Here at WOW e’re always on the hunt for the next big thing in new music, scouring our sources for the hottest new bands in the hopes of bringing you something fresh.
But every now and then, you just need to kick back with an album that you already know and love from years gone by. Sometimes, those albums are readily available, already in your collection or just a boot up of Spotify away.
At other times, you’re left wondering why you never see any copies of that seminal Manics album down in the local second-hand record shop. Step forward the vinyl re-release!
The vinyl re-release allows a band’s fans – both new and old – to experience their favourite albums in a new format, often packaged with exciting bonus tracks, unheard B-sides, studio outtakes and the like. We’re all for them, and although at times the cash-ins are plainly obvious (we’re looking at you, Joy Division representatives), for the most part we can’t think of anything better than getting our hands on a freshly reprinted wax copy of our favourite Sonic Youth LP.
Here, we run down fourteen of the best reissues from this year that you really should consider adding to your collection.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Nick Cave’s currently pulling the Bad Seeds through a two year period of hyper reissue activity, re-releasing some 14 records across this year and last. As such, there’s far too much stuff to wade through to pick a favourite here, so we thought we’d give a nod to all.
All remastered by the band’s Mick Harvey at Abbey Road studios, and all “personally approved” by Mr. Cave himself.
Sonic Youth – Bad Moon Rising/EVOL
Sonic Youth continue to inhabit an indefinite hiatus after the tumultuous break up of founding members Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore put everything on hold. In fact, while we hate to say it, that hiatus is almost certainly ‘definite’, but as we cross our fingers for everyone to kiss and make up, the band are in the process of reissuing their pre-major label output through their own imprint.
While they might not make up the elaborate box set reissues we saw from Dirty and Goo, any excuse to hear a Sonic Youth album on high-fidelity vinyl is a welcome one, and re-releases of Sister and Confusion Is Sex are still in the works.
Biffy Clyro – Puzzle
2007’s Puzzle saw the moment Biffy Clyro began the transformation from warped post-hardcore Scotsmen into arena-filling rock heroes. Sure, it was a transition that took a couple of albums to truly come to fruition, and Puzzle still retains the edge and choppy song structures of previous album releases.
This Record Store Day reissue came with alternative artwork and a bonus track in the form of ‘Drop It‘.
Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible
It’s surprising how such a seminal album can escape the clutches of a standalone vinyl release for so long, but that’s exactly what 1994’s The Holy Bible did until Record Store Day this year.
Yeah, a limited picture disc 20-years ago and a version only available as part of a much more deluxe (read: expensive) box set last year have been doing the inflated prices rounds on Discogs, but this was the first time fans could get their hands on the Welsh rock trios most impactful album on lovely vinyl.
Pulp – It
Everyone knows Jarvis Cocker and Pulp as the floppy haired bastions of Britpop from the mid-90s, but what many fail to grasp as they belt out ‘Common People’ on 90s Night is just how long the Sheffield band were going before the Britpop tag allowed them to break through.
This Record Store Day release of their 1983 debut on 12″ vinyl proves the band were putting out quirky pop long before anyone had actually heard of them.
Slowdive – Blue Day
Blue Day first enjoyed release back in 1992. It was limited to a mere 1000 copies – which presumably all sold out pretty quickly, such is the Reading band’s shoegaze brilliance.
13 years later, with a reunion in full swing, this vinyl re-release allowed the LP – which compiled the band’s first three EP releases on to one disc – allowed a new generation of fans to enjoy their ethereal excellence.
Super Furry Animals – Mwng
Super Furry Animals are renowned for their quirky inventiveness, playing shows in Power Rangers helmets (and other ludicrous garb), and releasing entire LPs in the Welsh language. Well, we’re sure you would when you actually are Welsh.
Their fourth album Mwng is actually the only full length LP by the band to be sung entirely in the language, and the Cardiff natives celebrated its 15th anniversary by releasing this 26-track three disc set. A must for fans. And those after something a bit different.
Modest Mouse – Interstate 8
Another band who are currently re-appropriating their every past release for the medium of high-fidelity vinyl, the Washington indie-rockers have been re-releasing their early output through Glacial State, the label run by lead-singer Isaac Brock.
Notably, earlier this year saw the vinyl release of ultra-rare early EP Interstate 8, regarded by many a super-fan as the band’s best 90s-era work.
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of indie-disco classic ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, Factory Records put together yet another box set celebrating the influential but short lived career of Salford post-punk heroes Joy Division.
Featuring the band’s entire LP discography (Unknown Pleasures, Closer, Still, and Substance), each LP comes fully remastered and with a few bonus tracks thrown in for good measure. Each of the albums are available separately if you don’t want to splash the big cash on the full box set. Which is understandable given how regularly these things get re-released.
Amy Winehouse – Frank
Vinyl pressings of Amy Winehouse’s 2003 debut were always keenly sought after by fans and record collectors alike, only enjoying a limited run five years after the fact in 2008. Since then, Winehouse tragically died, and interest in grabbing a vinyl copy has skyrocketed.
Step in Republic Records, who earlier this year reissued her blistering debut. We’re assured the proximity of this release and the release of the film Amy were purely coincidental.
Placebo – Placebo
Alt rock legends Placebo are currently striding into their 20th year, and as such they’re embarking on a “two-year period of celebratory retrospective activity”. Cue archival footage being uploaded to YouTube, b-side compilations making their way to Spotify, and lush vinyl re-releases of each of their albums.
Starting with their debut (as bands so often do), originally released in 1996 and still making crunch, post-grunge waves today. We’d get it just for the warm red jumper cover matching vinyl.
Pavement – The Secret History Vol. 1
This re-release of B-sides and rarities from the Stockton band’s early-90s debut period for marks the first time many of these oft-unheard tracks have made it on to vinyl. Collectors and completionists take note!
Kicking off a five part retrospective series (one for each album period) it’ll be interesting to see if any other obscure tracks make it to light.
Bikini Kill – Revolution Girl Style Now
Out September 22
Riot Grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill never released this 1991 demo on CD, let alone vinyl. Originally just a cassette release, at a glorious time for music when demos such as this would be passed around at gigs. it’s taken nearly 25 years for a full re-release, but boy does it seem like it’ll be worth it.
The band recently shared the previously unheard ‘Playground‘, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the full release.
Twin Peaks OST
With David Lynch currently sitting on the “will he” side of “will he/won’t he” when it comes to rebooting this cult TV classic, we’re currently looking at a 2016 return for everybody’s favourite surreal drama. It’s been announced that the original series’ soundtrack will be getting a full vinyl release to coincide with the buzz sometime this year too, although no official release date has been given.
It was originally scheduled to be making an appearance in January, but obviously that didn’t happen. We’ll be happy for this to surprise us any time in the next four months though.