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Best Reissues Of 2022: 40 Essential Releases Of The Year So Far
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Best Reissues Of 2022: 40 Essential Releases Of The Year So Far

The best reissues of 2022 bring must-have classic albums back into view for long-term collectors and curious newcomers alike.

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The Smiths famously addressed the music industry’s desire to “Reissue! Repackage! Repackage!” music with their classic song Paint A Vulgar Picture, yet, ironically, compilations such as The World Won’t Listen allowed the group’s fans to round up songs they may otherwise have struggled to source. Even in the digital age, many serious music fans still demand physical product from their favourite bands, and diligently compiled reissues can help us all plug significant gaps in our collections. With that in mind, this year’s already looking exciting on the rediscovery front, so Dig! flick through the racks and pick out the best reissues of 2022.

Best Reissues Of 2022: 10 Essential Releases Of The Year So Far

40: Third Eye Blind: ‘Third Eye Blind’ (2LP)

San Francisco act Third Eye Blind’s angsty, post-grunge sound fitted the US alt-rock scene like a glove during the latter half of the 90s, so it’s no surprise their self-titled 1997 debut album and its immediate follow-up, Blue, both enjoyed multi-platinum sales. The hits-stuffed Third Eye Blind marked its 25th anniversary in September 2022 with a deluxe two-disc vinyl reissue; all five of its US smashes, including Graduate and the band’s highest-charting single, Semi-Charmed Life, also formed the backbone of the group’s recent anthology, A Collection, which features all the best Third Eye Blind songs in one place.

Must hear: Semi-Charmed Life

39: Foy Vance: ‘Hope’ (2LP red vinyl)

Quirky Northern Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance’s Southern soul-flavoured debut album, Hope, turned 15 in 2022, and in August the album saw release on vinyl for the very first time, through Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread imprint. The new edition came pressed on highly covetable double red vinyl, with artwork from the original CD packaging, and it included two new acoustic versions of songs from the original album.

Must hear: Shed A Little Light

38: Pretenders: ‘Pretenders’ (LP)

Pretenders’ self-titled debut album and its follow-up, Pretenders II, enjoyed deluxe CD reissues in 2021, but they returned in classic black-vinyl editions in March this year, featuring a 2018 audio remaster carried out by original producer Chris Thomas. Both albums are magnificent, but Pretenders remains the band’s touchstone release. A unique and highly potent distillation of punky aggression and classic pop hooks, it introduced the singular songwriting talents of Chrissie Hynde and took Pretenders to the cusp of major international stardom as the 80s came into view.

Must hear: Precious

37: Iron Maiden: ‘The Number Of The Beast’ (cassette)

Iron Maiden’s indomitable third album, The Number Of The Beast, arguably remains the metal titans’ most enduring musical statement. The record that transformed them from New Wave Of British Heavy Metal league-leaders to full-blown global superstars, this multi-million seller is one of its genre’s most essential titles, with the likes of Metallica and Anthrax frequently citing it as an influence. Originally released in March 1982, The Number Of The Beast celebrated its 40th anniversary with a commemorative cassette reissue comprised of the album’s 2015 remaster, with the artwork – a classic among Iron Maiden album covers – featuring colour art based on the original 1982 C60 cassette release, but with a redesigned and updated inlay.

Must hear: Hallowed Be Thy Name

36: Marillion: ‘Fugazi’ (LP)

Great record though it is, Marillion’s debut album, Script For A Jester’s Tear, was heavily indebted to their love of Genesis and early-70s progressive rock. With 1984’s Fugazi, however, Fish and co fashioned a more contemporary-sounding rock record that found them developing an identity that was truly their own. Going gold and peaking at No.5 in the UK, the album featured some of the best Marillion songs, Assassing and Punch And Judy among them, and its recent vinyl reissue – which was enhanced by a new stereo remix – ensures it sounds sharper than ever before.

