The 11 best Record Store Day 2024 releases – Gorillaz, Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth and more

Record Store Day album compilation banner
(Image credit: Record Store Day)

Record Store Day has returned! The nationwide event to raise interest and awareness of all things vinyl is back and bigger than ever, with a frankly bulging list of special releases and limited edition records to keep vinyl lovers happy and entice newcomers into the exciting, if sometimes wallet-draining, world of record collecting. Record Store Day 2024 arrives on Saturday 20th April, and we couldn't be more excited. 

We've also been running up to RSD 2024 with our Vinyl Week celebrations, honouring all that's great and good in the world of records and turntables as we toast the continuing allure of one of analogue music's most cherished formats.

To make the occasion (or occasions), we've selected a few choice cuts and exclusives set to be arriving as part of the event. The full list of exclusive RSD releases is pretty extensive, so we've curated the releases we think will be worth sniffing out as you peruse your local record shop on the hunt for something special. 

Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)

Black Sabbath Paranoid album cover

(Image credit: Black Sabbath, Vertigo)

Forget Sergeant Pepper's or Led Zeppelin II, there are some very serious rock acolytes and music journos who would swear blind that Black Sabbath's Paranoid is the most important and influential rock album ever conceived, paving the way for the genre to get hard, heavy and experimental all in equal measure.

If you adore the sludge and heft of grunge, the forward-thinking experimentation of prog metal or practically any alternative rock group since the '70s, chances are they can trace their lineage back to the groundwork laid by Ozzy, Iommi and co. Paranoid is only Sabbath's second studio release, yet it grabs you by the throat and never lets go for a moment thanks to its beautifully realised collection of heavy metal classics. 

Gorillaz – Cracker Island (2023)

Gorillaz Cracker Island album cover

(Image credit: Gorillaz, Parlophone / Warner)

Even more than 20 years since their inception, Gorillaz continue to have a startling impact on the British music scene as an ever-evolving and usually pretty unpredictable band.

Cracker Island feels like an album of consolidation rather than true experimentation. That's no bad thing, though, with Albarn's virtual outfit feeling as vibrant and fine-tuned as ever thanks to a polished, eclectic mix of tracks featuring the likes of Bad Bunny, Tame Impala, Steve Nicks and Beck, while the opening title track will give your speakers a lower body workout thanks to Thundercat's agile bass virtuosity. Gorillaz have very much still got it.  

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977)

Fleetwood Mac Rumours album cover art

(Image credit: Fleetwood Mac, Warner Bros.)

We just couldn't leave it out. Even after all this time, Rumours remains a go-to repository of some of our favourite test tracks, benefiting from sparkling production and some of the catchiest, most polished songwriting you'll find from the rock genre. Anyone who says they don't like Rumours is either deranged, obstinate or just plain dishonest. 

Practically every tune, from Go Your Own Way to Don't Stop, is flirting with or has attained iconic status, and the album's continued adoration by new generations of listeners in this digital age reflects its enduring quality and accessibility for young and old alike. If you don't have a vinyl version in your collection, it's high time you filled such a gaping chasm with a record that's become as indispensable as Astral Weeks or Nevermind. 

Ludovico Einaudi – Live At The Royal Albert Hall (2010)

Ludovico Einaudi Live At The Albert Hall cover art

(Image credit: Sonic Youth, Starbucks Entertainment)

Much like Fleetwood Mac above (although for entirely different reasons), the melancholic elegance of Ludovico Einaudi's work has made him and his work firm favourites within the walls of our testing rooms.

The piano is a seriously tough instrument to replicate, making it ideal test fodder, and few composers have managed to get such levels of emotional expression from the instrument as the Italian master. This live recording from the Albert Hall in 2010, meanwhile, adds new layers of complexity and resonance that are usually reserved for live recordings.

Sonic Youth – Hits Are for Squares (2008)

Sonic Youth, Hits Are For Squares

(Image credit: Sonic Youth, Starbucks Entertainment)

Looking for the ideal entry point to the exciting world of New York noise-rockers Sonic Youth? Then look no further than Hits Are For Squares, the pleasingly ironically-titled first greatest hits compilation from the US group which was curated, not exclusively by the band themselves, but selected by fellow musicians and artists, including Beck, The Flaming Lips and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, among others.

