Craft Recordings announces its exclusive line-up of titles for Record Store Day 2023, taking place on Saturday, April 22, at participating independent retailers. From long-out-of-print rarities and cult classics to psychedelic treats and beloved soundtracks, these seven LPs will thrill music fans of all ages. Among this year’s offerings is an exclusive picture disc that celebrates the 40th-anniversary of the Violent Femmes and their 1983 self-titled debut (which features such enduring hits as “Blister in the Sun” and “Gone Daddy Gone”), plus the first vinyl reissue of Jonathan Richman’s acclaimed 1990 LP, Jonathan Goes Country. Also available, via our sister label Varése Sarabande, is an expanded and collectible motion picture soundtrack for 2014’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, featuring music by John Powell and Sigur Rós’ Jónsi.
Other highlights include the first-ever American mono reissue of Chet Baker’s 1959 instrumental classic, Chet, as well as Flash & The Dynamics’ The New York Sound—a long-out-of-print 1971 Latin psych-funk rarity. Fans of Travis, meanwhile, will enjoy The Invisible Band (Live), which finds the Scottish band celebrating the 20th anniversary of their bestselling album with a hometown concert. Rounding out the list is the latest installment of the sought-after Jazz Dispensary series, Hotel Jolie Dame, which transports listeners to a fabulous party through psychedelic rarities and unexpected cuts from Dizzy Gillespie, Dorothy Ashby, Cal Tjader, and more.
Violent Femmes — Violent Femmes (1-LP; 40th Anniversary Picture Disc)
Formed in the early ’80s by Gordon Gano (vocals, guitar), Brian Ritchie (bass), and Victor DeLorenzo (percussion), Milwaukee’s Violent Femmes gained buzz in 1981, after an impromptu opening set for The Pretenders. Before long, they were playing underground clubs across the country, drawing praise from critics and catching the attention of Slash Records (home to The Germs, X, and The Blasters), where they released their self-titled debut.
Teeming with teenage angst, punk sensibilities, and the trio’s own special brand of jittery folk-rock, Violent Femmes became a cult favorite. While the album featured such enduring Gen X anthems as “Blister in the Sun,” “Please Do Not Go,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” and the urgent “Add It Up,” it failed to chart, initially. Over the years, however, sales remained steady and by 1991, nearly a decade after its release, the album finally broke into the Billboard 200 and earned a Platinum certification. Thanks to song placements in My So-Called Life, Reality Bites, and Grosse Pointe Blank, that momentum only continued.
Now, as the band commemorates four decades together, Violent Femmes and its influential songs still remain in the zeitgeist. In 2014, Popmatters called the folk-punk pioneers “one of the most important rock bands of the 1980s, if not the past quarter-century,” while Pitchfork called the trio “the greatest mixtape band of its era.” Limited to 6,000 copies worldwide, this collectible pressing kicks off the band’s 40th-anniversary celebrations and marks the very first Violent Femmes picture disc – mimicking the classic cover image on Side A and the jacket’s reverse side on Side B.
Stay tuned for special announcements throughout the year as the Violent Femmes celebrate their 40th anniversary.
Violent Femmes Tracklist:
- Blister in the Sun
- Kiss Off
- Please Do Not Go
- Add It Up
- Prove My Love
- To The Kill
- Gone Daddy Gone
- Good Feeling
Chet Baker – Chet (1-LP; Mono, 180-Gram Black Vinyl)
Few musicians have embodied the romantic, and ultimately tragic, jazz figure as totally as Chet Baker (1929–88). With his hauntingly gorgeous trumpet stylings and innovative approach to jazz vocals, the fast-living “Prince of Cool” was instrumental in defining the sound of West Coast jazz. Born in Oklahoma and raised in Los Angeles, Baker began his career in the early ’50s, cutting his chops alongside such established artists as Stan Getz, Charlie Parker, and Gerry Mulligan. By the end of the decade, when he signed with the New York-based Riverside Records, Baker was a bonafide jazz star, while Hollywood was captivated by his chiseled looks.
