Anniversary Sets For Everyone! McCartney, R.E.M., REO, Megadeth, Tull, Who

Save Your Sanity, Save Your Pennies!

By , Columnist

40th anniversary, 35th anniversary, 20th anniversary, even 10th anniversary packages seem to be the new reissuing trend from labels and bands these days. Of course, there are good reasons. Many of the titles getting updates are classics, all deserving of being treated lovingly, enhanced to the point that they become the equivalent of an aged woman with a boob job and plastic surgery. The better known the title was when it was younger, the more attention it is getting now.  Here's a rundown of upcoming albums that are getting the anniversary treatments:

Probably the most anticipated package belongs to Paul McCartney.  On June 14, Hear Music will reissue remastered versions of McCartney (1970), and McCartney II (1980) in several editions that start at a two-CD Special Edition release, to an extravagant package that includes two-CDs, and a DVD along with a collectible 128-page hard bound book for McCartney. McCartney II will get the two-CD Special Edition, but the planned Deluxe Edition will include three-CDs, a DVD, and a 128-page hard bound book.  Vinyl LPs and Digital Downloads are planned as well.  Fans want these!  Fans are anticipating further remasters for other McCartney works.


R.E.M. is on the list with an upcoming 25th Anniversary Edition of Life's Rich Pageant (1986) scheduled for July 12.  This set will include not only the original album remastered but will add a second CD with what is known as The Athens Demos, previously unreleased session recordings of the album before the final sessions.  The set is housed in a lift-top box and will add in bonuses of a poster and postcards.


REO Speedwagon hits the 30th Anniversary with their most accessible album, Hi Infidelity from 1980. For this upcoming two-CD set, there is a CD of the newly remastered original album, and a second disc of previously unreleased live studio demos of the album. Legacy plans a release date for July 19.


On July 12, Capitol Records will release a two-CD 25th Anniversary set for Peace Sells...But Who's Buying (1986) from thrash metal giants, Megadeth.  The original eight-track album will be digitally remastered, while the second disc included will contain 13 previously unreleased Live from Cleveland support performance tracks. But there is a more lavish set planned.  There will be a five-disc, three LP Box that adds in audio bonuses likes hi-resolution tracks, and a collection of rarities.  The included 20-page booklet boasts liner notes by Lars Ulrich (Metallica).  Swag includes 8" x 10" photos, and assorted Megadeth memorabilia.


In the distant future (with no dates set), a 40th Anniversary set of Aqualung (1971) by Jethro Tull is planned, fervently being worked on by revered up and coming remastering engineer, Steve Wilson (Porcupine Tree).  The set is planned to include a remixed 5.1 Surround version, along with uncovered bonus tracks. Aqualung is thought to be given a September date.


Also planned is a box set for Quadrophenia (1973), information leaked by Pete Townshend himself.  He suggests that they are working on not only a remaster of the original album but also a 5.1 Surround mix as well.  An October date is possible.


Rhino Records has three 180g vinyl LP reissues planned for Black Sabbath that include Volume 4 (1972), Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973), and Sabotage (1975), all scheduled for August 9.

All I can say for fans of any of these works is, be prepared.  I'm betting that I'm going to have to revisit the Anniversary list later on this year with more additions.

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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