Pearl Jam – Dark Matter (2024)

Pearl Jam Dark Matter album cover

(Image credit: Pearl Jam, Monkeywrench / Republic)

Yes, they're still going strong after all this time. Dark Matter will be the twelfth studio album put out by grunge pioneers Pearl Jam, with a special edition dropping to coincide rather nicely with Record Store Day – the album officially comes out on the 19th, the day before the official RSD date. 

If you just can't wait until then, the new record's title track can be streamed live on platforms including Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music. It's a rather pleasing return to the group's hard, grungey roots that's bound to appease long-term followers, and makes us pretty keen to see what the rest of the album holds in store.

Blur – Parklife (1994)

Blur Parklife album cover

(Image credit: Blur, Food)

Blur's Parklife still stands up as not only one of the definitive Britpop albums of the '90s, but as one of the most iconic and beloved British records of all time. Bold, braggadocio but commendably playful and poppy, there's still an enduring accessibility to the record as it celebrates its thirtieth (!) anniversary on almost exactly the same date as Record Store 2024.  

The exclusive 30th Anniversary Zoetrope edition features a rather eye-catching multi-coloured picture disc, complete with seemingly infinite numbers of greyhounds running in concentric circles around the record's outer edges. Maybe it's a metaphor for life or something?

South Park – The 25th Anniversary Concert (2022)

South Park 25th Anniversary Concert special edition vinyl cover

(Image credit: Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Mercury Studios)

What better way to celebrate one of the longest-running and most successful and acclaimed animated shows of all time than with a live rundown of some of the series' most iconic musical numbers, recorded live at the Red Rocks amphitheatre near Morrison, Colorado? 

Most of the track titles aren't repeatable here for obvious reasons, but if you're a lover of Matt Stone and Trey Parker's delightfully puerile satirical sensibilities, head on down to an independent record store and have yourself a time. Plus, that special "Towelie" edition front cover is a psychedelic masterpiece.

The Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones (1964)

The Rolling Stones debut album cover

(Image credit: The Rolling Stones, Decca)

The Stones' eponymous debut doesn't quite see the legendary group hit the ground running at full pace, but it served as a pretty firm indication of what would follow when the band hit their stride in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the likes of Let It Bleed, Exile On Main St. and Sticky Fingers.   

There's still a lot to love about the 1964 R&B and blues-oriented debut, even if most of the pleasure comes from hearing the band performing versions of established standards like Chuck Berry's Carol and Bobby Troup's Route 66.

Suede - Autofiction Live (2024)

Suede Autofiction RSD vinyl record sleeve

(Image credit: Suede, Resident)

Despite being the ninth album to come from legendary alt-rockers Seude, Autofiction speaks of a creative flair that has remained undimmed for the best part of 30 years. Released to critical acclaim, the original studio album finely trod the line between progression and nostalgia, with this year's exclusive release bringing the record's irrepressible qualities to the live arena.      

If you love '90s and '90s-adjacent nostalgia, make sure also to check out a limited edition vinyl release of Supergrass's Kiss of Life commemorating the 20th anniversary of one of the band's most underrated tracks. 

Elton John - Caribou (1974)

Elton John Caribou album cover

(Image credit: MCA/DJM, Elton John)

It's incredible to think that the release of Caribou in 1974 marked Elton John's eighth full-length studio album release, with his Greatest Hits compilation released later in the same year. 

Ok, so it isn't Elton's finest outing of all time, but it's hardly his worst, with top tunes like The Bitch Is Back and Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me helping to add some quality spark to an album that showcases enough of the great man's flair for snarky, sassy showmanship. A great collector's item for Elton devotees.    


Record Store Day 2024: dates, guides, and the full list of releases

I would love to have a turntable system at home, but there are two things stopping me

14 of the best vinyl documentaries to buy, rent or watch for free

10 tips for buying second-hand vinyl

Check out our five-star Vertere Dark Sabre review

Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.