His third album for Riverside, 1959’s Chet, was an outlier in Baker’s catalog. Up to this point, the musician generally incorporated vocals into his recordings, using his voice as an instrument – whether singing or scatting. Instead, Chet was entirely instrumental and found the horn player exploring a selection of classic ballads. Recorded at New York’s Reeves Sound Studios in December 1958 and January 1959, the introspective set features an all-star line-up of Bill Evans (piano), Kenny Burrell (guitar), Herbie Mann (flute), and Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone), plus drummers Connie Kay and Philly Joe Jones. Baker’s lyrical work on the trumpet is on display throughout the album, as he interprets standards like Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” Rodgers & Hart’s “It Never Entered My Mind,” and Kurt Weill’s “September Song.”
This special edition of Chet marks the first mono version of the album to be released in the US since 1959 and features AAA remastering with lacquers cut from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Limited to 10,000 copies worldwide, the album is pressed at RTI and presented on classic, 180-gram black vinyl.
- Alone Together
- How High The Moon
- It Never Entered My Mind
- ’Tis Autumn
- If You Could See Me Now
- September Song
- You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
- Time On My Hands
- You And The Night And The Music
Various Artists — Jazz Dispensary: Hotel Jolie Dame (1-LP; Psych-Sunset Orange Marble Vinyl)
The latest edition in the sought-after Jazz Dispensary series, Hotel Jolie Dame, transports listeners back to the summer of 1978, where a party awaits deep in the heart of the French Riviera at Hotel Jolie Dame. This fantastical resort welcomes cosmic groovers of all forms to check in for a day (or a week) of love, abandonment, and sunshine, while a psychedelic soundtrack – featuring unexpected cuts from Dizzy Gillespie, The Blackbyrds, Dorothy Ashby, and more – keeps the vibe elevated all night long. Limited to 5,000 copies worldwide and pressed on Psych-Sunset Orange Marble vinyl, Hotel Jolie Dame features original jacket art by the Auckland-based graphic artist, Callum Rooney, whose psychedelic designs have been used by the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Mastodon, and A Place to Bury Strangers, among many others.
Hotel Jolie Dame opens with “A Beginning Dream,” an instrumental slice of 1969 sunshine pop, courtesy of Triste Janero. The magic continues with Uruguayan/American fusion group, Opa, and their far-out 1976 suite, “Tombo / La Escuela / Tombo / The Last Goodbye.” As the sun sets and the moon begins to rise, guests are greeted with “Ozone Madness,” a supremely funky number from Dizzy Gillespie and Lalo Schifrin’s 1977 collab, Free Ride. The Blackbyrds’ ultra-smooth “Summer Love,” off their 1974 self-titled debut, closes out Side A.
Opening Side B is a cinematic cover of James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” recorded in 1973 by vibraphonist Cal Tjader. The night progresses with Flora Punim’s otherworldly 1973 song, “Light as a Feather,” followed by the whimsical “In the Heart of a Rose,” off 1968’s The Amazing New Electronic Pop Sound of Jean Jacques-Perrey. As the sun rises, harpist Dorothy Ashby’s 1958 rendition of “There’s a Small Hotel” echoes through the hallways, leaving one to wonder if it was all a dream. The only way to find out is to flip the record over again… and drop the needle back in the groove.
Jazz Dispensary: Hotel Jolie Dame Tracklist:
1. Triste Janero: A Beginning Dream
2. Opa: Tombo / La Escuela / Tombo / The Last Goodbye
3. Dizzy Gillespie: Ozone Madness
4. The Blackbyrds: Summer Love
1. Cal Tjader: Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
2. Flora Purim: Light As A Feather
3. Jean-Jacques Perrey: In The Heart Of A Rose
4. Dorothy Ashby: There’s A Small Hotel
Travis – The Invisible Band (Live) (2-LP; Clear Vinyl)
Formed in the ’90s at Glasgow School of Art, Scottish quartet Travis released their debut album, Good Feeling, in 1997. In 1999, with the success of their sophomore album, The Man Who, and its breakout hit, “Why Does It Always Rain on Me?,” Travis ushered in a new generation of UK alt-rockers.
