SDE’s Best Reissues of 2019

2020 is but hours away, so before we hit a new decade, SDE takes a look at some of the best reissues and box sets from this year. There are seven categories, each with one winner and ‘special mentions’ for other worthy releases.

SDE's Best Reissues of 2019. BEST SINGLE ALBUM BOX SET: Prince '1999' (Warner Records)

(Warner Records)

A near-perfect reissue of Prince‘s 1982 album, the 5CD+DVD set and 10LP+DVD box offered an enormous amount of bonus material, including two CDs (or four LPs) of vault tracks. The quality of this material is unreal, from early versions of eventually released songs (‘Irresistible Bitch’, ‘Feel U Up) to tracks that Prince kept fiddling with that were ultimately never issued (‘Possessed’). It’s the sheer number of unheard songs that boggles the mind and they are all good; from the funky ‘Bold Generation’, the breezy ‘Money Don’t Grow On Trees’ to the ultra-poppy ‘Rearrange’. Add to this the remastered double album, every edit, remix or B-side issued at the time and two live performances (one on CD and one on DVD) and you’ve got the making of something quite special. The wonderful packaging is also worth a mention. Naysayers can point to the lack of 5.1 mix and promo videos but for around £55 for the CD box that’s fairly easy to forgive.

Watch the SDE unboxing video 

SPECIAL MENTION: The Beatles: Abbey Road. Hard to fault this reissue, although Prince edges it for sheer generosity and value. Mike McCartney: McGear. Fans disappointed with the lack of Macca reissues this year should look to the fabulous McGear set, which is effectively a Wings album in all but name.

SDE's Best Reissues of 2019. BEST DELUXE REISSSUE: Stephen Duffy: I Love My Friends (Needle Mythology)

BEST DELUXE REISSSUE: Stephen Duffy: I Love My Friends (Needle Mythology)

Stephen Duffy‘s 1998 album was one of his three very good – albeit rather ‘lost’ – solo records from the 1990s. This one was particularly ill-fated, since label intervention meant that the album that was eventually released wasn’t really what Stephen wanted to put out at the time. Fed up, he reformed The Lilac Time and just moved on. 21 years later, fan and friend Pete Paphides decided that a revised edition of I Love My Friends would be the inaugural release on his new label Needle Mythology. With Duffy’s assistance they restored I Love My Friends to a kind of ‘director’s cut’ version with the mood-spoiling Andy Partridge-produced tracks removed and a few of others (that had been B-sides at the time) reinstated. The running order was also re-jigged for good measure. The album was remastered and sounded great on vinyl, but CD fans were really spoiled by a whole extra disc of ‘selected demos’ (all unreleased) that were delivered as a bonus item within the gatefold CD wallet. These remain unique to the CD edition. The fabulous new artwork is the icing on the cake (pun intended, obviously).

Read the SDE interview with Stephen Duffy.

SPECIAL MENTION: Brian Eno: Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks extended edition (UMC)

SDE's Best Reissues of 2019. BEST ALBUM SERIES REISSUE 2019: Chris Rea (Rhino)


For all the fun of super deluxe edition box sets full of posters, lanyards, books, marbles etc., it’s sometimes easy to overlook the simpler, more ‘classic’ offerings. On the face of it, Warner Music’s Chris Rea reissues [Rea-issues?] could be described as rather old-fashioned; two-CD sets, each with a bonus disc of rarities. But with the expertly compiled bonus disc apparently becoming something of a lost art these days, the Rea deluxe editions had much to offer. Not only did we get five remastered albums, delivered simultaneously (by contrast Paul McCartney has taken almost TEN YEARS to reissue 11 of his studio long-players) these were put together with diligence and a real fan’s eye for what is required, especially when it comes to those all important bonus tracks.

It’s a fascinating exploration of an arguably unsung artist; one that spotlights many interesting recordings. Rea [probably at the request of the label, to be fair] couldn’t stop fiddling with Shamrock Diaries‘ ‘Josephine’. The single version (on that album’s bonus disc) was a re-recording which seemed to remove much of the charm of the original, while the French ‘disco’ version (another re-recording on the Dancing With Strangers bonus disc) is very different again. The Road to Hell‘s CD 2 offers a ‘US mix’ of the song, while Auberge‘s bonus disc delivers the New Light Through Old Windows version. Phew!

The festive classic ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ is so familiar, it’s strange to hear the largely forgotten ‘first version’ (On The Beach bonus disc). In Peter Doggett’s excellent notes Rea explains how the song was basically only recorded very casually to test out some Roland keyboards (it ended up as the B-side to 1986 single ‘Hello Friend’). The more familiar version is the New Light Through Old Windows re-record (which is included on the Dancing With Strangers bonus disc). Rea was clearly USELESS at judging his own material. The same bonus disc offers an early samba version of ‘Let’s Dance’ which was hidden away as an extra track on a 1986 single before being ‘rescued’ when someone at the label suggested it be reworked. It eventually became the lead single to the next album, 1987’s Dancing With Strangers, ending up as one of Chris’ biggest hits, peaking at number 12 in the UK.

Despite modest packaging (they’re all in plastic jewel cases) the five two-CD sets are a delight and include all manner of rarities such as single re-recordings, B-sides, non-album cuts, the odd remix and live tracks. A great reissue campaign and Rhino even put out a new compilation with unreleased tracks via their own store (now sold out, but available on Spotify).

Read more about these reissues.

SPECIAL MENTION: a-ha: Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines. The two albums that ushered in the second act of the Norwegian’s band career. Both offer generous amounts of demos on the 2CD sets and a few remixes. Unlike the previous batch (Stay On These Roads, East of the Sun West of the Moon and Memorial Beach) these were also made available on vinyl (without the bonus tracks).

SDE's Best Reissues of 2019. BEST SOUNDTRACK REISSUE 2019: 'Get Carter' 3CD deluxe (Cherry Red)
BEST SOUNDTRACK REISSUE 2019: ‘Get Carter’ 3CD deluxe (Cherry Red)

Get Carter is one of those films that is constantly being rediscovered by new generations. Michael Caine delivers close to a career best performance as Jack Carter, the London gangster who heads north to find out more about his brother Frank’s death. Roy Budd‘s music – particularly the main theme (‘Carter Takes A Train’) – works beautifully, although the actual songs such as ‘Gettin’ Nowhere In A Hurry’ and ‘Hallucinations’ (with lyrics by Jack Fishman) are just as good.

The 1998 CD of Get Carter was already great (this was the first time it had appeared on the medium), but Cherry Red’s three-CD deluxe of 2019 took the offering to a new level with a stunningly good 96-page hardcover book presentation which included a foreword by Fishman, and detailed notes on virtually every aspect of the film. It’s filled with excellent photos and images various film posters from the era.

The second disc in this set offers various alternative versions and rarities (including the rare UK seven-inch single version of the theme) while the third CD delivers a fantastic Roy Budd film score ‘best of’ with selections from The Marseille Contract, The Black Windmill and Kidnapped).  Points are deducted for a handful of unnecessary contemporary remixes at the end of the second disc, but nevertheless this is essential for film score and soundtrack fans.

