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Reissue Of The Year



If there were one band that would produce a series of reissues that oozed class and serious consideration, it would be the band that oozed class and serious consideration for their whole career.

Back in September Pink Floyd embarked on one of the most impressively complete reissue campaigns in recent memory. As well as a fairly standard set of "Discovery" reissues (single disc editions of all of their albums, all remastered to perfection) the band unveiled that rare beast - previously unreleased material.

The band's Experience editions of 'Dark Side Of The Moon' and 'Wish You Were Here' added whole bonus discs of unreleased live and rare studio material, and they were quite sublime.

But it was the two "Immersion" box sets of Dark Side and WYWH that had fans' hearts all a-quiver, with a plethora of mixes, bonus discs, memorabilia, formats and other assorted goodies all thrown it.

It's a staggering set of releases that treated the work of one of the world's greatest ever bands with the dignity and respect it deserves.



2) NIRVANA - NEVERMIND

On the 20th anniversary of its release Nirvana's grunge classic was given a comprehensive reissue that reminded the world just how special the album was. In the deluxe box set a subtly remastered edition of the Nevermind was packaged with an enormous amount of unreleased material, including demos, live versions and alternate mixes which allowed fans to immerse themselves in the genesis and making of the album, from its early inception to the finished product. It's remarkable that the album is 20 years old, as it sounds as fresh as it did in '91 and thanks to this new edition it will hopefully have attracted a whole new fanbase.


3) THIN LIZZY - REISSUE SERIES

Four of Lizzy's best albums were given a loving makeover in January with 2CD deluxe editions that mined interesting (although by no means essential) unreleased material from the archive. Live And Dangerous, Johnny The Fox, Vagabonds Of The Western World and Jailbreak have all been given a fantastic touch up that makes all of them sparkle. Thin Lizzy were never really known as an "album band" but as these four remasters prove, their output was every bit as special as that of their peers. Johnny The Fox in particular is a forgotten gem that needs reappraisal, and these remasters help make up for that in a very special way.


4) JETHRO TULL - AQUALUNG

After years of duff reissues Tull's 1971 masterpiece is given the 40th anniversary overhaul that it deserves. Remixed and remastered from the original 8 and 16 track tapes, Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson has managed to extract every inch of detail from the original album. When you hear this remaster it's like listening to the album for the very first time, and you will hear some new on each repeat visit while the bonus material is (unlike a lot of reissue bonus tracks these days) absolutely fascinating. The super deluxe box set edition is well worth exploring for the 5.1 mixes, which are simply extraordinary.


5) OZZY OSBOURNE - DIARY OF A MADMAN

At the very least this Legacy Edition is justice being done, with Lee Kerslake and Bob Daisley rightfully returned to the mix after that genuinely appalling debacle in 2002 in which their parts were re-recorded after a falling out with the Osbournes. The album is, of course, Ozzy's solo tour de force and this reissue has been fantastically remastered to make it sound pristine, with all of the vibrancy and edge that made it so special in 1981 shining forth once more. The bonus disc of live material (cobbled together from various performances on the Blizzard Of Ozz tour) is good, occasionally outstanding (particularly Randy Rhoads), although it's probably for completists only as the Tribute album remains the definitive live document of this period. But it's the restored and remastered Diary Of A Madman that will have you hooked, just as it did 30 years ago.

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