The Best Reissues of 2011

It’s been another great year for quality reissues from some of our favorite labels dedicated to vintage sounds. Here are our favorite reissued records for 2011, unranked and submitted for your review in the poll below:

  Can “Tago Mago”
Mute 2CD: Can’s all-time classic gets the deluxe treatment, restores the original UK artwork, and comes with a bonus CD with a live show from around the same time.
  The Rationals “The Rationals”
Big Beat CD: Followup to last year’s excellent Think Rational, this year Big Beat delivers the group’s eponymous album with the same attention to detail. First time it’s been reissued legit since 1970.
  The Free Design – Complete Discography
Light in the Attic LP/CD/MP3: What a treat from LITA with all of the Free Designs albums reissued in 2011. Available in different formats with liner notes and some bonus tracks. This’ll be standard issue for new fans to this wonderful group.
  The Beau Brummels “Bradley’s Barn (Expanded)”
Rhino Handmade 2CD: Impressive reissue of the Brummels’ best moment from Rhino features a hardbound booklet with brand new liners and a second disc with 25 rare and unreleased recordings.
Michael Chapman “Fully Qualified Survivor”
Light in the Attic LP: Classic English folk-rock masterpiece from Michael Chapman gets its first CD issue in the states and the first vinyl reissue in decades.
Mickey Newbury “Heaven Help the Child”
Drag City LP: In addition to Heaven Help (maybe his best), Drag City put out some of Mickey’s finest work on LP this year: Looks Like Rain, Frisco Mabel Joy, and American Trilogy. Unfortunately, they’re only shipping to the US.
  John Fahey “Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You”
Dust to Digital 5CD: Massive box set from Dust to Digital features 115 mostly new-to-CD tracks from “The Fonotone Years, 1958-1965.” Remastered audio straight from the reel-to-reel tapes and an extensive accompanying book highlighted by a 1967 interview with Fahey.
  V/A “Local Customs: Pressed at Boddie”
Numero CD/MP3/Cassette: A novel concept from the adventurous Numero label. All of the tracks on this comp were pressed at The Boddie Recording Company in Cleveland and range from garage to soul to polka. Available on cassette tape!
  The Left Banke “Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina”
Sundazed CD/LP: The Left Banke get their due this year with both of their original records restored by Sundazed.  Sourced from the original stereo tapes, we get the original track orders for this and The Left Banke Too. The CD features new liners and interviews (but when will Sundazed finally give us liners with the vinyl?).
  Oscar & the Majestics “No Chance Baby!”
Sundazed LP/MP3: First-ever collection of Oscar Hamod’s complete ‘60s output, previously uncovered on last year’s Michigan comp. Includes the band’s best known USA sides as well as rare self-pressed singles. Includes detailed liners, vintage photos and 45 label scans.
  Los Dug Dugs “Dug Dug’s” (aka “Lost in My World”)
Light in the Attic LP: One of the more unsung releases of the year was Los Dug Dug’s self titled debut (1971), credited as the first Mexican psych record with English lyrics. Released concurrently with their second album, Smog, this one is only available on vinyl.
  The Outsiders “CQ”
RPM CD: Remastered and expanded edition of this seminal 1968 album. This year’s RPM issue features six bonus cuts from a live show in Amsterdam, December 1968.
  Hot Knives “Hot Knives”
Grown Up Wrong! CD/MP3: This Flaming Groovies spinoff band, often compared to the Airplane and Grape, saw its first reissue after 30 years in 2011. The 14-track album comprises material recorded at 3 sessions in local studios in ’76. Includes liners and an illustrated booklet.
  Paul McCartney “McCartney”
MPL/Concord 2CD: Released along with McCartney II as special 2CD editions featuring remastered audio and generous bonus cuts.  Also comes in a more expanded edition with a bonus DVD of unseen footage.
  Phil Spector “Presents the Philles Album Collection”
Sony Legacy CD: Six albums from Spector’s Philles record label remastered in mono album and reissued for the first time on CD. Packaged in mini-vinyl replica sleeves, it also includes a bonus disc of B sides, many available on CD for the first time.
  Michael Hurley “Long Journey”
Light in the Attic LP: Michael Hurley’s classic 1976 Long Journey see its first vinyl reissue. LITA also put out the legendary Have Moicy! album this year featuring the Holy Modal Rounders and Jeffrey Fredericks, as well as some other classics from Michael Hurley.
  Jim Ford “Harlan County”
Light in the Attic LP: First straight vinyl reissue of Jim Ford’s classic record. Remastered from the original tapes and given the usual LITA loving treatment.
  Pink Floyd Discography
Capitol CD: All 14 original studio albums have been digitally remastered and reissued with new packaging and booklets created by the band’s long-time artwork collaborator Storm Thorgerson.
  The Beach Boys “SMiLE Sessions”
Capitol Box CD/LP: Will be surprised if this doesn’t top most lists this year. The first official SMiLE release from Capitol includes 5 CDs,  2LPs, 2 7″ singles, and tons of extras. Every Beach Boys fan should have seen this one under the tree this year. No brainer.
  Bobby Charles “Bobby Charles”
Rhino Handmade CD: Three-disc Deluxe Edition that combines a remastered version of the original with a wealth of unreleased material recorded during those sessions and others recorded at Bearsville Studios throughout 1974. The set closes with a newly unearthed, 30-minute interview Charles did that was recorded shortly before the Bobby Charles album was released in August 1972.

Top 20 Reissues of 2011 (choose up to 8)

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Q. Any releases you would have included in our best-of this year?

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