Monday, December 14, 2015

Psychobabble’s 10 Best Music Releases of 2015

Various Artists compilations devoted to unusual genres gave us some of the best archival releases of the year, though 2015 also saw some terrific collections of music by such ever-present stars as Small Faces, John Lennon, Little Richard, and The Beach Boys. These are the ten best-reviewed music releases on Psychobabble of this past year.
(Once again, each entry links to the original review)

10. Procol Harum Remasters (Procol Harum/Shine on Brightly, A Salty Dog/Home)
In short: “...judging from the sound quality on the single-disc ones, I’d guess that Procol’s fans will agree that Esoteric is doing right by one of Rock’s most influential yet underrated bands.”

In short: Uncovered and Unplugged also affords an opportunity to hear something precious you won’t hear on those Pet Sounds or SMiLE sets: The Beach Boys playing in the studio as a real band. It’s worth the price of admission for that alone.”

In short: “Think of Dust on the Nettles as Nuggets for pagans, Jesus freaks, hobbits, wicker men, witchy women, and satyrs with sitars.”

7. The End: From Beginning to End...
 In short: It’s a shame this stuff had to sit in the vaults for 25 years plus another 20 before reaching a audience beyond Ugly Things-reading vinyl cultists, but I guess the fact that it’s all available now on From Beginning to End… takes care of that.

6. Groove & Grind: Rare Soul ’63 – ’73
In short: “...normally when I review a collection of songs I’ve mostly never heard before, I keep a running list of stand-out tracks to single out in my review. I gave up doing that with Groove & Grind when I realized I was writing down every track.”

5. The Complete Them 1964-1967
In short: This collection tames the first couple of Stones albums and makes Eric Burdon sound like a lounge lizard.

4. Lennon
In short: “...Sean Magee’s remastering job still sounds fabulous on vinyl (hold onto something stable when Klaus Voormann’s bass starts rumbling on “I Found Out”).”

In short: “Everything you want to hear from the man is here, and it makes for a timelessly torrid listen...”

In short: “If you never dropped your pence on those previous deluxe editions, and you want to grab all of Small Faces electrifying Decca recordings in one sweet package, then The Decca Years 1966-1967 is the ideal way to do it. ”

In short: ...Hulaland is a perfectly conceived box set and a place I plan to revisit many, many, many times in the sunshine-baked days and moonlight-bathed nights to come.”

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