So, it is that time of year again whereby I queue through the night to try and get all the releases that I am after, without having to resort to eBay flippers* (and paying the usual 400% mark-up).
So, at 6pm on Friday 18th of April, I started to queue outside Resident in Brighton, UK (in my opinion the best indie in the country) where I knew I would stand the best chance of picking up the rarer items. Arriving at this time you would think would guarantee me 1st place, but no – I was placed 2nd in the queue (with my buddies being 3 and 4).
By 7pm the queue was up to 6, and by 9pm up to about 12. Then over the course the evening this grew – and at 5am we were up to about 50 people.
By this time, the evening had really started to drag, no amount of trips to the 24 hour Subway or conversations about previous RSD experiences with our fellow queuers would make the passing of time speed up. I am fairly sure that at around 5am – time started to go backwards.
By opening time, 7am, the queue was huge at around 200+ people. Cold, tired and hungry we entered the store to be greeted by goody bags containing promo pictures, posters, CDs and stickers, as well as a couple of free records (I got a Jungle 12″ and a Sub-Pop 7″) – oh, and not to mention a Cadbury’s Creme Egg. Then onto the store itself, with all the RSD releases adorning the walls like some sort of art gallery – I was ready to buy, buy, BUY! Some money got spent and now I have these fine things:
No. 1: R.E.M. – Unplugged 4xLP Boxset.
The most important release in my opinion (sorry to the “Twilight Sad” guys, you were a close second), was the issue of not one, but both R.E.M. MTV Unplugged sessions in a combined boxset (multiple paged gatefold sleeve). Containing some of the greatest R.E.M. songs, in an unplugged format – many of which that were not broadcast in the original episodes (which I have on VHS). My worries that the sound would not be of a suitable quality were unfounded – with both the 1991 and 2001 sessions sounding crisp. The only disappointment is that unlike the Mastodon and Linkin Park/ Jay-Z releases, no DVD of the shows was included. Maybe this will be included in the CD issue due for release in late May. Currently reselling at £200 on everyone’s favourite internet auction site – having this in my possession for £49.99 makes queuing for 14 hours absolutely worth it – with all 4 copies that Resident had being snapped up by customer number 5! Limited to 2,000
No.2: The Twilight Sad – Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters.
The next on my list was the deluxe reissue of the debut studio album by The Twilight Sad, which includes bonus tracks, rarities and demos split over two 12″s. It is a cracking album that I thoroughly recommend, and now that I have it on vinyl, it means that I now have all 3 of their studio albums on this format (as well as on those new fandangled CD things – they’ll never last). Hopefully, I can get the guys to sign it at the Hoxton Bar & Grill shows in a couple of weeks (30/4). Limited to 500
No.3: Mastodon – Live at Brixton 2012.
3rd up is the issue of a one of the gigs I really, really wished I had gone to, Mastodon at the Brixton Academy in 2012. A nice double 180gram vinyl issue with DVD included, with tracks covering their entire career – it really compliments the previously released “Live At the Aragon” LP from 2011 (also in my collection). Limited to 2,000 (supposedly, but mine is #3377)
No.4: Slipknot – Vol. 3; The Subliminal Verses.
Another nice to have was the Slipknot reissue of their 3rd studio album, “The Subliminal Verses” on clear heavyweight vinyl. I would have preferred if it had been either “All Hope is Gone” or “Iowa” however am thankful for just having a Slipknot LP to add to my collection. Besides, there is always next year – isn’t there Roadrunner Records hint, hint :D. Limited to 2,600
No.5: Linkin Park v Jay-Z – Collision Course.
Next up is the vinyl release of the 2004 MTV mash-up concert that featured Linkin Park and Jay-Z merging some of their biggest hits (of that era). The issue is on blue translucent vinyl and comes complete with the DVD that was originally included in the CD releases. Limited to 2,500
No.6: Built to Spill – Ultimate Alternative Wavers.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first release and on the back of the successful live LP from last RSD comes another exclusive Built to Spill reissue. This time it is the critically acclaimed debut album, “Ultimate Alternative Wavers” on 2x “Gold” (translucent orange) audiophile vinyl and housed in an old-school “tip-on” gatefold jacket. Limited to 4,500
No.7: Screaming Trees – Last Words: The Final Recordings.
Not the album that I would most like to have seen reissued (that would have been Dust) but still nice to have and add to my collection. A reissue of the final LP by the band, recorded in 98/99 but not released until 2011 (due to being dropped by Epic). The release is on translucent red vinyl, and has been released by band member Barrett Martin’s Sunyata label. Limited to 500
No.8: Fear of Men – Loom.
The first of my impulse buys, this one heavily influenced by a fellow RSD queuer. Knew nothing about this band, and still don’t as I haven’t listen to it yet. What I can say though is, if the vinyl is as nice as the music, I am glad I bought it – this RSD release is translucent red/black starburst-esque slab of beauty. Limited to 500
No. 9: Mae – Destination: Beautiful.
Another RSD release that I have bought with little-to-no knowledge of the band or the album was Mae’s “Destination: Sunshine” LP. In compiling my shopping list over weeks and months before the day, this release kept coming up as a “must have” or “an album that defined the pop/punk genre” and add to this the gold/blue merging on the vinyl, I thought I might as well add it to my collection. Limited to 500
No. 10: The Darkness – Permission to Land.
Last on my list, and a release that I only decided to purchase upon my second visit to Resident (in the evening for the raffle/ end of day celebration) – is an album that, whilst not a classic slice of rock history that defined a genre, is most definitely what I would call FUN and ENJOYABLE record from a band who has always entertained when I have seen them live. Reissued on a heavyweight picture disc with high quality replications of the front and back sleeves off the original CD release – the sight of which, strategically placed on the wall by the counter, was too tempting to part with my cash. Limited to 1,500
Resident, Brighton RSD Raffle.
So, you would think after being able to get every one of the UK RSD releases that I was after – nothing could make the day even better, could it?
For those who don’t know, every RSD, my shop of choice for RSD (and every other day of the year) holds a raffle for all those who return to the shop at the end of the day. Every year I go back, and every year I tend be lucky enough to win something (Pearl Jam singles one year, Esben and the Witch print another) more to do with the number of people who return than my own luck.
This year, there was one prize that really took my fancy. I was sure someone else would win – but as each person was drawn, they kept leaving this “star prize” behind. Then my number came out. I took it without hesitation.
Yep, fully signed Deluxe Edition of Queens of the Stone Age’s “…Like Clockwork” LP.
Perfect end to a perfect day. Once again, thanks to Resident for a wonderful day.