Read more about this release.

SPECIAL MENTION: Bernard Herrmann: Marnie. Massively impressive deluxe package from Stylotone, which included coloured vinyl, CD, seven-inch single, ‘Quad’ poster and hi-res download. Mystify: A Musical Journey with Michael Hutchence. Wonderfully evocative sound montage of songs and dialogue from Hutchence and INXS. Elevates the ‘soundtrack’ medium, although Universal cocked up the CD by not honouring the ‘four side’ approach and indexing every track individually (something Spotify doesn’t even do).

SDE's Best Reissues of 2019. BEST CAREER-SPANNING BOX: Paul Young: The CBS Singles Collection 1982-1994 (Edsel/Demon Music)

BEST CAREER-SPANNING BOX: Paul Young: The CBS Singles Collection 1982-1994 (Edsel/Demon Music)

Of course I need to put my hands up and say that this was compiled by my good self, but before I get accused of marking my own homework, getting the audio selection right is but part of the process and Demon Music did a phenomenal job bringing this concept to market, at an impossible-to-resist price. Every Paul Young UK single issued via CBS (19 of them) was included here on a correctly artworked CD single. Each disc included relevant B-sides, seven-inch mixes, 12-inch mixes, instrumentals, demos and more. The CBS Singles Collection came with a 36-page booklet, a high quality Japanese ‘drawer’ style two-part box and even included a print signed by Paul Young (before Amazon UK lost most of them!). In the end, this was TOO SUCCESSFUL, since the 1500 run sold out on pre-order and these are now rather sought after and expensive to acquire.

Read more about this release.

SPECIAL MENTION: Heaven 17: Play to Win: The Virgin Years. Ronnie Lane: Just For A Moment: Music 1973-1997.

SDE's Best Reissues of 2019. BEST SURROUND SOUND 5.1 mix: Dukes of Stratosphear 'Psurroundabout Ride' Mixes by Steven Wilson (APE)

BEST SURROUND SOUND 5.1 mix: Dukes of Stratosphear ‘Psurroundabout Ride’ Mixes by Steven Wilson (APE)

The two Dukes of Stratosphear albums are perfect for the 5.1 treatment and who better than Steven Wilson to deliver such an experience. Forget about ‘ambience’ in the rears, Wilson really lets loose with proper discrete audio as sounds fly around the room and because of the fun, psychedelic nature of the music, it never feels overdone or inappropriate. There’s so much music to enjoy (including instrumentals and demos) and you don’t have to buy a £100 box set to gain access.

Read more about this release

SPECIAL MENTION: Jethro Tull: Stormwatch (5.1 mix by Steven Wilson). Mansun: SIX (5.1 mix by P-Dub).

SDE's Best Reissues of 2019. BEST VALUE BOX SET: The Police / 'Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings' 6CD (Universal Music)
BEST VALUE BOX SET: The Police / ‘Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings’ 6CD (Universal Music)

It took Universal Music a year to do what they should have done back in 2018 and that was release their Police Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings box set on CD. Why they didn’t do it at the time remains a mystery, although perhaps they thought not enough people would buy the £100+ half-speed mastered vinyl set if a cheaper CD variant was on offer as well. To recap, this box offers all five of the band’s albums – newly remastered – on CD, along with a bonus disc of rarities called Flexible Strategies. The albums sound great, the bonus disc is welcome – if far from comprehensive – but what makes this box so good is the price. The label have clearly set the dealer price so low that supermarkets and online retailers (in the UK) are able to charge around £15 (or even less) for this six-CD package. Truly impressive, especially since the lift-off lid box itself is high quality and even includes one of those ribbons to help extract the discs. There’s no booklet and the CDs are housed in functional gatefold card sleeves, but who’s going to quibble? As the price of big super deluxe sets continue to increase, it is refreshing to see fans not being ripped off. I hope this has sold well, to encourage the record label to repeat this offering with other artists.

Read more about this release.

SPECIAL MENTION: Bob Dylan: The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings. 14CD box set initially available for around the £60 mark. The Dukes of Stratosphear: Psurroundabout Ride. Pure brilliance. Change from £20.


137 responses to SDE’s Best Reissues of 2019

  1. Phil Pelling says:

    The box set no-one is talking about

    Not The Nine O’Clock News – the 3 albums plus the live set, all in one box.
    And not a hedgehog in sight.

    However (unlike Gerald The Gorilla) the production on these albums is not really amazing, but a long awaited upgrade to the old crackly vinyl sets

  2. Svein says:

    Catching up on this, and love reading people’s thoughts on archive releases from 2019.

    One that has not been mentioned is Gentle Giant’s “Unburied Treasure” box set. It is the most incredible archive release I have ever seen in my 40+ years of collecting music. Containing 30 discs (half of which has never been previously released), a lavish 136-page coffee table hardback book, a 96-page tour history book, a photo fully signed by the band, booklets, posters, several replica promotional items, and a Blu-ray bonus disc with a Steven Wilson surround mix of their 1970 debut album. It is their entire and complete career in a box. Easily my favourite reissue from 2019. As nobody else mentioned it, I felt I had to.

  3. Larry Davis says:

    Just got the 5 Rea-issues, and while tastefully done & great interviews in the booklets, remastering & artwork, 5 tracks were left off from New Light Through Old windows…the US mix of Let’s Dance, Windy Town, Fool if you think it’s over, ace of hearts & candles…the last 3, understandable but not Windy or US mix of Let’s Dance… oversight??

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  5. Kevin says:

    Along with the Ramones’ “It’s Alive” set, a pleasant surprise for me was Transvision Vamp’s “I Want Your Love” reissue. Along with the requisite bonus tracks and extended mixes was an autographed print. Good stuff. Would’ve never known the set existed were it not for SDE. Thanks, Paul!

  6. Steve says:

    The Cure’s Mixed Up/Torn Down 3CD and also black vinyl versions- Those were good but they were from 2018.

    I liked and bought the Abbey Rd box set but think there could easily have been another cd of stuff. And yeah they could and should have put some video on the bluray- i don’t see the point of an audio bluray.

    REM Monster I liked but I haven’t listened to all of the demos and thought some of the remixes were a bit pointless- Let Me In sounds better unremixed.

    I also got the Pretenders Singles box set which was a bit costly but I am a big 7″ box set fan and love the Pretenders so I grabbed it before it was on ebay for silly money.
    Suede I got the RSD version of Head Music. I spent a LOT more on RSD this year than any other.

  7. James (from Canada) says:

    Bowie’s Conversation Piece release is everything I want in a Bowie release. Here’s hoping ‘deep dives’ like this one continue for the Bowie catalogue.

  8. AdamW says:

    I almost forgot! The compilation/soundtrack that had me moshing in the basement (OK, maybe not moshing at my age, but moving somewhat more vigorously than normal), Industrial Accident: The Story Of Wax Trax! Records. So glad this was finally made available. I moved to Chicago right when Wax Trax!’s heyday was about to crest, so I have very fond memories of this music. The super deluxe box came with extra Ministry and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult tracks, as well as a nice big book and a cassette of old phone messages that were left at the old label/record store back in the day. Fun stuff.

