The Black Friday edition of Record Store Day has been steadily growing, just like its April counterpart. Sure, you could go to Wal-Mart and get a brand new refrigerator for something like two dollars, but how does that stack up when compared to a new 12” Black Keys single?
In order to help you with the personal calculus of this decision-making, here’s a look at the Black Friday Record Store Day by the numbers -- and where you should spend your hard earned cash. Go ahead, treat yourself this season.
1: Number of solo releases from Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, including his “Honolulu Blues” 7”
The first solo release from the frontman for a major act like the Hold Steady is exciting, and since Record Store Day tends to attract people who might actually wait to listen until they hold it in their hands – as opposed to the mp3-obsessed fans who’ll sleep late on Friday – this may be contain some old-school excitement. The “Honolulu Blues” single is split with a song called “Rented Room,” both of which suggest a neat sorta Rum Diary aspect to Finn’s solo work.
2: Number of songs Ryan Adams will release that the public hasn't heard
The absurdly prolific Adams writes a ton of songs and two of the unreleased demos from his recent Ashes And Fire are getting the 7” treatment on Friday. While we’re stoked to hear “Do I Wait” and “Darkness,” we can only assume that there are at least a thousand other new songs from this year that he chose to hang onto for the time being. Seriously, dude writes so, so many songs.
3: Number of albums from Mr. Gasser and the Weirdos re-issued on Black Friday
Threatening to overwhelm the rest of the field, Mr. Gasser and the Weirdos -- the '60s-era novelty surf rock combo fronted by Rat Fink creator Ed “Big Daddy” Roth -- have a whopping three album releases slated for Record Store Day. (Six, if you count the fact that they’re on both vinyl and CD!) The trio of Mr. Gasser hot rod-themed novelty albums have been out of print for over four decades, so if you’ve got a tattoo artist or a roller derby girl in your life who needs something to hang on the wall, here’s a unique opportunity.
3: Artists who chose to use the day’s proximity to Christmas as an excuse to release a Christmas song
Nothing is cooler than your favorite band dropping a Christmas tune for the holidays – and by “nothing,” okay, we mean “just about everything.” Still, the holiday song offerings this year come from artists ranging from the achingly sincere Nashville folk duo the Civil Wars, who offer two holiday tunes on their Tracks in the Snow 10”; the sneeringly ironic classic punkers Fear, with a 7” recording of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (b-sided with a Fear original holiday track, “Another Christmas Beer”); and the we-could-never-figure-out-if-he-was-kidding Matisyahu, who drops a 7” featuring two versions of his new holiday track “Miracle.”
5: Number of unreleased recordings on the “L.A. Woman” box set
Jim Morrison fans are the most obsessive there are, so the fact that they’ll get to hear five new things from the long-dead Doors frontman is probably going to give them things to quote and tattoo on their arms for decades to come. Granted, the “previously unreleased” pit has been pretty thoroughly excavated when it comes to Morrison, so what that entails on Friday are alternate takes of “Love Her Madly,” “Riders on the Storm” and “The Changeling” – as well as a whole seven inch of Morrison bantering in the studio about “Riders On The Storm” and “Crawling King Snake.” Just the fact that there’s anything new from a guy who died in 1971 is impressive, though.
8: Number of years since a vinyl pressing of Blood Sugar Sex Magik has been available
The snazzy red double-vinyl version due on Friday is the first domestic appearance of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ signature album since its release two decades ago, and its first anywhere since a European import was released in 2003. This should give fans of the band even more reasons to craft absurdly sincere odes to the album on its Amazon “reviews” section.
18: Number of must-haves for the aging, ultra-hip baby boomer in your family
So dad got rid of all of his vinyl as the CD reared its head in 1989, only to miss the satisfying needle-drop as he got older? Don’t worry – you can hook him up with a staggering number of classic rock era reissues. You’ve got two different box sets from Janis Joplin; a pair of Yardbirds 7” singles; singles boxes from the Beatles and Pink Floyd; stragglers in the form of the Lovin’ Spoonful, Miles Davis and the Byrds and more, for a total of 18 releases your dad or cool uncle or whoever will open with a nostalgic twinkle in his eye.
54.98: Amount that the Nirvana Hormoaning 12” from April is selling for now on eBay
Nirvana fans lost their shit when the ultra-rare Hormoaning EP saw a re-release during the April Record Store Day earlier this year. It may not be selling for the thousands that an original pressing goes for, but it’s still pricey. That bodes well for the appreciation level that might be expected for the Nevermind 10” single collection, which features four song versions of the “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come As You Are,” “Lithium” and “In Bloom” singles. If you’ve been lusting after a vinyl rendition of “Even In His Youth” or “Endless, Nameless,” better get ‘em now before the eBay hordes jack up the price.
$145.11: Value of the original pressings of the Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window 7” box set
The Bob Dylan Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? box set includes four different 7” singles, and if you tried to purchase original pressings of all four of them from record nerd marketplace Discogs.com, they’d run you $145.11 – before you paid shipping. Most of that cost would be accrued by the 7” of “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window” (with a “Highway 61 Revisited” b-side), which is probably why the re-issue advertises the rare item first, but the artwork for all four of them is going to be nicer than the jukebox-ready white sleeves you’ll get for the early pressings.