Sunday, December 21, 2014

2014 Best ReIssues

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!

Miles Davis - Miles at the Fillmore 
The third in a series of authorized bootlegs was recorded over a four night residency Davis had at the legendary Fillmore in June 1970. The four disc set features hardly any overlap and with his brilliant band of that era, Miles comes alive again. 

Orange Juice - You Can't Hide Your Love Forever / Rip It Up / Texas Forever / The Orange Juice
The influence indie Britrock band that paved the way for Oasis, Belle & Sebastian, Glasvegas, Stone Roses and countless others, had their first four albums remastered and rereleased via Domino and never sounded better.

Led Zeppelin - I / II / III / IV
Thanks to the vinyl craze some of the classic rock albums fans have found while crate digging have now been cleaned up and remastered and instead of hearing the hiss, cracks, and skips, of the original LP's, the Led Zeppelin reissues have by far been the best. Jimmy Page oversaw the entire project which also gave fans remastered demos and live cuts on the CD versions.

Soundgarden - Superunknown
The landmark Soundgarden record turned 20 this year and Superunknown, the grunge Gods biggest album never sounded better. Packed with B-sides, alternate mixes, demos and rehearsals, plus a Blueray featuring live performances, music videos, and documentaries.

Mobb Deep - The Infamous
Mobb Deep's 1994 breakthrough, The Infamous, wasn't the only landmark record that turned 20 this year but it was one of those records that still after all of these years sounds as fresh and as vibrant today as it did then. Also packed with this reissue are studio outtakes and demos that were never before heard until now.

Nas - Illmatic XX
The greatest hip-hop album of all time turned 20 and like Nas' Queensbridge neighbors, Mobb Deep, Illmatic's themes, discussions, and ideas sound as clear as day now as they did 20 years ago and prove why this album is not just classic but iconic. The CD reissue features remixes as well as Nas' infamous interview on The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito show in 1993.

R.E.M. - MTV Unplugged 1991 - 2001
Back in the 90's MTV's Unplugged was one of the most important and impactful programs on TV. It featured artists turn another cheek and audiences live in the studios saw their favorite bands and singers as musicians. It wasn't that they were going acoustic, it was showing what they could do with less. So many artists like Eric Clapton, Nirvana, Jay Z, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Oasis, LL Cool J, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others crafted such memorable performances they go down in music history as some of the best ever put to record. Another one of those artists, R.E.M., did it more than once and did it with such grace that this compilation of their Unplugged moments makes audiences long for the series to return to it's importance and not just show what is hot in pop culture now.

Oasis - Definitely Maybe / (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
The biggest Britrock band of the 90's reissued their classic and best albums to celebrate their debut's 20th anniversary. Following the death of grunge, no band captured the attention of the world such as Oasis, they had the rock and roll attitude that every person that starts a band want but also had the songs to back it up. While these records are timeless, it is the additional material packed in that showcases how fantastic they were and how good these records were that even so many amazing B-sides were left off.

Joy Division - An Ideal for Living
For the first time since it was released DIY in the late 70's, Joy Divisions debut EP was reprinted on wax from the original tapes and while fans have bootleged the original for decades, this 10" makes you remember that while Joy Division were known for ushering in post-punk, they were a punk band that had the chops to compete with everyone else in England's top flight. Repackaged without the original and controversial Hitler youth art, An Ideal For Living is the sound of an iconic band that many never expected to hear again.

The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen at 21
The Afghan Whigs had a huge 2014, with a phenomenal new album, fantastic live show, and return to form, it was time to celebrate the record that brought them all of their acclaim 21 years ago, Gentlemen. Fueled by the singles "Gentleman," and "Debonair," The Whigs took grunge and mixed it with R&B, classic rock, and funk. The reissues features fantastic live cuts and demos and takes you back that had this record not come during the height of the grunge era, this band could have been in the stratosphere.