There’s a certain kind of creature, seldom seen in the cold light of day, for whom rarity is regarded with an almost religious reverence. The scarcer an item is, the more mystical its appeal to this sort of strange specimen. If something’s never been available before and will only be on offer for an extremely limited time, well, that’s like manna from above for this kind of creature.

If you recognize even a part of your own inner makeup in the preceding description, then you might just be a record collector. Don’t sweat it, there’s no shame in such things; at least not in these parts. And hey, you’ve even got your own annual holiday to let your freak flag fly. Sure, they say Record Store Day was created to give the mom-and-pop indie record stores a boost, but it’s the hardcore vinyl geek who really reaps the benefits of this annual event, at least if said geek is quick enough.

As usual, this year’s batch of RSD limited editions covers a wide spectrum of styles and scenes. You’ve got cutting-edge artists rubbing shoulders with bands that don’t even exist anymore; tender-voiced troubadours sharing space with hard-rocking hellions. But for every RSD release, there’s somebody out there who can’t live without it, and is willing to maim, mutilate, or at least intimidate their fellow vinyl maniacs in order to obtain it. Here’s a handy guide to some of the highlights RSD 2016 has to offer. And remember, this is only the edge of the avalanche.

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