Hudson's Best Reissues, Compilations, and Box Sets of 2022
Sorry, I almost forgot to post this list. Everybody knows my obsessive collecting habits leads me to buying way too many box sets and reissues. This was once again a great year for people like me, and here's my twenty favorite releases of that sort.
1. Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Multiple books and documentaries have been created detailing the tumultuous sessions that led to what is arguably Wilco’s greatest achievement. Frustrations in the studio led to changes in band members, producers, and even record companies. This giant box compiles all of the demos, outtakes, and mixes from these sessions, along with a blistering live show from around the time the album finally was released.
2. The Beatles, Revolver. Due to the technical limitations of the master tapes, it seemed very unlikely that any of the pre-Sgt. Pepper records would get the remix treatment. But Peter Jackson’s space age technology that he invented for last year’s Get Back documentary made it possible to separate instruments that were recorded together on individual tracks. Add to that some amazing outtakes and you have an incredible box set.
3. The Replacements, Live At Riot Fest Toronto. The murky circumstances behind the release of the first Replacements reunion shows led many to believe it was a bootleg. No, it was actually a legit release and showcases just the power of the short-lived reunion.
4. The Rolling Stones, El Mocambo 1977. While mixing Love You Live in 1977, the Stones decided to do a couple of secret club shows in order to add something special to the album. Side three of that record included a handful of songs recorded during those nights. This box showcases the entire second show, with a couple of bonus tracks from the first night.
5. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Live At The Fillmore 1997. In early 1997, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers set up a 20 show residency at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Instead of the static setlists of a typical Petty tour, this lengthy stay allowed the band to have fun with special guests and a ton of covers.
6. David Bowie, Divine Symmetry. This fabulous box set is what one could call an audio documentary as it documents the road to 1971’s Hunky Dory album. It’s a fascinating look at an artist not yet sure about his own capabilities. It’s insane to think that so many of these soon-to-be classics were initially intended for friends and other artists, as shown on the included BBC recordings.
7. The Muffs, Really, Really Happy. For the first of what I’m hoping are many Muffs reissues, the remastered album is accompanied by outtakes and some amazing home demos by the late Kim Shattuck.
8. The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, All The Covers (And More). Starting off as a for-fun covers band, the veteran L.A. rockers regularly recorded their favorite old songs for singles, EP’s, and compilations. This two disc set collects 38 pure garage stompers.
9. Lou Reed, I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos. Shortly after leaving the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed entered the studio for the first time as a solo act. This is the first day of his solo career, and the results, false starts and all, are stunning.
10. PJ Harvey, B-Sides, Demos & Rarities. After a series of demo albums that accompanied each of the vinyl reissues of her catalog, PJ Harvey now empties the vault with the various other oddities of her career.
11. Jay Bennett, Where Are You, Jay Bennett? Gorman Bechard’s fabulous documentary gives us the other side of the official Yankee Hotel Foxtrot circumstances that led to his departure from Wilco, and the accompanying record collects Bennett’s final recordings before his 2009 death.
12. Pavement, Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal. For whatever reason, Pavement’s final album was skipped over during the band’s initial reissue program. This box set shows that for whatever issues the band had during the recording sessions they were still a uniquely creative force.
13. Joe Strummer, The Mescaleros Years. Strummer’s late-career resurgence is reissued, along with a disc of outtakes and demos.
14. The Clash, Combat Rock + The People’s Hall. The final album of the “only band that matters” was initially going to be a double record, and this box finally combines the official release with the tracks that were cut to make it a single album.
15. Liminanas, Electrified. Who says the French can’t make quality rock and roll. This two disc set combines both highlights and rarities of their 13 year career.
16. Mary Lou Lord, She’d Be A Diamond. One of the best Record Store Day collections I purchased this year. Two discs of Lord’s 90s singles, covers, and other rarities.
17. The Lemonheads, It’s a Shame About Ray. One of the 90s great alternative pop albums (finally) gets the expanded treatment.
18. David Bowie, Toy. In 2000 Bowie came up with a plan to re-record a bunch of his pre-fame tracks that he’d written in the 60s. His record label didn’t share his excitement, though, and outside of a few tracks the recordings were shelved…until now.
19. The Monkees, Headquarters: Super Deluxe Edition. To celebrate the 55th birthday of the record that saw the “prefab four” take control over their own recordings, this box has everything a Monkees fan would desire. Besides a remix of the released record and the usual demos one would expect, there’s even some newly-discovered outtakes of what could have been this album if Don Kirshner hadn’t been relieved of his duties.
20. Various Artists, If You Gotta Go-Go, Go-Go Now. Tribute albums are at their best when they’re fun, and you can’t get more fun than this collection of punk and indie acts taking their turn at the Go Go’s catalog.