Reissues of the Year

Dylan let the world into his basement, CSNY revisted their wildest tour, plus definitive sets from Chuck Berry, The Allmans and more

ob Dylan and 'The Band' performing at the Woody Guthrie memorial concert In New York City's Carnegie Hall on January 20th, 1968. Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

1. Bob Dylan 
The Basement Tapes Complete: The Boot­leg Series Vol. 11
In 1967, Dylan was far off the pop-star grid: writing and recording with his '66 road warriors in upstate New York seclusion. The rough clatter of bar-gig covers, acutely re­flective ballads and apocalyp­tic surrealism that emerged became the greatest acciden­tal album ever made. This box set is that season of discovery complete: Dylan in extend­ed, pivotal rebirth as a singer, storyteller and, with the Band, collaborator. Rock's greatest songwriter was, after a rock­et ride through protest and electricity, becoming a voice for all America.

2 .The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles' longest, most eclectic album was the last to be mixed by them in mono and issued that way — in Britain in 1968. This vinyl reissue marks its first American release, as they intended you to hear it.

3. Mike Bloomfield 
From His Head to His Heart to His Hands
The late guitar hero's friend Al Kooper curated this inci­sive retrospective, drawing on a lifetime of treble, grit and maj­esty, right up to a last, searing 1980 live show with Bob Dylan.

4. The Allman Brothers Band
The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings
In the year that rock's hardiest improvising band finally retired, the March '71 weekend that produced At Fillmore East was unleashed in full.

5. Chuck Berry
Rock and Roll Music — Any Old Way You Choose It
Here is rock's Book of Genesis: 16 CDs of prime and rare Berry from 1954 to '79. Paul McCart­ney wrote the liner-notes intro.

6. Sly Stone
I'm Just Like You: Sly's Stone Flower 1969-70
After Stand!, before his 1970s free fall, Stone previewed the future of R&B — an eerie elec­tro-hip-hop — in this brief run of funky, dynamic productions.

7. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
CSNY1974
This sprawling account of CSNY's '74 tour caught Amer­ica's only true supergroup at a blazing, prolific high, making magic on the edge of chaos.

8. The Posies
Failure
The 1988 debut of this indie-power-pop duo was classicist jangle and chorales with alt-rock edge. Failure was so good that the Posies later became half of the revived Big Star.

9. The Seeds
Singles A's and B's 1965-1970
This L.A. band stretched the pummeling minimalism of its signature mantra, the '66 hit "Pushin' Too Hard," over near­ly a dozen hot, terse 45s.

10. Bob Carpenter
Silent Passage
Carpenter's unissued 1974 debut was a Canadian coun­try-folk union of Nick Drake and Gram Parsons, with help from members of Little Feat. It is now rescued treasure.