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Sony Legacy Record Store Day [June 2022] Sony Legacy Record Store Day [June 2022]

Record Store Day 2022 (Saturday, June 18th, 2022) is fast upcoming and EXCLUSIVE MAGAZINE wants to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who are intending to burst into your local independent record store retailers to spread the support, love and money, whilst celebrating everything great about RSD!

We hope you find something you love enough to take home with you, whether that item is something released exclusively for Record Store Day 2022 or something fantastic from what they regularly stock.

Yes, we wholeheartedly agree, every day should be Record Store Day, so we encourage you to make stopping by your favorite record store AND stopping by this website a regular thing - because we’ll be telling you about awesome things going on at record stores all year long!

As our dear friends at Sony Legacy Recordings have, once more, kindly sent us quite a few of their RSD 2022 (June) releases for review, as always, we shall review those whilst at the same time highlighting all the others.

These four new June titles run the gamut from rock to blues to pop to alternative and, as always, are all a terrific tribute to the unbelievable artistry and musicianship upon which the Sony Music catalog has been built for decades.

Reviewing those that were sent to us below, please know the two solitary outliers of the released titles are listed and accounted for at the base of this article.

Up first is Miles Davis – What It Is: Montreal 7/7/83 (2LP Vinyl).

This double LP release showcases one of Miles Davis’ final great bands including John Scofield on guitar, Bill “The Other Bill Evans” Evans on saxophones, flute and electric piano, Darryl Jones on bass, Al Foster on drums and percussionist Mino Cinelu.

Miles was back in amazing form (“incandescent and iridescent as ever” as Greg Tate noted) when he mounted the stage at the Theatre St-Denis during the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal in July 1983 and this 2LP 12″ vinyl pressing marks the first release of this revelatory performance.

The recording has been lovingly mixed and mastered and will be included on CD and digitally in the next edition of the Miles Davis Bootleg series (focusing on the 1981-1985 period) coming later in the year; but the Record Store Day pressing of What It Is: Montreal 7/7/83 is its exclusive release on vinyl.

What It Is includes tracks from Star People, the Marcus Miller tune “Hopscotch,” and the song “Jean-Pierre” that appeared on 1982’s We Want Miles. Miles thought so well of these recordings of “What It Is” and “That’s What Happened” that he utilized them, in heavily edited form, for his 1984 release Decoy; What It Is presents these tracks for the first time in their complete form.

Packaged in beautiful gatefold packaging, What It Is: Montreal 7/7/83 features liner notes penned by the incomparable music journalist Greg Tate in one of his final writing pieces.

Side A:
1. “Speak (That’s What Happened)”
2. “Star People”

Side B:
1. “What It Is”
2. “It Gets Better”

Side C:
1. “Hopscotch”
2. “Star On Cicely”
3. “Jean-Pierre”

Side D:
1. “Code 3”
2. “Creepin’ In”

In my humble opinion, Miles Davis was not only a renowned and recognized virtuoso on the trumpet he opened new doors, new gates to all those striving to become him, to play as well as he did, and at the same time founded cool Jazz, Hard Bop and Fusion.

Together here with John Scofield on guitar, those that additionally back him are at the very best from the off of this live recording, which makes this double vinyl a quite spectacular RSD release; and one that has already amassed a cult following via his fan base, and yet is easily accessible to all jazz aficionado’s and lovers of just great music, in truth!

Here on this wondrous live recording from Montreux, Miles Davis’ playing is in a zone all of its own, trust me! Absolutely burning with a passion he rarely surpassed, his solos are marked by extended length, great endurance, and confidence in all ranges of his horn.

Unless, for some strange reason, you absolutely cannot stand electric instrumentation and (in some ways, within some layered textures) contemporary pop culture music influencing a jazz-rooted perspective, Miles Davis – What It Is: Montreal 7/7/83 is a genuine must have!

We next look into Pearl Jam – Live On Two Legs (2LP on Translucent Vinyl).

Originally released in 1998, Live On Two Legs documents the band’s US Summer tour that year in support of the Yield album. This new RSD edition features 16 tracks and 2LP gatefold packaging.

Side A:
1. Corduroy
2. Given To Fly
3. Hail, Hail
4. Daughter

Side B:
1. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
2. Untitled
3. MFC
4. Go
5. Red Mosquito

Side C:
1. Even Flow
2. Off He Goes
3. Nothingman
4. Do The Evolution

Side D:
1. Better Man
2. Black
3. Fuckin’ Up

Not long after Ten unexpectedly topped the charts, Pearl Jam became notorious for their intense live performances. Even more notable than the group’s unbridled energy was their willingness to stretch out their songs or throw in covers, reminding jaded audiences that rock concerts could be electric and energetic.

Their Seattle peers were equally (sometimes more) compelling, but Pearl Jam skillfully made arena rock feel as intimate as a punk club show - something that no other band of their time could do. Instead of building this reputation throughout the course of the ’90s, the quintet let it fade away as they became embroiled in a vicious battle with Ticketmaster that ultimately proved unfruitful.

Not only did the court cases tie up several years of touring, they also refused to play any venue with contracts with Ticketmaster once it was finished - which meant they played off-market venues that were difficult to reach, thereby decreasing their potential audience substantially.

Once 1998’s Yield didn’t move as much as anyone expected, the band released Live on Two Legs a few short months later. It was culled from Yield’s supporting tour, and the difference is substantial - Pearl Jam still sounds good, but they lack the wild energy that distinguished their early years.

