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Best Reissues Of 2022: 20 Essential Releases Of The Year So Far
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List & Guides

Best Reissues Of 2022: 20 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 we flick through the racks and pick out the best reissues of 2022 so far.

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

20: 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

19: 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

18: 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

17: 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[link to The Party’s Over piece when live], 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

16: 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

15: 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

14: 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

13: 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

12: 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

11: 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

10: 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

9: 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

8: 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

7: 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

6: 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

5: 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)

4: 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

3: 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

2: 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)

1: 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

Buy many of the best reissues of 2022, plus a whole lot more, at the Dig! store.

Original article: 3 April 2022

Updated: 13 July 2022

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