10 of the best releases for Record Store Day 2020

At last, Record Store Day 2020 is upon us. Delayed multiple times due to the global pandemic, the event is now taking place over three separate dates, and the first is this Saturday, 29 August.

It’s a very different format this time around and, while some may miss the carnival of it all, most will surely be glad not to have to camp out in massive queues overnight. While some record stores are opening by appointment only, others are operating solely online, so it’s worth checking the website of your local shop early to avoid disappointment.

The official list of Record Store Day UK releases for 2020 was released a good few months ago, with more than 450 records going on sale across the country, and many worldwide. The three new drop dates means those you have your eye on might not be available this weekend, but it does at least give you time to save up and go on three separate sprees.

This huge celebration of vinyl covers several special edition re-issues, some new material, classic film scores and plenty of before now unheard music from the archives of some of our favourite musicians.

It’d be folly of course to go into it unprepared, and we made our lists as soon as the titles were announced earlier in the year. Below are ten records we are looking out for, and the dates on which they’ll be released, which will hopefully help get you started.

Selection From The Songs Of Avatars by Robbie Basho

(Image credit: Robbie Basho)

Robbie Basho was not only a guitar virtuoso, but a sublime sonic tourist who incorporated Hindi, Indian, Japanese and Native American musical traditions into his works. Tompkins Square is set to release a 5CD set of previously unheard material named Songs Of The Avatars: The Lost Master Tapes, and this single disc LP contains seven of those pieces.

Released on 26 September 2020

La Planete Sauvage by Alain Goraguer

(Image credit: Alain Goraguer)

Alain Goraguer’s music for La Planete Sauvage was included in our list of 10 of the best movie scores to test your system, so we’re delighted to see it on this year’s RSD list. The composer was at a creative peak when he was asked to score this early 1970s French animation, in which giant blue meditating Draags enslave human-like Oms on their planet Ygam, and it shows. A long-time collaborator and composer with Serge Gainsbourg, Goraguer’s breakbeats and psychedelic instrumentation are the perfect backdrop for a surreal allegory that painfully remains relevant in the 21st century.

Released on 10 July 2020 (indie exclusive)

Mingus Ah Um Redux by Charles Mingus

(Image credit: Charles Mingus)

Between 1950 and 1960, Charles Mingus released more than 20 albums. But it’s Mingus Ah Um – packed with compositions written for or about his musical heroes, such as Lester Young and Duke Ellington, as well as less affectionate figures, such as Orval E. Faubus ­– that is the most consistently dazzling. Mingus Ah Um Redux contains a second disc of recordings from the album’s sessions previously released only on CD.

Released on 26 September 2020

The Essential by Philip Glass

(Image credit: Philip Glass)

If any artist could truly be considered essential to have in your collection then Philip Glass is surely one. This 4LP numbered and limited deluxe box set (500 in the UK, 1500 worldwide) includes selections from Naqoyqatsi, Einstein On The Beach, Satyagraha, Akhnaten, The Photographer and more, comes with and eight-page booklet, and is available on vinyl for the first time.

Released on 29 August 2020

Big Conspiracy by J Hus

(Image credit: J Hus)

Everything on Big Conspiracy, from J Hus’s lazy vocal to the way he shimmies between beats and genres, sounds effortless. A definite step forward from his acclaimed debut Common Sense, this is 45 minutes of crafted transitions, somewhat mellowed but still precise, and it gets a vinyl release for Record Store Day’s first drop.

Released on 29 August 2020

Selected Works 1982 to 1989 by Joan Bibiloni

(Image credit: Joan Bibiloni)

Continuing the NuNorthern Soul Selected Works series is this collection of Balearic guitarist Joan Bibiloni’s output from between 1982 and 1989. Complementing the LP of smooth Spanish islands tracks are sleeve notes compiled from interviews conducted by Marc Rowlands, plus a poster of the front cover sleeve artwork to adorn your listening room wall.

Released on 29 August 2020

Asha Puthli by Asha Puthli

(Image credit: Asha Puthli)

Released by the label Mr Bongo, this is to be one of many Asha Puthli records to be reissued in the near future. Her 1973 self-titled debut is a fusion of soul, disco and jazz, and is being released for Record Store Day 2020 on sky blue vinyl to bring out the colours of Puthli’s dress from the cover portrait.

Released on 29 August 2020

Let’s Get A Groove On by Lee Fields

(Image credit: Lee Fields)

Released for the first time since 1998, Let’s Get A Groove On is one of the most aptly titled records of the last few decades. A blistering set of soul and heavy funk, it showcases Lee Fields’s iconic vocal leading a collection of grooves that cement him as one of the all-time greats.

Released on 26 September 2020

It Was All A Dream by Notorious B.I.G.

(Image credit: Notorious B.I.G.)

This gargantuan nine-disc box set features Notorious B.I.G.’s four albums bundled together for the first time. Ready To Die, Life After Death and Junior Mafia’s Conspiracy are all double LPs, while Born Again is set over three vinyl records, with all pressed on 180g clear vinyl and complete with liner notes from hip-hop journalist and author Kathy Iondoli. This is where the bulk of our wages will be heading.

Released on 26 September 2020

Moderns by Biffy Clyro

(Image credit: Frightened Rabbit)

The title of Biffy Clyro’s white vinyl RSD release for 2020 comes from the two tracks it covers: David Bowie’s Modern Love and, most pertinently, Frightened Rabbit’s Modern Leper. The latter is taken from the Tiny Changes album (pictured above) – a collection of covers celebrating the 10th anniversary of Frightened Rabbit’s The Midnight Organ Fight – and proceeds from sales here will go to the Tiny Changes charity set up in memory of the unparalleled Scott Hutchison.

Released on 29 August 2020

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