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Allmusic 2019

Year In Review

It's hardly news anymore when an album is reissued, and compilations can be a dime a dozen. Our editors have sifted through the chaff to find the year's best aural archaeology, featuring worthwhile explorations into the worlds of acid rock, jazz, and Bakersfield country, and revisited recordings from Prince, Nat King Cole, and the Replacements.

39 Clocks

Next Dimension Transfer

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A career-spanning collection of weird and dark post-punk tracks by the mysterious German duo.

Art Pepper

Promise Kept: The Complete Artists House Recordings

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The saxophonist's Artist House sessions from 1979 showcase the urgency and soulful lyricism of his comeback years.

Arthur Russell

Iowa Dream

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A newly unearthed collection of demos, home recordings, and otherwise unreleased songs from this multifaceted visionary.

Azymuth

Demos 1973-75, Vols. 1 & 2

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The two volumes of mostly unheard demos from the Brazilian band's earliest days are not only revelatory, but classics in and of themselves.

Bob Dylan

The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings

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This sprawling box captures the mystery and magic of the songwriter's star-studded carnivalesque 1975 tour in rehearsal, over five shows, and in rarities.

Brian Eno

Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks [Extended Edition]

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Remastered edition of Brian Eno's 1983 soundtrack, including an album's worth of new material with collaborators Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois.

Buck Owens / Buck Owens & His Buckaroos

The Complete Capitol Singles: 1971-1975

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This double-disc collection chronicles the last years of Buck Owens' imperial phase.

Duster

Capsule Losing Contact

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Essential collection of the '90s lo-fi space rock trio's home-recorded and brilliant output, with some nifty rarities added.

Elvis Presley

Live 1969

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A hefty box containing 11 complete concerts from Presley's return to the stage in August 1969.

Eric Dolphy

Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions

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Revelatory sessions from early July 1963 recorded when the saxophonist was between Prestige's New Jazz imprint and Blue Note.

Friends Again

Trapped and Unwrapped [Expanded Edition]

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The Scottish band's jangly, dramatically hooky pop splits the difference between the Postcard sound and sophisticated new wave groups like ABC.

Gene Clark

No Other [Deluxe Edition]

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The definitive remastered edition of the artist's classic ill-fated album contains a bonus disc with all extant studio takes minus overdubs.

His Name Is Alive

All the Mirrors in the House

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Warren Defever's early ambient recordings have a singular purity that makes for fascinating, transporting listening.

Ian Carr / Ian Carr & Nucleus

Torrid Zone: The Vertigo Recordings 1970-1975

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At long last, the complete classic studio recordings of this influential British jazz-rock outfit have been compiled and remastered.

Indian Summer

Giving Birth to Thunder

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The complete studio recordings from an early-'90s band indispensable to the evolution of emo.

James Brown

Live at Home with His Bad Self

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The full release of the scorching October 1969 homecoming concert that was later excerpted on the 1970s double-LP Sex Machine.

Jobcentre Rejects

Jobcentre Rejects: Ultra Rare NWOBHM 1978-1982

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Fun collection of (very) obscure British hard rock and metal that's beer-soaked, sweat-stained, and nothing but a good time.

Joe Meek / Joe Meek & the Blue Men

I Hear A New World – The Pioneers of Electronic Music, An Outer Space Music Fantasy By Joe Meek

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The 2019 reissue of the space-age cult classic is supplemented with extras that recontextualize the album's place in early electronic music.

John Coltrane

Coltrane '58: The Prestige Recordings

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All of Coltrane's sessions as a leader in 1958 are presented in chronological order on this handsome box set.

John Renbourn

Unpentangled: The Sixties Albums

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A gorgeously remastered deluxe box set of the pioneering English guitarist's first three solo albums, and three collaborations with bonus material.

Mercury Rev

All Is Dream [Deluxe Edition]

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A wealth of previously unreleased demos and live performances take fans deeper into the album's mystery and magic.

Michael Rother

Solo

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The effervescent beauty of Neu! and Harmonia co-founder Michael Rother's early (and recent) solo work is showcased on this fantastic box set.

Mister Rogers

It's Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers

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This marvelous collection of songs from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood resonates as deeply in the 2010s as ever.

Mort Garson

Mother Earth's Plantasia

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The composer's endearing, inventive music for plants makes the most of his skill and creativity.

Nat King Cole

Hittin' the Ramp: The Early Years 1936-1943

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A monumental reissue of all the recordings Nat King Cole made prior to signing to Capitol Records.

Neil Young / Neil Young & the Stray Gators

Tuscaloosa

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A sometimes moody but engaging 1973 concert from the same tour that produced the album Time Fades Away.

Patrice Rushen

Remind Me: The Classic Elektra Recordings 1978-1984

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Essential post-disco, pre-new jack swing R&B throughout this almost-faultless summation of the artist's most successful period.