  9. AdamW says:

    Agree 100% with 1999. They nailed it.

    My favorite other reissues this year were the seven “imperial phase” Stereolab albums. I bought them on clear vinyl because they came with CD-quality downloads, just gorgeous-looking and great sounding, with well-written notes and plenty of demos.

    Also wanted to mention the Pop Group’s Y. Loads of terrific previously unreleased versions, along with an important, timeless album.

  10. slapshot says:

    Seriously, did no one mention the “Origin of Muse” box? Fantastic set, worth buying just for the book.

  11. Alan Bates says:

    Did anyone here buy the Stylotone Marnie ?
    I bought their Twisted Nerve – a great package plagued by extremely poorly made vinyl.
    I went through 4 copies before finding an acceptable one.

  12. jim shoe says:

    I believe Larry Davis asks the same question above, but do we know if the Chris Rea campaign is over, or are there plans for more reissues? I would LOVE for all his stuff to get the 2cd treatment eventually. One can dream!

  13. Alan Blevin says:

    2 categories only for me
    Archival Releases
    1 Woodstock Back To The Garden 10 disc version.I have around 200 box sets and this may be my all time favourite.A stunning fly on the wall recreation of a seminal event.
    2 Tuscaloosa-Neil Young
    3 Rolling Thunder Revue 1975 Live Recordings -Bob Dylan
    4 Songs For Groovy Children – Jimi Hendrix
    5 Best Of Billy Bragg At The BBC
    1 Monster- R.E.M. As a R.E.M. fanatic I have been disappointed by their recent reissues and archival releases but this time they hit it out of the park.An intriguing set of demos,a radical remix of the original album,a great show in good sound quality and a substantial doco/concert film on the Blu-Ray.
    2 Stormwatch -Jethro Tull
    3 Laid Back -Gregg Allman

  14. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Great thread and very interesting to read people’s comments/favourite box sets. Mine this year were:
    – Ronnie Lane [just brilliant]
    – In Search of Hades, Tangerine Dream [just amazing to hear all this]
    – 1999, Prince
    – Abbey Road, Beatles
    -Popol Vuh
    – Gong
    – OMD [possibly my favourite]

    Favourite reissues not strictly SDEs were:
    – Stereolab reissue campaign [I know these albums so well, but ot hear them remastered and the bonus tracks was just glorious]
    – Pacific Breeze: Japanese City pop
    – Kankyo Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990 [probably my favourite of all releases last year]
    – Dukes of Stratosphear

    In terms of new music, I’m firmly in the over-50s-with-two-teenage-children category and don’t really get the chance to hear much new music. That I do, I don’t really like and I tend to look back rather than now. I’m finding that there is so much music from the past which I’d rather listen to, either as a comfort of familiarity or just because there is so much undiscovered. I did though really like Julia Jacklin’s new album, which i played a lot, Michael Kiwankua and Lloyd Cole’s album. Gary Daly of China Crisis also brought out a very fine album.

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  16. Steven Campbell says:

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned yet or not but other worthy reissues for me was The Cure’s Mixed Up/Torn Down 3CD and also black vinyl versions, The Band’s self titled debut got another reissue which I picked up the 2CD of and indeed swirl (limited to 250 copies according to recordstore.co.uk) vinyl, REM’s Monster and The Cult’s Sonic Temple 5CD box set not to mention the FINALLY released after a year of waiting reissue of Massive Attack’s excellent Mezzanine with it’s companion dub album on pink vinyl. In addition Underworld’s Drift and groove Armada’s 20 4CD set deserve mention. Those were just some of my highlights, plus Santa was very good to me and I got the Prince 1999 5CD/DVD set for Christmas.

  17. Kauwgompie says:

    One quick thing about Prince’s 1999 because I find this interesting. On the official Prince site, the big vinyl box AND the cd box are listed as sold out. On Amazon.com there are only 2 market sellers selling it for crazy money. Amazon.com itself is selling it today for $49 which makes no sense and is by far the lowest I have seen so I quickly bought it. On Amazon Germany stock seems to run low as well with only a few market sellers selling for high prices, €70 and above. France and Italy the same. The only place where there are no signs of this box being sold out is Amazon UK. So it seems the first print of this box is close to being sold out. I cannot imagine they won’t do a 2nd print, so I’m sure supplies will be available again soon, like with Tangerine Dream’s “In Search Of Hades” and Bowie’s “Loving The Alien”. What do you think Paul? Will they print more? The Prince box must have sold better than expected.

  18. Uncle Meat says:

    Best reissue/archive sets in 2019:

    Tangerine Dream – In Search Of Hades
    Ramones – It’s Alive
    Gong – Love From Planet Gong
    Creedence Clearwater Revival – Live At Woodstock
    Various Artists – Trick Or Treat (music to scare your neighbours – vintage 45’s from Lux and Ivy’s haunted basement), best compilation

    Great year for us Zappa fans, three sets! You can’t go wrong with any of them:

    Frank Zappa – The Hot Rats Sessions
    Frank Zappa – Halloween ’73
    Frank Zappa – Orchestral Favourites

  19. Steven Roberts says:

    Surprised that Prince’s Sign of the Times Concert Blu-ray (the first edition, with the extra discs and the epherema in the LP sized book) didn’t get a mention as one of the year’s best reissues.

    Until now, of course :)

    • Alan Mitchell says:

      Probably as it was unofficial right? And wasn’t it only available in Germany? It wasn’t issued by the Estate that’s for sure. I see it’s fetching a high price at the moment but there’ll be an official sde soon i imagine. Still rather have the sde treatment of Parade mind you. That’s my favourite album of his (occasionally it’s Lovesexy).

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        It wasn’t unofficial, but it was only available in Germany. The Estate don’t own the rights to the Sign O The Times film.

  20. Shaun says:

    Best box sets of the year: OMD (who once again were excellent live) and Motorhead 1979 which sadly was not featured here and whilst expensive was an excellent package.

    In 2020 I would like to see a box set for Metallica’s Black Album, a further box set covering 1980 – 1982 for the classic Motorhead line up including video, an Iggy Pop box set covering his career minus the dodgy bootleg quality material, Thin Lizzy’s live at Reading Festival 1983 reissued, explained deluxe edition reissues for Aerosmith’s comeback albums, Queen live at Earls Court 1977 box set and further box sets from Cherry Red covering punk, indie, New wave singles circa 1976 – 1982.

  21. David M says:

    Quite easy to fault the Abbey Rd reissue. A pretty average remix, not very exciting set of outtakes and problems playing Blu-ray. (Which lacked video.content). Book was ok but whole set was underwhelming and overpriced.

  22. Quante says:

    Happy New Year to one and all, and thanks for all the great recommendations from Paul and the SDE community.