Must hear: Assassing

35: Talk Talk: ‘The Party’s Over’ (140g grey vinyl)

Talk Talk’s reputation rests primarily on their later years, which spawned the remarkable left-field album trilogy The Colour Of Spring, Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock. The group’s early records are, however, equally essential stepping stones on their singular journey, with their debut album, The Party’s Over, returning this year on grey vinyl (with James Marsh’s original sleeve art faithfully reproduced) to mark 40 years since its original 1982 release. At this early stage in their career, Talk Talk were very much the thinking man’s synth-pop stars, but the album’s potent Top 40 hits, Today and Talk Talk, and Mark Hollis’ lyrical depth strongly hint at the greatness to come.

Must hear: Today

34: David Bowie: ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars’ (picture disc LP)

Featuring songs such as Five Years, Starman and Ziggy Stardust, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars was a game-changer for David Bowie’s career and the wider future of rock’n’roll, so it’s fitting that this much-hailed masterpiece should celebrate its golden jubilee with something special. The album has been given the half-speed remaster treatment and, on 17 June – 50 years and one day after its original UK release date – … Ziggy Stardust… returned in all its otherworldly glory as a limited-edition picture disc. That alone ensures it stacks up alongside the best reissues of 2022 but, to seal the deal, the new edition also includes a replica promotional poster.

Must hear: Starman

33: Whitesnake: ‘Greatest Hits: Revisited, Remixed, Remastered’ (2LP, CD+Blu-ray)

Released to coincide with Whitesnake’s high-profile Farewell tour, the self-explanatory Greatest Hits: Revisited, Remixed, Remastered spruces up 16 of the best from David Coverdale’s hard-rock veterans. Homing in on their career-defining mid-to-late-80s triumvirate, Slide It In, 1987’s self-titled album and Slip Of The Tongue, this new collection includes all the mandatory hits (Still Of The Night, Here I Go Again, Is This Love), but also digs deeper to include lesser-hailed classics such as 2011’s Forevermore and the dramatic 1994 B-side Sweet Lady Luck. It also features new performances from guitarist Adrian Vandenberg on the Slip Of The Tongue staples Deeper The Love and Judgement Day.

Must hear: Sweet Lady Luck

32: Idlewild: ‘The Remote Part’ (140g recycled black vinyl)

Another record reaching a significant milestone this year, Idlewild’s third full-length album, The Remote Part, has been re-pressed on vinyl, 20 years to the day of its original release, on 15 July 2002. Though easily recognisable as part of the Edinburgh outfit’s lineage, the album featured a more robust, mainstream rock sound to their previous albums, and also went gold, spawning four Top 30 singles, including the band’s signature hit, You Held The World In Your Arms. Echoing its critical acclaim down the years, frontman Roddy Woomble told Dig!: “Simply speaking, The Remote Part is the most popular, commercially successful record that Idlewild ever made. None of our other records achieved that level of popularity. So it’s the defining record for the group.”

Must hear: You Held The World In Your Arms

31: Echo And The Bunnymen: ‘Songs To Learn And Sing’ (splatter-vinyl LP+ 7”)

First released in 1985, Songs To Learn And Sing presented a handy compendium of the best Echo And The Bunnymen songs, culled from the pioneering post-punk outfit’s first four albums, Crocodiles, Heaven Up Here, Porcupine and 1984’s majestic Ocean Rain. All the band’s classic tracks from this imperious first phase in their history, from Rescue through to The Cutter and the anthemic The Killing Moon, made the cut, with the tracklist also drafting in the hard-to-source non-album single The Puppet alongside the band’s then-current single, Bring On The Dancing Horses, originally released to coincide with Songs To Learn And Sing. This talismanic compilation arrived back on wax in February, in a glorious splatter-vinyl edition with a bonus 7” of the band’s debut single, The Pictures On My Wall, sealing the deal.

Must hear: The Puppet

30: Joy Division: ‘Still’ (180g clear-vinyl 2LP)

As close to an official third Joy Division album as fans could hope for, 1981’s Still was a fan-friendly double-disc set which collected rarities, outtakes and previously unreleased material accrued during the band’s active lifetime, plus the complete recording of their final gig, at Birmingham’s Aston University, on 2 May 1980. The pick of Still’s studio cuts (Exercise One, Sound Of Music, the majestic Dead Souls) remain up there with the best Joy Division songs, and the album’s lavish, 40th-anniversary packaging – featuring heavyweight clear vinyl housed in a ruby-red sleeve – cements Still’s place among the best reissues of 2022.

