Friday, April 12, 2019

New Record Store Day Releases Arriving From Craft Recordings

April 13, 2019 is national Record Store Day. This is a day when music labels release rare vinyl to independent record stores, in order to draw consumers to their shops. This will be the eleventh year of Record Store Day festivities and every year its seems the event gets bigger and even better, as the sales of vinyl records continues to grow.

The Craft Recordings label is preparing to release half-a-dozen new and exclusive vinyl this year. Three of them are various artists releases that have been remastered for this occasion, along with a re-issue of Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign" album in Mono, a green-colored vinyl release of the Violent Femmes for the album "Hallowed Ground" and a rare live album from the obscure band, Bingo Hand Job.

The first thing you are probably asking is, who is Bingo Hand Job and why do they have a live album coming out on Record Store Day. Well, Bingo Hand Job is actually the band, R.E.M., who performed a couple of shows at London's Borderline club back in 1991. The double vinyl set titled "Bingo Hand Job - Live At The Borderline 1991," features 19 songs that capture R.E.M. performing an "unplugged" type show following the release of their hugely successful album "Out Of Time." The quality on this release sounds like a soundboard-like bootleg, without any clean-ups or overdubs. Michael Stipe's vocals are clear and strong as the band has a bit of a distant sound, but fits this release perfectly. Songs like "Half A World Away," "Low" and "Losing My Religion" may be well-known in this acoustic setting. The band also performs some oddities like "Jackson/Dallas" and "Disturbance At The Heron House," along with some other covers like,"Love Is All Around" and "Moon River." It's great to hear this band in a raw, more laid-back live setting.

Albert King's classic and hugely influential album "Born Under A Bad Sign" will be reissued on 180-gram vinyl. This album featured Booker T & The MGs as King's backing band, and created such classic songs as "Born Under A Bad Sign," "The Hunter" and "Crosscut Saw." Another album in need of a reissue is the Violent Femmes' second effort "Hallowed Ground." Originally released back in 1984, a new dark-green colored vinyl will be available as part of Record Store Day. The band took on a more southern acoustic vibe on this release with songs like "Jesus Walking On The Water" and "Country Death Song." This album is often overlooked by the popularity of the band debut release, but it did help solidify the Violent Femmes as one of the premier folk-punk bands in the industry.

Craft Recordings also has a trio of various artists releases to get excited about. The first one titled "Poppies: Assorted Finery from the First Psychedelic Age" is a thirteen-song set that captures the essence of the psychedelic movement during the underground folk/rock scene in the late-1960s. The songs on this release will instantly transform you back to when music was extremely experimental and focused on the effects of the mind. The sound on this album swings between the heavy rock approach of Jefferson Lee's "Sorcerella" and Circus Maximus' "Bright Light Lovers," to the folk music of Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Poppies" and Erik's "Why Come Another Day." This new compilation will be released on Record Store Day in red translucent vinyl and on CD on April 19th.

The two other compilations are seeing vinyl for the first time in fifty years. The "Boy Meets Girl: Classic Stax Duets" was originally released in 1969 and features a who's-who of Memphis soul, as singers like Mavis Staples, William Bell and Eddie Floyd sing love songs especially for the Stax Records label. These special duets will be released on Record Store day as a 2-LP set. The other compilation, "Stax Does The Beatles," will be released for the first time as a double-LP set that includes fifteen Beatles' classics sung by some of the biggest names in soul music. Highlights include Otis Redding singing "Day Tripper" and Isaac Hayes performing "Something," along with four Beatles' anthems delivered by Booker T & the MGs. To find out more about these Record Store Day Releases, please visit craftrecordings.com.

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