    As with every year, I’ve purchased more new music, regardless of the year it was made, than I can ever get around to listening to. The joy of collecting is as much a driver as is the pleasure in the listening. The things that get played the most, generally reflect their place in the household top of the pops.

    Whilst this is a reissue feature, here’s a brief selection of new releases for me in 2019:

    Jamie Cullum’s Taller album (does the extended version released a few months later count as a reissue?). He’s super talented, his radio show is great, as was this album. I can’t wait to see him live in March.

    Kiwanuka is excellent – I’m glad I got the signed version – the series of signed albums on amazon and artists own sites keeps me buying new releases (roll on PSB).

    Two great tracks this year: Snow Patrol’s I Think Of Home – a beautiful song about early life reminisces we all wish we could write; and Simply Red’s Sweet Love, which took me back to the quality of early Simply Red songs.

    For reissues, I’ve the 1999 vinyl and cd box sets, but have yet to play them. I know there’s a lot of pleasure to be had from the new songs.

    Prefab Sprout’s albums being released on vinyl was a highlight, along with the acoustic version of Steve McQueen from record store day. Whilst it is a shame more unreleased music hasn’t come out, listening to theses songs over and over is pure pleasure. Have a read here for an update on Prefab Sprout news: https://www.sproutology.co.uk/exposition/sproutological-review-of-2019/

    Kathryn Williams was put away for Christmas and is fast becoming a household favourite. I barely knew her music prior to a friend lending and, so it’s lovely going through a twenty cd box. By chance I saw her perform for a few minutes as the support to Paul Smith (or was it to You Tell Me?) in The Cluny. She was also one of the acts performing with Paul Smith at The Sage just before Christmas. At £50 this box set was a bargain. Now at £58 it is still a bargain.

    The other bargains of the year were Tangerine Dreams box at €56 from amazon Italy (I’ve a lot more to listen to with this one), and all the charity shop cd purchases I keep coming home with. I just got the new No Man cd, sealed, for £1 – I’m assuming someone’s wife took revenge and got rid of it, along with lots of King Crimson cd /dvd combos I picked up.

    I’m looking forward to Field Music’s new album and tour this year – they were great at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester and London in 2019, and the two side projects albums were also to their usual high quality (You Tell Me and School Of Language).

    I’m also looking forward to Lanterns On The Lake’s new album (Spook The Herd) and tour, and Paul Smith and Rachel Unthank’s album together. The Unthanks music in Worzel Gummidge (the show was the Christmas tv highlight) was typically good.

    Special mention to Jenny Lewis – not yet a superstar, but could be – her tour and album in 2019 continue her high quality; and finally to Jenn Bostic – no where near a superstar, but a star to me. Jenn kindly signed her new cd with a Merry Christmas request to my wife from my online order request. I happily support artists who take the time to do such small things for them, yet which have a big positive impact for me.

    2020 – it’s going to be brilliant!

  23. Rolf says:

    Of your choices above, I really loved the 2 A-ha reissues & also the Eno Apollo reissue was really good. I’m sure at some point I will buy the 1999 reissue box but shelf space in “Casa Rolf” is getting limited & I’d rather have “Parade” & “SOTT” boxsets fill the space.

    Happy New Year to all readers!

  24. Kauwgompie says:

    Prince “1999” cd box now on sale on amazon.com, only $49.

  25. Alan says:

    I agree about The Police’s box. I had previously only got a couple of their Greatest Hits so was familiar with their singles (most of which I remembered from when they were originally out) but the price of this box made me decide to explore further. I wouldn’t have got an expensive box but couldn’t resist the £15 price tag, and it was even available in Tesco! Kind of strange hearing songs for the first time from and act that recorded them well over three decades ago, but I’m glad I did.

    It has been done before – ABBA’s The Albums from
    2008 was a 9-disc affair but sold for £15 for a long period. No interest to me as I had them all, but I do think these things are a way of picking up new fans. I’d love to see more acts get this treatment. Cheap but not poor quality, and I don’t mind if there are no frills.

  26. Fogarrach says:

    Happy new year Paul and all readers i.e. family of music lovers,
    I’m delighted to see Chris rea and Ronnie lane getting noticed in your list.

    Chris rea’s deltics album was a really important album for me. Great music and lyrics that still come into my mind regularly, even after al these years.
    If you don’t know it, the I suggest listening to cenotaph, letter from Amsterdam as an introduction.

    Similarily,Ronnie lane. A too much underrated English/London poet. An English poet, and up there in the pantheon with Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Leonard cohen, ray Davies and Jackie leven.
    If you’ve never heard of Ronnie, I suggest a listen to Barcelona. A wonderful yet tragic yet ultimately uplifting song.

    Can I also note my genuine sadness that this year we lost the final hope that we might hear something more from mark Hollis. Yet his music shall live on and be played regularly by me and many others.

    • DaveM says:

      @Fogarrach, I am going to check Chris Rea out after reading Paul’s article and the comments here. I mananged to get a copy of the Ronnin Lane box back in November (HMV York had one retained to put out in time for Christmas) which the missus gave me as a present. I listened to disc 1 last night and on the basis of that I would have included it as one of the best reisues of the year. Wow. A great pity it is out of print and going for silly money.
      Also great to see Jackie Leven get a mention in your post. He was truly one of the greats, with an unbelievable run of brilliant albums.
      As for the loss of Mark Hollis, I still can’t bring myself to play either Talk Talk or his solo album, that was so sad and shocking.

      • Larry Davis says:

        Big Chris Rea fan too…one of the few in America… here, all people talk about is “Fool If You Think It’s Over”, when I know he has a ton more worthy music released since… ordered the 5 Rea-issues, I see copies of One Fine Day CD/LP go for like $70 on eBay or Discogs…I’ll give it time for copies to show up for less…I hope what came out was Part 1 of a whole catalogue reissue campaign…if (when) it is, with Benny Santini, I hope his pre-album singles/material from 1974-1978 is all included…and yes Deltics is a great album, better-recorded than Benny…Tennis is also superb, highly underrated and overlooked, quite innovative too…that title track will get anyone’s attention…I wonder who would know about a Rea-issue campaign Part 2, Paul??

      • Foggarach says:

        Dear DaveM and Larry Davis,
        Thank you both for your kind feedback to my post. It gave me a thrill to read them and also is a tiny sense of the satisfaction that I sincerely hope Paul gets from this site.
        I think Chris Rea suffered in the media from being between cute and cult. Neither one nor the other. An incredibly talented musician whose back catalogue will pay back pleasure to anyone who listens to them. Larry you are correct re tennis. And I’d add that tennis has reminded me that his album covers are always great.
        Davem, if possible please let us know what you make of del tics
        Finally for now I’d like to wish Chris rea a brilliant and happy 2020. I understand that he’s had health issues and I do so hope that he is fully aware of how much his work continues to mean to people.

  27. Chris sutton says:

    Another good year for reissues. I too would go with tangerine dream’s in search of hades. It’s a stunning package.
    Curious as to why gentle giant’s unburied treasure gets no mention. I desperately wanted it but could not justify the cost. But what a fabulous looking package.