Must hear: Dead Souls

29: Neil Young And Crazy Horse: ‘Toast’ (LP with Side Four etching, CD)

Named after the San Francisco studio where it was recorded (as opposed to the band’s breakfast of choice), Toast was laid down in 2001, but then immediately shelved – until now. This versatile seven-track set (“We played all genres and touched on a lot of aspects of who the Horse could have been or could be,” guitarist Frank “Poncho” Sampedro told Uncut) is, however, already familiar to dedicated Young archivists. Its highlights include the strident Standing In The Light Of Love, Timberline and the ten-minute blow-out, Gateway Of Love.

Must hear: Standing In The Light Of Love

28: Pink Floyd: ‘P.U.L.S.E’ (double-Blu-ray, double-DVD box sets)

The restored and re-edited version of Pink Floyd’s P.U.L.S.E. concert film (shot on 20 October 1994, at London’s Earls Court, during the band’s Division Bell tour) was reissued as double-Blu-ray and double-DVD deluxe box sets in February, with the lavish packaging reprising the flashing LED on the spine, as seen on the original 1995 CD release.

The album’s tracklist is notable for featuring a complete live version of The Dark Side Of The Moon, plus a rendition of Astronomy Domine (a Syd Barrett-penned song not performed since the early 70s), while this new deluxe edition offers a treasure trove of exclusives, among them music videos, rehearsal footage and a 60-page booklet, easily ensuring its status as one of best reissues of 2022.

Must hear: Astronomy Domine

27: Kraftwerk: ‘Remixes’ (LP, 2Cd)

Kraftwerk’s continued influence can still be felt in their ever-evolving live show, but in terms of their catalogue, curation largely trumps creation these days. Nonetheless, 2020’s digital-only Remixes compilation set pulses racing as it included the previously unreleased, eight-minute version of Non Stop (which began life as a soundbite recorded for MTV in the 80s) in addition to updated mixes of the classic tracks Home Computer and Tour De France (Étape 2). Now given a physical release, the collection’s inclusion among the best reissues of 2022 is mandatory.

Must hear: Non Stop

26: Jerry Garcia: ‘Garcia’ (“gold nugget” 180g vinyl)

Grateful Dead’s deal with Warner Bros allowed them the freedom to make solo records, with Bob Weir (Ace) and Mickey Hart (Rolling Thunder) quick to take advantage before leader Jerry Garcia got in on the act with 1972’s Garcia. Though featuring the occasional left-field diversion such as the avant-garde-inclined Late For Supper, the album was largely pretty accessible, with Garcia pursuing blues and psych-based rockers (Sugaree, The Wheel) alongside more bucolic workouts (Bird Song, the gloriously intimate To Lay Me Down) sure to hook in fans who loved the Dead’s rootsy early 70s releases Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. A quiet triumph that’s ripe for rediscovery, Garcia returned in 2022 on limited-edition “gold nugget” vinyl, with a new liner-notes essay from Rolling Stone’s David Fricke.

Must hear: To Lay Me Down

25: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers And Thelonious Monk: ‘Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk’ (2LP, 2CD)

In May 1967, the supernaturally dextrous drummer and bandleader Art Blakey took his group – which then included jazz greats such as saxophonist Johnny Griffin and trumpeter Bill Hardman – into the studio with the iconoclastic pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, and subsequently emerged with this six-track masterpiece. The original album includes unique takes on some of the pianist’s landmark tunes, such as Evidence, Blue Monk and a powerhouse rendition of Rhythm-A-Ning (the latter featuring a gravity-defying Blakey drum solo), while the second disc showcases alternate – and equally impactful – takes of the same six tunes.

Must hear: Blue Monk

24: Biohazard: ‘Urban Discipline’ (ROG limited edition 2LP)

They received less kudos than Californian contemporaries such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More, but Brooklyn’s Biohazard also hit upon something uniquely theirs through fusing elements of metal, punk and hip-hop during the late 80s. Their independently released self-titled debut album went under the radar, but its 1992 follow-up, Urban Discipline, sold a million copies and rewarded the band with national attention when its key track, Punishment, became the most-played video in the history of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. A cult favourite ever since, Urban Discipline has this year received a generous vinyl reissue including a clutch of previously unreleased demos, deluxe packaging and an exclusive fold-out poster.

