The 10 Best And Worst Record Store Day Releases

Another Record Store Day is upon us.  Depending on how empty or full your glass of life is, this reality can represent many things for people.  Some will experience visions of beautiful and gloriously colored vinyl re-issues, washing over consumers like a warm 180 gram blanket of joy.  For others, it’s a horrific shit-show of long lines and crap re-issues, forever wearing down precious resources at pressing plants everywhere.  Most of us probably fall into the middle somewhere, and with the increasing number of RSD-only releases each year, it becomes more of a challenge to keep on top of what’s limited, what’s where, what’s what, and what might sell out in a couple of seconds.  As I peruse through this year’s list, there are the usual “yes!” moments, the occasional “uhhhhhhhh, what?” scenarios, and then the out and out “oh, fuck off!” realizations.  Please keep in mind I have nothing to go on here other than my incredibly skewed opinions. Why is one box set less important than another?  I dunno.  It’s fun to think about, though.  Join with me as I go through the list, won’t you?


Clint Mansell & Kronos QuartetRequiem For A Dream Soundtrack

Record store day clint mansell

Nonesuch typically do a fine job of actually thinking about a release people would want on wax, and for this year’s Record Store Day they give us the incredible “Requiem For A Dream” soundtrack.  Never released before on vinyl, this is one to truly get excited about. 


DisturbedThe Sound Of Silence Picture Disc

  record store day disturbed

For those of you who appreciate ill-advised cover versions of recognizable classics performed by pretentious yokels who yearn to be taken seriously despite producing laughable mood-rock for 12 year olds.  Are those eyes staring into your soul, or is that the glare of record company cynicism mocking your wallets?


The OrbAdventures Beyond The Ultraworld 4xLP Re-Issue

record store day orb adventures beyond the ultraworld vinyl

As much as I dislike the gluttony of re-issues during Record Store Day, this is one I can stand behind as we celebrate this seminal album’s 25th anniversary this year.  Original copies sell for around the same price as this one will cost, but this RSD release will be spread across four slabs of wax instead of two.  Very nice. 


Justin BieberPurpose Picture Disc travesty

record store day Bieber picture disc vinyl

If you’re into picture discs of shirtless goofballs with very little talent and even less muscle-tone, this release is for you!  At the not-so-limited number of 7000 copies, this is sure to become the bane of every record store bargain bin’s existence for years to come.  Besides, Bieber was better when he was Donny Osmond.  


LushOrigami Box Set

record store day Lush origami vinyl box set

Okay, more colored vinyl re-issues, but who can resist this one?  Original copies of these albums sell for hefty prices, and the great music on these discs warrant that you at least check them out if you don’t already own these gems. 


David BowieThe Man Who Sold The World Picture Disc

record store day Bowie man who sold the world picture disc vinyl

In one of the more tasteless money-grabs in recent memory, we are treated to this: a death cash-in picture disc straight from the ghost of Davie Bowie!  Original copies of this are plentiful and cheap, making this a release you’d be better off ignoring.  The Man Who Sold The World, indeed.


The James Brown – Get Down With James Brown: Live At The Apollo Volume IV

Get Down JAMES BROWNLIVE AT THE APOLLO '72 vinyl record store day

Now this is exactly what Record Store Day is designed for (or should be).  A live James Brown Revue from the early 70’s at the Apollo never before released on vinyl, limited to a nail-biting 2400 copies.  Count me in, big time. 


Soul AsylumGrave Dancer’s Union

soulasylum grave dancer's union record store day vinyl

Oh my Christ almighty, you’ve gotta be kidding me with this.  Are America’s dollar bins not filled up enough with the compact disc version of this?  Is there ever a better example of white-washed post-grunge drivel that absolutely begs to not be released on vinyl?  With the possible exception of The Offspring, the answer is NO.


The ResidentsPlease Do Not Steal It!


Originally only a promo sent to radio stations, it’s a bit of a surprise that The Residents would deign to participate with Record Store Day.  Their acquiescence is our gain. 


Fleetwood MacThe Alternate Tusk

record store day Fleetwood Mac the alternate tusk

The cultural hysteria for one of the most milquetoast bands in history continues.  That’s right — I said it!  Coming up for RSD 2017: quadruple brown-colored vinyl box set of Lindsay Buckingham farting in the studio during the “Rumors” recording sessions.  Tip!