  28. Jake gee says:

    Hi Paul. Thank you very much for your fantastic website and all your efforts and the contributions of your readers.
    One point further to your comment re Liberty by duran duran. 2020 is 30 years and not 20 since it was released.
    Which makes me feel v old.
    Still a fantastic album but i will be happily surprised if a deluxe edition appears in 2020. However i am not counting on it based the bands previous lack of love for their back catalogue.

  29. dazzler says:

    My winner is Forever Young by Alphaville. I bought the 2CD edition, although the superdeluxe edition was worth its money with a making of DVD. But the 2CD version has all the audio I was looking for: every regular 7″ and 12′ track or version from that era. It’s a shame the two Howard Jones reissues didn’t manage to do likewise. Some of the key tracks or versions were absent or only available on the expensive superdeluxe edition.

    The overkill of Paul Young reissues (25th anniversary of No Parlez, Tomb of Memories box, 12″ en Remixes and the career spanning singles box) all forgot to include the original album version of Love of the Common People. It’s a recurring mistake on several reissues to forget one or more keytracks. I remember the 7″ version of This Occupation was forgotten on the otherwise very well documented reissues of the first three China Crises albums.

    This year I purchased my very first superdeluxe box. As a lifetime OMD fan I was glad to find every 7″ version of every single on the first two discs. And the disc with a collection of outtakes was outstanding.

  30. Robert Laversuch says:

    Happy New Year to Paul, Anne and all the readers of SDE.
    Very good suggestions by Paul and a lot of the readers.
    My faves this year Kathryn Williams which with 20 CDs and two books was marvellous.
    Bowie’s Conversation Piece for value as well as The Police.
    Someone here said that a Robert Palmer boxset would be welcomed – couldn’t agree more.
    2020 will hopefully also bring more Simple Minds box sets plus TFF Seeds set, finally. The remaining Cure Deluxe eds would be cool also, for me especially Concert with the 10 bonus songs from tape release and vastly expanded.

  31. Musicmacca says:

    Agree with the Mike McGear/McCartney reissue Paul. Never heard it before but bought on vinyl and as you say it’s like a lost Wings album. Some great tunes on it !

  32. Tim Barton says:

    Of all of the reissues here, I have got just the Dukes set-but I am really pleased with it. I hope we see XTC go a bit further into their own back catalogue and give us some of the early XTC releases, since so far all of these Ape/Steven Wilson remaster reissues have been great.

    How about Singles Going Steady? Very pleased with the vinyl of that one. I would like to have seen it paired with a CD but it did have the download at least. As David says, Domino are right on track with their quality reissues.

    Now I need to get my hands on the Duffy material. Here’s to hoping more from Stephen and his solo/Lilac Time years recordings!

  33. RJS says:

    En studio avec Serge Gainsbourg – SG / Various Artists
    Killing Eve Soundtrack – Unloved / Various Artists
    1999 SDE – Prince

  34. Kauwgompie says:

    Happy New Year to all! Paul, you are spot on with your list. The only box you left off that should have made the list was Tangerine Dream “In Search Of Hades”. It contains great bonus tracks, 5.1 mixes, live material and was very well remastered. A great set and must have.
    I’m glad you added the cd singles box of Paul Young. Not only is it a great quality set, we need more of these please!
    On to new and exciting new 2020 reissues!!

  35. Paul MacLennan says:

    Your Paul Young box was the years best for me. All those wonderful remixes and live tracks! I thought, I would never see the day they were properly digitized. Beautiful warm sound throughout. Just a winner!! A+++

  36. timhaydu says:

    greetings paul,
    it breaks my heart badly that 2019 is leaving without a “seeds of love” deluxe anniversary edition. that album was my best friend for about 2 years straight after it came out. i still find “woman in chains” profoundly moving if it catches me in a vulnerable moment. then again, i’m sure any type of reissue will be a disappointment as most are, unless they include the original version of the album before they re-recorded it. oh to dream the impossible dream! i hope you have a fantastic 2020.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I’m sad it didn’t come out in 2019 too. Unfortunately there is no “original version” of the album that they rerecorded. I can say that with some authority having listened to what’s in the archive. However that doesn’t mean the box set won’t be great when it does finally emerge!!

  37. Kevin says:

    Paul, thanks so much for all you do, and all that you put up with regarding keeping us up to date.

    Cheers to a healthy and happy 2020!


  38. Mark Phillips says:

    Another vote from me for the Kinks Arthur box!

    Also I’d love to compile a list of tracks not available for download or purchase in any digital format.

    This would include everything by White and Torch especially the Parade and Let’s Forget singles, the Nazz by the Word (or is it the other way round) and I no. 7 by John Kongos to start things off. The last two were one-off singles but surely Ace or someone could do a new to digital album to mop up these and other holes in the digital realm? The Muppets Music Hall EP is another chart hit that’s nowhere to be seen.

    Happy New Year Paul and everyone!

  39. Andy Dunn says:

    Happy New Year Paul & thanks for all your good work on this excellent site. Really looking forward to the Simple Minds Street Fighting Years box set release this spring

  40. Michael says:

    For me the OMD box is very nice. I am enjoying the Floyd Later Years box…which I think I got for the world cheapeat price so far at just under 300 usd…still a lot, I know… but so it goes. Those are my big ones for the year. I have also really liked the Yellow Magic Orchestra reissues. In 2020 I look forward to the Visage remasters on Rubellan…and hope for a big year of Duran Duran things.

  41. bill. cannon says:

    Paul-while your reviews are European centric wanted to comment on your summary-from Chicago. First agree with your McGear reference-it is a Wings album sandwiched between Band on the Run and Venus and Mars and in my opinion-much better than Venus and Mars. Next I did order Chris Rea’s remastered CD’s and the limited edition vinyl release. The CD’s are probably the best “remastered” or rather BONUS tracked re-release I have ever bought-though he is not well known in the states-highly recommend the whole batch. Finally the Kinks Arthur 50th release is also a great package-and BeBopDeluxe-all of them@. Happy New Year keep up the great work-appreciated by me!

  42. Cory Eling says:

    Couple Favorites-
    Replacements-Dead Man’s Pop
    Erasure-Wild!, finally a non destroyed mastering of their catalog, hopefully next years Chorus is respectful as well.
    New Order-Movement, A+ for the content, a few -‘s for the mastering and the inclusion of the LP, which is still in print and could of been purchased separately keeping the cost lower.
    Have a great New Year :)

  43. Charles says:

    Good stuff, but “Conversation Piece” gets my vote for the year.

    Bring on a “Liberty” Deluxe!

  44. Jason Brown says:

    Just bought The Road To Hell (and will be buying one of the Chris Rea re-issues per month now). Sounds great, and totally agree with the overall quality of the package, and about time too. Though has anyone else spotted the two slight typo’s on the disc 2 track titles, or is it just me…

    (Also got the Police box set too, fantastic content, sound and value)

    Happy New Year, y’all!

