Classic Rock

Top 25 Reissues of 2018

In a year packed with major anniversar­ies, we were spoilt for choice when it came to quality reissues. Here are some of our favourites.


The reissue market has experience­d a new surge over the past couple of years. That’s partly because veteran bands are remaining active for longer, partly simply a case of demand for ‘luxury’ nostalgia. In 2018, with many bands celebratin­g landmark anniversar­ies (including 50th birthdays for Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors, among others), this trend peaked, bringing with it a wave of thoughtful remixes, lost classics and other goodies from artists across the rock spectrum.

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac Warners

What we said:

“Of the live tracks, instrument­als and studio out-takes making up the additional 35 tracks of the deluxe package, it’s the unpolished, formative early takes of the original album’s tracks that will most fascinate the dedicated Macheads – this was, after all, where Fleetwood Mac’s most celebrated incarnatio­n clicked or clashed.”

Roxy Music Roxy Music 45th Anniversar­y Super Deluxe Edition UMC

What we said: “Roxy Music is an immaculate conception. And now, in this Super Deluxe Edition, even more so. Bumper new sleevenote­s from Richard Williams, plus previously unreleased demos, out-takes, radio sessions, and a 5.1 remix by Steven Wilson shed further light on the record.”

led Zeppelin

How The West Was Won rhino

What we said: “On the eve of the band’s 50th anniversar­y, Page has overseen a definitive remaster that doesn’t mess with the original. The calling cards for die-hards are all about the format(s): take your pick from remastered CDs or four vinyl LPs, or the expected deluxe Blu-ray edition that comes with a memorabili­a book and a print of the original cover.”

holgeR cZuKay

Cinema gronland

What we said:

“An anthology of the recently deceased Can bassist’s solo work… Although his French horn resounds like a signature motif throughout his work, Czukay’s genius was as a discreet creator of space, in which ideas, energies, colours and found sounds could flow freely.”


Forever Changes: 50th Anniversar­y


What we said:

“Is Forever Changes the greatest record ever made? Dunno, but it certainly justifies this new edition: a four-CD overview that remasters the original album in stereo and mono and adds the real musthear alternativ­e mixes and demo/out-take gems that round off mainman Arthur Lee’s bird’s-eye view of being a black man in a white man’s world.”


Brave Deluxe Edition ParloPhone/rhino

What we said: “The acclaimed, if unexpected, concept album that put Marillion at odds with EMI… The excellent live discs from 1994, which were remixed this year, are the work of a band stepping into the unknown, making the decision to head one way or stay with what you know, determinin­g to be brave.”

thee hypnotics

Righteousl­y Recharged Beggars arkive

What we said: “Battered by the spectres of addiction, death and disaster, Thee Hypnotics split as the 90s choked their last on fly-blown Union flags and emergent EDM. Now buoyed by Jim Jones’s subsequent solo infamy and an imminent live reunion, they’re back, so load up on this exceptiona­l set and right those past wrongs.”

wishbone ash

The Vintage Years 1970-1991 Madfish

What we said: “The Vintage Years is the consummate collection, and long-time fans looking for added attraction­s will salivate over its many out-takes, rarities and bonus live recordings, including eight full, deskqualit­y concerts… Despite the ongoing conflicts and those band-acknowledg­ed clinkers, that they deserve such lavish treatment is now without question.”

deF leppaRd

Rock Of Ages Volume One

BlUdgeon riffola/MerCUry/UMe

What we said: “This boxed set is built around their first four albums, so covers the period from the band’s formation up to 1987. With just seven studio albums since then and three more volumes to come, it may appear they’ve shot their bolt a little early by including Hysteria, but it enables them to include anything recorded before the death of guitarist Steve Clark.”

uK subs

The Albums Vols 1 & 2 edsel

What we said: “Succinct, raucous, politicall­y informed, haunted by the ghost of Eel Pie Island as much as The Roxy, packed with singles, B-sides and compilatio­n tracks you may have overlooked, this two-part, Harper-signed compendium is a must for hard-core punk subversive­s across the UK and beyond.”


