Best of 2015: Archival and Reissue Releases

This year has been another great one for reissues and compilations. As much as I delight in the discovery of new music, there remains a staggering backlog of music that has been around for years yet has escaped my notice. Or…maybe I just dig compilations of stuff I already know. Either way, here are my Top Five reissue and/or archival collections for 2015.


George Duke – The Era Will Prevail
George Duke
‘s career encompassed soul, r&b, rock, progressive rock, fusion, and jazz. And his 1970s work on the MPS label included all of those styles and more. A staggeringly beautiful box set of vinyl records called The Era Will Prevail brings together his output from the 1970s. Essential.


The City – Now That Everything’s Been Said
Carole King
is rightly acclaimed for her landmark Tapestry LP (not to mention for her important role in early sixties pop). But the album she made as part of a group called The City has been overlooked. Light in the Attic’s new reissue of that lost record rights that wrong. If you love Tapestry, you’ll dig Now That Everything’s Been Said.


The Moody Blues – The Magnificent Moodies
Before they added Mellotrons, orchestras, Justin Hayward, and John Lodge, The Moody Blues were an r&b-flavored pop group from Birmingham. They scored a minor* hit with “Go Now,” featuring Denny Laine (later of Wings) on vocals. This new box set collects all of the group’s music from that era, with loads of previously-unreleased material. I got the chance to chat about The Magnificent Moodies with (now-retired) Moody Blues flautist/vocalist Ray Thomas.

* I’ve been corrected on this point. While in the USA “Go Now” was the sole charting hit for the early Moody Blues lineup, it was a massive hit in the band’s native UK, where it remains both popular and fondly remembered. — bk


Supertramp – Crime of the Century, Deluxe Edition
Though they’d later enjoy their major commercial breakthrough with Breakfast in America, Supertramp‘s Crime of the Century is, for me, their high water mark. This new expanded reissue adds a concert from the era that proves they could pull off this music (and its vocals) live onstage. A gem.


Yes – Progeny: Seven from Seventy-two
Yes released a film and 3LP set back in the day called Yessongs; that era was arguably their peak. A new box set collects several shows from that tour, and a 2CD set called Progeny: Seven from Seventy-two distills the best highlights from the box set into a sort of alternative (and sonically superior) alternate Yessongs.