Music Year 2003

This is my year-end list file for records released in 2003. This version is frozen as of Jan. 16, 2004. The freeze date represents the completion of several year-end pieces: my Pazz & Jop Comments and two pieces for Static: Top Ten (Plus Plus), 2003: Wrap It Up and Bag It. A more current version of this list is here.

New Records

  1. Buck 65: Talkin' Honky Blues (WEA Canada)
  2. William Parker Violin Trio: Scrapbook (Thirsty Ear)
  3. Kelis: Tasty (Star Trak/Arista)
  4. Lyrics Born: Later That Day . . . (Quannum Projects)
  5. Matthew Shipp: Equilibrium (Thirsty Ear)
  6. Amy Rigby: Til the Wheels Fall Off (Signature Sounds)
  7. Akrobatik: Balance (Coup D'Etat)
  8. Paal Nilssen-Love/Ken Vandermark: Dual Pleasure (Smalltown Supersound)
  9. Warren Zevon: The Wind (Artemis)
  10. Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble: Exile (Enja/Justin Time)
  11. The Bad Plus: These Are the Vistas (Columbia)
  12. Miroslav Vitous: Universal Syncopations (ECM)
  13. Drive-By Truckers: Decoration Day (New West)
  14. Al Green: I Can't Stop (Blue Note)
  15. NOFX: War on Errorism (Fat Wreck)
  16. Chris Knight: The Jealous Kind (Dualtone)
  17. Roy Haynes: Love Letters (Eighty-Eights/Columbia)
  18. Lifesavas: Spirit in Stone (Quannum Projects)
  19. Abdoulaye N'Diaye: Taoué (Justin Time)
  20. Bettye Lavette: A Woman Like Me (Blues Express)
  21. Jean Grae: The Bootleg of the Bootleg EP (Babygrande)
  22. DJ Wally: Nothing Stays the Same (Thirsty Ear)
  23. Ludacris: Chicken-N-Beer (Def Jam South)
  24. Electric Six: Fire (XL)
  25. Kimya Dawson: My Cute Fiend Sweet Princess (Important)
  26. Timbaland & Magoo: Under Construction Part II (Blackground/Universal)
  27. Lucinda Williams: World Without Tears (Lost Highway)
  28. James Blood Ulmer: No Escape From the Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions (Hyena)
  29. Rancid: Indestructible (Hellcat)
  30. June Carter Cash: Wildwood Flower (Dualtone)
  31. Panjabi MC: Beware (Sequence)
  32. Fannypack: So Stylistic (Tommy Boy)
  33. McEnroe: Disenfranchised (Peanuts & Corn)
  34. Yo La Tengo: Summer Sun (Matador)
  35. Kid Koala: Some of My Best Friends Are DJ's (Ninja Tune)
  36. Pink: Try This (La Face)
  37. Dino Saluzzi: Responsorium (ECM)
  38. David Murray Latin Big Band: Now Is Another Time (Justin Time)
  39. Vandermark 5: Airports for Light (Atavistic)
  40. Andrew Barker, Matthew Shipp, Charles Waters: Apostolic Polyphony (Drimala)
  41. Missy Elliott: This Is Not a Test (Gold Mind/Elektra)
  42. Johnny Cash: American IV: The Man Comes Around (American)
  43. Brigitte DeMeyer: Nothing Comes Free (BDM)
  44. Cooper-Moore, Tom Abbs, Chad Taylor: Triptych Myth (Hopscotch)
  45. Murs: . . . The End of the Beginning (Definitive Jux)
  46. The Klezmatics: Rise Up! Shteyt Oyf! (Rounder)
  47. Clark Terry & Max Roach: Friendship (Eighty-Eights/Columbia)
  48. Merle Haggard: Like Never Before (Hag)
  49. Aceyalone: Love & Hate (Project Blowed)
  50. Steinski's Burning Out of Control: The Sugarhill Mix (Antidote)
  51. Dominic Duval, Mark Whitecage: Rules of Engagement, Vol. 1 (Drimala)
  52. The Bottle Rockets: Blue Sky (Sanctuary)
  53. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks: Pig Lib (Matador)
  54. EG Kight: Southern Comfort (Blue South)
  55. Fountains of Wayne: Welcome Interstate Managers (S-Curve/Virgin)
  56. Daughter: Skin (Aum Fidelity)
  57. FAB: Fonda-Altschul-Bang: Transforming the Space (CIMP)
  58. Pet Shop Boys: Disco 3 (Sanctuary)


Records in hand, but which haven't yet been graded.