    • Kenny says:

      Could it be the misplaced apostrophe on the live “Let’s Dance” and the You’re in “I Can Hear Your Heartbeat” ? Minor quibbles for a superb album re-issue series.

      • Jason Brown says:

        Congrats to you Kenny, you got it. But yes, minor quibbles in a great package.
        Also suspect they are cannily reissuing New Light… through / across this series of
        bonus discs.

        The notes are interesting, too – written in Jan 2019, some six months before the announcement. So I suspect notes are written for all the albums

        This is ‘the imperial phase’ – so will they do early years or later years next? Agree entirely with the earlier comment re Deltics; the lost classic of the Chris Rea catalogue.

  45. Sandy says:

    Hello Paul , happy new year to all at SDE . I am hoping for a Dire Straits set along the lines of the Police , any word ? . Thanks , Sandy .

    • Louis says:

      I would ask Dire Straits stuff in HQ (bluray 5.1) and also great works as Knopfler’s OST and The Notting Hillbilies, & that album with Chet Atkins (Neck at neck).

  46. K says:

    It would be wrong to dock points for the Deadly Avenger remix of Get Carter, if nothing else.

    Deadly Avenger is a producer singularly obsessed with classic film soundtracks and all his work over the years comes from influences just like this. I can only see this as an inspired choice.

  47. JP says:

    Be-Bop Deluxe- Futurama was another big one for me this year

  48. David Healey says:

    Woodstock? A pretty important and significant release in my opinion. Seems to have been ignored by critics in these lists.

    Mercury Rev was essential too and a great price as revealed here.

    Abby Road and the Arthur set were also worthy.

  49. Anthony Grice says:

    My dream for 2020 would be a box set of Celine Dion’s early French language albums. As far as I’m aware they have never been released on cd. Even her own website denied their existence until recently. For a major superstar like her, why isn’t her whole catalogue available?

  50. pkrpmusic says:

    Section 25 Always Now box-set. Great attention to detail and beautifully boxed.

  51. Marcos says:

    Eagerly waiting SDEs for Humble Pie, Alice Cooper, Youth’s Flowerpot Men/Empty Quarter output, Comsat Angels, Clock DVA, Front Line Assembly and Skinny Puppy.

  52. alan tennie says:

    Nice to see those CHRIS REA DELUXE editions getting some love…. Some fabulous tracks hidden away on those chock a block bonus discs

  53. Michael says:

    I appreciate it was from 2018 but I got the Five Star the definitive anthology. Only listened to the first two albums they have about 9 great songs on those two. It’s a shame about the 12” included. Bought it because I enjoyed their gold CD. I hope that demon release expanded editions of those two albums.

    The one I am most look forward to this year is Parade by Prince & Revolution. I’m not crazy about the 1999 album so skipped reissue. It also costs $150 Australian to buy. Something good from George Michael estate would be nice as well.

    • Steve Burge says:

      When is Parade reissued?

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        Not sure we’re getting Parade next…

        • Ryk says:

          Nice one Paul, that’s saying you know something without saying what it is.

          Personally, was a bit disappointed at the vault tracks on 1999, as I have half of them already (not the same versions necessarily) on previous releases. Purple Rain has always been my favourite, and deserves to be revisited as a more expansive release similar to 1999.

  54. Argh! says:

    For me it has to be The Passions reissue of their last album Sanctuary on the brilliant indie Rubellan Remasters label. I just about gave up hope this album would be reissued on CD, and they went all out to license 9 extra songs to include everything that hadn’t yet been reissued on CD. There’s a nice little write up in the fold out by the guy who runs the label, and repros of old magazine adverts. The sound quality is typically stunning for the label, and they are very vocal in advertising their reissues will not be brickwalled. Barbra Gogan has such a lovely voice and this album really is their best. If you’ve never heard anything other than I’m In Love With A German Film Star, do yourself a favor and get the Sanctuary CD reissue. It’s a dream come true.

  55. The Golden Age Of The Phonograph says:

    My best Reissues/Archive Releases.

    In no particular order;

    Gene Clark: `No Other` SDE Box
    Dukes Of The Stratosphere: ‘Psurroundabout Ride’ & the individual LP releases
    Ronnie Lane: `Just For A Moment`: 1973-1997
    Kinks: `Arthur` SDE Box and the 2LP release
    Bob Dylan: `Rolling Thunder` Box and 3LP reissue
    Go Betweens: G Stands For Go Betweens Vol2
    Woodstock: `Back To The Garden` – take your pick, the 3CD, 10CD, 38CD, 5LP Box and the I-IV individual LP sets
    Beatles: Abbey Road
    Mercury Rev: `All Is Dream` 4CD SE & the SDE but an extra £20 for a 7″ single was a bit excessive although I don`t begrudge the band the extra cash. I doubt they are multi-millionaires
    Traffic: `The Studio Albums 1967-74`, the first 5 LPs sound great but the `When The Eagle Flies` LP has some crackles and pops but nothing too bad

  56. johnny says:

    Bend Sinister – The Fall was my favourite reissue (2CD/2LP)…One of the greatest albums of the 80s..Long awaited but done just right.

    Also ‘En studio avec Serge Gainsbourg’ (3CD)…a nondescript title and sleeve, sold at a bargain price, with no publicity, but actually a real treasure of unreleased versions…A kind of ‘Anthology’ series for SG…Utterly brilliant.

  57. Galley says:

    My vote goes to the 38-CD Woodstock boxed set.

  58. deceased says:

    3 Favourite Campaigns for me this year…

    Drift (Deluxe Box Set) by Underworld
    Guerrilla (20th Anniversary 2CD) by Super Furry Animals
    All the Stereolab Double-CD reissues

    The sheer wealth of material in all of the above for very appealing price points have made these the perfect purchases for me this year…

  59. Jean-Claude Gerber says:

    Regarding the earlier mentioned “still no reissue” category. When will there finally be a career spanning remastered boxset (both vinyl and cd/5.1 editions?) of the late great Robert Palmer. Is there not enough profit in it for Universal?

  60. Dogfacedboy says:

    Think the Abbey Road box set is my least favourite of the Fabs 50th. Outtakes lessened to fit it on the triple vinyl and the annoying ‘this earlier take was great’ in the book for stuff not included.


    Kathryn Williams – Anthology: 20 CDs (about 100 extra tracks, most unreleased plus two books in a well designed package for 50 notes)

    The Daisy Age -another brilliant collaboration between Bob Stanley & Ace Records in a hip hop explosion.

    In fact Ace in general have hoovered up a lot of my cash this year – Come On Let’s Go (power pop) Three Day Week (was that this year? 70s Austerity weirdness) Jarvis’ Sunday Service and the continuing British Beat Girls series

    James Brown – Live At Home With His Bad Self – no overdubs or studio trickery just a blinding hometown show by Soul Brother No.1 from October 1969

  61. Tim says:

    Prince’s 1999 is easily my choice musically, but if my hand is on heart, the packaging of the CD box at least (Not seen the LP box) was less 5han expected. It totally pains me to praise Parlophone after their abysmal marketing scams, but Bowie’s “Conversation Piece” was beautifully done. Prince more than deserved the same.