Must hear: Punishment

23: Starsailor: ‘Love Is Here’ (2LP, 2CD)

Starsailor’s 2001 debut album, Love Is Here, peaked at No.2 in the UK album chart and introduced frontman James Walsh’s troops on the international stage. Big on intimate yet anthemic songs with a universal appeal, the album featured five UK Top 40 singles: Fever, Good Souls, Alcoholic, Lullaby and Poor Misguided Fool. Now afforded a deluxe 20th-anniversary edition, the newly-expanded Love Is Here includes a bonus disc full of covers (songs by Bill Withers, Gram Parsons and Van Morrison) and session recordings, with five brand-new, specially recorded tracks ensuring it ranks high among the best reissues of 2022.

Must hear: Alcoholic

22: The Monkees: ‘Headquarters’ (4CD+7” single)

First released in May 1967, Headquarters was The Monkees’ third studio album, though it arrived just a breathless seven months after their self-titled debut, timed to coincide with the conclusion of the first season of the band’s TV series. It’s also significant in that it marks the point when the band gained control over much of their studio material. Indeed, while Headquarters includes several tracks provided by songwriting alumni such as Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, The Monkees themselves penned most of the album’s songs, with Mickey Dolenz’s ambitious, psych-fused Randy Scouse Git especially hinting at significant talent dying to burst out.

The band were vindicated when Headquarters remained at No.2 on the Billboard 200 throughout the summer of 1967 (it took The Beatles’ seminal Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to keep it off the top spot), and it remains a high-water mark in their career. Reissued to celebrate its 55th birthday, the record’s new edition pulls out all the stops, proffering 69 previously unreleased recordings and a new remix of the original album.

Must hear: Randy Scouse Git

21: Manic Street Preachers: ‘Know Your Enemy’ (2LP, 3CD)

Inspired – at least in part – by Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I and II, Manic Street Preachers intended to follow their multi-platinum career best, 1998’s This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours, with two albums released simultaneously. For myriad reasons, however, the plan didn’t come to fruition, and Know Your Enemy was eventually issued in 2001 as a single 75-minute CD. It peaked at No.2 in the UK and went gold but, in this truncated form, its Sandinista!-esque stylistic sprawl polarised opinion, with even the band themselves tending to play down its virtues.

For Know Your Enemy’s 20th anniversary, however, the Welsh trio revisited their original concept, presenting the more reflective tracks (Door To The River) on one disc, and the anthemic rockers (Solidarity) on a second, along with a further disc’s worth of home and studio demos. Collectively, it makes for a far more cohesive listening experience than the original single-disc configuration, with the book-bound CD packaging and a plethora of excellent, previously unreleased tracks, ranging from the eerie Rosebud to The Avalanches’ sample-heavy remix of So Why So Sad, elevating Know Your Enemy from a must-have for Manics’ devotees to one of the best reissues of 2022 for discerning rock fans of all persuasions.

Must hear: Rosebud

20: Kevin Rowland And Dexys Midnight Runners: ‘Too-Rye-Ay (As It Should Have Sounded)’ (3CD)

Building on the momentum of their debut album, Searching For The Young Soul Rebels, Dexys Midnight Runners took 1982 by storm, with their signature hit, Come On Eileen, ripping up the charts and landing at No.1 on both sides of the Atlantic. Its parent album, Too-Rye-Ay, was also one of that year’s biggest successes (it peaked at No.2 in the UK), but while it pushed the band to the cusp of major stardom, frontman Kevin Rowland was never happy with the record’s mix. Cue the album’s new edition, remixed by long-time associate Pete Schwier and presented “as it should have sounded” to Rowland. To the uninitiated, some of the changes may seem cosmetic, but it’s great to have Too-Rye-Ay back – not least in a beautiful, book-bound multi-disc edition which also includes a raft of flipsides, rarities and an impassioned (and well-recorded) live show from London’s Shaftesbury Theatre, circa October 1982.

