Black [VINYL] Friday

HERC will not be out among the bargain frenzied shoppers today.  No, his crippling fear of crowds and his lack of fundage prohibit that but if he could, he'd go hang at one of the last two record stores here in his town as they celebrate Black Friday the Record Store Day way.  In particular, he'd be out to acquire these three vinyl beauties:


Seeing as he's still in giving thanks mode, HERC would like to give thanks and single out the following CD reissue labels for allowing him to snag some of his favorite old music on spanking new CDs:

First up is Rock Candy, without whom HERC wouldn't be rocking out to Billy Thorpe's East Of Eden's Gate, originally released in 1982.  Reissued in July 2013 as a 24 bit remastered version featuring a 12 page booklet with an all new essay written expressly for this release, which Rock Candy calls a Collector's Edition Remastered & Reloaded, the CD has provided hours of headphone nirvana for HERC over the last few months.   Although this isn't the only Rock Candy disc he acquired this year, there are at least a dozen more he wouldn't mind getting his mitts upon: The Babys, Touch, Aldo Nova, Eddie Money, John Waite, La Roux, Orion The Hunter, Quiet Riot, Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon, Spys and Zebra.  

Wounded Bird provided HERC with some sweet AOR Westcoast sounds via a Larsen/Feiten Band 2fer disc that he forgot he had in his collection.  The 2005 release marked the first appearance on compact disc for both the group's self-titled 1980 album and their 1982 Full Moon album. Although HERC lost a dollar bet with the soft rock kid© over this disc, it remains a newly re-discovered favorite - a critical part of HERC's reawakening to the AOR Westcoast sound this year. Wounded Bird has a few more discs in their catalog that HERC is keeping his eyes peeled for on the secondary market.

Cherry Red Records has been around since 1977.  Today, they are the corporate umbrella for more than three dozen labels, each specializing in a different genre or era of music, both new and old.  The two discs HERC listened to a lot this year from the Cherry Red family were actually issued on their Lemon subsidiary:
"Lemon Recordings is home to the best in classic rock and new wave albums from the 70s to the present - featuring rare archive classics, quality re-issues and previously unavailable albums and DVDs from established bands and artists! Established in 2003, Lemon Recordings goes from strength to strength, boasting some of the biggest names in Rock history."
The two discs were the re-issues of New Musik's three albums: From A to B [1980], Anywhere [1981] and Warp [1982].  The first two albums were issued as part of a single 2 disc set with three bonus tracks for each album included while Warp has four bonus tracks.  There are at least 100 other discs HERC could easily go for in the entire Cherry Red Records catalog.

Demon Music Group is made up of sixteen labels, each with a genre focus.  Their Harmless label has been the most popular label here at The Hideaway this year, thanks to the spotlight it has shone upon various dance music labels and genres.
"For over 10 years now Harmless Records has released countless compilations ranging from soul, funk and breaks through to the more modern sounds of drum & bass, dubstep and house. Harmless continues to work with some of the finest DJ’s and producers the UK, Europe and the world has to offer for it’s broad range of compilations."
In particular, HERC has acquired several volumes of both the Disco Discharge and Backbeats series as well as three box sets from Philadelphia International Records and the 16 disc Trax Records box, from "the most important House music label of all time."  All of these were issued under the Harmless banner.  There are dozens more discs HERC would like to someday just listen to among the Harmless catalog as well as the other Demon labels such as Edsel, Tabu and Music Club Deluxe.

After years of waiting, HERC finally scored Nona Hendryx's fabulous 1983 Nona CD courtesy of the fine folks at Funky Town Grooves, who specialize in reissuing R&B/Soul/Funk albums from the Sony/CBS/BMG vaults. HERC has a few other Funky Town Grooves discs, including an epic double disc version of André Cymone's AC album, originally released in 1985.  (FTG also piled a heaping helping of seven bonus tracks onto the original eight song Nona album.) They put out small batches of CDs and they often sell out fast but sometimes, if we're lucky, discs show up with clearance markdowns.  Sometimes they even do re-pressings or find some overstock lurking in a warehouse. HERC has his eye on half a dozen out-of-print titles. Warning!: The folks at FTG will send you multiple daily email blasts - you will know more about their release schedule and product levels than you ever thought possible.


Last but not least, thanks to the people behind Renaissance Records (now known as R.D.E.G.- Renaissance Digital Entertainment Group) for bringing HERC a few bare bones but decent sounding CD reissues of previous vinyl-only or hard to find on CD albums.  HERC's Renaissance haul this year included discs from Spider, Planet P Project and the Heard It On The Radio series.  Like Wounded Bird, there are no bonus tracks nor CD booklets for most discs - it's all about the music.  Their website is a disaster so HERC ended up getting most of the discs through Amazon.  He's currently watching the prices on a couple of R.D.E.G. discs, waiting for them to fall into his price range.

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