Patti Smith, David Bowie releases set for Record Store Day

Michael Kurtz (right), co-founder of Record Store Day, and Lee Foster (left), manager of Electric Lady Studios, sitting next to a poster advertising a special release by The Doors during a news conference on March 8, 2016.
Michael Kurtz (right), co-founder of Record Store Day, and Lee Foster (left), manager of Electric Lady Studios, sitting next to a poster advertising a special release by The Doors during a news conference on March 8, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Rare or new releases by musical giants including Patti Smith, David Bowie and The Doors will come out next month for Record Store Day, the growing celebration of vinyl's resurgence.

Created in 2007 by independent American stores as a quirky tribute to their existence, Record Store Day has developed into an annual rite for shops around the world seizing on the growing market for vinyl.

The latest Record Store Day will take place on April 16 and feature more than 300 special releases in the United States market.

Organisers revealed the latest offerings at Electric Lady, the studio in New York's Greenwich Village built by Jimi Hendrix, which announced that it was launching a series of re-recordings of classic albums made there.

The first to go on sale for Record Store Day will be punk godmother Patti Smith's legendary debut album Horses, which she remade live last year at Electric Lady to mark the work's 40th anniversary.

Lenny Kaye, the guitarist who worked with Smith both on the original and the new live version of Horses, said the two first met when he was a clerk at a Greenwich Village record store.

"One of the beautiful things about a record store is that it's a gathering place," he told the press conference.

"I always thought that it was a place where, in a weird way, social misfits came to find their community."

Record Store Day will feature three releases from rock icon David Bowie, who died in January, including a disc of six songs he recorded in 1966 for his early label Pye in Britain.

Bob Dylan will put out a limited batch of records with four songs from his forthcoming album, Fallen Angels, a month before its release, although the disc will also go on sale in Japan, where the rock icon is touring.

Record Store Day has dedicated its 2016 edition to victims of the Nov 13 attacks in Paris, where 90 people were killed by Islamic extremists at the Bataclan nightclub.

Metallica - longtime supporters of Record Store Day - have already announced the release of a 2003 concert at the Bataclan, with proceeds going to victims of the attacks.

Newly revealed Record Store Day offerings dedicated to the Paris victims include a live version of Roadhouse Blues by The Doors, the 1960s rockers who have a major fan base in France.

Pop duo Twenty One Pilots and metal band Anthrax are also releasing works whose proceeds will go to the attack victims.

The global market for vinyl has soared in the past decade, increasing by nearly 55 per cent in 2014 alone, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

The growth has been led by audiophiles in Western countries and Japan, although vinyl still represents just two per cent of the global industry that has been rapidly transformed by the rise of streaming.

But in a sign of the rising interest in vinyl, Record Store Day 2016 will include works by chart-topping artists including a limited-edition picture disc of Justin Bieber's latest album Purpose. Record Store Day co-founder Michael Kurtz hailed the inclusion of mainstream acts, saying he hoped to bring in young music fans and did not judge their tastes.

"I love art, I worship it, but if you get too serious about it, it kind of loses its validity to someone who's 15 or 17 years old who's just discovering everything, and their moment in time is Justin Bieber," he said.

"Let them celebrate, let them be part of it - and discover Patti Smith."

The latest Record Store Day will also include the launch of a documentary film, The Smart Studios Story, which looks at the legendary recording post in Madison, Wisconsin that generated classic alternative albums such as Nirvana's Nevermind and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish.