Audiophile: Digital, January 2020

hfnalbum.pngThe Replacements
Dead Man's Pop
Rhino R2 596304/603497851133 (four CDs + LP)

Much-loved, The Replacements merit this level of treatment, usually reserved for the likes of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin or others of that scale. As with the Fab Four's reissues, it's an expansion of a single album – Don't Tell A Soul – that was released in a form with which the band was unhappy. Setting things straight, the 1988 version is 'radically reimagined' in

a 12x12in set with the intended track order and mix. The bonuses comprise unreleased material, among them early versions of 'I'll Be You' and 'Achin' To Be', five recordings with Tom Waits and an entire live show from 1989. Unlike the sonic swill from 'Madchester', this is indie music proving that melody and brains don't preclude tension. KK


Bad Company
The Swan Song Years 1974-1982
Rhino R2 584500/603497854592 (six discs)

Gotta love all-in box sets: bargain-priced, space-saving and featuring new mastering, in card mini-sleeves. If you're downsizing, replacing earlier copies or just discovering an artist – wow! – £20 for the entire Swan Song canon! This is hard rock/heavy metal of the finest sort, from a band that categorically rates up there with the best, its roots in Free, Mott The Hoople and King Crimson – a supergroup by any definition. From the opening track of the eponymous debut – 'Can't Get Enough' – those who were around at the time recognised a band within spitting distance of Led Zep, and a vocalist par excellence in Paul Rodgers. Time for some serious air guitar. KK


The Guess Who
Rockin'/The Best Of The Guess Who, Volume II
Vocalion CDSML 8662 (SACD 5.1 mix)

Another treasure from Vocalion, by the inexplicably neglected Guess Who, one of Canada's finest musical exports. This pairs the 1972 release with their second hits collection (1973), both with intriguing 5.1 surround-sound mixes derived from the original quadraphonic recordings – the quad Rockin' was previously only on 8-track tape. By this time, the band was starting to fade, but the former is a polished set mixing rock and ballads, while the hits package (with two tracks from Rockin') features 'Albert Flasher', 'Rain Dance' and others that deserved greater success. It's worth it just to hear Burton Cummings' vocals and Randy Bachman's guitar. KK


Jethro Tull
Stormwatch – 40th Anniversary 'Force 10' Edition
Chrysalis 0190295471804 (four CDs + two DVDs)

Blessed are Tull fans: the latest expanded release – marking its 40th birthday – is a knockout, though those less than devoted to the group might find it hard to distinguish from some of the other sets. This completes the trilogy of folky-ish releases which began with Songs From The Wood and Heavy Horses and adheres to the uniform presentation of a hardcover book, its six discs starting with a new stereo remix, a vast cache of unreleased tracks and a magnificent concert recorded in the Netherlands in March '80, its entirety filling two CDs. Also in the set are DVDs with 5.1 mixes in DTS/Dolby Digital, 96kHz/24-bit stereo mixes, and 'associated tracks'. KK