In the summer of 2001, Travis returned with their highly anticipated follow-up, The Invisible Band, hailed by NME as “timeless, simply expressed, inescapably real feelings…one of the finest voices in British pop.” Produced by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Paul McCartney, U2), the broadly acclaimed album was brimming with introspective earworms, including the hit singles “Sing,” “Side,” and “Flowers in the Window.” One of Britain’s best-selling albums of the decade, The Invisible Band spent four weeks at No.1 in the UK, remained on the Billboard 200 for seven weeks, and earned the band a BRIT Award for British Group of the year.
But that isn’t the end of the story for the band, who today are still releasing studio albums and playing sold-out shows. In 2022, Travis embarked on a 20th-anniversary tour, celebrating the enduring appeal of The Invisible Band. In May, they played a hometown concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall—one which prompted The Scotsman to declare, “Travis still inhabit [the album’s] songs with conviction,” adding that the 21-year-old LP “sounds oddly fresh. ...The world-weariness aching through the bones of their big anthemic hits…sounds perfectly suited to a bunch of musicians in their forties who have been at this for decades—at it together, undivided after all this time, which is some achievement.”
For fans who weren’t able to attend the show, The Invisible Band (Live) captures that special evening, as the band performs every song on the album to a packed house of fans. Only available on RSD Exclusive vinyl and digital formats. Limited to 5,000 copies worldwide and pressed on clear wax, this 2-LP release marks the only physical edition of The Invisible Band (Live). As a special bonus, the vinyl package includes exclusive unseen tour photography from Ryan Johnston.
The Invisible Band (Live) Tracklist:
2. Dear Diary
1. Pipe Dreams
2. Flowers In The Window
3. The Cage
2. Follow The Light
3. Last Train
3. The Humpty Dumpty Love Song
Jonathan Richman – Jonathan Goes Country (1-LP; Red Cowboy Boot Vinyl)
For more than 40 years, singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman has garnered accolades and a cult-like following, thanks to his authentic storytelling, candid observations on life, and spirited lo-fi recordings. Emerging in the early ’70s as the quirky frontman of the Boston proto-punk band, the Modern Lovers, Richman led several iterations of the group, all while moving farther away from the harder, electric sounds of his earlier days. By the late ’80s, he was primarily a solo act.
1990’s Jonathan Goes Country found Richman venturing into new territory, as he interpreted classic country hits, wrote Western-inspired originals, and gave some of his older tunes a country makeover (including “The Neighbors, “Corner Store,” and “You’re the One for Me”). Recording the album in Springfield, MO, Richman recruited roots rockers The Skeletons to serve as his backing band. Together, they covered classics like “[A] Satisfied Mind” (made famous by Porter Wagoner) and Marty Robbins’ “Man Walks Among Us.” They also offered up instrumental renditions of Tammy Wynette’s hit, “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad” and Carole King/Gerry Goffin’s “I Can’t Stay Mad at You” (a Skeeter Davis classic). New material by Richman included “Rodeo Wind,” “Reno,” and the offbeat opener, “Since She Started to Ride,” featuring a cameo by The Buckaroos’ Tom Brumley on steel guitar.
Returning to vinyl for the first time since its release, Jonathan Goes Country features AAA remastering, with lacquers cut from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Limited to 5,000 copies worldwide, this special edition also boasts Red Cowboy Boots-colored vinyl (a nod to the album’s jacket design).
