Monday, December 15, 2014

Psychobabble’s 10 Best Music Releases of 2014

2014 was almost like 1964 all over again, what with all the major Beatles and Beatles-related releases. As you’ll see from my best album picks below, there were some amazing ones, but my favorite release offered something none of those fab CDs and LPs could: a ton of spectacular music I’d never heard before. There were also some cool box sets, deluxe editions, vinyl reissues, and even one compilation that may point to more interesting things ahead for 2015.

As was the case with the past two week’s lists on the best books and home video releases of 2014, each item below links to the original review.

In short: “Two of the most unique records of the late sixties are now more unique than ever.”

In short: “The Jam’s first two albums were pretty punk. Their third, All Mod Cons, went in more of a polished pop direction. Setting Sons incorporated the best elements of both phases with some of the hardest hitting and loveliest music of their career.”

8. Venus and Mars by Wings

In short: “…much of the rest of the album rates among the best stuff Wings did.”

7. The Apple Years 1968 – 75 by George Harrison

In short: “Newly remastered from the original analog tapes, it is warm and detailed, as are the other discs in this nicely packaged set.”

6. Siouxsie and the Banshees Reissues

In short: Sound on the three earliest albums is a booming improvement over the tinny and flat original CDs.

5. The Who Hits 50 by The Who

In short: “Old timers, this is, indeed, The Who you grew up with.”

4. The U.S. Albums by The Beatles

In short: “Those who want as close a reproduction of those old American albums as they’re going to get with supreme sound and packaging, those who don’t mind hearing “I Feel Fine” pop up on Beatles ’65 without so much reverb that its magnetic guitar riff is nearly indecipherable, will be most pleased.”

3. Doolittle 25 by The Pixies

In short: “…this is still a pretty must-own repurchase of an album that should have already been in your collection for twenty-something years.”

In short: “For someone who already has a firm mono preference, these LPs are heaven.”

In short: “…one of the best various artists box sets I’ve ever heard.

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