When you’re a small and humble website like VintageRock.com, it’s hard to keep up with everything that comes tumbling out of the marketing cycle. So, instead of doing a year-end wrap-up of the year’s best this and that, let’s take a quick stroll through five incredible musical releases you can pick up as a last-minute holiday gifts, or maybe even new year’s presents to yourself. We’re talking a mix of new studio albums, reissued albums or sets, live albums, or any kind of compilation, be it vinyl, CD, Blu-ray, DVD, download, and streaming (sorry cassettes, you’re not there yet).
Who’s Next | Life House
Any rock fan worth his weight in platinum knows that the Who’s 1971 masterwork Who’s Next is an essential must-have in any collection. So, when the 11-disc, two hard-cover book, memorabilia-filled Who’s Next | Life House dropped in September, it was time to rejoice. The hefty $250 price tag probably scared away a lot of prospects; the hardcore Wholigans simply said, “Take my money!” Packed with Pete Townshend’s original Life House demos, the Record Plant NYC sessions, the Olympic Studios sessions, more singles and sessions, the full 1971 Young Vic live concert, the complete 1971 San Francisco Civic Auditorium show, and a Blu-ray Disc with the Steven Wilson Dolby Atmos and 5.1 mixes, your ears will thank you in the morning. Just don’t drop it because this sucker is so heavy it’ll go “thud”.
Before & After
Larks’ Tongues In Aspic
The Complete Recording Sessions
The Journey – Part 2
The Big Express
You’ve probably picked up on our obsession with Steven Wilson remixes. If so, XTC’s The Big Express delivers on that premise big time. The group’s 1984 album has been embellished with new stereo, Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround mixes on a Blu-ray Disc, as well as the stereo mix on CD. Of course, there’s a load of extras to cover the whole spectrum of the band’s seventh release. Squirming for recognition in a mire of 80s-infested pop swirl and new wave tendencies, XTC’s attempt at conceptual storytelling was substantiated by their free use of new technology alongside traditional manifestations that resulted into some spine-tingling ear candy. Such redemptive powers come full circle here and beyond.