Reissue Roundup: Fall Sets From Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney, Rush and More
Fall is usually the busiest time of year for reissues – mostly because the holidays are right around the corner, and what better gift is there to give and receive than a hefty new box set?
Some of this season's biggest and best reissues include massive explorations of classic albums by the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and the Kinks, while other box sets have collected specific eras from David Bowie and Bob Dylan.
Below you'll find a roundup of some of the other reissues that have come out the past couple of months. Instead of boring you with a bunch of words about the records, we've boiled them down to what you really need to know about them: What are they? What's on them? What's the best thing you need to hear before you lay down some cash for these multiple-disc collections?
The fall reissue roundup includes new compilations and box sets by Lindsey Buckingham, his old Fleetwood Mac bandmates, the Moody Blues and Rush. There's also a pair of new reissues in Paul McCartney's celebrated Archive Collection that expands the first two albums he made with Wings. All of them deserve a place on your shelf.
Lindsey Buckingham: Solo Anthology - The Best of Lindsey Buckingham
What It Is: A three-disc, 53-track look at the former Fleetwood Mac member's three-decade solo career, starting with 1981's Law and Order and going through last year's album with Christine McVie. The final CD includes stage appearances from the past 10 years.
What's on It: Singles, deep album cuts, soundtrack songs, a couple new tracks and solo live versions of some of his Fleetwood Mac numbers.
Best Song You Know: His big Mac songs like "Go Your Own Way" and "Never Going Back Again" are included as concert recordings, so is "Trouble" from a 2011 show. But stick to the studio take on that first solo hit, which hit the Top 10 in 1981. And yes, "Holiday Road" from the National Lampoon's Vacation soundtrack is here too.
Best Song You Don't Know: "Hunger," a previously unreleased track that spans vintage Lindsey Buckingham-style pop in less than two-and-a-half glorious minutes.
Chris Cornell: Chris Cornell
What It Is: Four CDs of music by the late singer, collecting Soundgarden songs, Temple of the Dog tracks, Audioslave numbers and solo cuts. The box is the first release since his death in May 2017.
What's on It: Sixty-four tracks, 11 of them previously unreleased, that span Chris Cornell's career – from early Soundgarden rockers to introspective live cuts to covers of songs by Led Zeppelin ("Thank You"), Metallica ("One") and Prince ("Nothing Compares 2 U").
Best Song You Know: Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," from their classic 1994 album Superunknown, remains a poignant reminder of Cornell's deep range.
Best Song You Don't Know: "When Bad Does Good," a previously unreleased solo song that recalls the haunting slow build of Cornell's best work with Soundgarden.
The Cranberries: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?: 25th Anniversary Edition
What's on It: Outtakes, B-sides, demos, live tracks, radio sessions and a remastered version of the original album and the Cranberries' debut EP. Sixty-one songs in all.
Best Song You Know: The lovely "Linger," which became a Top 3 hit in their native Ireland and a Top 10 hit in the U.S. in 1993. The song also shows up as an outtake, a demo, a live version and part of a BBC session.
Best Song You Don't Know: The Everybody Else Is Doing It ... leftover “Iosa,” which O’Riordan wrote for her grandfather. It's allegedly the only song the group recorded entirely in Gaelic.
Fleetwood Mac: 50 Years - Don't Stop
What It Is: A half-century of classic tracks collected on three CDs, starting with the Peter Green era and ending with a song from a 2013 EP that was available only as a download. In between are lots of Fleetwood Mac cuts you've probably heard many, many times.
What's on It: Fifty songs. Disc one takes you up to the Lindsey Buckingham-Stevie Nicks years, which dominates most of the other two discs. There's even a track from the derided Time LP they released after Buckingham and Nicks were gone. Plus, single versions and a couple of live cuts.
Best Song You Know: Really, pick any of the half-dozen from Rumours. You can't go wrong.
Best Song You Don't Know: Christine McVie's "Love Shines," originally found on the 1992 compilation 25 Years – The Chain and performed by the newly reduced Mac quartet of McVie, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Billy Burnette.