Must hear: The Celtic Soul Brothers (More, Please, Thank You)

19: Grateful Dead: ‘Road Trips Vol.1, No. 3’ (2CD), ‘Dick’s Picks Vol.3’ (2CD), ‘Dick’s Picks Vol.12’ (3CD)

Deadheads old and new can fill their boots with these three new Grateful Dead archive collections. Capturing the San Fran legends in their 70s pomp, these exhaustive multi-disc live sets – Road Trips Vol.1, No.3 – Summer ’71, Dick’s Picks Vol.3 – Pembroke Pines, Florida 5/22/77, and Dick’s Picks Vol.12 – Providence Civic Center 6/26/74 And Boston Garden 6/28/74 – have previously been hard to come by. The Road Trips set is arguably the jewel in the crown, as it’s never before been available in brick-and-mortar stores.

Must hear: Dark Star (live at Yale Bowl, New Haven, Connecticut, 31 July 1977)

18: Seal: ‘Seal: Deluxe Edition’ (4CD+2LP)

Husky-voiced soul sensation Seal became one of pop’s hottest properties after his beguiling vocal turn on Killer, by acid-house producer and DJ Adamski, helped send the single to No.1 in May 1990. The hip ZTT label won the ensuing bidding war for Seal’s services, and Trevor Horn’s widescreen production proved to be the ideal backdrop for his imposing voice. Seal’s multi-platinum self-titled debut album became one of 1991’s biggest records, thanks to five smash hits – including one of the star’s signature songs, Crazy. Such a mega-selling release deserves an expansive reissue, and Seal’s 20th-anniversary edition is just that, with a generous selection of rarities, remixes and live tracks sprawling across multiple discs, setting it up as one of the best reissues of 2022.

Must hear: Crazy

17: Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros: ‘Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years’ (7LP, 4CD)

Joe Strummer secured his legend with The Clash’s much-coveted catalogue, but he enjoyed a notable artistic rebirth during his latter days, fronting The Mescaleros in the years leading up to his tragically premature death, aged just 50, in December 2002.

The first comprehensive collection to highlight this intense period of creativity, Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years rounds up all three of the band’s eclectic, genre-busting studio albums, Rock Art And The X-Ray Style, Global A-Go-Go and Streetcore, along with a raft of enviable extras, among them demos, outtakes, lyrics and an exclusive 12” x 12” art print. It adds up to a suitably hefty tribute to this late, lamented rock icon in what would have been his 70th year on Earth.

Must hear: Coma Girl 

16: Neu!: ‘50’ (6LP, 5CD)

In commercial terms, Neu! never tussled with their Düsseldorf neighbours Kraftwerk, but their influence is absolutely everywhere. Actively rejecting the blues-rock and prog-rock styles so prevalent in the early 70s, Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger instead took rock music in a completely different direction. With Dinger’s relentless, motorik drumming providing the bedrock, and Rother placing the emphasis on repetitive basslines and sharp, clipped guitar figures, Neu! created something bold, fresh and unique, and their trio of early-to-mid-70s albums, Neu!, Neu! 2 and Neu! ’75, have been cited as inspirational by everyone from David Bowie to PiL and Slint.

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of their self-titled debut, the self-explanatory 50 collates the band’s legend-building triumvirate, along with Rother and Dinger’s less essential reunion album, Neu! ’86 (aka Neu! 4), and a pleasantly engaging tribute disc featuring reworkings of Neu!’s best moments (Hallogallo, Weissensee, Negativland) by artists ranging from Mogwai to New Order’s Stephen Morris. Throw in a free stencil, an informative booklet and some natty packaging, and you easily have one of the best reissues of 2022.

Must hear: Hallogallo

15: Little Feat: ‘Waiting For Columbus’ (8CD + limited-edition bundles)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest live albums of all time, Little Feat’s Waiting For Columbus celebrates its 45th anniversary with an 8CD super-deluxe Edition. The newly-expanded set includes a freshly remastered version of the original double album, plus three previously unreleased concerts from the run of summer 1977 shows that gave us the original record. Stuffed with gems, the shows from Manchester City Hall (29 July 1977), The Rainbow, London (2 August 1977), and Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC (10 August 1977), capture a band in dynamic, genre-hopping form on both sides of the Atlantic, and the whole caboodle adds up to one of the best reissues of 2022.

