Ozzy Osbourne, Beach Boys, Syd Barrett figure into 2011 Record Store Day promotions


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The musical treats for pop fans continue to roll out in conjunction with national Record Store Day on April 16, the annual event hosted by a consortium of independent record retailers to recognize merchants who still sell music from brick-and-mortar stores.

Capitol/EMI will put out a 78 rpm vinyl double disc set pairing two Beach Boys’ high watermark recordings, “Good Vibrations” and “Heroes and Villains,” both recorded after the “Pet Sounds” album during sessions for the highly anticipated “SMiLe” album that was eventually shelved. The Record Store Day set will include commercially released versions of both songs on the first disc, and early alternate takes of both on the second.


Capitol/EMI also will release a 180-gram, double-LP audiophile pressing of “An Introduction to Syd Barrett” culling tracks Barrett recorded while he was with Pink Floyd as well as solo recordings he made after departing the group he co-founded. The Barrett LP set, which contains the same selections that were released on CD and digitally last fall, will be sold at participating Record Store Day outlets.

Meanwhile, event organizers announced Tuesday that they have tapped Ozzy Osbourne to be 2011’s Record Store Day Ambassador. He follows in the bootsteps of previous ambassadors Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal in 2009 and Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures member Josh Homme last year.

The Record Store Day website home page has details on all the special releases, and also features an atypically coherent and to-the-point video greeting from the Madman himself. Osbourne’s selection for the honorary post carries with it limited-edition vinyl releases of his “Blizzard of Ozz” and “Diary of a Madman” solo albums.

In addition to the “Good Vibrations/Heroes and Villains” vinyl news, Beach Boys founding member Al Jardine recently told an interviewer that the band’s longtime label would release some version of the “SMiLe” album this year in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the group’s formation.

Others close to the group have confirmed that there have been discussions with label officials about releasing more of the “SMiLe” material than has been previously available. Many of the songs recorded for the album were subsequently released on other Beach Boys collections, but out of whatever context “SMiLe” mastermind Brian Wilson had intended. A sequence of about 30 minutes’ worth of the ‘SMiLe’ sessions was included on the 1993 ‘Good Vibrations’ box set.

Wilson put out his own latter-day version of “SMiLe” in 2004, which he completed, recorded and released, to considerable critical acclaim, 37 years after it was to have come out originally. He walked away from the project in 1967 after suffering a nervous breakdown amid heavy resistance from record company executives and other members of the group to the adventurous direction he was taking.


--Randy Lewis