Best Reissues of the Year - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music News

Best Reissues of the Year

Bob Dylan
The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9 — The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964
These rough sketches, made by Dylan for his song publishers to register copyright and solicit covers, are actually the sound of seismic change: the ascent of the singer-songwriter, at the expense of Tin Pan Alley, and his dazzling maturation as a composer. Talking-blues and protest grenades give way to a robust grace and emotional acuity that peaks, despite a tossed-off reading, in “I’ll Keep It With Mine,” maybe the best song he ever gave away.

Jimi Hendrix
West Coast Seattle Boy
Sony Legacy
The guitarist’s four years in the maelstrom are retold from gripping, all-new angles: studio detours, live whiplash and newly unearthed songs. But the real news here is the prelude: the first full account of Hendrix’s sideman years. Don Covay and Little Richard didn’t know they had it so good.

The 30 Best Albums of 2010

Syl Johnson
Complete Mythology
Numero Group
Syl Johnson deserved the world. His bright, gritty tenor sounded like Sam Cooke and James Brown exulting at once. But Johnson owned Chicago with these small-label sides issued from 1959 to 1972. This massive box has four CDs, six LPs, a deep-detail book and a party that still won’t quit.

Various Artists
Africa: 50 Years of Music 1960-2010
This box is Africa in a day: 18 CDs, grouped by region, tracing roots and fusions from Zimbabwe’s Bhundu Boys and Algeria’s Cherifa to the Congolese kalimba band Konono N˚1 and Benin’s world-pop star Angélique Kidjo. The result is price-friendly and cohesively programmed, with a vital aftereffect: You want to go deeper.

The 50 Best Songs of 2010

The Rolling Stones
Exile on Main Street
Rolling Stones/Universal
The Stones add 10 outtakes (some with new overdubs) to Exile’s ragged perfection. But the extras have their own jolt, like the creeping gris-gris of “I’m Not Signifying” and Keith Richards’ vividly wounded alternate vocal for “Soul Survivor.”

Various Artists
Next Stop Is Vietnam: The War on Record 1961-2008
Bear Family
Vietnam was a war fought with guitars as well as napalm. This 13-disc set, with a parade-dress-quality book, juxtaposes dispatches from Bob Dylan, the Doors and the Fugs with records by country and pop hawks and songs from the aftermath, as veterans came home to cold shoulders and worse (John Prine’s “Sam Stone”). This is essential American history in sound — and a lesson in the art of morale.

Delaney and Bonnie and Friends
On Tour With Eric Clapton
Rhino Handmade
In 1969, the Bramletts briefly led a roaring-R&B big band with Clapton, George Harrison and Dave Mason on guitars. The set lists at these four U.K. shows were consistent. So were the fireworks.

Burning Spear
Marcus Garvey & Garvey’s Ghost
Hip-O Select
This 1975 spiritual-reggae classic, with Kingston-Impressions harmonies flanking the Rasta-chant soul of Winston Rodney, is paired with its ’76 dub companion.

Rolling Stone‘s Best of 2010: The Year’s Top Music, Movies and More

Love Lost
Arthur Lee’s wilderness years begin with these aborted 1971 sessions. He leads a heavy Love, far from the delicacy of 1967’s Forever Changes but compelling in its blunt-riff turbulence and frank despair.

Various Artists
Come and Get It: The Best of Apple
Records Apple
Hits and weirdness by Beatles protégés, from Badfinger and Mary Hopkin to a Hare Krishna choir and a guy named Brute Force, capture a brief, utopian moment in what once was the record biz.


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.