Published Dec 20, 2010As we proved with our far-from-complete 10 Great Albums You May Have Missed item and best 2010 EP list, the sheer amount of recorded output from musicians across the globe has become less and less easy to manage as a consumer. Adding to the clutter in 2010 was a pile of fantastic reissues that saw old classics get their due and lost gems find new audiences. Below we highlight ten of our favourites from the year. Tell us what we missed in the comments below.
Head to the next page to begin Exclaim! Top 10 Reissues of 2010. 10. Jawbreaker
While Blake Schwarzenbach kept busy with his new band Forgetters, he didn't skip over his past when it came time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Jawbreaker's seminal album Unfun. Instead, the band recruited mastering guru John Golden to remaster the record from its original analogue tapes, resulting in a deluxe CD reissue that includes the band's 1989 EP Whach & Blite, along with a 24-page booklet. The record was also pressed on vinyl for the first time since its original release.
9. Syl Johnson
Chicago singer Syl Johnson spent decades as a would-be soul star who flew just under the radar. Despite his string of singles throughout the '70s, Johnson never caught on as a solo artist. Instead, he got by from the royalties of samples provided for everyone from the Wu-Tang Clan to 2Pac. He even told the Village Voice, "I'm sitting in the house now that was built with the Wu-Tang money." Numero Group finally gave Johnson the attention he deserves with Complete Mythology, a four-disc set exploring his time in Chicago before he moved to Memphis.
Though they signed to Epitaph and released another mostly shitty album, Weezer remained relevant in 2010 by revisiting their past. Aside from the Memories Tour, the nerdy alt-rock forefathers expanded their beloved 1996 album Pinkerton as a deluxe reissue. Aside from the original album, the set included 25 bonus tracks. Among them were B-sides, unreleased songs, acoustic and demo versions of album songs and a variety of different live recordings. While some of that certainly felt unnecessary, lost tracks like "I Swear It's True" and "Long Time Sunshine" were an exciting addition to the soundtrack of Weezer's last great album.
7. Chronic Sick
Cutest Band in Hardcore
(No Way Records)
New Jersey hardcore quartet Chronic Sick originally released their Cutest Band in Hardcore EP in 1982, and managed to piss off nearly everyone with over-the-top/intentionally offensive lyrics, a swastika on the cover and, on the other end of the spectrum, incredibly catchy pop-infused hooks. The record's proto-pop-punk sound matched with its insane obscurity meant it was attracting some absurd eBay price tags, so No Way Records stepped in to give it a proper reissue on twelve-inch vinyl. A must have for the studious punk fan.
Sound of the Westway
Swiss noise pop trio Chin-Chin formed in 1982, released some well received singles and finally dropped their Sounds of the Westway album before fading into obscurity. At the time, the album was mostly unnoticed and stayed out of print for years, but thanks to the recent success of like-minded groups Vivian Girls, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and many others, it demands revisiting. Fully remastered, the album blows today's C86-biters out of the water with, as our review puts it, "one screeching, squealing slab of DIY twee punk." Slap a different cover on it and release it on some ultra-obscure Brooklyn label, and the kids would be obsessing over Chin-Chin for months, proving just how far ahead of their time these ladies were.
5. Doug Snyder and Bob Thompson
Several decades ago, guitarist Doug Snyder and drummer Bob Thompson met at a Stooges concert in Ohio. Soon after, in 1972, the pair set up in Thompson's kitchen to bash out seven jams of improvised guitar-and-drum mayhem. The result was Daily Dance, a cult classic bordering on post-punk that helped build the framework for the current crop of experimental noise rock bands. The album wallowed in near complete obscurity until Edmonton reissue imprint Cantor Records gave it the love and attention it deserved, dropping a remastered vinyl reissue with a 20-page booklet and faux obi strip. A lot of care was put into the reissue, and the qualities of the original recordings explain just why.
German Krautrock pioneers Neu! gave their fans a collective boner with the release of Box, a comprehensive five-LP vinyl box set covering the group's studio albums Neu!, Neu! 2 and Neu! '75, alongside the previously illegal releases Neu! 86 (aka Neu! 4) and '72 Live! In Dusseldorf. The set also included a vinyl-sized booklet with essays and previously unseen photographs, a Neu! T-shirt and a stencil of the group's iconic logo. You couldn't have asked for anything more.
3. The Stooges
Complete Fun House Sessions box set
Fully documenting the Stooges' timeless classic Fun House, this comprehensive seven-disc set was originally pressed in a limited run in 1999, but hit the mainstream when Rhino Handmade repressed it in November. The set includes "every take from every Fun House session, in order, exactly as the Stooges recorded them -- all the music, mayhem, false starts, inside jokes, and equipment hum." Even formatting the album's 142 track names for our news story was an overwhelmingly in-depth experience. By expanding on the original album for a far-reaching reissue, Rhino nailed it with the Complete Fun House Sessions.
2. Orange Juice
Coals to Newcastle
Fans of Scottish indie pop legends Orange Juice couldn't have asked for much more than the breadth of their Coals to Newcastle collection. The group's entire mostly out-of-print discography was collected in this massive set, including six audio discs compiling their complete studio discography, BBC sessions, 16 never-heard tracks and 23 that had never been heard digitally. The set also came with a DVD that included four performances on The Old Grey Whistle Test and their posthumous concert film Dada with (the) Juice, among other visual treasures. It's the sort of listen that perfectly encapsulates an entire band and demands repeat visits.
1. Bruce Springsteen
The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story
Bruce Springsteen's 1978 classic Darkness on the Edge of Town took the cake for the best reissue, hands down. The set included three CDs, three DVDs and an 80-page book including full colour replicas of Springsteen's studio notes, alternate lyrics and journals from the time of recording. Among the audio portion were 21 tracks that make up a never-before-heard Bruce Springsteen album called The Promise that was intended to come out between Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town. Two discs of unheard Springsteen songs is a definite bonus, but the Boss sweetened the deal with live footage from across his career and The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town documentary. The quality and sheer amount of material combined here to make The Promise the best reissue of 2010, and arguably, one of the most crucial releases in general.