Most weeks in this space, I feature crowdfunding campaigns for new music by both independent and established artists. But sites like PledgeMusic are increasingly becoming popular as a place to snag re-issues as well. With the re-emergence of vinyl as the only growing physical music medium and a number of artists celebrating anniversaries, the time is right to re-issue either an iconic album or series of albums on an old format to a new generation. So this week’s column will focus on three classic re-issues being offered by U2, Elton John, and Bad Company.
British blues-rockers Bad Company have been a fixture on classic rock radio since the ’80s with hits like “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and “Shooting Star.” Now they are re-releasing remastered versions of two of their classic albums on both CD and vinyl. 1976’s Runnin’ With the Pack and 1977’s Burnin’ Sky were both released on vinyl, the preferred medium of the time, but for the vinyl-loving millennials who missed the first run, they are now available again. Both re-mastered albums come with a bonus disc of outtakes, demos, and alternate versions.
Not many bands are as polarizing as U2. They are very much a love them or hate them kind of act. But they are also arguably the biggest rock and roll band in the world, selling out 80,000 seat football stadiums on their upcoming 2017 tour. And the road to the Irish rockers becoming the biggest band in the world began with 1987’s landmark The Joshua Tree. To celebrate that album’s 30th birthday, U2 is releasing two new versions of it. The 2 CD set contains The Joshua Tree and a live album from Madison Square Garden in 1987. For the U2 superfan, they are also offering a massive (both in size and price tag) 4 CD or 7 LP box set, which will contain not only the previously mentioned albums, but also a remix album, an outtakes album, and an album of b-sides. The deluxe edition will also come with an 84 page book of photographs from U2 guitarist The Edge.
While his flamboyant stage personality often gets the most press, it’s undeniable that Elton John has released the soundtrack to many a Generation X-er’s life. Now John is preparing to re-release six of his classic ’70s albums on vinyl in a year long celebration of the artist. Slated for re-issue are 17-11-70, Elton John, Madman Across the Water, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Too Low for Zero, and Songs from the West Coast. The albums can be pre-ordered individually or as a pair of 3 album sets.