There have always been good reasons to listen to older music but 2020 provided plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the past thanks to a series of stellar reissues. In many ways, the reissues of 2020 exceeded expectations -- an impressive achievement considering how the year saw many long-awaited projects finally come to light. Super deluxe editions of Prince's 1987 masterwork Sign 'O' the Times and Tom Petty's 1994 opus Wildflowers appeared, right alongside a host of releases from Neil Young's Archives, including his scrapped 1975 LP Homegrown. Beloved classics from Neneh Cherry and the Replacements were given exhaustive deluxe editions, as were the two greatest Grateful Dead studio albums. Richard & Linda Thompson's Island recordings were given a handsome, hefty box and PJ Harvey reissued her early records accompanied by demo versions of each LP.

Some of the most interesting titles were more obscure, though. The American underground of the 1980s was spotlighted on the complete Pylon Box and the terrific Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987, a college rock Nuggets that found a quasi-cousin in Southeast of Saturn, a collection of Michigan dream pop and space rock from the 1990s. The pioneering electronic composer Mort Garson had a handful of enlightening reissues, while the synth-pop of the 1980s was compiled by Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs on the remarkable The Tears of Technology. All of these titles, along with collections both familiar and obscure, gave us many reasons to love the reissues of 2020.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Prince - Sign 'O' the Times [Super Deluxe]
Various Artists - Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987
Pylon - Pylon Box
Richard & Linda Thompson - Hard Luck Stories 1972-1982
Bobby Bare - Great American Saturday Night
Supergrass - The Strange Ones 1994-2008
Various Artists - Martin Green Presents Super Sonics: 40 Junkshop Britpop Greats
Neil Young - Homegrown
Elvis Presley - From Elvis in Nashville
Tom Petty - Wildflowers & All the Rest
The Stooges - Live at Goose Lake, August 8th, 1970
Elvis Costello - The Complete Armed Forces
Various Artists - Surrender to the Rhythm: The London Pub Rock Scene of the Seventies
Kursaal Flyers - Little Does She Know: The Complete Recordings
Elton John - Jewel Box
Joni Mitchell - Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years 1963-1967
The Replacements - Pleased to Meet Me [Deluxe]
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers - Just Coolin'
Various Artists - Southeast of Saturn
Cream - Goodbye Tour Live 1968

Heather Phares
Arca - &&&&&
His Name Is Alive - Return to Never (Home Recordings 1979-1986, Vol. 2)
Mort Garson - Music from Patch Cord Productions
Various Artists - Still in My Arms: Compiled by Bayu and Moopie
Various Artists - Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986
Pylon - Pylon Box
Various Artists - Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present the Tears of Technology
Various Artists - Louis Wayne Moody High
Various Artists - Bubblerock Is Here to Stay! The British Pop Explosion 1970-73
Lucifer - Black Mass
Mort Garson - Didn't You Hear?
Ataraxia - The Unexplained
Various Artists - Martin Green Presents Super Sonics: 40 Junkshop Britpop Greats
PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love: The Demos
PJ Harvey - Dry: The Demos

Tim Sendra
Valium Aggelein - Black Moon
Various Artists - Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987
Various Artists - Louis Wayne Moody High
Thin Lizzy - Rock Legends
East Village - Hotrod Hotel
Shoes - Elektrafied: The Elektra Years 1979-1982
Trees - Trees
Heavenly - A Bout de Heavenly
Tom Petty - Wildflowers & All the Rest
Honey Radar - Sing the Snow Away: The Chunklet Years
New Order - Power, Corruption and Lies [Definitive]
Orange Peels - Square Cubed
Love Tractor - Love Tractor
Beachwood Sparks - Beachwood Sparks [Deluxe Edition]
Various Artists - C90
Various Artists - Bubblerock Is Here to Stay! The British Pop Explosion 1970-73
Hangman's Beautiful Daughters - Smashed Full of Wonder
Various Artists - Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present the Tears of Technology
Various Artists - Still in My Arms: Compiled by Bayu and Moopie
Linda Guilala - Espacio de Tiempo [2009-2019]

Thom Jurek
Robbie Basho - Song of the Avatars: The Lost Master Tapes
Rashied Ali/Frank Lowe - Duo Exchange: Complete Sessions
France Gall - Baby Pop
John Stewart - Old Forgotten Altars: The 1960s Demos
Manfredo Fest - Brazilian Dorian Dream
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers - Just Coolin'
Dee Dee Bridgewater - Afro Blue
Bill Evans - Live At Ronnie Scott's
Sonny Rollins - Rollins in Holland [The 1967 Studio & Live Recordings]
Harold McKinney - Voices and Rhythms of the Creative Profile
Wendell Harrison - Evening with the Devil [The Complete Edition]
Marcos Valle/Azymuth - Fly Cruzeiro
Prince - Sign 'O' the Times [Super Deluxe]
Mike Westbrook - Love and Understanding: Citadel/Room 315 Sweden '74
Various Artists - Soul Love Now: The Black Fire Records Story 1975-1993
Jon Hassell - Vernal Equinox
24-Carat Black - III
Charles Mingus - Charles Mingus @ Bremen 1964 & 1975
Neneh Cherry - Raw Like Sushi [30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]
Grateful Dead - American Beauty [50th Anniversary Edition]

Andy Kellman [Spotify]
Neneh Cherry - Raw Like Sushi [30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]
Foul Play - Origins
Beverly Glenn-Copeland - Transmissions
Global Communication - Transmissions
Doug Hammond/David Durrah - Reflections in the Sea of Nurnen
Wendell Harrison - Evening with the Devil [The Complete Edition]
Kuumba-Toudie Heath - Kawaida
Evelyn "Champagne" King - RCA Albums 1977-1985
Leila - Like Weather
Harold McKinney - Voices and Rhythms of the Creative Profile
Ennio Morricone - Morricone Segreto
Pale Saints - The Comforts of Madness [30th Anniversary Re:Masters]
Prince - Sign 'O' the Times [Super Deluxe]
Pylon - Pylon Box
Special Touch - Garden of Life
Gabor Szabo - Dreams
Richard & Linda Thompson - Hard Luck Stories 1972-1982
24-Carat Black - III
Various Artists - Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986
Various Artists - Southeast of Saturn

Timothy Monger
Various Artists - Sumer Is Icumen In: The Pagan Sound of British & Irish Folk 1966-1975
Various Artists - Living on the Hill: A Danish Underground Trip 1967-1974
Hiroshi Yoshimura - Green
Various Artists - Peephole in My Brain: British Progressive Pop Sounds of 1971

Paul Simpson [Spotify]
Arca - &&&&&
Coil - Musick to Play in the Dark
Christoph De Babalon - Recurring Horrors
Vladislav Delay - Multila
Beatriz Ferreyra - Echos +
Foul Play - Origins
Mort Garson - Music from Patch Cord Productions
Beverly Glenn-Copeland - Transmissions
His Name Is Alive - Return to Never (Home Recordings 1979-1986, Vol. 2)
Model Home - One Year
Molchat Doma - Etazhi
Conrad Schnitzler - Con
Severed Heads - Clean
Sun Ra - Celestial Love
Valium Aggelein - Black Moon
Windy & Carl - Unreleased Home Recordings 1992-1995
Hiroshi Yoshimura - Green
Various Artists - Join the Future: UK Bleep & Bass 1988-1991
Various Artists - Soul Jazz Records Presents: Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave and Hardcore
Various Artists - Still in My Arms: Compiled by Bayu and Moopie

Neil Z. Yeung
Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory [20th Anniversary Edition]
Deftones - White Pony [20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]
Various Artists - Southeast of Saturn