LTW website Reissues of the Year 2018
In no particular order – they are all superb reissues of classic music…
2018 has been a great year again for reissues, we tend to think that everything is available on the internet these days, but dedicated music lovers at various labels work hard to bring us more previously buried treasure. Original Reggae and Ska has had a big boost with the output of the reactivated Doctor Bird label, Les Disques du Crepuscule/Factory Benelux have continued to put high quality reissues alongside their contemporary material and Cherry Red’s cluster of imprints RPM / Grapefruit/ Esoteric/ Anagram/ Now Sounds pump out rare and wonderful stuff from yesteryear in their respective genres. I always work on the principle “if it’s new to me, it’s new” so this year has been another fine voyage of discovery!
(The first two were chosen by more than one writer. The rest in no particular order)
The Pretty Things – SF Sorrow (Burning Shed) 50th Anniversary Edition Boxed Set
Although it was misunderstood at its time of release, especially in America where it was released after The Who’s Tommy, it has stood the test of time with grace and in today’s world of one-song downloads provides not a morsel, but a feast for the listener to consume in its entirety. 50 years on S.F. Sorrow should be held up as one of the greatest pieces of art of its time – the first fully-realised narrative concept album. (Nathan Whittle) Full Review
The Yachts – Suffice To Say The Complete Yachts Collection (Cherry Red)
Filling a huge gap in the history of punk and new wave, Cherry Red put together a 3 CD anthology of Yachts’ entire back catalogue including their two albums recorded for Radar. The Yachts had long merited this kind of attention and the involvement of mega-fan Mark Kermode finally gave the band a higher profile almost 40 years after they broke up. New Wave with a big heart, great tunes and memorable lyrics. What more could you want?
Various Artists – Try A Little Sunshine: The British Psychedelic Sounds Of 1969 (Grapefruit)
A wonderful round up of a mostly forgotten year of 60 UK Pop. All manner of strangeness was being employed and the invention on show would top most of the records that actually ended up in the hit parade. RPM/Grapefruit have put out quite a few excellent boxsets this year and this was just about the very best.
Lalomie Washburn – My Music is Hot (Robinsongs)
Extended reissue of Funk/Soul singer Washburn’s 1977 debut album, with single edits and different mixes bringing together everything she recorded for the Parachute label. One of the key benefits of the “reissue culture” of the present day is the opportunity to hear again something that slipped through the cracks, but is as vital as the very best….My Music Is Hot is the best example of that in this year. Simply a joyous and irresistibly entrancing listening experience and for me the best reissue of the year.
Guns N’ Roses: Appetite For Destruction (Official Website)
Seminal rock LP, Appetite For Destruction gets the expansive anniversary reissue treatment including live tracks, covers and tracks that were originally on the GNR Lies release. Read Simon Tucker’s in-depth and personal review here
Throbbing Gristle: Journey Through A Body (Mute)
September saw the second phase of Throbbing Gristle reissues hit the shelves courtesy of Mute Records. Journey Through A Body / Mission Of Dead Souls / Heathen Earth represent the beginning of the end for the bands initial lifespan but as Simon Tucker explained, this was not a whimper but an exit with a bang. Review
The Action: Shadows and Reflections (Grapefruit)
Subtitled The Complete Recordings 1964-1968, this boxset brought together everything put down on tape by Kentish Town Mod favourites the Action, including their early efforts under the name the Boys. Many previously unreleased tracks feature among BBC sessions, demos and outtakes. Full review here
Desmond Dekker And The Aces – Action/Intensified (Doctor Bird)
Reissue of two rocksteady-era albums only originally released in Jamaica, plus 28 bonus tracks of alternate takes and rare songs. Desmond Dekker was hugely influential in the development of Reggae music internationally and fully merits Doctor Bird’s reissue programme of his Beverley Records years. Perhaps 2019 is the time when finally some sort of permanent tribute is erected to one of the true greats. Sleeve of the year too!
The Quick – Mondo Deco (Real Gone Music)
The Quick were the original band in the right place but the wrong time. Arriving just before the LA Punk got into full swing, though they played alongside many of that scene’s bands, their fusion of late-period Glam, Power Pop thrust and pure melodic talent went totally unnoticed by most at the time. This collection of early demos catch them at their peak and all these years on we can see what a peach of a band the Quick were. Review
Durutti Column: Without Mercy (Factory Benelux)
A deluxe 4 disc edition of their 1984 album enhanced by many bonus tracks, including two live sets from the LSE in 1984 and Oslo two years later. Factory Benelux’s Durutti Column reissue programme has been a joy to behold and this version of the band’s foray to near-Classical is beautifully put together and lovely listening. Full review here
Spiritualized – Fucked Up Inside (Glass Redux Records)
…a hidden gem of an album which was only available on mail order before this t’internet thing we all now take for granted. The sound of Jason Pierce starting his sonic journey which has never ended…. Wayne Careys full review here
Just a Bad Dream – Sixty British Garage and Trash Nuggets 1981-89 ( Cherry Red)
What’s clear from this fantastic collection is that while the music scene of the 1980’s veered more and more towards the increasingly glossed sheen of over-produced pop, there was a vast array of bands who still continued to embrace the brash and rough punk and garage sensibilities. Spiky and confrontational, the scene may have poked its head above the parapet in the middle of the decade, but for the most part it was a well-kept secret, a treasure trove of gems that continued the vein of the 60s’ British Invasion garage sound and make up an important part of the heritage of the style that still today reigns in the underground. Nathan Whittles full review here
Compiled by Ian Canty, Ged Babey and Simon Tucker from reviews by Ian, Simon, Nathan Whittle, Wayne Carey and Matt Mead.