Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Best Reissues / Compilations

Each year massive box sets, reissues, and compilations emerge from top artists to celebrate an anniversary of a landmark record, highlight an artist's career, and simply see who is a casual fan and who is a die-hard fan on whether customers will buy one of these. In an effort to showcase what to spend some left over holiday money or how to use those pesky gift cards you may have gotten, we have broken down the best reissues and compilations of the year. Take a look!

Nas - Illmatic - Deluxe "Gold Edition" Box Set
While, Nas' 1994 landmark debut, Illmatic, and what some consider (us) the greatest album in the history of hip-hop will turn 20 in 2014, the Queens native celebrated early by releasing a Deluxe "Gold Edition" Box Set of his master album. The set featured a 24k Audiophile Gold Disc” CD with re-mastered audio and actual 24-karat gold embedded in the CD, housed in a “Cherrywood Trophy Box” with gold plaque, 48-page full-color, hard-cover book including liner notes from The Source founder Jon Schecter, extended artwork and full album lyrics, Black 2-piece outer box with 1994 “Nas” red-on-white logo sticker, Reproduction of 1994 Illmatic press release, with two 8 x 10 glossy promo photos from Illmatic PR campaign, and a rare 1994 promotional poster with full album lyrics printed on back.

Fleetwood Mac - Rumors Deluxe Edition Box Set
Rumors was one of the 1970's landmark albums and a record that defined a generation, so in 2013, when the band announced a reunion tour, they cashed in even further and released a Deluxe Edition Box Set of Rumors. The set contains the original album and the b-side "Silver Springs, " a dozen unreleased live recordings from the group's '77 world tour, an entire disc filled with unreleased takes from the album's recording sessions, an additional disc of outtakes, a DVD that features The Rosebud Film, a 1977 documentary about the album, and the album on vinyl.

Ghostface Killah - Ironman Premium Collection
Ghostface Killah released one of the best albums of the year with his epic collaboration with Adrien Younge -- 12 Reasons to Die, he also reissued his landmark debut, Ironman. The Premium Collection bundle contains a 24k Audiophile Gold Disc (the CD itself is embedded with 24-karat gold) housed in a "Cherrywood Trophy Box" with a gold IRONMAN plaque, 48-page full color hard cover book, including extended artwork, album lyrics and text written by Chris Faraone, Black 2-piece outer box with gold foil sticker embossed with the Ghostface Ironman logo, 12"x12" puzzle featuring a reproduction of the Ironman cover art,  Double Vinyl Full Color Gatefold LP - 18” x 24” replica of the original retail poster.

Mad Season - Above box set
After the passing of Kurt Cobain and the heightening careers of Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, in 1995, members of Alice and PJ got together to form Mad Season. The band, which released one album in 1995 called Above. The album was a hit with grunge fans and critics liked it, but then the band faded away. In March of this year, the surviving members of Mad Season decided to reissue Above as a box set that featured the remastered album, a live DVD, and a bonus disc featuring songs written by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and musician Mark Lanegan.

The Clash - Soundsystem
The only band that mattered made sure that their box set was the only one that mattered in 2013. The Clash released an epic box set that was shaped like a camo-boom box and featured the band's five studio albums re-mastered, three bonus CDs featuring rarities, non-album singles and B-Sides, a bonus DVD featuring contributions from Julien Temple and Don Letts, plus rare live footage and complete promo videos,  Armagideon Times fanzines, a 36 page Special Edition curated and designed by The Clash,  a poster, dog tags, stickers and badges.

R.E.M. - Green
One of the greatest American bands of all time celebrated the 25th anniversary of one of their landmark album's. R.E.M. reissued and remastered Green for the first time and brought it to life with a bonus disco of outtakes, live cuts, and b-sides and also released it as a massive 180-Gram vinyl collection.

Nitzer Ebb - Basic Pain Procedure
One of industrial musics pioneers and living legends, Nitzer Ebb, celebrated 2013 by releasing their 1983 demo tape, Basic Pain Procedure on cassette and CD. The album also contained eight bonus live cuts.

PiL - First Issue
One of the 1980's new wave darlings and post-Sex Pistols outfit, Public Image Limited (PiL) released their remastered reissue of their first album, First Issue, this past summer. Thanks to the magic of modern music technology and remastering, Johnny Rotten never sounded so good!

Echo & The Bunnymen - Crocodiles
Another of the 1980's darlings, cold wave and post-punk pioneers Echo & The Bunnymen reissued their landmark 1980 LP, Crocodiles as a double vinyl containing the original remastered record and a bonus disc of outtakes and b-sides. The set also featured a massive hardcover book that featured behind-the-scenes stories on the making of the record.

Nirvana - In Utero 
For the 20th anniversary of one of the 1990's most conflicted albums, Nirvana's In Utero, the surviving members of the grunge gods released a massive 3X vinyl set featuring the entire record remastered over a double 180-gram stack and a record of b-sides and outtakes.

Flaming Lips - Demo EP
On Record Store Day one of the most magnificent discoveries was the reissue of The Flaming Lips demo tape on cassette and signed by singer Wayne Coyne. The band only released about 2,000 of the tapes for RSD but hearing a band at the start of their career in the medium in which many did back in the day must be a delight.

A Perfect Circle - 360
A Perfect Circle have been mum with new music for a long while, which makes their "Best Of" compilation one of the years best, simply because it contains a couple new tracks, and takes you through memory lane with some of their classic cuts and tracks that got overlooked over the years from their three studio albums. Fingers crossed for a new record in the new year.

Mastodon - Live at Brixton
Easily one of the best live albums of the year, the metal monsters Mastodon simply slay on this pristine recording of a Brixton, England gig from 2012.

The Beatles - Live at the BBC
Part one of the greatest band of all-times BBC sessions was released in 1994 as a double CD, yet, this year, the band released for the first time, a second part of their iconic BBC recordings that helped create Beatlemania and introduce all of Europe and soon America to a band that forever changed the landscape of music. This four CD and two book set is further proof that there will never be a band like them ever again.