Record Store Day’s Best Confusing Exclusive Releases

From Toto’s Africa on an Africa picturedisc to Prince’s “Batdance,” we present the best of the weird.

Most of the exclusives that come out on Record Store Day are, at best, confusing. Who in 2017 wants to buy Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz on vinyl so they can hear all its hi-fi subtleties? What is the point of purchasing Sia’s Spotify Session™ pressed to wax when you can just listen to it… on Spotify? Despite the avalanche of garbage, a few gems still slide down the heap for Record Store Day—and some are at least fun-confusing. We hereby present a shortlist of the “best”:

Space Jam Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture (Double LP) Quad City DJ’s “Space Jam” is still a legit banger 20 years after Michael Jordan helped the Looney Toons beat aliens in a basketball game. Lots of terrible/wonderful covers you may have forgotten about are here too: Seal’s take on Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle,” as well as the Spin Doctors and Biz Markie’s milkiest-of-the-milquetoast attempt at KC & the Sunshine Band’s “That’s the Way (I Like It).”

Prince Various Singles Of all 2016’s celeb deaths, Prince’s probably hit the hardest. Which is why it’s a perfect time for record execs to cash in on his catalogue! Honor the Purple One by purchasing various 7˝ and 12˝ maxi-singles from his discography, like “Little Red Corvette,” “I Wish You Heaven,” “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man,” and perhaps his greatest song of all, “Batdance,” written for 1989’s Batman. (Prince’s other addition to the soundtrack, “Partyman,” is also available.).

TotoAfrica (Picturedisc) Toto drummer and songwriter Jeff Porcaro summed up the group’s 1982 smash hit as “a white boy … trying to write a song on Africa, but since he’s never been there, he can only tell what he’s seen on TV or remembers in the past.” Thirty-five years of post-colonial studies later, you can enjoy this limited-edition reissue of the original picturedisc single, shaped like the continent of Africa.

Slick Rick The Great Adventures Of(Book) One of golden-era hip-hop’s best storytellers is getting the literal storybook treatment for Record Store Day. “Children’s Story,” Slick Rick’s crime-ridden cautionary tale, will morph into an actual children’s book, complete with a puffy cover, illustrations, and thick pages. Oddly though, “Children’s Story” and The Moment I Feared” are the only tunes you’re going to get on vinyl here; the rest of the album will be on CD. Let’s save the CDs for CD Store Day.

Dee-Lite Groove Is in the Heart/What Is Love? “Groove Is in the Heart” is one of those rare songs that’s even better than you remember it. The thing had Bootsy Collins and Q-Tip on it, and easily tops the all-time list for best use of a slide whistle. If you’re a DJ at one of Seattle’s many ’90s nights, you’re probably going to want to cop this one. Sat., April 22.

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