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The Highest-Rated Record Store Day Releases in 2020

Editor’s note: This list of the highest-rated Record Store Day releases is based on 2020 data. For the most recent ranking, head here.

Every year, Record Store Day rolls around, and every year, collectors are hit with a massive drop of limited-edition albums, unique formats, and classic reissues. Sometimes we get a release we never asked for (although nearly 1,000 Discogs users have this 2016 picture disc of shirtless Justin Bieber). Sometimes we get the good stuff. The following is a list of the highest-rated RSD releases of all time.

The releases are ranked by a weighted rating, which will be different than the average rating you see on the individual release pages. Why? Well, for example, it doesn’t seem fair to rank a record with one 5/5 rating above a record with nine 5/5 ratings and one 4/5 rating. The weighted rating takes into consideration the average rating and the number of ratings submitted by Discogs users. (That being said, we also included the average rating below for comparison.)

What did we learn? Well, everything in the top 10 is a reissue (technically, one of the entries is a box set, but you get the idea). While fascinating, it’s not exactly surprising. If an album is so well-loved and so coveted, it makes sense that labels would pull out all of the stops to craft a top-tier remastered version. Add on the layer of exclusivity that Record Store Day naturally adds to any release, and you have an extremely desirable piece of wax. The quality of each of these records definitely leads to a steeper resale value in the Discogs Marketplace, but nowhere near the numbers we’ve seen on the list of the most expensive RSD releases. In fact, the No. 1 highest-rated RSD release only has a median sale value of about $35 on Discogs.

There are two interesting repeats in here. We almost combined them into the same entry, but we felt it was worth noting since the hardest of the hardcore audiophiles might be interested in how the different versions rate against one another. Those repeats are Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (which is also the No. 14 most-wanted album on Discogs) and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue (No. 16).

The exact same release of Rumours appears twice because one is technically a misprint (on the labels to sides III and IV, according to the Database). The “non-misprint” received the higher rating while the misprint was rated by more people. Does this minor hiccup really cause that much of a difference in the quality of the vinyl? Who knows. Someone who has listened to both versions will have to tell us in the comments.

Kind of Blue tells a slightly more mysterious tale. Both mono records are from the same year and the same label on 180-gram vinyl with no misprints. The difference lies in the country. The European release of Miles Davis’ beloved album received a much higher rating — both weighted and average — than the U.S. release. Does this mean that people who scored the European release were more generous with their ratings or that the vinyl is truly better? Again, only a true audiophile with access to both versions can fill the rest of us in, but if you have a theory, we want to hear it.

And if you’re more interested in the lineup for RSD 2020, head here.

rsd miles davis kind of blue us

10. Miles Davis ‎– Kind Of Blue (2013)

Weighted rating: 4.90197
Average rating: 4.86 out of 166
Label and country: Columbia, Music On Vinyl in the U.S.

rsd fleetwood misprint

9. Fleetwood Mac ‎– Rumours (2011)

Weighted rating: 4.90199
Average rating: 4.86 out of 262
Label and country: Reprise Records in the U.S. (Misprint)

rsd funky stuff

8. Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media ‎– Funky Stuff (2015)

Weighted rating: 4.9106
Average rating: 4.89 out of 72
Label and country: Columbia in Japan

rsd neil young

7. Neil Young ‎– Official Release Series Discs 5-8 (2014)

Weighted rating: 4.913
Average rating: 4.88 out of 98
Label and country: Reprise Records in the U.S.

rsd fleetwood

6. Fleetwood Mac ‎– Rumours (2011)

Weighted rating: 4.917
Average rating: 4.89 out of 85
Label and country: Reprise Records in the U.S.

rsd pharcyde

5. The Pharcyde ‎– Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde (The Singles Collection) (2012)

Weighted rating: 4.918
Average rating: 4.91 out of 66
Label and country: Delicious Vinyl in the U.S.

rsd remarc

4. Remarc ‎– R.I.P. / Ice Cream & Syrup (2017)

Weighted rating: 4.931
Average rating: 4.95 out of 57
Label and country: Suburban Base Records in the UK

rsd arthur verocai

3. Arthur Verocai ‎– Arthur Verocai (2017)

Weighted rating: 4.933
Average rating: 4.94 out of 62
Label and country: Mr. Bongo in the UK

rsd type o bloody kisses

2. Type O Negative ‎– Bloody Kisses (2018)

Weighted rating: 4.936
Average rating: 4.91 out of 167
Label and country: Run Out Groove, Roadrunner Records in the U.S.

rsd miles davis kind of blue europe

1. Miles Davis ‎– Kind Of Blue (2013)

Weighted rating: 4.94
Average rating: 4.93 out of 92
Label and country: Columbia, Music On Vinyl in Europe

Feature image by Giorgio Trovato.

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