Mark Pritchard/Bibio/Clark – A Bad Man Sound/Heath Town/Inf Inf Inf Inf

Record store day Pritchard A Bad Man Sound/Heath Town/Inf Inf Inf Inf

This is a straight up “duh” purchase.  Mark Pritchard and Warp together releasing an unreleased track on old school purple label action?  Shit yeah!


Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969 Archive Box

record store day Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969 Archive Box

Okay, so I love me some Creedence, don’t get me wrong.  But what the fuck is this?  Didn’t they just release all of their albums in a box set last year?  Now we’re being treated to a not-so-limited box set of three albums with accompanying CD’s (of the same album!) polished off by a few random 7” singles?  The Dude would NOT abide this box set.


The ShaggsSweet Maria 7″

record store day The Shaggs Sweet Maria

Unreleased material from The Shaggs in limited quantities?  No brainer. 


MadonnaLike A Virgin & Other Big Hits!

record store day Madonna Like A Virgin & Other Big Hits vinyl

Because there is a concerning shortage of Madonna records on the planet.  No, really, there is.


The CrampsKeystone Club, Palo Alto, 1979

record store day The Cramps Keystone Club Palo Alto, CA 1979

Any time a live Cramps show is released for the world to experience is cause for celebration. 


Various Artists – Blacklist Soundtrack

record store day Various ‎– The Blacklist - Music From The Television Series

Are people looking for this?  Are executives literally throwing darts at their TV and whatever finally punctures their screen is the soundtrack they decide to press that year?  Remember that indie label pressings get delayed because of this kind of stuff.


GoblinSuspiria Soundtrack Re-Issue

record store day Suspiria Soundtrack vinyl

Yeah, it’s a re-issue, but so what.  There can never be enough Goblin or Suspiria in our lives, so why deny the world of such unequivocal genius?


Sex PistolsNever Mind The Bollocks Picture Disc

record store day sex pistols never mind the bollocks picture disc vinyl

One of the finest albums of all time, fleeced once again.  Flogging A Dead Horse? You better believe it.


Piero UmilianiLe Legge Dei Gangsters Soundtrack

record store day Le Legge Dei Gangsters Soundtrack vinyl

The full soundtrack, released on wax for the first time —  oh, HELL yes.  Worth the price just for Klaus Kinski’s scary mug on the cover alone. 


Star WarsThe Force Awakens Picture Disc

record store day Star Wars picture disc

This is the record you see in the bins, yell “oh cool!” while grabbing it, take it home, and then hate yourself for doing so.  If buyer’s remorse had a mug shot, it would be this.

Check out this year’s Record Store Day releases as they’re added to the Discogs database.

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  • Mar 10,2020 at 01:11

    Your reviews were spot-on! Great article

  • […] Finally, the increase in RSD releases has the potential to put a strain on vinyl pressing plants, which may delay or drive up the production cost of other non-RSD releases. Related, can someone please explain to me why NBC’s The Blacklist needs a RSD soundtrack release? […]

  • […] Record Store Day. When I pulled the best selling records of April list up, I assumed I was looking at the wrong query or I had got something horrifically wrong. Nope. RSD struck again this April. Fresh vinyl reissues are. Well needed. Stock injections help offset the demand for vinyl that was pressed during the dark ages of the ’90s to ’00s. I have no qualms with this. Demon Days should be an easy to find staple. Beware, though, of manufactured scarcity. Take note of what happened to comic books in the 1980s and 1990s. Records became valuable because nobody cared. Many copies got played to death and eventually trashed. New records that are being marketed towards collectors as collector items get sealed in a poly-bag forever. They are going to pretty much stay close to mint until the end of time. So-called ‘investment’ purchases never rarely get played too. How’s the demand for a record going to grow if you don’t share it with anyone? Anyways, rant over. Play your records often and with friends present. Be safe, be well and until next time, leave a comment. […]

  • Jan 23,2017 at 15:49

    Ha, I’ve got three of the “worst” ones!!! My teachers were right, I am the worst.

  • Apr 18,2016 at 02:28

    I loved your commentary wether I agreed or not. I love Star Wars, but I can’t bring myself to buy picture discs.

  • Apr 17,2016 at 20:02

    What, no ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ by Carl Douglas?

  • Apr 16,2016 at 08:25

    Ok, we get it–you don’t like picture discs and deluxe box set reissues.

  • Apr 15,2016 at 18:57

    Discogs should ban sellers who have the stuff up for sale the day before the day. :(

    At 7PM 15-04 in EU there are 9 Muse – Reapers 7″ for sale.

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