Must hear: Fat Man In The Bathtub

14: The Notorious B.I.G.: ‘Life After Death’ (8LP)

Issued just a few weeks following his death in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, the presciently-titled Life After Death became The Notorious B.I.G.’s epitaph – and that’s all the more tragic when you consider that the record contains some of the most transcendent hip-hip of the 90s. Undoubtedly shaping up as one of the best reissues of 2022, Life After Death’s expansive vinyl reissue sees the album spread across three LPs, with an additional five discs featuring single edits and alternate mixes. It also includes many of the best Notorious B.I.G. songs, among them seminal tracks such as Mo Money Mo Problems, Kick in The Door and Biggie’s signature hit, Hypnotize.

Must hear: Hypnotize

13: Stone Temple Pilots: ‘Core’ (ROG limited edition, 4LP)

Fronted by the charismatic but ill-fated Scott Weiland, San Diego’s Stone Temple Pilots smashed their way to the forefront of the US alt-rock scene with their debut album, 1992’s Core: a runaway success which went eight-times platinum in North America alone.

Spawning three major hits, including the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart-topping single Plush, the album won a Grammy Award and is widely regarded as a grunge-era classic. On cue, it now returns to celebrate its 30th birthday in style as a strictly limited four-disc vinyl edition featuring remastered audio, deluxe packaging and a 20” x 20” fold-out poster. Throw in a handful of bonus demos, B-sides and live tracks, and you surely have one of the best reissues of 2022 on your hands.

Must hear: Plush

12: Pink Floyd: ‘Animals’ (2018 Remix) (180g vinyl+CD+DVD+Blu-ray)

Partially inspired by George Orwell’s satirical novel Animal Farm, Pink Floyd’s tenth album, Animals, was – and remains – a highly prescient concept album, focusing on the socio-political conditions of mid-70s Britain, and its hard-hitting approach marked a notable departure from the band’s earlier work.

Arguably as well known for boasting one of the best Pink Floyd album covers, featuring a pig flying over London’s Battersea Power Station, Animals celebrates its 45th anniversary with reimagined artwork, and – for the first time – it can be heard in 5.1 surround sound. The deluxe gatefold version is especially tempting, as it includes a 180g LP, CD, audio Blu-ray, audio DVD and a 32-page book. The Blu-ray and DVD include the 2018 remix in stereo and 5.1 surround sound, plus the original 1977 stereo mix.

Must hear: Sheep

11: Tina Turner: ‘Break Every Rule’ (3Cd+2DVD, 2CD, LP)

Consolidating the success of Tina Turner’s hugely successful comeback album, Private Dancer, 1986’s Break Every Rule was a star-studded affair featuring contributions from David Bowie, Mark Knopfler, Phil Collins and Steve Winwood, to name just a few. Among a wealth of contenders among the best Tina Turner songs, the album featured the transatlantic Top 5 smash Typical Male and the gutsy Back Where You Started, the latter of which earned the “Queen Of Rock’n’Roll” a Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance in 1987. Alongside a host of rarities, the lavish new edition of Break Every Rule also includes the entirety of Turner’s Guinness World Record-breaking performance in front of over 180,000 adoring fans at the Maracanã stadium, in Rio De Janeiro.

Must hear: Typical Male

10: David Bowie: ‘TOY:Box’ (6×10” vinyl, 3CD)

On the back of his Glastonbury 2000 performance, David Bowie and his band recorded Toy, a putative studio album featuring fresh interpretations of songs the Starman first recorded from 1964 through to 1971. The plan was to record the album using “old school” live-in-the-studio conditions, with the results to be issued as soon as was humanly possible. However, in 2001, the technology to support the “surprise drop” releases artists can now readily avail themselves of was yet to become widely available, forcing Bowie to reluctantly shelve the release.

