Well, Black Friday--that day after Thanksgiving when people think nothing of trampling their fellow man (or woman) to save a few bucks on a widescreen TV only to find the same model on sale for less a couple weeks later--has almost come and gone as a tradition. Stores, desperate for holiday traffic, keep moving their Black Friday sales up to the point where....I think we already missed it. But Black Friday Record Store Day...that's vinyl of a different color.
I love the idea of Black Friday Record Store Day. The local independent record stores should be supported all year long, but a lot of folks aren't even aware they exist. So, with its tempting buffet of limited edition collectors items only available at the local record store, people seek out the participating shops in their vicinity. It gets them through the door and now they know, right? Go watch the opening scene of "Jingle Bell Rocks" and tell me that isn't more fun than punching keys for an online purchase.
Sadly, in my area, we have no participating record shops. The one I used to go to closed down while the other only participates in the Record Store Day earlier in the year--never the Black Friday one. You can check to find the participating shop nearest to you here. Either way, we do like looking in the virtual store window, here, to see what goodies the Christmas Vinyl Santa has brought down the chimney.
This limited edition (to 2000) Jethro Tull Record Store Day exclusive contains "A Christmas Song" and "Another Christmas Song" (originally released in 1989). But the other two tracks are new. Well, new-ish, as they are both remixed versions of "Ring Out, Solstice Bells". The second of those, "Magic Bells", was produced by Mike Batt and intended for a Christmas single but was never released. If you can't make Record Store Day, the two remixes will also appear on a re-mixed "Songs From The Wood" in 2017.
The Chairman of The Board, Frank Sinatra puts in an appearance with a colored vinyl 7" of "White Christmas" and "The Christmas Waltz". The write-up says "7" white colored 'Italian' vinyl single in picture sleeve." I'm just not understanding the "Italian" reference. Frank's record is also limited to 3000.
The next Record Store Day category is "Limited Run / Regional Focus". This category focuses on independent artists and labels and may or may not be at your local record store if the artist in question isn't from your region. We've got one Christmas release in this category, but it's top notch. The Connection are mostly known in the New England region, but Stubby's regulars should recall that we covered their 2014 holiday release, "A Christmas Gift For...". For Record Store Day, The Connection has pressed 300 copies of "A Christmas Gift For...", randomly on opaque RED or GREEN vinyl.
And, finally, there's a new Christmas single coming from the fantastic California Alt Rock/Punk group The Regrettes. I love this group. It's raw Rock, for sure, but The Regrettes also know how to write a good hook. Check out a few of the group's songs on Soundcloud (my fave there is "Seashore"; what a wonderful track). I'd drop in a track for you, here, but they can at times be prone to profanity. For Black Friday Record Store Day, the group has recorded their cover of "Marshmallow World" pressed to white vinyl and tucked into a marshmallow scented picture sleeve. How cool is that? And I'm betting their take on "Marshmallow World" is going to be amazing. A nice healthy run of 3000 on this one.
That's the list, as well as we know it, of Christmas releases getting the Black Friday Record Store Day roll out. That's November 25, if you were wondering. On your mark, get set........