The Steven Wilson Remixes Warner MUsiC

What we said: “This box set is much more than just the latest incarnatio­n of a slowly evolving series of nearidenti­cal, walletcrip­pling releases; it’s absolutely vital. The five-album run from The Yes Album to Relayer is one of rock’s greatest. This is music that is aspiration­al, inspiratio­nal and often transcende­nt.”

the band Music From Big Pink 50th Anniversar­y Edition


What we said: “Often cited as year zero for what became Americana, The Band’s debut album remains a thing of beauty. This newly mixed and mastered edition doesn’t differ greatly from the 2004 one, but devotees will like the Blu-ray, the pink vinyl option, the seven-inch repro of The Weight single and the hardback book.”

public iMage ltd The Public Image Is Rotten (Songs From The Heart) UMC

What we said: “Rotten’s classics freshened up in a massive multimedia box set. The public image may be rotten, but the product most certainly is not. In the main, the product is scouring, challengin­g, invigorati­ng.”

the dooRs Waiting For The Sun

50th Anniversar­y Edition rhino

What we said: “This reissue is exceptiona­l. It includes nine rough mixes and five live Copenhagen tracks from the 1968 European tour, including a fuzzed-out assault on The Unknown Soldier. Doors engineer Bruce Botnick says: ‘I prefer some of these mixes as they represent all of the elements and additional background vocals, and some intangible roughness, all quite attractive and refreshing.’”


Loud & Proud! The Box Set BMg

What we said: “This lavish limited-edition collection marks the band’s half-century. Comprising 32 CDs, four vinyl albums, bespoke seven-inch singles, a hardback book and a glut of memorabili­a, it’s the last work in the life of an enduring Caledonian rock institutio­n.”

toM petty

An American Treasure rePrise

What we said: “This aptly titled set unearths a wealth of lost classics. Lovingly compiled by Petty’s daughter Adria and his wife Dana, this is no hasty cash-in. The music is exemplary: rock’n’roll, southern gothic, serious stuff and downright fun tunes… Not a greatest hits with a few extras, quite the opposite.”

John lennon

Imagine: The Ultimate Collection


What we said: “Lennon’s second album has been, for want of a better expression, reimagined in a twoBlu-ray, four-CD ultimate edition that comes as close as is possible to putting you into the studio with Lennon et al… Ultimately, where Imagine wins over similar projects is the degree of access wife Yoko gave to source material. And the core album is masterpiec­e.”

pRiMal scReaM Give Out But Don’t Give Up: The Original Memphis Recordings sony

What we said:

“A hitherto unreleased warm, organic, hornslaced original Tom Dowd mix with 16 extra tracks. Soul, gospel, Rocks. A lost classic.”

the KinKs The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservati­on Society 50th Anniversar­y Edition


What we said: “Andrew Sandoval’s remaster is perhaps inappropri­ately muscular for a record Ray Davies recalls as deliberate­ly under-recorded career suicide, although it does punch home the songs’ strengths. The deluxe box set version then develops Village Green over five CDs of mono, stereo, backing track and live versions, alongside artefacts, LPs and singles… Most valuable and touching is a medley of home demos.”

Mott the hoople Mental Train (The Island Years 1969-1971) UMC

What we said: “This collection takes in every aspect of the first Mott, from beautiful ballads like Waterlow to the country-rock sidebar of Whiskey Women, throwing in some early takes of future tracks – a tentative One Of The Boys,a far from tentative Black Scorpio (Momma’s Little Jewel).”


And Justice For All UMC

What we said: “Justice marked the moment at which Metallica, having survived the tragic loss of bassist Cliff Burton, entered the big league. This immersive collection captures the excitement of an era sometimes overlooked between their twin peaks of Master Of Puppets and the Black Album.”

the beatles The Beatles (50th Anniversar­y Super Deluxe Edition) aPPle

What we said: “The featured element of this seven-disc celebratio­n of the 1968 double-vinyl White Album is a remixed version of its 30 iconic tracks by original producer George Martin’s son, Giles… Instead of losing intrinsic magic, he has enhanced it.”

JiMi hendRix expeRience

Electric Ladyland 50th Anniversar­y Box

exPerienCe hendrix/legaCy

What we said: “This presents the newly remastered original (with the Central Park cover photo Hendrix wanted before his label Track insisted on green-tinged naked ladies), along with bootleg-familiar demos that still offer something new to the legal marketplac­e… Experience Hendrix have done him proud with this reissue.”


Total Assault Box rhino

What we said: “No remasterin­g, no bonus bullshit (well, they’re on coloured vinyl and there’s a booklet), just the entire history of the baddest band in the land, slayed out rough, raw and ready.”

guns n’ Roses Appetite For Destructio­n (Locked N’ Loaded) geffen

What we said: “This collection captures the elusive moment when a band gets to grow creatively and blossom into something irresistib­le and magical out of sight of the public eye… In a perfect world there’d be more work-in-progress sketches, but it’s hard to argue with this gloriously detailed reveal of a band leaving the undergroun­d and taking flight.”

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