With the internet currently clogged with ascending end of year lists of 2014 releases, we decided to take a different approach and make a list of some of the rereleased music that had caught our attention this year, in no particular order. Click on the title of each release to find out more about where to get it.
Obviously it's near impossible to make a list like this comprehensive and exhaustive, but let us know if you think there's a crucial rerelease or reissue that you would include as number 11 or 12 on the list. Enjoy!
'One Step Beyond... 35th Anniversary CD' Madness (CD/DVD)
Kicking off the list is the obvious but noteworthy 'One Step beyond...' from those nutty boys, Madness. 1979 was such an active subcultural year, in the wake of Punk exploding in the UK and 2-Tone putting 2nd wave Ska and post-punk tunes on to Top Of The Pops. It's undeniable that Madness' TOTP friendly videos and accessible tunes were a big catalyst for a lot of young people to stop watching that and start watching this. Memories scattered with the demise of Betamax and VHS, but repackaged here in glorious DVD quality - at a very reasonable price!
'Est 1979' Secret Affair (CD)
Comprised of all four Secret Affair albums, from the 1979 debut album, 'Glory Boys', 'Behind Closed Doors' (1980) and 'Business As Usual' (1981) to the recent 2012 album 'Soho Dreams', along with an accompanying booklet this CD box set re-release also celebrates a 35th anniversary.
'The Good, The Bad and The Upsetters - Jamaican Edition' The Upsetters (CD and Vinyl)
Released in the UK in 1970 without permission or involvement from Lee 'Scratch' Perry, 'The Good, The Bad and The Upsetters' angered the eccentric performer/producer into releasing his own alternative edition of the album back in Jamaica - with completely different tracks and artwork lifted from the UK edition but with the new track listing stickered over it. This punk-like act of creative revenge resulted in the Jamaican Edition that is re-released for the first time here, with permission from LSP himself!
'Setting Suns' The Jam (CD/DVD/Book)
A record that needs no introduction to readers here. The huge 'Setting Sons', Super Deluxe Edition box set, features the original album, non-album singles, b-sides, demos, Peel Sessions, live recordings and a DVD of promo videos and live performances. Whilst at the pricier end of this list, the package is a large and very substantial 12" recreation of the 1979 LP that gave us 'Eton Rifles' amongst other Jam anthems.
'Running Wild/A Message To The World' Jesse Hector (CD/DVD)
Perhaps not one of the most widely acknowledged UK counter culture icons, but Jesse Hector was lead protagonist of 1970s proto-punk band, Gorillas and went on to be a driving force in UK garage rock. This collection brings together some of Hector's work and repackages them with a DVD of Caroline Catz's documentary about Jesse Hector's career, spanning five decades - witnessing the rise of Mod, Punk and more.
'Now I'm A Cowboy' Auters (180 GSM Vinyl)
As well as the host of 35th anniversaries, 2014 sees a lot of big albums turn twenty. Music press headlines about Suede's 'Dog Man Star' and Pulp's 'His 'N' Hers' hitting the double decade are guaranteed to make you feel old, but stick in there. Also very active on the British alternative scene in 1994, Auteurs released their acclaimed second LP which included their song 'Lenny Valentino' (watch the Lindy Heyman directed video below). This rerelease sees the LP get the heavy weight vinyl treatment.
'Through The Looking Glass' Siouxsie & The Banshees (CD)
In many ways this album was arguably UK Punk's answer to Bowie's pinups, that had come 14 years before it. 'Through The Looking Glass' is a surprising little collection of cover versions rereleased and remastered along with three other Siouxsie & The Banshees later albums. Tracks include their versions of Spark's 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us' and Iggy Pop's 'Passenger', the latter of which Iggy Pop reportedly considered an improvement on his own! Overall the album acts as a fun (as cover versions often are) time capsule of the late 80s alternative scene in the UK, before Madchester and Acid House culture came to the fore.
'Soul Master - Expanded Edition' Edwin Starr (CD)
Edwin Starr's 'War' is regarded as one of Motown's biggest anthems and is technically the world's most played protest song. His debut album 'Soul Master' is rereleased here, marking the beginning of his musical career, years before 'War' gave him a number 1 single, making him a soul, and later disco, hero across the world, including the UK's North and Midland Northern Soul territories, where he ended up living until his untimely death in 2003.
'Peru Bravo' Various (CD)
Technically a compilation rather than a reissue, this is the second such disc from Tiger’s Milk Records. It tells the story of a fleeting subculture of the late 60s and early 70s, when Peru’s capital, Lima, nurtured a culture of young bands full of ideas and energy despite the country’s instability under the oppressive rule of General Juan Velasco Alvarado.
'TV Is The Thing' Various (CD)
Finishing our list is another compilation (not technically a reissue as such but still worth including) compiled by pop historian Bob Stanley, who also writes the sleevenotes, and DJ Martin Green. Looking back at videos of artists like Madness on Top Of The Pops reminds us, like it or not, what a vital conduit television was for bringing popular music to young people in the 20th Century, before our current talent show obsessed age. 'TV Is The Thing' looks at the flip side of this, compiling some classic TV themes of the 50s and 60s, interspersed with adverts from the period. Supercar, Z Cars, Animal Magic, Danger Man and, of course, The Avengers are all included, with composers including the legendary John Barry.
And, look at the wonderful test card art inspired cover!