Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Tomorrow morning I'll be on SiriusXM OutQ's The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick talking about one of my favorite subjects: box sets and reissues.  It's that time of year, they make great gifts!

I've written a lot about U2 lately, and I've also written about the Achtung Baby album and the reissue.  It blew me away when I first heard it in 1991, and I've never gotten tired of it.  The super deluxe version of the box set has lots of great extras (although I balked at the $400+ uber box set, which has the same music, but does have magnets, stickers, Bono shades, etc.  Cute, but for me, not worth the money.  Really, all you need is the album itself, but I really wanted some of the extras.

I've written about the Nirvana Nevermind reissue. Well, a lot has been said about the album lately.  It really was a game changer for music. Yeah, it led to a lot of bands deciding that they had to pretend to be angst ridden, but what are you gonna do?  You can't blame all the hair metal bands on Van Halen, and you can't blame the grunge fakers on Nirvana. I bought the super deluxe version of this also.  Again, for the extras, including a live recording and also Butch Vig's original mixes of the album.  But you'd do fine with the deluxe version.  Or really, just the original, it's so powerful and still holds up today.

I've also written about The Rolling Stones Some Girls reissue. I've mentioned that it's probably my favorite Stones album, and that the outtakes are so good, I think they're better than the Stones' next album, Emotional Rescue. And they're better than most band's albums too.  When Ronnie Wood joined the band, it just worked. It was while the band were still powerful and had their swagger.  I like a lot of what they've done since Some Girls, but nothing came close to matching this LP.  I love Tattoo You and I really like Steel Wheels and A Bigger Bang, none of them come are in their neighborhood.

Jon Moskowitz (@JonMoskow) from the blog Vivoscene was nice enough to do a guest review of The Beach Boys' Smile. I don't really get the album, and I Tweeted a request for someone to guest review it for me, and Jon (who I met at a social media seminar hosted by Sree Sreenivasan aka @sree) said he'd do it.  It turns out, he doesn't really get the album either.  It's not any anti-Beach Boys bias though: we both enjoy Pet Sounds.

Finally, Jethro Tull's Aqualung. People kind of make fun of Jethro Tull, but if you think of them in the context of the time, wow, how different they must have sounded.  Fortunately for them, classic rock radio has played their records for decades.  But that can be a double edged sword.  Songs like "Aqualung" and "Locomotive Breath" and "Cross-Eyed Mary" can lose their edge after years of repetition and being played back to back with lots of the soft rockers that classic rock radio plays so much of. But this is a pretty awesome album.

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