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

Various Artists, 'Bowie Heard Them Here First'
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20. Various Artists, 'Bowie Heard Them Here First'

This fantastic mixtape party is David Bowie's 1973 covers album, Pin Ups, in the raw and extended: the original versions of songs he cut on that record (the Pretty Things' "Roslyn," "Sorrow" by the Merseys) and over his career, back to his mod band the Mannish Boys (Bobby Bland's 1961 R&B reproof "I Pity the Fool") and up to 2003's Reality (the Modern Lovers' "Pablo Picasso"). The bedfellows get strange but make sense as a zigzag map of Bowie's eclecticism. Johnny Mathis' "Wild is the Wind," taken to galactic melodrama on Station to Station, is next to Lotta Lenya's 1930 recording of "Alabama Song," an exotic feature of Bowie's 1978 set list. Ace Records has a fine line in these inspiration anthologies, with all-killer volumes devoted to Dusty Springfield, the New York Dolls and the Ramones.