Nonetheless, Toy finally saw the light of day as part of 2021’s Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001) box set, before being followed this past January with the exhaustive TOY:Box collection featuring alternative mixes, B-sides and additional rarities, plus a collection of “Unplugged & Somewhat Slightly Electric” mixes of 13 of the original Toy tracks. Also thrown in as a tempter, Frank Ockenfels’ 16-page booklet ensures that the highly covetable TOY:Box ranks right up there among the very best reissues of 2022.

Must hear: You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving

9: Jethro Tull: ‘Thick As A Brick: 50th Anniversary Edition’ (2LP, CD+DVD)

It’s ironic that Jethro Tull’s fifth album, Thick As A Brick, is now regarded as a progressive-rock classic, as it was designed to send up what the band considered to be the excesses of the genre. Inspired by the surreal humour of British comedy team Monty Python, the album also sought to lampoon the absurdities of British life (and to gently poke fun at the band themselves) by creating what frontman Ian Anderson referred to as “the mother of all concept albums”: one long, suite-like piece of music which stretched across two sides of vinyl, reimagining what the best Jethro Tull songs could be in the process. However, while Thick As A Brick was satirical in nature, its adventurous music struck a much wider chord, and it topped the US Billboard charts on release. As befits such a touchstone release, Thick As A Brick’s 50th-anniversary reissue is a suitably lavish affair, with the vinyl edition being issued in a replica of its original packaging – a bespoke 12-page newspaper.

Must hear: Thick As A Brick (Part One)

8: Blondie: ‘Against The Odds: 1974-1982’ (10LP, 8CD)

During their heyday, Blondie pieced together one of the post-punk era’s most covetable catalogues. All six of the studio albums from that halcyon period (from the group’s self-titled 1976 debut through to 1982’s The Hunter) are reprised in full in this treasure trove of a box set which – in total – includes a whopping 124 songs, of which 26 are previously unreleased. The extras alone are especially mouth-watering, as the deluxe editions include everything from Debbie Harry and co’s earliest demo recordings, laid down in 1974, through to a 144-page hardback book with commentary from all the band members involved in the group’s history-making first phase.

Must hear: Moonlight Drive

7: The Flaming Lips: ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots: 20th Anniversary Edition’ (6CD)

Its predecessor, The Soft Bulletin, attracted widespread critical acclaim, but it was The Flaming Lips’ tenth studio album, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, that reaped the commercial yield Wayne Coyne’s outfit had been homing in on since 1995’s Clouds Taste Metallic. Though in places more melancholy than their previous releases, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots balanced out ruminations on love, loss and mortality with some glorious musical flights of fancy, with electronica and hip-hop rhythms broadening the band’s established psych-rock textures. Featuring some of the best Flaming Lips songs, the album connected with a far wider audience than before, moving over half a million copies in the US and scoring the group their first gold disc. Proffering swathes of previously unreleased tracks across multiple discs, the newly expanded anniversary edition effortlessly sashays into the Top 10 of our best reissues of 2022.

Must hear: Do You Realize??

6: Eric Clapton: ‘The Complete Reprise Studio Albums: Vol.1’ (12LP 180g vinyl)

Eric Clapton signed with Reprise in 1983, with both parties embarking on a highly fruitful partnership which would endure for the next 30 years. The self-explanatory Complete Reprise Studio Albums: Vol.1 siphons off a decent portion of the cream, taking in Clapton’s first six albums for Reprise (from 1983’s Money And Cigarettes and 1985’s Behind The Sun through to 1998’s Grammy-winning Pilgrim) along with an disc exclusive to this collection, Rarities (1983-1998), which features hard-to-source tracks from the era. He earned the nickname “God” for his work in the 60s but, as this collection shows, all of Eric Clapton’s Reprise albums contain their fair share of transcendental music.

Must hear: It’s In The Way That You Use It

5: Wilco: ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ (11LP silver vinyl+CD)

Very broadly the album with which Wilco showed everyone they weren’t simply an “Americana” band, 2001’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot arguably remains the durable Chicago act’s greatest artistic statement. However, as has been well-documented elsewhere, its completion came with a hefty price tag attached, with the band’s original line-up disintegrating during its making and their label dropping them after hearing the final version of the record.