  • Basement Jaxx: Kish Kash (Astralwerks)
  • Dave Budbill, William Parker, Hamid Drake: Songs for a Suffering World (Boxholder)
  • Roy Hargrove Presents the RH Factor: Hard Groove (Verve)
  • Gaby Kerpel: Carnabailito (Nonesuch)
  • Dianne Reeves: A Little Moonlight (Blue Note)
  • Todd Snider: Near Truths and Hotel Rooms (Oh Boy)
  • Tricky: Vulnerable (Sanctuary)
  • Was (Not Was): The Woodwork Squeaks (ZE)


Records in hand, graded B+ or below, in roughly declining order:

  • Go-Betweens: Bright Yellow Bright Orange (Jetset)
  • DJ Spooky: Dubtometry (Thirsty Ear)
  • OutKast: Speakerboxx/The Love Below (Arista, 2CD)
  • The Blue Series Continuum: The Good and Evil Sessions (Thirsty Ear)
  • Bubba Sparxxx: Deliverance (Beatclub/Interscope)
  • Madonna: American Life (Maverick/Warner Bros.)
  • Horace X: Sackbutt (Omnium)
  • Cooper-Moore, Assif Tsahar: America (Hopscotch)
  • Neil Young: Greendale (Reprise)
  • Howard Tate: Rediscovered (Private Music)
  • Guy Davis: Chocolate to the Bone (Red House)
  • James Carter: Gardenias for Lady Day (Columbia)
  • Anti Pop Vs. Matthew Shipp (Thirsty Ear)
  • Nicholas Payton: Sonic Trance (Warner Bros.)
  • The Neptunes Present . . . Clones (Star Trak)
  • Jon Langford and the Sadies: Mayors of the Moon (Bloodshot)
  • The David S. Ware String Ensemble: Threads (Thirsty Ear)
  • Wayne Hancock: Swing Time (Bloodshot)
  • The Wrens: The Meadowlands (Absolutely Kosher)
  • Jesse Malin: The Fine Art of Self Destruction (Artemis)
  • VisionFest: VisionLive (Thirsty Ear)
  • Free Fall: Furnace (Wobbly Rail)
  • Paal Nilssen-Love/Hĺkon Kornstad: Schlinger (Smalltown Supersound)
  • Kali Z. Fasteau: Oneness (Flying Note)
  • The Strokes: Room on Fire (RCA)
  • Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez: The Trouble With Humans (Texas Music)
  • Assif Tsahar, Tatsuya Nakatani: Come Sunday (Hopscotch)
  • Loudon Wainwright III: So Damn Happy (Sanctuary)
  • Jason Moran: The Bandwagon (Blue Note)
  • Crooked Fingers: Red Devil Dawn (Merge)
  • Lee Konitz/Alan Broadbent: Live-Lee (Milestone)
  • The Lucky Tomblin Band (Texas Works)
  • Liz Phair (Capitol)
  • The Raveonettes: Chain Gang of Love (Columbia)
  • Ken Vandermark: Furniture Music (Okkadisk)
  • Lou Reed: The Raven (Sire/Reprise)
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Fever to Tell (Interscope)
  • Tim Berne: The Sublime And (Thirsty Ear, 2CD)
  • Kaito U.K.: Band Red (SpinArt)
  • Earl Thomas: Soul'd (Memphis International)
  • The Blue Series Continuum: The Sorcerer Sessions (Thirsty Ear)
  • William Parker, Joe Morris, Hamid Drake: Eloping With the Sun (Riti)
  • Shout, Sister, Shout! A Tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe (MC)
  • White Stripes: Elephant (V2)
  • X-Ecutioners: Scratchology (Sequence)
  • Roswell Rudd/Toumani Diabate: Malicool (Sunnyside)
  • Daniel Carter + Reuben Radding: Luminescence (Aum Fidelity)
  • Ani DiFranco: Evolve (Righteous Babe)
  • Dave Douglas: Freak In (Bluebird)
  • Etta James: Let's Roll (Private Music)
  • Jack Johnson: On and On (Moonshine Conspiracy)
  • Ms Dynamite: A Little Deeper (Universal)
  • Sarah Pierce: Love's the Only Way (Little Bear)
  • Fiel Garvie: Leave Me Out of This (Words on Music)
  • Spring Heel Jack: Live (Thirsty Ear)
  • Susie Ibarra & Mark Dresser: Tone Time (Wobbly Rail)
  • John McLaughlin: Thieves and Poets (Verve)
  • The Libertines: Up the Bracket (Rough Trade)
  • 50 Cent: Get Rich or Die Tryin' (Interscope)
  • Kim Wilson: Lookin' for Trouble (M.C.)
  • Kimya Dawson: Knock-Knock Who? (Important)
  • Yellowjackets: Time Squared (Heads Up)
  • Lily Haydn: Light Blue Sun (Private Music)
  • George Jones: The Gospel Collection (BNA)
  • The Red Stick Ramblers: Bring It On Down (Memphis International)
  • ScoLoHoFo: OH! (Blue Note)
  • Massive Attack: 100th Window (Virgin)
  • Asleep at the Wheel: Remembers the Alamo (Shout)
  • Robert Cray: Time Will Tell (Sanctuary)
  • Zwan: Mary Star of the Sea (Reprise)
  • Assif Tsahar, Mat Maneri, Jim Black: Jam (Hopscotch)
  • Regina Carter: Paganini: After a Dream (Verve)
  • The Mighty Echoes: Doo Wop Til You Drop (Brooklyn International)
  • The Crusaders: Rural Renewal (PRA/Verve)
  • Metallica: St. Anger (Elektra)


These are records that I have some reason to think might be worth hearing. Usually, other folks' recommendation. ***, **, * indicates some serious interest on my part; # indicates something that I have serious doubts about.