Professionalism has its good points, however, and it’s true that Live on Two Legs is eminently listenable, thanks in no small part to a fine track selection illustrating that the best moments of No Code and Yield rank with Ten, Vs., and Vitalogy.

That said and for all the good points - the tight interaction, the occasional nifty solo, Eddie Vedder’s powerful performance - the album never quite catches fire. Instead, Live on Two Legs is a souvenir, a thank you to fans who have stood by throughout the years, and on those terms, it’s very successful.

And then we get Prince – The Gold Experience (2LP on Translucent Gold Vinyl).

The Gold Experience was the first full-length Prince album to be credited to his unpronounceable symbol and was released at the most public, heated stage of his battle with the major label industrial complex. With the word “SLAVE” written on one cheek, Prince shined on the opulent ballads “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and “Gold” and the defiant single “Eye Hate U” while the album earned widespread critical acclaim.

The Record Store Day re-release of The Gold Experience is an homage to the rare US-only promo version of the album that was released in 1995. The two-LP set is pressed onto translucent gold vinyl with a bonus suite of “Eye Hate U” remixes on Side D.

Side A:
1. P Control
2. NPG Operator #1
3. Endorphinmachine
4. Shhh
5. We March

Side B:
1. NPG Operator #2
2. The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
3. Dolphin
4. NPG Operator #3
5. Now
6. NPG Operator #4
7. 319

Side C:
1. NPG Operator #5
2. Shy
3. Billy Jack Bitch
4. Eye Hate U
5. NPG Operator #6
6. Gold

Side D:
1. Eye Hate U (Extended Remix)
2. Eye Hate U (Album Remix)
3. Eye Hate U (Quiet Night Mix)
4. Eye Hate U (Single Version With Guitar Solo)
5. Eye Hate U (Single Version Without Guitar Solo)

When an artist is as prolific as Prince was, it is easy to have an album or two that gets lost in the shuffle. For me, this album is The Gold Experience released in 1995 at the height of Prince’s battle with and separation from Warner Brother Records over the rights to his master recordings and what he saw as an unfairly binding contract.

Having killed off his Princely identity with 1994’s Come release, The Gold Experience was the first album released under his O(+> moniker. With most of the songs that would wind up on the album recorded during the same sessions as Come. The long gestational period between recording and release saw the album wind its way through a multitude of configurations before landing on the set of songs that would make up the final track listing.

And as I place the needle on this very special RSD 2LP translucent gold vinyl of The Gold Experience, once more I’m reminded that there are gems aplenty hidden within its grooves. For this was The Artist reasserting himself as a pop/funk force to be reckoned with, hoping to reclaim the critical and commercial success that had waned a little over his past few releases.

If this was a rebirth, the launch of O(+> had The Artist well and truly reinvigorated. And for those wondering if a new identity would mean an abandonment of all things Prince, there was enough purple carryover to keep them entertained.

From opener “P Control” with its grinding beats and salacious salute to sisters in sexual assuredness to the raucous “Endorphinmachine” which purrs with its mix of funk and rock, The Gold Experience is packed with the edgier, dare we say dirtier, side of The Artist.

Songs like “319” and “Billy Jack Bitch” revisit elements of Dirty Mind (1980) and 1999 (1982), but present them in a new and interesting light. “Billy Jack Bitch” in particular is the kind of synth led funk jam that he built his career on, and proves to any doubters that he still had it, and “319” has enough X-rated commentary to make Darling Nikki blush.

Preannounced as the party jam dance track of the album, “Now” packs a funky vibe into a head bobbing groove. Reflecting more of the sample led music of the era, the song is filled with little hooks rather than melody, the guitar line, the horns, the break down all mixed in this musical brew and boiled to perfection.

When it all comes together, it works so well. But there are also a few misses. For all its well-intentioned social motivation, “We March” fails to be the political mover it’s envisioned as and comes off as a lite version of his more focused social commentary.

Similarly, “Dolphin” with its refashioned britpop sound and cross panning guitar is immediately catchy, but falls just short of taking us somewhere new. Whilst certainly not filler, it wasn’t the hoped-for killer either. In fact, the most intriguing part of the song is the last 40 seconds with the warped carousel feel and off beats.

In the album’s quieter moments, there’s a confidence that comes through. The stripped back “Shy” is beautifully filled with haunting acoustic arrangements and solace, while the heartbreak in “Eye Hate You” (of which there are no less than five new remixes now included) is palpable as a bittersweet love song in the grandest tradition of “done me wrong” songs (and the fact his range pulsated from falsetto to soprano to tenor was, and still is, everything!)

And album closer “Gold” is filled with uplift and hope despite the trials and tribulations it documents. It’s The Artist’s very own “Purple Rain” moment, if you will, with rousing chorus, powerful arrangement, soaring guitar solo and epic seven-plus-minute run time. It’s also the track that fulfills a promise as it welcomes us to The Dawn.

And finally, as promised, here is the only other RSD Sony Legacy Recording release for you to delve into from the June 18th, 2022 schedule:

Various Artists, Sweet Relief: A Benefit For Victoria Williams (2LP - Previously Unreleased On Vinyl)

In 1992, Victoria Williams was a talented singer-songwriter with a big problem: diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as she started gaining widespread exposure, she had no health insurance to cover her treatment costs.

Within a year, an army of fans and friends, including Pearl Jam, Soul Asylum, Lou Reed, The Jayhawks and Giant Sand, recorded favorites from her songbook for Sweet Relief; that same year, the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund was established to offer funds for any musician in need of care.

For the first time, this landmark album is available on vinyl to once again remind music lovers of the need for fair, affordable medical treatment for everyone.

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