Peter Laughner

Peter Laughner [2019]

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This superb five-disc set tells the story of a guitarist and songwriter who packed a lifetime of fine music into a mere 24 years.

Prince

1999 [Super Deluxe Edition]

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Prince hit his creative stride with this sprawling, visionary collection of sexy, futuristic funk-pop. This edition adds a wealth of rarities, live tracks, and mixes.

Rema-Rema

Fond Reflections

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The ephemeral and early 4AD band's lone EP, plus a bonanza of previously unreleased material recorded at gigs and rehearsals.

Roger Reale / Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue

The Collection

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The long-lost late-'70s albums from the studio band Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue sound like an Americanized version of Stiff Records.

Ronnie Lane

Just For a Moment: Music 1973-1997

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A lovingly collected and packaged box set of the former Faces bassist's organic and wonderfully warm solo work.

Rory Gallagher

Blues [Deluxe Edition]

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This amazing three-disc box commemorates the innovative Irish guitarist's recording career via unreleased music, outtakes, concerts, and guest spots.

Stephen Duffy

I Love My Friends [Expanded Edition]

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A revamped edition of the album with a different track list, a new cover image, and a second disc of demos.

Stereolab

Emperor Tomato Ketchup [Expanded Edition]

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The band's landmark 1996 album is rounded out with first-rate rarities, demos, and insightful liner notes.

Television Personalities

Some Kind of Happening: Singles 1978-1989

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An absolutely essential collection of singles, EP tracks, and unreleased gems by the willfully weird, always wonderful indie pop pioneers.

The Beatles

Abbey Road [50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition]

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The 50th Anniversary edition contains a new remix by Giles Martin and two discs of alternate takes and outtakes.

The Pop Group

Y [Definitive Edition]

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Expanded edition of a boundary-smashing debut informed by funk, noise, dub, free jazz, and experimental music.

The Replacements

Dead Man's Pop

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A deep, four-CD exploration of Don't Tell a Soul, highlighted by a new mix by its producer Matt Wallace.

Tubby Hayes / Tubby Hayes Quartet

Grits, Beans and Greens: The Lost Fontana Studio Sessions 1969

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Fifty years after being cut, the last great album by the English saxophonist makes its long-awaited appearance as a bona fide jazz holy grail.

Various Artists

Nigeria 70: No Wahala (Highlife, Afro-Funk & Juju 1973-1987)

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After an eight-year hiatus, Strut returns with a stellar fourth volume in its essential Nigeria 70 series.

Various Artists

Third Noise Principle: Formative North American Electronica 1975-1984

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The North American edition of Cherry Red's Close to the Noise Floor series leans closer to noise and industrial than its predecessors.

Various Artists

The Bakersfield Sound: Country Music Capital of the West 1940-1974

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An exhaustive, entertaining history of the evolution of the electrified Bakersfield country sound.

Various Artists

Strangers in the Room: A Journey Through the British Folk-Rock Scene 1967-1973

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A lovingly curated three-disc anthology of U.K. folk-rock's golden years with plenty of enticing rarities.

Various Artists

Poppies: Assorted Finery from the First Psychedelic Age

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Fun and well-executed collection of great acid-addled pop and rock from the late '60s.

Various Artists

Optimism/Reject: Punk and Post Punk Meets D-I-Y Aesthetic

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A thrilling and informative set that tracks the various paths the underground took after the seismic explosion of punk in 1977.

Various Artists

Bob Stanley/Pete Wiggs Present Three Day Week: When the Lights Went Out 1972-1975

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A fascinating chronicle of the odd, slightly grim era of the U.K. in the mid-'70s.

Various Artists

Losing Touch with My Mind: Psychedelia in Britain 1985-1990

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Excellent three-disc set that expertly gathers late-'80s U.K. shoegaze, noise pop, dream pop, baggy, and other styles that fall under the neo-psychedelic banner.

Various Artists

Land of 1000 Dances: The Rampart Records 58th Anniversary Complete Singles Collection

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A thorough four-disc box that traces the history of the seminal East Side Los Angeles-based R&B label.

Various Artists

Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990

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More than just pleasant background music, this wide-ranging collection of Japanese environmental music serves as a history lesson.

Various Artists

Jon Savage's 1969-1971: Rock Dreams on 45

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The birth of album rock as told through 45 rpm singles from 1969-1971.

Various Artists

Big Gold Dreams: A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

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A thrilling collection that runs the gamut from noisy and weird to shimmering and beautiful, while making the case that this was a golden era of pop.

Various Artists

Woodstock: Back to the Garden [50th Anniversary Collection]

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The 50th anniversary box commemorating Woodstock is the first set to contain music from every artist on the legendary festival's bill.

Yummy Fur

Piggy Wings

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A rousing and oft-hilarious career-spanning set of tracks by the noisy, off-kilter band from the '90s Scottish pop underground.

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Stereolab