Over, Under, Side by Side
Though I grew up with vinyl and love my record collection, I'm not a big fan of Record Store Day, the national event that honors independent records stores and their plastic wares on the third Saturday of each April. This year Record Store Day falls on April 18th and, as usual, there will be long lines of avid vinyl collectors queuing up early to fork over outrageous sums for limited edition 7- and 12-inch platters of coveted tracks on wax.
But even if I wasn't working, I've reached the point where I no longer collect things. Blame it on a laborious move to a new house and the relief I felt when I finally emptied out that storage facility of all my accumulated clutter.
7 and 7 Is
But I am a fan of good ideas, and one of the better ones to emerge from Record Store Day is the "Side by Side" singles concept started in 2011 by Warner Bros.and now popularized by Rhino Records. Basically, it's two groups playing the same song on a split 45 rpm 7-inch record: one side features the original artist performing an iconic tune, while the flip side features a signature cover version of the same ditty by another artist. Like "No Fun" performed by The Stooges on one side, and The Black Keys on the other, to cite one famous example. Often the vinyl itself is a picture disc or sports an unusual (non-black) color. And, at $7.98 a pop, the SxS singles may be pricey, but aren't outrageously pricey.
Here are some of the 7-inchers Rhino has in store for Record Store Day 2015:
SYD BARRETT/R.E.M. – "Dark Globe"
7-inch black, gold, red and white vinyl. Limited edition of 11,700 copies.
Listen to R.E.M. cover "Dark Globe."
DAVID BOWIE/TOM VERLAINE – "Kingdom Come"
7-inch white/clear. Limited edition of 15,000 copies.
Listen to Bowie play "Kingdom Come."
GRANDMASTER FLASH/STIFF LITTLE FINGERS - "The Message"
7-inch olive green vinyl with red/yellow splatter, limited edition of 5,500 copies.
Listen to Stiff Little Fingers cover "The Message."
GRAM PARSONS/LEMONHEADS– "Brass Buttons"
7-inch pink and bronze vinyl. Limited edition of 7,000 copies.
Listen to Lemonheads cover"Brass Buttons."
DIONNE WARWICK/THE STRANGLERS -"Walk On By"
7-inch Heavy Magenta splatter on Aqua Blue opaque. (4,000 copies)