Best Album Reissues of 2012

The Velvet Underground, R.E.M., Blur and more

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Blur, '21'
Courtesy of EMI8/10

8. Blur, '21'

Britpop is not a big enough word to cover the ambition and pop-smart achievement in this career summation: seven studio LPs and an ocean of extras across 21 discs. Blur's main competition, Oasis, pinched heavily from the Beatles; Blur changed and matured with Beatles-like velocity, from the shoe-gazer psychedelia of 1991's Leisure and the modern-Kinks irony on 1994's Parklife to the hip-hop nerve of 2003's Think Tank. You can get the original albums in separate two-CD sets – a good value – but this box is the entire story. It is not overkill.

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