Paul McCartney and Wings: Wild Life, Red Rose Speedway
What It Is: The former Beatle's first two albums with Wings, remastered and loaded with bonus tracks, including demos, outtakes and non-LP singles.
What's on It: Wild Life, from 1971, includes three CDs and one DVD; 1973's Red Rose Speedway contains three CDs and two DVDs – one featuring the never-aired The Bruce McMouse Show animated concert movie. Speedway, Wings' first No. 1 LP, also reconstructs the original double-album version that was pared down before release.
Best Song You Know: "My Love," a No. 1 hit that's the most memorable track on these two early, sketchy post-Beatles Paul McCartney albums.
Best Song You Don't Know: An early take of the James Bond theme "Live and Let Die" (called "To Live and Let Die" here) without much of the orchestration that pushed it over the top and to No. 2 in 1973.
The Moody Blues: In Search of the Lost Chord: (50th Anniversary Edition)
What It Is: The 1968 follow-up to the Moody Blues' career-shaping Days of Future Passed LP from the previous year. Like its predecessor, In Search of the Lost Chord is a concept album; unlike that album, there's no orchestra to help out the band.
What's on It: Three CDs and two DVDs, with a new stereo mix, BBC sessions, alternate versions and a new surround version that brings out the album's proggy excesses.
Best Song You Know: The 42-minute LP's dozen songs are based on a common theme about ties between music and exploration ... or something like that, so it all comes together as a piece and best heard that way. But the single "Ride My See-Saw" is one of the few tracks that works as a standalone song.
Best Song You Don't Know: "A Simple Game," the B-side to "Ride My See-Saw" that could have easily fit on the album.
Elvis Presley: Elvis: '68 Comeback Special: 50th Anniversary Edition
What It Is: Elvis Presley's leather-clad rock 'n' roll comeback after almost a decade of Hollywood cheese, expanded to five CDs and two Blu-rays for its 50th anniversary.
What's on It: Pretty much everything tied to that TV special, including both versions of the "sit down" and "stand up" shows, a disc of rehearsals, sessions and video of the original broadcast program, various takes and more. Most of it has been released in one form or another before. This is the first time it's gathered in one place.
Best Song You Know: The searing covers of "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and "Baby What You Want Me to Do" – stripped down and performed with Sun sessions cohorts Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana – highlight the true "comeback" portion of the special.
Best Song You Don't Know: The rehearsals include some raw takes of early RCA material like "One Night" and "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again" that paved the way for Presley's late-'60s resurgence.
Ramones: Road to Ruin: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
What It Is: The band's fourth album, expanded to three CDs and one vinyl LP for its 40th anniversary. In addition to the remastered original mix, a new mix was created especially for this set.
What's on It: Road to Ruin was the Ramones' attempt to get some airplay, so at the time, it was their most polished record. A whole bunch of rough mixes found on the 24-track second disc sharpen some of the edges. So does a contemporary New Year's Eve show from the group's New York home base.
Best Song You Know: "I Wanna Be Sedated" wasn't initially released as a single, but in the four decades since it appeared on the album, it's become one of the band's best-known songs. We'd place it in their Top 3 overall.
Best Song You Don't Know: "I Walk Out," an outtake from the LP's sessions that's been remixed for the "Deluxe Edition." Like the rest of the album, it's sugary '60s pop spiked with gritty '70s guitars.
Rush: Hemispheres - 40th Anniversary
What It Is: The album Rush made before they finally broke out with 1980's Permanent Waves. There's plenty of prog overload going on here (18 full minutes of "Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres"!), but there's also a more defined sense of the songcraft that would benefit them immensely in the coming decade.
What's on It: Two CDs of music – including a June 1979 live show from the Netherlands – and a Blu-ray with a 5.1 mix and videos.
Best Song You Know: "La Villa Strangiato," a nine-and-a-half-minute instrumental divided into 12 parts that have names like "Buenos Nochas, Mein Froinds!" and "Never Turn Your Back on a Monster!"
Best Song You Don't Know: A live version of "2112" that was recorded in Arizona about a month after the album came out. It's the only concert track not from the Pinkpop Festival the next summer, and the band tears through it with a ferocity that comes from its road-worn familiarity.