Best of 2023: reissues

Music news

In the great game of reissues, it was logical that The Who would one day win the prize. It’s done. And it’s an understatement to say that the Entwistles, Daltrey & Co find themselves in good company.

The Who – Who’s Next / Life House

Discover one of the most significant reissues of the year. Ten CDs for the ultimate version of the box set, no less! It’s difficult after that to claim not to have all the elements in hand to try to understand how the Lifehouse project had remained abstruse in everyone’s heads except that of Pete Townsend before being “brought back” to the legendary album that we know. Demos, successive studio sessions in New York and London, concerts from the period: it’s all there!

Joni Mitchell Archives – Volume 3: The Asylum Years 1972-1975

The immersion in the lady’s heritage continues and with the same attention to detail that prevailed in the two previous volumes. The sessions for the studio albums For the Roses, Court and Spark and The Hissing of Summer Lawns are dissected via many demos and alternative versions. The completed Miles of Aisles live album is also included.

Joni Mitchell Archives Vol.  3

Beck Bogert Appice – Live In Japan 1973 / Live In London 1974

As ephemeral as it was, the “instrumental” osmosis that the free electron guitarist was able to establish with the former rhythm section of Vanilla Fudge and Cactus re-explodes here in broad daylight and in a more complete way than the Live in Japan released at the time. Between sublime blues and orgiastic jams, this BBA has a part of eternity that no voice will challenge.

Beck Bogert & Appice reissues

Neil Young – Chrome Dreams

How could he throw that in the basket at the time when a single listen of the one which claims the title of best “lost album” in the history of rock is obvious in its first version finally? revealed, where “Like a Hurricane”, “Captain Kennedy” and others, released elsewhere without him changing a note, go so well together?

Neil Young Chrome Dreams reissues

Written In Their Soul – The Stax Songwriter Demos

Dive into the label’s demos and others that had “borrowed” Stax-branded composers (Atlantic, Decca, Hi, Chimneyville, etc.). It is above all an impressive parade of the house “cast”: Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Staple Singers, William Bell, etc. With the recurring feeling of a privileged place… in the kitchen of the homemade tambouille!

Stax Songwriters

Fleetwood Mac – Rumors Live

At the end of August 1977, the Mac was at the top. Rumors has been selling out by the caseload since February, and tonight it’s playing at home. At the Forum in Inglewood, an immediate suburb of Los Angeles. And he gives it his all, delivering all the songs from the album one by one, quite a few from the previous one. Lindsey Buckingham skims over the debates, Stevie Nicks is inhabited on “Rhiannon”. Magic.

Fleetwood Mac Rumors Live

Serge Gainsbourg – The Man with the Cabbage Head

A new mix is ​​an opportunity to reveal certain musical “tracks” that were originally blurred. A second CD composed of instrumental versions only reinforces the prowess of what was already much more than an accompaniment and to which justice is sumptuously done, before revealing alternative lyrics. Marilou is going to panic a few more flies…

Serge Gainsbourg The Man with a Head of Cabbage 2023 reissues

The Doors – Live at the Matrix 1967: The Original Masters

Many live accounts of the Doors focus on their late performances, much less on those of the beginning where the group, sometimes in its infancy, is still searching for itself but where Jim Morrison does not yet sometimes get lost in too much drunken theatricality or worse… A pitfall that this box set carefully addresses in detail, covering five concerts from March 1967.

the doors live at the matrix 1967

Prince – Diamonds and Pearls (Super Deluxe Edition)

The box set filled to the glottis – 47 unreleased tracks all the same, studio “cuts” and live outtakes, including two concerts in 1991 and 1992 in Minneapolis (one in blu-ray format) – comes at the right time to relaunch a debate that even the most daring jewelers did not dare to relaunch: Diamonds and Pearls, His Highness’ final major album or what?

Prince Diamonds and Pearls 2023 reissues

Dr. John – The Montreux Years

If it were necessary to remember that Dr. John was one of those who had their napkin ring on the banks of Lake Geneva, this dive into his multiple performances on site will come at the right time. Above all, it will be an opportunity to marvel at the consistency of the character and the evolution of the shows he was able to offer there. All with stunning sound quality and clarity.

Dr. John - The Montreux Years

Find this selection on the 2023 reissues in our issue 158, available on newsstands and via our online store.


Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.