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Critics' Choice
CLASSIC ROCK REISSUES: A FALL BONANZA
8/27/15

 

It's raining rock reissues, people. Here's our first of several roundups of the treasures now becoming available.

Freedom: Jimi Hendrix Experience Atlanta Pop Festival (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)

In this two-disc 1970 festival artifact, Jimi, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell plow through a trove of hits and a few of the new songs Hendrix had been working on, such as "Freedom," "Room Full of Mirrors" and "Straight Ahead," that showcased a more groove/soul direction. The fretwork is as inspired as you'd expect, and the band brings Jimi's stoned genius into focus. The visionary artist died just a few months later.

Faces, You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything (1970-1975) (Rhino)

Fresh off its tantalizing new batch of Led Zeppelin reissues, which got some upper-tier chart action upon release (and are also available in stunning vinyl/CD/download/book/pup tent editions), Rhino is now rolling out a gorgeous box set of fine albums from Faces.

While less celebrated than the mighty Zep, Faces—fronted by the redoubtable Rod Stewart and featuring the dream team of Ronnie Wood, Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones—created some wonderful rock and roll. The set in question, You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything (1970-1975), includes full-length sets The First Step, Long Player, A Nod Is as Good as a Wink ... to a Blind Horse and Ooh La La

In addition to CDs and downloads, the set is available in a deluxe vinyl set. Ooh la la.

The Essential Van Morrison (Legacy)

Legacy's Van onslaught begins with this double-CD set, the first half of which has more classics than you can shake a stick at: ""Brown-Eyed Girl," "Astral Weeks," "Moondance," "Crazy Love3, "And It Stoned Me," "Domino," "Wild Night," "Tupelo Honey," "Jackie Wilson Said" ... oy, we're exhausted just from recounting this much. Disc two delves deeply into his eclectic wonderings in the last few decades (notably his fine work with The Chieftains). For one-stop access to "the mystic," this is your go-to collection.

The Doors, Other Voices + Full Circle (Rhino)

Is it blasphemy to say we dig The Doors without Jim Morrison? These two albums, packaged in one two-CD set, enabled the surviving members to mourn their late singer and explore new territory. Both feature brilliant musicianship from Messrs. Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore, and showcase a quirky humor usually banished when the Lizard King was on his throne. Case in point: Krieger's playful, catchy "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned."