I am one of those old guys that still buy physical copies of art (albums). I say it is because I need it to play in the car, but that’s really just an excuse. I love the sensation of unpacking a new album, the feel, the artwork, the printed lyrics, the smell, hell, the whole package!
When the record companies have sold me all the classic albums, they release them again, with better sound, with more songs and bonus features, I don’t feel cheated, I feel blessed. I love archival music stuff, and long to hear studio outtakes, live takes and alternative versions of songs.
It has been a good year for music archivists, and my favorite reissues/archival releases this year are:
1. Bob Dylan – Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) The Bootleg Series Vol.10
This is from my post right after I bought the box set:
I have now had a few days listening to the new Bootleg series 10 deluxe box set. It is very interesting, and it is actually rather good. I am one of those few that kind of liked the original album, so I expected to like Another Self Portrait. I was not expecting that I would like it as much as I do.
That said, there are two things that stand out however. The first is the demo version of When I Paint My Masterpiece, it knocked me out. It is breathtakingly beautiful.
But the best of the release is the full Isle of Wight performance with The Band, and I really did not expect that!
When I paint my masterpiece – Demo:
A fantastic historical document!
2. The Band – Live at the Academy of Music 1971
A 4-CD/1-DVD box set chronicles Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel’s 1971 concerts at New York’s Academy of Music, featuring arrangements by New Orleans great Allen Toussaint.
One of the best live albums in rock history got the deluxe treatment, and yes, it got even better. Rock of Ages had 18 wonderful tracks, this upgrade has 56(!) tracks with The Band (and Bob Dylan) at their very peak. 56 best takes of songs from four evenings in 1971 (including the New-Years eve show in its entirety). I have played Rock of Ages so much I thought that nothing could surprise me, but this set did. The sound, the packaging, the liner notes and the pictures, everything is top-notch.
Life is a Carnival (Live, 1971):
Continue reading The 5 Best box sets and reissues of 2013