success; the remaining VU albums recorded after Cale’s departure were mellower and less groundbreaking. It is therefore not surprising that Cale’s original mix of The Stooges was rejected by Elektra Records for being “too raw”. The album was subsequently remixed by Iggy Pop (then known as Iggy Stooge) and Elektra president Jac Holzman for its 1969 release. Cale’s mixes of the songs remained unreleased for over 35 years, until four of them appeared on a 2005 expanded edition of the album, albei…

David Bowie “I’m Only Dancing (The Soul Tour 74)” (2020 Record Store Day LP and CD)

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By now, I’m sure you are aware that Record Store Day 2020 has been postponed until June 20th due to the coronavirus. Certainly this is a sad circumstance, but hopefully we will be able to safely browse through the bins in independent record stores two months from now. Whatever happens, we will get through this terrible pandemic together.

In the meantime, I would like to talk about one of two Record Store Day 2020 releases from the late David Bowie. I’m Only Dancing (The Soul Tour 74) will be issued in both 2-LP and 2-CD editions, in limited quantities. This live double-album mostly documents Bowie’s October 20, 1974 concert at the Michigan Palace in Detroit, with three added encores from his show at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville on November 30th of that year (marked with an asterisk in the track listing below).

The “soul tour” which the title refers to took place in late 1974, during a break in the Diamond Dogs tour. This “soul tour” added then-unreleased songs from the Philade…