Our favourite reissues of 2022 so far

By in Features





The best reissues from January to June.

Selects come from the VF Team, along with our extended family of weekly contributors, Alice Whittington, James Hammond, Emily Hill, Annabelle Van Dort.

Yasuaki Shimizu


(Palto Flats)


Encapsulating the best of Yasuaki Shimizu’s electronic experimentalism, and originally recorded during one of his creative zeniths during the ’80s, the existence of his Kiren album was previously the stuff of lore: it was said to exist, yet had never received a release. Serendipity in the form of Shimizu unearthing the album from his archives allowed the record to lovingly receive its first release courtesy of Palto Flats. Its vinyl offering also includes detailed liner notes by Chee Shimizu about its context and history. Kiren is a sonic gem of freewheeling creativity infused with his signature sax – a unique and vital insight into the musical mind of maestro Shimizu. – GH





As much as it is an album, Ruins is a document – a sonic time capsule recorded during a residency in Portugal in 2011. As Grouper, aka Liz Harris, sat down to work on the album, she allowed herself to work through political anger and her own emotional states. In doing so, she captures “failed structure”, revealing what it is to live “in the remains of love.” In classic Grouper style, the results are minimal, delicate, and emotionally haunting. — LR

Tony Allen

Secret Agent

(World Circuit Records)


Possibly a remaster was the only way to make the late, greatest Tony Allen’s drumming sound any cleaner. Twelve years since its first release, Secret Agent gets a fresh lick of paint, and retains all the fun and fury that ran through Allen’s career behind the kit, spanning tight Afrobeat flourishes, low-slung funk, and meandering dancefloor fever dreams. – WP

Glen Campbell

Greatest Country Hits

(Curb Records)


Glen Campbell is many things: a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and actor. But, most crucially, he is also a legend. Greatest Country Hits surveys his output for Capitol Records from the mid-’70s through to the late ’80s, capturing what made him such a sparkling talent. While ‘Southern Nights’ and ‘If I Could Only Get My Hands On You Now’ are certainly standouts, ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ is the shining gem of this compilation. When he calls out, “But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me, like a rhinestone cowboy,” let Campbell fill you with hope, buoyed on whatever escapade you may be embarking upon. And remember: it’s time to be the cowboy. — LR

The Notorious B.I.G.

Life After Death

(Bad Boy/Rhino/Atlantic Records)


An already-posthumous album gets a bumper repackaging that includes the original LP alongside 12” single versions, rare photos, and extensive sleevenotes. Tracks like ‘Kick In The Door’, ‘Hypnotize’, and ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’ are practically burned into the eardrums of a certain generation by now, but a reissue gives overlooked album tracks more room to breathe – and space for Biggie’s talents, of which the world was bereaved far too soon, to bloom. – WP

Daft Punk

Tron: Legacy

(Disney Music Group)


A collision of two robo pop culture icons of this stature was always going to result in Technicolor, and bombast by the bucketload. From the enormity of the opening ‘Overture’ to ‘Rinzler’’s high stakes pulse and the moody verve of ‘End Of Line’, this collection is nothing short of stirring from start to end. – WP

Os Tatuís

Os Tatuís

(Far Out)


Born from late-night nightclub performances (Azymuth keyboardist Bertami would sneak to São Paulo by train as a teenager), this set of samba and bossa nova renditions is springy and sprightly, and, thanks to some archive unearthing from Far Out Recordings, widely available for the first time in recent history. Like those fingers, snap it up. – WP

Duke Ellington and Coleman Hawkins

Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins



Given the powerful and natural feeling of this encounter, it’s a shame that this album is the only recorded meeting between Duke Ellington and Coleman Hawkins. For the recording, Ellington and Hawkins were joined by a band including Ray Nance on cornet and violin, Lawrence Brown on trombone, Johnny Hodges on alto sax, and Harry Carney on baritone sax. The new reissue features transfers from the original analog tapes, mastered at Sterling Sound. — LR

Various Artists

Life Between Islands

(Soul Jazz Records)


Exploring the connections between Caribbean and British music and culture from the ’50s to today, Soul Jazz’s Life Between Islands also celebrates the Tate Britain’s exhibition of the same name. Drawing on such a range of genres, inspirations, and eras was never going to be an easy task. Rather than feeling reductive, in typical Soul Jazz fashion the compilation offers an exciting window into the vibrancy and depth of Caribbean-British sounds, leaving you only wanting more. Heartrending lovers rock and soul (Winston Curtis’ ‘Be Thankful for What You’ve Got’, Dee Sharp’s ‘Rising To The Top’) sits comfortably alongside electric jungle, drum’n’bass and dub (RK1’s ‘The Terrorist’, Cosmic Idren’s ‘Compelled’). Representing the very smallest tip of this creative contribution, here’s hoping more instalments are on the way soon. – GH

Various Artists

Sharayet El Disco



The 1980s saw the meteoric rise of disco and boogie in Egypt, with musicians taking influences from across America and Europe, as well as working with the sounds of their country’s traditional instruments. Wewantsound’s Sharayet el Disco comp shines a light on this undeniably fertile period. Across nine tracks, the collection voyages from rhythmic disco, to distinctly ’80s boogie, and smooth funk. – LR

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood

Nancy & Lee

(Light In The Attic)


