Perhaps no release better encapsules my ambivalent feelings about Record Store Day than reissue of Nick Drakes' U.S. debut album for Record Store Day 2013. Originally released in 1971 when Island first started distributing records in the U.S. through Capitol Records, Nick Drake drew three songs from Five Leaves Left and five from Bryter Layter, which would not be released in the U.S. in their entirety until 1975.
Let me state the obvious: Nick Drake (the album) was always a poor substitute for the first two albums, and any fan of Drake's music needs all three of his studio albums in their collection. Nick Drake was a flawed addition to his catalog in 1971, but it at least introduced the man's music to the U.S. (although it's questionable how many of these actually made their way into record stores in 1971, as almost all copies seem to have cut-out or promo marks on them).
So why do I find myself wanting to purchase this album in 2013 when I already own every song on it and more? Well, for starters, there's the undeniably great artwork featuring Keith Morris' legendary photographs on the exterior and and a gorgeous photo of Nick in a field on the inner gatefold. This is a nice looking product, and it appears Universal has taken great care with the both the packaging and the sound quality (the music was remastered from the original analog tapes by original engineer John Wood at Abbey Road Studios). Further, as interest in Nick Drake's music has grown over the years this discographic curiosity has become something of a collector's item in its own right. You could probably expect to pay between $80 to $120 for an original copy in nice condition.
Do I need this album? No, absolutely not. Do I want it? I hate to admit it but, yeah, kinda I do. It's an ambivalent kind of desire, I'm cognizant on the one hand of how I'm being manipulated by economies of manufactured scarcity on the one hand, on the other hand...well, I just want it damn it!