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

Best Reissues Of 2022: 10 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

 

10: 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

9: 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

8: 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

7: 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

6: 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

5: 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

4: 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

3: 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

2: 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

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 will take some beating when it comes to choosing the very best reissues of 2022 at the end of the year.

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.

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