The Best Reissues of 2009
It’s been a great year for re-releases. All thanks to labels dedicated to top notch sound, quality packaging, expanded content, and 180 gram vinyl. With no further ado here’s an unranked list of the top 25 reissues we found this year. Hit up the poll below and help us determine which was this year’s very best.
|13th Floor Elevators “Sign of the 3 Eyed Men”
International Artists 10 CD Box SetThe band’s three landmark albums including rare mono versions, outtakes and alternate versions. Two lost albums featuring previously unreleased material. Rare and previously unreleased live recordings with a 72 page hardback book. Enhanced with posters, ephemera, discographies and many rare and previously unseen photos.
|“Thee Complete Midniters – Songs of Love, Rhythm & Psychedelia”
Micro Werks 4CD Box SetChicano rock n roll pioneers released these four LPs between 1965 and 1969; each disc has bonus alternate takes, alternate-language versions, instrumental mixes, live cuts and sought-after single sides.
|Moby Grape “The Place and the Time”
Sundazed 2LP Outtakes CompRare tracks cut during the band’s 1967–1968 heyday. Encompassing audition recordings, album outtakes, alternate versions, live material and more. read our review…
|The JuJus “You Treat Me Bad”
Cicadelic CD – Complete SinglesThe classic singles, a good 1965 Ray Hummel Fenton 45 (backed by the JuJus) and a slew of quality outtakes. There are no lame covers and the sound quality is excellent. Mandatory listening for anyone interested in pure rock n roll. read our review…
|The Rationals “Think Rational/Fan Club LP”
Big Beat 2CDAll the group’s early singles and outtakes on a double disc anthology. First time legit reissue of the group’s early years. A great package, evenly divided between the group’s garage and soul eras.
read our review…
|Big Star “Keep an Eye on the Sky”
Rhino 4CD Box Set
1968 to 1975 unreleased demos, unused mixes, alternate versions, and a 1973 Memphis concert recording. Extensive liner notes, rare photos, and essays about the cult of Big Star and the band’s history.
|Alexander “Skip” Spence “Unreleased Demos”
Sundazed Limited 10″ Vinyl Single
Demos recorded in New York in 1968 during the run-up to the Grape’s second album,”Wow.” Limited edition 10” vinyl single packaged in a numbered sleeve with liner notes by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, an artist bio, and rare photo inserts.
|Louie and the Lovers “The Complete Recordings”
Bear Family CD AnthologyDefinitive collection of this Doug Sahm produced Salinas group, harnessing the sounds of SDQ, CCR, conjunto, and rock and roll; includes the legendary lost 2nd album and extensive liners. read our review…
|Clarence White “White Lightning”
Sierra Records CD & DVDRare and largely unreleased studio and live recordings available for the first time on CD, focusing on Clarence’s electric work with some of his fine bluegrass acoustic chops on display.
|Emmit Rhodes Recordings (1969-1973)
Hip-O Select 2CDRemastered 48 song collection features the four albums Emitt Rhodes released between 1970 and 1973 – the three ABC/Dunhill albums Emitt Rhodes, Mirror and Farewell To Paradise, and his one A&M album, American Dream, along with the non-LP single “Tame The Lion.”
|Beatles Mono Box Set
EMI 13CD Remastered Mono MixesThe first ten albums in re-mastered mono (the final 3 albums made their debuts in stereo only), and a double album of singles and EPs, called “Mono Masters”. Each disc is presented as if it were a miniature “33”, replete with plastic anti-scratch sleeve, inner paper sleeve, original album cover, inserts and all original text.
|2131 South Michigan Avenue
Sundazed 2LP USA & Destination Records Comp60’s Garage & Psychedelia from USA and Destination Records. Chicago ’66 garage at its finest; album artwork stuffed with rare photos, band bios, and an interview with the legendary Jim Golden.
|Blossom Toes “Love Bomb 1967-1969”
Sunbeam Deluxe 2CDPreviously unreleased vintage British psychedelia including a detailed booklet with rare photos and an introduction from the band’s leader, Brian Godding and Guest appearance from Frank Zappa.
|Monks “Black Monk Time” “The Early Years 1964-1965”
Light in the Attic CD, LPMonks’ recorded legacy through two reissues. Numerous unseen photographs and two-part essay by Canadian music journalist Kevin Howes accompany both releases and tell the Monks story like it has never been told. Bonus material dating back to pre-Monks Torquays and up to post Black Monk Time 7″s are also included.
|Death “For the Whole World to See”
Drag City CD/LP/MP31974 demo album released for the first time and maybe one of the first punk albums. Bobby Hackney’s sons, members of Rough Francis, are responsible for digging up the old demo tapes for this blisteringly hot buried treasure. read our review…
| John Drendall, B.A. Thrower and Friends “Papa Never Let Me Sing The Blues”
Riverman CDDeacon Productions released 100 copies of Papa in 1971/1972. This is its first re-release. Very fine Americana, a true undiscovered gem that needs to be heard by more music fans. read our review…
Wounded Bird CDOne of the mandatory lost LPs in the rural-rock/American roots/country-rock field. First time on CD since its Vault 1970 release.
|Off The Wall Volumes 1& 2
Past & Present 2CDOriginally issued by the UK imprint Past & Present in the late 80s, this is one of the original 60s garage rock and psychedelia compilations.
|Kaleidoscope “White Faced Lady”
Repertoire Records CDLong-lost concept album from the British psychedelic group, remastered and presented in a definitive collectors’ package. It has the original descriptive texts for the music, plus a new interview with founding member Peter Daltrey. read our review…
|Betty Davis “Is it Love or Desire”
Light in the Attic CD/Sundazed VinylRecorded in the summer of ’76, and never issued until now. Betty was Miles Davis’ ex-wife and often credited with influencing the Bitches Brew era. Super hot funk must have.
|The Lemon Drops “Sunshine Flower Power”
Cicadelic 2CDRare psychedelic rock from the suburban Chicago scene. Features the “Sometime Ago” LP and plenty of rarities, including previously unreleased versions.
|Pisces “A Lovely Sight”
Numero Group CD/LP/MP3Never issued LP of unknown, modern-sounding psych done up by the wonderful Numero label. 1969 curio from Rockford, Illinois.
|The Master’s Apprentices “The Master’s Apprentices”
101 Distribution 2CDRemastered and expanded two CD edition of of this Australian 1967 garage/psych classic including 27 bonus tracks. Deluxe eight panel digipak with 28 page booklet with many previously unpublished photos and recent interviews.
|King Crimson “Red”
Discipline 2CD/DVDRemastered and expanded two disc (CD/DVD) edition of the Prog Rock band’s classic 1974 album, released to coincide with King Crimson’s 40th anniversary. Presented as digipak in a slipcase with new sleeve notes by Robert Fripp and King Crimson biographer Sid Smith along with rare photos and archive material.
|Neil Young Archives Vol. 1 1963-1972
Reprise Records 8CD Box SetComprehensive, chronological survey of Neil Young’s entire body of work. 8 discs, each in its own custom sleeve and featuring over 40 previously unreleased songs, versions, mixes, or rare tracks.
Q. Which reissues, from any list, knocked you out in 2009?