Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Re-Issues/Compilations of The Year 2008

40. Dave Greenslade ~ The Pantateuch Of The Cosmogony
A straight re-issue of the 1994 SBM remaster. BGO have done as good as job as possible in reproducing Patrick Woodroffe’s lavish book in the CD size format. The music may not be the equal of the book, but its not as bad as I remember.

39. Various Artists ~ Spirit Of Joy – Tales From The Polydor Underground 1967 - 1974
Another Mark Powell label based box set. Polydor were never as esoteric as the likes of Decca, but there is plenty to admire here.

38. Trees ~ The Garden of Jane Delawney
After the success of Sony/BMG’s “On The Shore” re-issue they have done the same with this, the bands debut album.

37. John G. Perry ~ Sunset Wading
Re-issued on the excellent Esoteric label, this is a minor gem from the ex-Caravan bassist.

36. Various Artists ~ The Recommended Sampler
At last released on CD for the first time. This sampler of artists who recorded for the ReR label is to sya the least eclectic. Beautifully remastered by Bob Drake.

35. Supersister ~ Remasters
Esoteric released four of this Dutch bands albums who are held in high esteem. The best is probably “Present from Nancy”.

34. The Gathering ~ Sand And Mercury – The Complete Century Media Years
Excellently packaged box set containing all the material recorded for the Century Media label.

33. Stomu Yamashta ~ Go
Another winning release from Esoteric. This is Yamashta’s best known album, athough it’s also worth checking out “Floating Music”

32. Chicago ~ Stone Of Sisyphus
Long lost recording released at last. Though recorded during the bands more commercial period, there is much to enjoy here.

31. England ~ Garden Shed
The origin of this re-issue is a bit unknown, but it’s the best way to get this excellent prog album from the back end of progs golden period.

30. Various Artists ~ Strange Pleasures - Further Sounds Of The Decca Underground
Yes, its another of those Mark Powell box sets. More from the Decca labels.

29. Robert Wyatt ~ Rock Bottom
A straight re-issue really of the Hannibal release from the late 90’s. Although the original cover artwork has been re-instated.

28. Various Artists ~ The All New Electric Muse
Breathtaking collection of folk into rock from the 60’s through to the 70’s.

27. ELP ~ Deluxe Editions
These remasters of “Pictures at an Exhibition” and “Brain Salad Surgery” sound fantastic. Very poorly let down by the unbelievable inaccuracies and errors throughout the packaging.

26. Porcupine Tree ~ Lightbulb Sun
Steven Wilson gives this 2000 album the full 5.1 surround sound treatment. A pity the bonus tracks only appear on the DVD disc.

25. Fripp & Eno ~ Remasters
“No Pussyfooting” and “Evening Star” remastered by Simon Heyworth supervised by Robert Fripp. Amusing “alternative” versions of “The Heavenly Music Corporation” and “Sawastika Girls”!

24. Alan Parsons Project ~ Remasters
The last batch of remasters of APP recordings. This has been a wonderful series of re-issues. Great sound and informative booklets with interesting bonus cuts.

23. Renaissance ~ Renaissance
Re-issued by Repertoire in mini-LP format. This is a great recording, somewhat overshadowed by the later version of the band.

22. Dream Theater ~ Greatest Hit (& 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)
Nice 2CD compilation covering material recorded for Atlantic.

21. Man ~ Back Into The Future
Lavish box set of live Man. Well done Esoteric.

20. Univers Zero ~ 1313
Beautifully remastered debut album from the darkest of prog bands, released on the Cuneiform label.

19. Blancmange ~ Remasters
Edsel Records are at the forefront for re-releasing 80’s synth pop. These remasters of Blancmange’s three albums remind us of how good this duo were.

18. Ultravox ~ Remasters
Very nice remasters of “Vienna” and “Rage In Eden”, extended to 2CD sets to include lost of bonus tracks.

17. 808 State ~ Remasters
ZTT have re-issued the complete 808 State catalogue as 2 CD sets to includes lots of extra material.

16. Gentle Giant ~ Three Friends
Remasterd by Eroc who has done a sterling job on the other Vertigo label Gentle Giant re-issues for Repertoire. Given the mini-LP treatment as well.

15. Penguin Café Orchestra ~ Broadcasting From Home
This is my favourite album from the PCO catalogue. Nicely reproduced in minimalist digipacks

14. Abel Ganz ~ The Dangers Of Strangers (20th Anniversary Edition)
Beautifully remastered and packaged re-issue of Scottish proggers best album from the 80’s.

13. John Foxx ~ Remasters
Having re-issued “Metamatic” as a deluxe 2CD edition a few years back, Edsel give the rest of the back catalogue the same treatmets. Lost of great bonus material included here and “The Garden” booklet now re-produced for the first time.

12. Return To Forever ~ Anthology
Phenomenal sounding remastered best of from this astounding jazz rock group from the 70’s.

11. Lana Lane ~ Best of Lana Lane 2000 - 2008
Japan only best of from the recent output of America’s finest female rock singer. All tracks nicely remastered by hubby Erik Norlander.

10. Dead Can Dance ~ Remasters
Beautifully remastered by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs and John Rivers and all packaged in mini-LP sleeves. A gorgeous collection.

9. Anthony Philips ~ Wise after The Event
This is my choice of his back catalogue re-released this year. A brilliant 2 CD collection stuffed with great bonus tracks, excellent thorough annotated booklet and great remastering by Simon Hetworth.

8. Ayreon ~ Timeline
Sumptuous 3 CD and DVD box set bringing together the Ayreon story in one satisfying package.

7. Big Big Train ~ English Boy Wonders
Not just remastered but this early recording has been completely revisited with new bits added. Now sounds like new!

6. Parallel Or 90 Degrees ~ A Can Of Worms
Long overdue retrospective for Andy Tillisons pre-Tangent band. On the evidence of material like “Afterlifecycle” and “Promises of Life” this band is hugely overlooked.

5. Barndomens Stigar ~ Kultivator
Excellent re-release for this Swedish prog classic. Well done to Mellotronen in making this available, especially with added disc of newly recorded material.

4. Hawkwind ~ Box Sets
New label Atomhenge has been set-up to re-release Hawkwinds post 1976 albums next year. As a precursor they have released two 3CD box sets showcasing some of the best material from those albums. Surprisingly lots of great stuff here.

3. The Skids ~ The Absolute Game
I forgot how great this album was. Captain Oi have done a great job in re-releasing this together with the free album that came with the original LP release plus three bonus tracks. This album should be considered as one of the great post-punk albums, placed alongside the likes of Magazine, Wire etc.

2. T2 ~ It'll All Work Out In Broomland
Well done to Acme for making this readily available again. An absolute proto-prog classic. Keith Cross should have been a huge rock star.

1. Genesis ~ Box Set 1970-1975
EMI get it right with the third instalment of their remixing/remastering of the bands back catalogue. The sound is a revelation and the extras as good as could be expected considering what little there is around. They saved the best to last and proves that though latter Genesis may have been more commercially successful, it’s the earlier period which was musically more fulfilling.


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