The Best and Worst Releases of Record Store Day 2017

The Best and Worst Releases of Record Store Day 2017

The Worst Releases of Record Store Day 2017:

5. Run the Jewels
RTJ RSD Record Tote Bag
(Run the Jewels INC)

Okay, we thought it was kind of neat when two-man rap wrecking crew Run the Jewels released a virtual reality headset last Record Store Day. It was a unique reprieve from all of the lame picture discs and throwaway reissues. But they dropped the ball on this decidedly uninspired tote bag (which comes with the band's "first and gun" logo in enamel pin form). Sure, the artwork is kind of neat, but this seems less like an RSD release and more like the kind of thing you'd expect to get as a free giveaway from participating stores. Maybe next year, Run the Jewels should get into the true spirit of Record Store Day and release some actual music instead of giving us another product better suited to a merch table. (Alex Hudson)

4. Cocteau Twins
Milk and Kisses / Four-Calendar Cafe
(UMC/Universal UK)

If you were surprised to see some Cocteau Twins reissues among the RSD offerings this year, so too were the band themselves. Rather amazingly, the band's Simon Raymonde emerged online to say that no one at Universal bothered to let the group know their Milk and Kisses and Four-Calendar Cafe would be getting vinyl reissues for RSD. As such, we're pretty damn sure the band had zero input on these releases, making them feel like a major-label cash grab, to say the least. But hey, if you run across these, maybe pick up an extra copy for the band. We're sure they would appreciate one. (Brock Thiessen)

3. This Pile of Prince Singles
(Warner Bros.)

Even before Prince's passing last year, much was made about the rights to his vast back catalogue and which streaming service would lay claim to hosting it. With the icon's music back in the hands of digital providers around the globe, Warner Bros. wouldn't dare forget about Prince fanatics in search of a tangible product, opting to release five standalone singles and a two-sided 7-inch. The Purple One's "I Wish U Heaven," "Batdance," "Sign 'O' The Times," "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man," "Partyman" and "Pop Life" will each arrive on a single 140-gram slab of black wax, while "Little Red Corvette" and "1999" will arrive on a 7-inch picture disc (which is a reissue of an old '80s picture disc, to boot). There are plenty of other ways to discover the massive catalogue that the Purple One left behind. A blatant cash-grab series of singles shouldn't be it. (Calum Slingerland)

2. Corey Feldman
"Go 4 It" (ft. Snoop Dogg) b/w "Everybody" (ft. Doc Ice)
(Jett Plastic Recordings)

Corey Feldman is known better for his filmography (The Goonies, Stand By Me) than he is for his music career, but that didn't stop Internet denizens from skewering his Snoop Dogg-assisted "Go 4 It" last year. Against all odds, Feldman's single now finds itself on a 7-inch this Record Store Day, backed with the Doctor Ice-featuring "Everybody." Vinyl sadists or fans of abhorrent cover art will likely make this piece of wax a priority to pick up for its photo of Feldman and two scantily-clad angels flying above a burning city skyline, proving that capitalism and questionable RSD releases will surely be the death of us all. (Calum Slingerland)

1. Toto
(Sony Legacy)

There are plenty of gimmicky picture discs coming out this Record Store Day — Prince's "Little Red Corvette," U2's "Red Hill Mining Town" — but none of them are tackier than this ghastly pressing of Toto's "Africa." This is the epitome of a lame cash-grab reissue: we've all heard the song a million times, and copies are available for just a couple of bucks on Discogs. So in an attempt to wring a few more dollars out of this played-out song, Sony Legacy has had the bright idea to reissue it on a record shaped like the continent of Africa. That kind of shit might have flown back in 1982, back when worldbeat music was new and people didn't known what "cultural appropriation" meant, but these days it seems in poor taste. Original copies of this picture disc are relatively easy to find, and they're kind of piece of '80s kitsch. As a brand new reissue, however, this seems like the kind of thing that RSD shoppers will buy on impulse and then immediately regret as soon as the glow of consumerism fades. (Alex Hudson)