  62. john laidlaw says:

    Some I purchased that were great were the second Go-Betweens box ..Bowie ..Conversation Piece ..White Stripes debut album box from Third Man and The Pop Group ‘Y’ deluxe box ..all hit the spot for quality and value..

  63. Ian says:

    Froese and the ‘Dreamers In Search of Hades was a very good reissue too

  64. Nick Lees says:

    Not sure which category it should have been mentioned in but the Hades Tangerine set was pricey but magnificent. Worth every penny for the live stuff, the unreleased studio stuff and the Wison Hi-Res remasters.

  65. DaveM says:

    My list…
    Best Single Album Box Set
    The Beatles – Abbey Road
    Best Deluxe reissue
    Van Morrison – The Healing Game, closely followed by King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King 50th
    Best album series reissue
    Elton John – Japanese remastered mini-LPs from Empty Sky to Blue Moves (fantastic remastering, no compression and the usual standard of presentation), closely followed by Paul McCartney’s live mini-LPs reissued in the summer.
    Best Value box set
    Mercury Rev – All is Dream deluxe (thanks to SDEs link to Amazon.de) closely followed by The Police – EMYM
    Also worth a mention ELOs Secret Messages 35th Japanese CD. A revelation in its intended form along with The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin Live at Red Rocks, not a reissue as such but eff me this is good.

  66. Ron says:

    I’m thoroughly biased, but the reissue of Gene Clark’s No Other was far and away the highlight of 2019 for me. The Dukes’ CD-DVD was fun, and I could not believe how cheap the Japan SHM version of The Police box set was. I take back everything bad I ever said about Sting (if I did, not sure really). But please 4AD, give us a Wolfgang Press SDE!! My money is waiting for you!

  67. Mike O says:

    I realize you can’t include everyone, but I’d have gone for one of the Marillion box sets, namely Clutching At Straws,

  68. Dean says:

    The highlights for me were the Be Bop Deluxe box sets, and especially the Tangerine Dream set. The latter is astonishing, and the very first time early TD material has been shown some real love and respect.

    The Tull release was terrific too. Finally – Conversation Piece from the Bowie camp is just off the charts great – surprised to not see it honored here.

  69. AModSquad says:

    Another year passes, another year older and still not one single epic remaster release from Madonna for me to sink my teeth into. I’m so upset at her, her label, her management and the way they’ve handled her career since confessions.

    Ohhhh, actually maybe I’m supposed to be grateful for that 30th anniversary Like A Prayer she dumped on Spotify along with the 30th anniversary LAP pillows you could buy on her site.

    • Donald Biscuits says:

      Ah come on you did get a new album on multiple formats and 3 clear vinyl reissues. Madonna is clearly not interested in revisiting her back catalogue despite what we the fans would like. God forbid We may have to wait ‘prince scenario’.

    • Bill says:

      AModSquad you are not the only one! Madonna is near the end with her contract with Live Nation on this tour. So we may just (PRAYING) that the rumoured (LATE) LAP box set for Q1 will materialise! Its still listed on warners.cz.

      The 1/2 arsed attempt at the Spotify LAP 30th Anniversary missing off a song was just terrible!

      HNY all!

  70. Nick Love says:

    I would like to request a “still no reissue” category in these waning days of physical music. I’d like to nominate both Argent’s Counterpoints and Rod Argent’s Moving Home. Still shocking that in 2020 there still hasn’t been a legit re-release of Buckingham Nicks.

    • GP says:

      “Buckingham/Nicks” reissue has forever been abandoned thanks to Stevie Nicks issuing yet another ultimatum that either “Buckingham goes or I go” juvenile attitude to Mick Fleetwood…
      resulting in the replacement of Lindsay with two other guys to replace him in Fleetwood Mac.

  71. Paul says:

    Best wishes for 2020 Paul for me the worthy winners would be not in any order

    Jimi Hendrix Fillmore box, Frank Zappa Hot Rats sessions, Be Bop Deluxe Modern Music which all came at the year end but worth the wait. Cheers

  72. Rob O'Connor says:

    I would add the 5LP/CD Peter Laughner box on Smog Veil which gathers tracks from his various bands and solo performances. While not a well-known name, Peter is known as a main songwriter and guitarist for Rocket from the Tombs and the earliest Pere Ubu sides.

    The Replacements’ Dead Man Pop was a much needed remix of the band’s most divisive album, Don’t Tell A Soul, while Gene Clark’s No Other got an expensive and more reasonable reissue that I never saw coming.

    You covered the rest! Cheers!!

    • Lyle says:

      Another vote here for the Peter Laughner set, which is beautifully done and historically fascinating.

    • Mike Villano says:

      Yes on Laughner and the Mats! Two wonderful boxes. The Laughner one is a labour of love that Smog Veil has been prepping for about a decade. The CD sets are sold out, but there was some vinyl left last time I checked.
      The new remix of “Don’t Tell a Soul” is a masterwork. I always loved the original album, but this disc really shows how good the album is.

  73. mike toppe says:

    Any chance of a Stephen Duffy re-press?

  74. Mark Sinclair says:

    I’m hoping in 2020 for a career spanning Duran Duran vinyl album box set with half speed mastering by Miles @ Abbey with a disc or two of non-album singles and studio b-sides together with hi res downloads

    • frank says:

      As a lifelong Duran Duran fan myself, I have no faith whatsoever that anything worth while will ever be properly put into a comprehensive Duran box set whatsoever.

      And that’s a real shame.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        I do rather agree. Next year is the 20th anniversary of Liberty, by the way!!

        • the real mike says:

          Wish it was, but its 30. Very fine album but the band’s track record in ignoring what the fanbase want which verges on arrogance, makes me doubt Liberty will ever get the recognition it deserves. Any album that bears songs of the quality of Serious, Liberty, My Antartica far out ranks the majority of the later releases, voluminous remixes and the quality of the outtakes (Worth Waiting For, Money On Your Side, Family) would make a decent 3cd set. They can dump the holy beads of jism that is Venice Drowning though in a director’s cut!

        • frank says:

          30th Paul!! 30 years since Liberty!! Time flies… ;)

  75. Glenn Cook says:

    I truly enjoyed Dead Man’s Pop, the redo of The Replacements’ “Don’t Tell a Soul.” It was great to get an album that actually sounded like the band, rather than the 1980s glop that resulted in the album being dated as soon as it was released. Overall, the songs weren’t up to the same quality as the Let It Be/Tim/Pleased to Meet Me trilogy, but I’m glad the group is getting its due in the reissues market.

    Enjoy your site. Happy New Year!

  76. Auteur55 says:

    Mercury rev’s All is Dream reissue is perfection and how I wish all single album super deluxe editions were done.

  77. John says:

    Optimism is a wonderful thing but no WORST of the year? Surely there’s a deserving box set with a case of the Laupers.