Jonathan Goes Country Tracklist:
- Since She Started to Ride
- You’re the One for Me
- Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad
- I Must Be King
- You’re Crazy for Taking the Bus
- Rodeo Wind
- Corner Store
- The Neighbors
- Man Walks Among Us
- I Can’t Stay Mad at You
- Satisfied Mind
Flash & The Dynamics – The New York Sound (1-LP; 180-Gram Purple Vinyl)
Much has been documented about the pioneering music that came out of the United States in the ’60s and ’70s, amidst the social and political strife of the era. But the scene wasn’t just about the Summer of Love or Woodstock. There was another movement happening in the Latin neighborhoods of New York City, as cultural barriers loosened. Beginning in the mid-60s, musicians were filling the clubs with an irresistible combination of soul, R&B, and Afro-Cuban dance rhythms. By the turn of the decade, the style—known as “boogaloo”—had evolved, often integrating socially conscious lyricism (in both English and Spanish), rock and funk influences, and a heavy dose of psychedelia.
That sound is captured in Flash & The Dynamics’ The New York Sound—a 1971 rarity from the Fania Records vaults. The album—which marks the band’s sole LP—blends traditional Latin melodies with distorted guitars, soulful psychedelia, and plenty of funky rhythms. Listeners will be transported to another era with jams like “Everybody’s Got Soul,” “Guajira Sicodélica,” and the trippy instrumental, “Electric Latin Soul.”
Returning to vinyl for the first time in decades, The New York Sound features AAA remastering, with lacquers cut from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Limited to 3,500 units worldwide, this special edition has been pressed on 180-gram purple vinyl at RTI for an optimal listening experience.
The New York Sound Tracklist:
- Guajira Sicodélica
- Electric Latin Soul
- Yo Te Quiero
- El Son de la Loma
- Everybody’s Got Soul
- Santa Isabel de las Lajas
John Powell – How to Train Your Dragon 2: Music from the Motion Picture (2-LP; Red Multi-Color Splatter Vinyl)
In 2010, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon arrived in theaters, launching one of the decade’s most popular animated franchises. The trilogy, based on the book by Cressida Cowell, begins in a fictional Viking town, which is prone to dragon attacks. Hiccup, a young dragon-slayer-in-training, wounds a rare Night Fury dragon. Instead of killing the creature, he befriends it, helping to heal dragon-human relations along the way. The story continued in 2014’s highly acclaimed sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2. Voiced by an all-star cast—including Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, and Kristen Wiig, plus Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou, and Kit Harington—the film marked the largest global box office success of the $1.65 billion grossing trilogy.
Bringing the story to life is the music of John Powell, who established the archetype for modern animation scoring through his work on Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, the Rio franchise, and many others. The composer, who earned an Academy Award® nomination for the first Dragon film, created a world that is gloriously symphonic, enhanced with Irish instrumentation. The score is deep in classical tradition, while conveying emotion and nuance for modern audiences, particularly around the joy of flight. The soundtrack also features the talents of Icelandic singer Jónsi (Sigur Rós), who returned to collaborate with Powell. New to the second film is the Scottish bagpipe group, Red Hot Chili Pipers.
Presented by Varèse Sarabande across two LPs in a gatefold jacket, this collectible edition of How to Train Your Dragon 2 is pressed on red multi-color splatter vinyl and follows RSD 2021’s green multi-color splatter pressing of the first How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack. In addition to extensive liner notes featuring interviews with composer John Powell and director Dean DuBois, this exclusive version features the film’s theme song, “Where No One Goes” (performed by Jónsi). Limited to 3,500 copies worldwide.
How to Train Your Dragon 2: Music from the Motion Picture Tracklist:
- Dragon Racing
- Together We Map the World
- Hiccup’s the Chief / Drago’s Coming
- Tooothless Lost
- Should I Know You?
- Valka’s Dragon Sanctuary
- Losing Mom / Meet the Good Alpha
- Meet Drago
- Stoick Finds Beauty
- Flying with Mother
- For the Dancing and the Dreaming
- Battle of the Bewilderbeast
- Hiccup Confronts Drago
- Stoick Saves Hiccup
- Stoick’s Ship
- Alpha Comes to Berk
- Toothless Found
- Two New Alphas
- Where No One Goes
- Into a Fantasy