20 Best Reissues of 2014

The Beatles in mono, Led Zep's alternate takes, history's greatest bootleg and more of the year's best boxes rereleases and excavations

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Chuck Berry, 'Rock and Roll Music — Any Old Way You Choose it: The Complete Studio Recordings…Plus!'
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5. Chuck Berry, 'Rock and Roll Music — Any Old Way You Choose it: The Complete Studio Recordings…Plus!'

This 16-CD set is rock's Book of Genesis in full: everything Berry recorded across more than three decades from his sideman appearance on a 1954 single by Joe Alexander to his last studio album, 1979's surprisingly credible Rockit. And Paul McCartney wrote the introduction to the liner notes. There are inevitable valleys, such as Berry's late-Sixties stay at Mercury Records. But Berry made consistently entertaining, often magnificent records at Chess, between the hits, and the best live recordings in this set — full sets from 1963 (Detroit), '69 (Toronto) and Britain ('72) — catch Berry in those years of renaissance. There are few rock & roll lives worthy of recounting in this kind of detail. Berry's was the first.

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