As is almost always the case, both Prince and the Replacements will have limited-edition LPs hit the shelves on Record Store Day 2022, the master list for which arrived Wednesday.
However, two other names on the list from Minnesota come as a bigger surprise for the April 23 bonanza at independent record stores: a long-lost LP by Bob Stinson’s last band the Bleeding Hearts, and a first-ever vinyl edition of supergroup Golden Smog’s debut EP.
“Been a long time coming!” Stinson’s Bleeding Hearts bandmate Mike Leonard said Wednesday, stealing the name of an album by his other band, the Magnolias: “The title ‘Better Late Than Never’ would have fit here.’
Actually titled “Riches to Rags,” the 13-track Bleeding Hearts album was recorded in 1993, seven years after Stinson was fired from the Replacements. He died a year and a half later, so these are his last recordings. They’re being formally released for the first time ever (29 years later!) by enduring New Jersey indie label Bar/None Records with liner notes by Replacements biographer Bob Mehr.
In a tweet Wednesday, Mehr described the Bleeding Hearts’ LP as “13 tracks of Stonesy alt-rocking goodness. A must-have for ‘Mats fans!”
Though it only boasts five tracks – all cover songs — Golden Smog’s 1992 debut EP, “On Golden Smog,” has long been a cult favorite among Twin Cities music lovers. It dates back to when the group was a just-for-fun, drink-ticket-generating side project for the hard-touring members of the Jayhawks, Soul Asylum and Run Westy Run.
Only released on CD prior to this, “On Golden Smog” features songs by the Stones, Thin Lizzy, Three Dog Night (the best of the bunch), Bad Company and hippy-dippy ’70s autoharp band Michaelangelo (surprisingly good, too). The Smog’s semi-rotational lineup at the time did not yet feature future Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy (who will rejoin the band for its pair of long-overdue First Ave gigs in early April), but Soul Asylum singer Dave Pirner did show up for the Bad Company cut. Oh, and one more Replacements connection: Chris Mars did the artwork and played drums on the EP, which is being repackaged with new liner notes by Jayhawks manager/archivist PD Larson.
As for the official Replacements release coming for RSD ’22, Rhino/Warner Records is taking the 1981 7th St. Entry live set featured in the new “Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash” box set and turning into a stand-alone two-LP vinyl collection. This limited-edition version of the recording is titled “Unsuitable for Airplay: The Lost KFAI Concert,” which was its given name among bootleggers for decades. Read our story on the box set for more details on how the original, better audio of the concert was recently unearthed.
Prince’s RSD contribution will be a special gold-vinyl edition of 1995’s “The Gold Experience,” this one modeled after a paper-wrapped promo edition that includes a bonus side of “Eye Hate U” remixes.
The Prince set is on the shorter list of RSD releases that won’t arrive on April 23 but instead is coming for “RSD Drop Day” on June 18. The later date was scheduled to accommodate all the LPs, EPs and singles caught up in the delays of vinyl manufacturing, which we ran a story on last week with local examples of how vinyl has gotten too popular in recent years.