Record Store Day's 12th annual event promoting independent record stores and the physical format they've helped save will deliver another dizzying selection of records for vinyl obsessives to pick through.
From an acid house boxset from 808 State and a long-awaited reissue of soul singer Alice Clark's self-titled LP, to new music by Iggy Pop and Idles, oddities including a 1961 interview with Salvador Dali, and an endless supply of weird and wonderful compilations. Every possible taste is catered for among the 500-plus special releases.
Below are 10 selections from across the music-making world that are worth splashing your cash on.
Bristol, UK: Smith And Mighty – The Three Stripe Collection, 1985–1990 (Bristol Archive)
Rob Smith and Ray Mighty are the godfathers of the 'Bristol sound' commonly known as trip-hop. By mixing dub, reggae, hip-hop, soul, and house music – the sounds that were around them in Bristol in the mid-to-late '80s – the duo set the template for UK breakbeat and bass music, while also highlighting the creative possibilities of meshing together black urban genres.
The approach, and the slightly downbeat, bass-heavy sound, would eventually take Portishead and Massive Attack, whose 1988 single Any Love they produced, to major worldwide fame. But Smith And Mighty are, arguably, where it all began.
Back in print for Record Store Day after its original 2012 release, this compilation of early tracks, on blue vinyl, is a herculean statement of intent for British electronic music.
Paris, France: Various artists – Too Slow To Disco: Neo En France (How Do You Are?)
You won't find the cool, motorik chug of Nordic space disco on J Supermarkt's acclaimed Too Slow To Disco compilation series. Instead, they focus on smooth, laidback and slightly unfashionable late-'70s 'yacht pop'. In other words, the sort of woozy, sun-dappled pop music (think Alessi Brothers, Christopher Cross, Ned Doheny) once played in discotheques with far too many mirrors.
This latest #RSD19 edition kicks off a new strand in the series exploring modern examples of music that fits in with the Too Slow To Disco aesthetic. This 17-track double LP, on pink vinyl, features "mellow, elegant, slightly erotic pop" from French exponents of the sound.
Stockholm, Sweden: Robyn – Body Talk (UMC/Island)
After Robyn's surprise comeback in 2018, with the silver-plated and gently euphoric Honey, the Swedish pop star's tunes are back in demand. Until now, though, vinyl copies of her 2010 Body Talk album – a collection of two mini albums of the same name (Part 1 and 2), plus five new songs – have been almost impossible to come by. Unless you're willing to cough up $300/ €266/ £230 for a copy on Discogs, that is.
But Record Store Day 2019 sees the album, which includes high-energy bangers Dancing On My Own and Call Your Girlfriend, available again on 180-gram limited edition white wax. Vinyl isn't just for fans of spiritual jazz and new-age music, you know.
Beirut, Lebanon: Ziad Rhabini – Abu Ali (Wewantsounds)
Ziad Rahbani is big news in Lebanon. He's a playwright, a political activist and, more importantly for the purposes of Record Store Day, a respected composer and musician. In the late '70s, while still in his early 20s, he released a 12-inch EP containing two 13-minute tracks of slow-burning, Middle Eastern-infused orchestral disco groovers – Abu Ali and Prelude (Theme From Mais El Rim).
The two-tracker was released in a limited-edition run for the Lebanese market and, over the years, has gained almost mythical status among collectors. Now, thanks to French reissue label Wewantsounds, this essential DJ weapon is being made available for all, not just those who can afford the $650/ €575/ £500-plus expense of the original.
Lagos, Nigeria: Fela Kuti And Roy Ayers – Music of Many Colours (KFR)
Reissued rarities are one of the major driving forces behind the surge in vinyl's popularity, and Record Store Day's list of releases represents this. One of this year's highlights is a lesser-known album collaboration between much-sampled US funk and jazz legend Roy Ayers and Nigeria's Afrobeat godfather Fela Kuti – Music Of Many Colours.
The two formidable band leaders got together for a tour of Nigeria in 1979, with Ayers warming up for Kuti. Out of that came this groovesome gem of a record, which pitches up somewhere between the two men's distinctive styles and is imbued with the positivity of the black nationalist movement. Listen to 2000 Blacks Got To Be Free and you'll be hooked.
Melbourne, Australia: Courtney Barnett – Everybody Here Hates You (Marathon Artists)
Not everything out on Record Store Day is a long-lost treasure, or a souped-up version of a previously released record. Artists are still putting out new music for the event, like US space rockers Bardo Pond and Australia's Courtney Barnett.
The slacker-rock poet laureate's 12-inch single for #RSD19 features a new song, Everybody Here Hates You – a typically ace and woozy blues-grunge pop anthem about social anxiety. The release, which features hand-illustrated artwork from Barnett, is backed with the freewheeling Small Talk, a song recorded during sessions for her last album.
New York City, USA: Bob Dorough – Multiplication Rock (Jackpot)
You might not know who Bob Dorough is, but you've almost certainly heard his music. In the '70s, Dorough, a bebop musician and vocalist who worked with Miles Davis on two of his late-'60s albums, composed music for the US educational TV series Schoolhouse Rock!
A collection of those compositions were released on the Grammy-nominated Multiplication Rock album in 1973, and it's been a treasure trove for hip-hop samplers ever since. It's Dorough's Three Is A Magic Number that provides the main melodic sample and beat for De La Soul's The Magic Number, from their 1989 album Three Feet High And Rising.
Making mathematics cool again, that track, and Figure Eight, which was covered by Elliot Smith, make this first-ever reissue of Multiplication Rock (on red-and-blue-swirl vinyl) a must-buy.
Kingston, Jamaica: Desmond Dekker – Pretty Africa (Trojan)
The reliably brilliant Trojan Records' well of unreleased music appears to be bottomless, as this special shows.
All the way from 1973 comes this lost album by the sweet-voiced icon of ska and rocksteady, Desmond Dekker, and his band The Aces. Recorded in London, the album features seven uplifting tracks fronted by Dekker himself, with a five more featuring the vocals of the The Aces.
Limited to 500 pale yellow LPs, you'll have to be quick getting hold of this. Reggae and dub is among the most collectible of all vinyl these days.
Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe: Kassav' – Love And Ka Dance (Heavenly Sweetness)
Record Store Day provides ample opportunity to take a punt and discover music from another time and place. Indeed, one of this year's big outernational gems comes from the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.
French Antillean band Kassav', who originally formed in Paris, specialised in a unique brand of zouk – a popular regional form of party and carnival music – electrified into a cool strut by heavy funk and disco.
The band's 1979 debut album has been out of print since the mid-'80s and the title track of this double LP reissue is worth the price of admission alone.
Brazil: Various artists – Brazil Classics (Luaka Bop)
David Byrne's Luaka Bop label have set the template for adventurous reissue labels since 1988. Over the years, they've gone off the beaten track to bring the sounds of Brazilian psychedelia (Tom Zé, Os Mutantes and Tim Maia), ashram-based spiritual jazz (Alice Coltrane), Nigerian synth-funk (William Onyeabor) and much more to wider attention.
For Record Store Day 2019, the label is reissuing a three-LP set of the albums that started it all – the first three instalments of its important Brazil Classics series.
Beleza Tropical, O Samba, and Music Of The Brazilian Northeast sold over 350,000 copies when they were released 30 years ago, and were among the first compilations to hip the word to scenes like Tropicalia.
These three illuminating LPs – each one pressed in a colour of the Brazilian flag – come with sleeve-notes by David Byrne himself.