Nonetheless, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot remains a towering achievement. Record Collector magazine recently described it as “a place of tricks-y time signatures, radio interference, spaced-out ballads, dead-eyed power-pop, babbling electronics and exquisite songs informed by existential doubt”, and – as its profusion of multi-disc 20th-anniversary options make abundantly clear – it’s unquestionably one of the best reissues of 2022.

Must hear: Jesus, Etc.

4: Madonna: ‘Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones’ (6x red-and-black vinyl, 3CD)

Madonna made history once again when, in February 2022, she topped Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart for the 50th time, with I Don’t Search I Find, making her the first and only recording artist to have 50 No.1 hits on any single Billboard chart. To celebrate this milestone among what was already an incredible run of Madonna No.1s, the “Queen Of Pop” has curated two new collections that demand inclusion on any self-respecting shortlist of the best reissues of 2022.

Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones is a new 50-track collection that includes Madonna’s own favourite remixes of those chart-topping dance hits that have filled clubs worldwide for four decades. Including exactly what its title suggests, it spans Madonna’s entire dance-chart reign with dozens of remixes by the world’s top producers. In addition to fan favourites, the collection also includes a selection of rare recordings, with more than 20 either being officially released for the first time or making their commercial debut. For fans with shallower pockets, there’s also an abridged 16-track version, simply titled Finally Enough Love.

Must hear: Into The Groove (You Can Dance Remix)

3: Joni Mitchell: ‘The Asylum Albums (1972-1975)’ (5LP 180g vinyl, 4CD)

Such is the calibre the best reissues of 2022 that only releases of true quality can enter the upper echelons of this list, but that’s certainly captured in abundance on Joni Mitchell’s The Asylum Years (1972-1975). As the title suggests, this new release is the latest instalment in the pioneering singer-songwriter’s ongoing Joni Mitchell Archives series, this time taking in remastered editions of her highly acclaimed early-to-mid-70s studio albums, For The Roses, Court And Spark and The Hissing Of Summer Lawns, plus the double live set Miles Of Aisles. Among the most beguiling releases in Mitchell’s canon, all four contain classics aplenty, chronicling their creator’s ever-restless muse travelling – as her Canadian compatriot Neil Young astutely suggests – “from folk to jazz and in between, creating a unique kind of sound that I loved to listen to over and over”.

Must hear: Free Man In Paris

2: The Beatles: ‘Revolver’ (5CD, 4LP)

Beatles fans have been spoilt of late, with sumptuous box-set editions of landmark albums all doing the rounds in time for Christmas over the past five years. This year, 1966’s game-changing Revolver gets the super-deluxe treatment, and doesn’t disappoint. The flagship five-disc edition includes Giles Martin and Sam Okell’s new stereo mix of the album, two discs of outtakes and rarities, the original mono master and a four-track EP featuring new stereo mixes of Paperback Writer and Rain. The album’s low end has been boosted, so Revolver sounds agreeably louder than before, though the fact the Dolby Atmos mix is digital-only has caused irritation among the audiophile element of the band’s fanbase.

Must hear: Yellow Submarine (Home demo)

1: David Bowie: ‘Divine Symmetry’ (4CD+Blu-Ray)

David Bowie fans began the year revelling in the TOY:BOX set, and they ended 2022 on an even bigger high with the arrival of Divine Symmetry, a multi-disc collection celebrating a particularly fertile 12-month period in which Bowie worked his way towards creating 1971’s esteemed Hunky Dory album.

With nigh-on 50 unreleased tracks, among them home demos, BBC radio sessions and a landmark live show at Friars Aylesbury, and a selection of new mixes from producer Ken Scott, the music is seismic enough, but there’s so much more to savour: a 100-page hardback book features exclusive memorabilia and photos alongside a 60-page replica composite of Bowie’s notebooks from the era, including handwritten lyrics, costume drawings, recording notes and setlists. It all ensures that Divine Symmetry is a treasure trove – and more than worthy of the top spot among our best reissues of 2022.

Must hear: Queen Bitch (Demo)

Original article: 3 April 2022

Updated: 13 July 2022, 13 October 2022, 13 December 2022

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