Light in the Attic Records continue their exquisite run of Lee Hazelwood releases with the reissue of Nancy and Lee. For their debut album together, Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra made for an unexpected collaboration with divine results. Billy Strange’s luscious orchestral arrangements contain a cinematic grandeur and a psychedelic sensibility — like a Hammerstein or Morricone composition reimagined by The Byrds. The femme fatale to Hazlewood’s crooning cowboy, Nancy’s vocals are sultry and unaffected, appearing like stolen glances across a smoky room. – AVD

Staples Jr. Singers

When Do We Get Paid

(Luaka Bop)


This small-town gospel group released only one album under this name, quite possibly because both their name and album title were continuously confused with the actual Staples Singers, with whom they had no connection other than idolising them. Touring the Bible Belt in their family van was often gruelling work; while they spread the message of the Lord, the question still remained as it does for many working musicians: “When do we get paid?” That said, all members went on to build successful careers. Replete with yearning gospel and soul with a tinge of southern blues, this reissue of some of the group’s staples is a key piece of gospel history. – AW


Nothing More To Say

(Huntleys + Palmers)


SOPHIE continues to brighten our lives with her dazzling music even after her unexpected death last year. Nothing More To Say is a reissue of her electrifying 2013 EP, with proceeds being donated to the Scottish Trans Alliance. Standing the test of time, there is an overwhelming sense of joy and freedom that courses through your veins whenever the catchy hook hits your ears. A combination of plastic pop and an overwhelming sense of self expression, it’s the kind of feel good music you need in your life – forever and always. – EH

Harold Budd

The Pavilion Of Dreams

(Superior Viaduct)


Following Harold Budd’s period of disenchantment in the late ’60s and early ’70s, the extended cycle of compositions that make up his 1978 album Pavilion of Dreams, were a rebirth for his artistry and his ‘soft pedal’ piano works. A gentle unfolding of unhurried melodies, sustained notes, and chords, with Pavilion of Dreams Budd’s keys were also joined by the similarly smooth edges of Marion Brown’s sax, multi-instrumental work from Gavin Bryars, and Michael Nyman, and of course, Brian Eno’s production touches. In some ways a transitionary work when considering the more prominent collaborations with Eno that would follow, this release still stands as a soothing triumph of Budd’s minimalist vision. This reissue from Superior Viaduct stays faithful to the sought-after original, which appeared as the 10th and final edition of the Eno-curated Obscure series. – JH

Peter Gabriel


(Real World Records)


Peter Gabriel’s first soundtrack, Birdy explored the friendship between two young men as they struggle to adjust to life after the Vietnam War. To record the largely instrumental soundtrack, Gabriel worked with musicians including Jon Hassell, journeying from haunting ambience to peaceful marimbas via sparse piano — a sombre project, to say the least. — LR

David Bowie

Hunky Dory



It’s hard to go wrong with a David Bowie reissue, and this 50th anniversary edition of Hunky Dory certainly hits the spot. Alongside classics including ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’ and ‘Life On Mars’ the limited edition picture disc also features a new ‘Changes’ mix and a poster. Starman forever. — LR

Alhaji Kwabena Frimpong


(Hot Casa Records)


For collectors and fans of Ghanaian highlife, K. Frimpong is a household name. Aside from his work with the popular band Vis-A-Vis, he made many other records including this rare self-released album from 1984 – which is being reissued here for the first time. While only standing at four tracks, each is impeccably arranged and catchy as hell. At times influences of funk and electric organ seep into the performances, but it remains highlife at its core, and a jewel in the crown of the genre at that. – AW

Tia Blake and her Folk-Group

Folksongs & Ballads

(Ici Bientôt)


In 1969, an 18-year-old Tia Blake journeyed from New York to Paris with just sixty dollars to her name and the address of a record shop in hand – the quintessential backstory of a musical vagabond, plucked straight out of a Bob Dylan song or Joni Mitchell lyric. After falling in with the fellow wanderers, musicians, students and artists who frequented the record shop known as Disco’Thé, Tia Blake recorded Folksongs and Ballads, now reissued for the first time on Paris’ Ici Bientot records. An artefact of the bohemian energies of the French capital’s Latin Quarter, Folksongs and Ballads contains 10 stunning interpretations of English, Irish and Appalacian folk songs. Delicate fingerstyle guitar arrangements recall the minimalist stylings of Bert Jansch or Jackson C. Frank, always accentuating and never eclipsing Blake’s singing. There is a timelessness to Blake’s voice, a haunting clarity in her delivery of these ancient songs — a knowing melancholy to which the listener is not privy. This is an album for repeated listening. – AVD

Los Kenya

Siempre Afro-Latino

(Olindo Records)


Siempre Afro-Latino, the sensational debut of Venezuelan salsa titans Los Kenya, is an exhilarating slice of Afro-Latin musical experimentation – reissued now on Olindo Record’s offshoot Música Infinita. This record captures the late 1960s Venezuelan scene in all its glory: trumpet-led grooves cut across relentless percussive rhythms with raw clarion; infectious Palmieri-style piano solos skit across notes like frantic feet on a dancefloor. Pure Latin heat that’ll get you practising those salsa steps. – AVD

Various Artists

Down & Out



NTS has always had an ear for the weird and esoteric, and nowhere is this more clear than on their latest record, Down & Out. Described as a collection of “loner folk recordings”, the compilation features largely private-press releases from America and the UK between ’68-’80, with most of the artists failing to have ever achieved widespread recognition. The music is subsequently tinged with ennui, as if gently washed in a basin of melancholia, failed dreams and regret. As the label describes it: “taken as a whole, these songs reflect a generation slowly burning out; weary of the history of the late 20th century, or casualties of psychedelic excess.” — LR