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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Led Zeppelin, 'Led Zeppelin III: Deluxe Edition'
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16/20

16. Led Zeppelin, 'Led Zeppelin III: Deluxe Edition'

Of the companion albums included with this year's Zeppelin reissues, curator-guitarist Jimmy Page's in-progress mirror image of III — an underrated breakthrough in songwriting and tonal color on release in 1970 — was the most instructive and exhilarating, with the closest thing to truly alternate takes in "Jennings Farm Blues" — the electric run at what became the Welsh-campfire frolic "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" — and a first, slow, already magnificently brutal take of "Since I've Been Loving You." One of the few genuine outtakes in the series is here too: Page and singer Robert Plant with their rock-god guards down in the blues-chestnut medley "Keys to the Highway/Trouble in Mind," acknowledging the true source of their powers.

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