  78. Magoo says:

    King Crimson Heaven + Earth would have been on my list , if not for the issues with some discs, also NO replacement discs, just downloads.
    Gong has to be on my list, still miss Mr Daevid Allen.
    Gentle Giant will be great, when I get round to opening it up.
    Still waiting on deals for the Beatles Abbey Rd, and the Stones blu ray for Circus.
    All the best for the new year to everyone who contributes with their two pence worth, still laughing at some classic comments on here during 2019.

  79. Paul Prescott says:

    Thanks for another great year of your hard work, Paul. It’s very much appreciated.

    I would add Roger C Reale & Rue Morgue “The Collection”, which features an unreleased album with Mick Ronson on guitar.

  80. Tony says:

    Great article, a happy 2020 to you Paul, thanks for the fab alerts and site. I agree with your comments re The Police, I like these smaller boxes, as I do the 1999 box, only so much room at home. It’ll be interesting to think ahead a decade to see what we’ll be buying & in what format.

  81. Philip Wilson says:

    Cannot understand why at HMV the a-ha HHAL 4CD set is £23.99 , as is Lifelines 2CD set. Minor Earth, Major Sky is £19.99. Fairly sure one of them (possibly HHAL) was £29.99 in store. Madness if they want to compete surely.

  82. John Murray says:

    My most enjoyed sets:

    The Dukes of Stratosphear
    Mansun’s ‘Six’
    The Dylan ’Rolling Thunder’ box
    Be Bop Deluxe Sunburst Finish & Modern Music sets.

    Thanks again Paul for another great year – keep the news and reviews coming in 2020!

  83. Stevie B says:

    ‘Forever Young Super Deluxe Boxset’ by Alphaville was Superb.

  84. Craig says:

    Zappa’s Hot Rats Session Box for me was the prefect set. Needs to be mentioned amongst the greatest boxed sets not only of the year but…ever. Hyperbole intended.

  85. JP says:

    The Hot Rats Sessions


  86. Janice Pugh says:

    I bought the Heaven 17 Virgin Years Box Set. Thanks for all your hard work this year Paul and I look forward to a New Year and New Decade of music (with your invaluable help!) Best wishes to you and all the crew at SDE and its followers. Janice xx

  87. Miguel Rocha says:

    Agree with Prince 1999-best album of 1982, best reissue it 2019! MIA from your best of review, the Stereolab reissues.

  88. Poptones says:

    Good selection. Prince’s 1999 box set is probably the best one released this year.

    I would have added G Stands For Go-Betweens and Origins Of Muse. Two great box sets.

    Will wait for the 2020 preview. Btw you should also make a post about the 10 best deals of the year. It would be interesting.

  89. Ian Harris says:

    Have to disagree about the Heaven 17 box, quite a few missing versions / mixes, with just a few changes it could have been so much better.

    • Chris Squires says:

      It’s an unsung sector that get’s quite a lot of in-thread coverage – “Biggest missed opportunity” or “Most disappointing box set”. I think that’s why the Paul Young set deserves it’s place at the top of the heap as we are all so used to companies getting it wrong that when they get it absolutely right it can take us all somewhat by surprise.
      Not sure what the biggest disappointment is this year as pretty much everything I wanted this year was done quite well being a stupid-mad Young – Duffy fan and the Kate Bush disappointments and missed opportunities were logged as 2018.

    • negative1 says:

      They fixed the tracks that were wrong on the discs.

      Also, how many missing tracks were there?

      No, it was perfectly fine, for what it set out to do.
      I’m a huge collector and fan, so I’m glad it came out.

      Otherewise, good luck finding all those tracks on your own.


      • Rob C says:

        Did they fix the tracks or do you have to request replacement discs? I want to buy this but want the correct versions at the point of purchase. If corrected where is the best place to buy? Thanks!

  90. Gerbrand says:

    Best wishes for 2020, Paul, thank you for your great website !

    I very much appreciate the recognition and “no frills awards” for Chris Rea, perfectly explained above. A worthy runner up in that same category would be Van Morrison’s The Healing Game. A similar no frills reissue with a perfect bonus disc with b-sides and rarities plus a live disc with an amazing Montreux concert. These, together with the Bob Dylan Rolling Thunder box are my personal reissues of 2019.

    The same Bob Dylan also wins my “Most disappointing reissue of 2019” with the latest entry in The Bootleg Series. Even more worrying is the producer’s opinion that the series is nearing it’s end. Not necessarily because of the lack of interesting audio but due to his pessimistic view on the viability of physical releases. I’m glad SDE and its readers disagree with that point of view….

  91. Muse says:

    SDE awards. About time too.

  92. Steve says:

    Dollar box set.
    You have to mention that surely…

  93. Marcel says:

    I would like to give a shoutout to Ghost’s Prequelle reissue entitled Prequelle Exalted.

  94. adam shaw says:

    Just wanted to thank you Paul for your hard work this year . Because of your site I’ve purchased things I hadn’t know were released and also the continued deal alerts keeps my collection growing .
    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  95. DPman says:

    These are the ones I found interesting this year
    Jimi Hendrix: Songs For Groovy Children
    Ramones: It’s Alive
    Frank Zappa: Zappa in New York
    Cult: Sonic Temple

  96. Nancy says:

    Hey Paul,
    Don’t forget to do the SDE 2020 Reissue Preview as well!
    All the very best!

  97. Aaron says:

    I would have included Dylan’s Bootleg 15 in the best value box set but great selections overall- esp mention for the McGear set!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It got a ‘special mention’! :)

      • Paul Murphy says:

        Hate to start the new year with pedantry, but your ‘special mention’ was for Bob’s rather superb 1975 14-CD Box; ‘Bootleg Series 15’ that Aaron is referring to is the poorly titled ‘Travelin’ Thru, 1967 – 1969′ 3-CD set – poorly titled because it does of course include material from 1970. Seems to have set a precedent – the recent 2-CD Bob compilation ‘Top 40’ only has 39 tracks. Possibly it’s all some Dylanesque mystery meaning, possibly it’s because these days record companies consist of a secretary and a bloke called Dan who does everything from A&R to S&E.

  98. James W says:

    My favorite reissues of the year are three box sets. Gene Clark/ “No Other”, Elvis Presley/ “American Sound 1969” and Various Artists/ “Woodstock: Back To The Garden” (10 CD edition). Special mentions: The Police/ “Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings” and The Beatles/ “Abbey Road: 50th Anniversary”. I thought the “White Album” set was better.

  99. Stuart Ansell says:

    The King Crimson Heaven and Earth box has to be mentioned for value – 24 discs for £130 including 4 blurays and 2 dvds is a lot of bang for your buck, plus the 5.1 mixes are great.

    Happy New Year, one and all!

  100. Michael E. says:

    Hello Paul,
    I wish you a happy new Year!
    I hope next Year continues with such great Re-releases….

    Maybe Tears for fears for the 31 annyversary :)

    Thanks for Your great interviews, articles and everything else!

    Keep going….

  101. David Cornyn says:

    No arguments from me but I would have mentioned volume 2 of The Go-Betweens box set. Domino really do these things well – great set and the music is fantastic.

    Cheers, David.

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