  • Ryan Adams: Rock N Roll (Lost Highway)
  • Aesop Rock: Bazooka Tooth (Definitive Jux)
  • A.F.I.: Sing the Sorrow (DreamWorks)
  • Rahim AlHaj: Iraqi Music in a Time of War (Voxlox)
  • Amy Allison: No Frills Friend (Diesel Only)
  • Art Ensemble of Chicago: Tribute to Lester (ECM)
  • Atmosphere: Seven's Travels (Rhymesayers/Epitaph)
  • Audio Bullys: Ego War (Astralwerks)
  • Erykah Badu: Worldwide Underground (Motown)
  • The Bangles: Doll Revolution (Koch)
  • David Banner: Mississippi: The Album (Universal)
  • Belle and Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe Waitress (Rough Trade)
  • Bettie Serveert: Log 22 (Palomine)
  • Beyoncé: Dangerously in Love (Columbia)
  • Mary J. Blige: Love & Life (Geffen)
  • Black Box Recorder: Passionoia (One Little Indian)
  • Carla Bley: Looking for America (ECM)
  • Blink-182 (Geffen)
  • Blur: Think Tank (Virgin)
  • Brand New: Deja Entendu (Razor & Tie)
  • Joe Budden (Def Jam)
  • Rosanne Cash: Rules of Travel (Capitol)
  • Cat Power: You Are Free (Matador)
  • Clem Snide: Soft Spot (SpinArt)
  • Ry Cooder & Manuel Galbán: Mambo Sinuendo (Nonesuch)
  • Marshall Crenshaw: What's in the Bag? (Razor & Tie)
  • Rodney Crowell: Fate's Right Hand (DMX/Epic)
  • The Dandy Warhols: Welcome to the Monkey House (Capitol)
  • The Darkness: Permission to Land (Atlantic)
  • Dashboard Confessional: A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar (Vagrant/Interscope)
  • The Distillers: Coral Fang (Sire)
  • Dizzee Rascal: Boy in Da Corner (XL)
  • Kathleen Edwards: Failer (Zoë)
  • Joe Ely: Streets of Sin (Rounder)
  • Erase Errata: At Crystal Palace (Troubleman)
  • Everclear: Slow Motion Daydream (Capitol)
  • Ibrahim Ferrer: Buenos Hermanos (Nonesuch)
  • Festival in the Desert (World Village)
  • The Fever: Pink on Pink (Kemado)
  • Fog: Ether Teeth (Ninja Tune)
  • Aretha Franklin: So Damn Happy (Arista)
  • Nelly Furtado: Folklore (DreamWorks)
  • Gotan Project: La Revancha del Tango (XL/Beggars Banquet)
  • Grandaddy: Sumday (V2)
  • Macy Gray: The Trouble With Being Myself (Epic)
  • Groove Armada: Lovebox (Zomba)
  • Slide Hampton: Spirit of the Horn (MCG Jazz)
  • Handsome Family: Singing Bones (Carrot Top)
  • Emmylou Harris: Stumble Into Grace (Nonesuch)
  • Stefon Harris: The Grand Unification Theory (Blue Note)
  • Fred Hersch: Live at the Village Vanguard (Palmetto)
  • Dave Holland Quintet: Live at Birdland (ECM, 2CD)
  • Abdullah Ibrahim: African Magic (Enja)
  • Vijay Iyer: Blood Sutra (Artists House)
  • Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd: In What Language? (Pi)
  • D.D. Jackson: Suite for New York (Justin Time)
  • Keith Jarrett: Up for It: Live in Juan-Les-Pins (ECM)
  • The Jayhawks: Rainy Day Music (American/Lost Highway)
  • Jay-Z: The Black Album (Roc-A-Fella)
  • Wyclef Jean: The Preacher's Son (Clef/J)
  • Jedi Mind Tricks: Visions of Gandhi (Babygrande)
  • Sheila Jordan: Little Song (High Note)
  • Mamani Keita & Marc Minelli: Electro Bamako (Palm)
  • Kekele: Congo Life (Stern's Africa)
  • R. Kelly: Chocolate Factory (Jive)
  • Alicia Keys: Diary of Alicia Keys (J)
  • Kid Rock (Atlantic)
  • Kings of Leon: Youth and Young Manhood (RCA)
  • Ladytron: Softcore Jukebox (Emperor Norton)
  • Ted Leo/Pharmacists: Hearts of Oak (Lookout)
  • Lightning Bolt: Wonderful Rainbow (Load)
  • Linkin Park: Meteora (Warner Bros.)
  • Branford Marsalis: Romare Bearden Revealed (Marsalis Music)
  • The Mars Volta: De-Loused in the Comatorium (Gold Standard)
  • Christian McBride: Vertical Vision (Warner Bros.)
  • Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)
  • The Naysayer: Pure Beauty (Carrot Top)
  • Meshell Ndegeocello: Comfort Woman (Maverick)
  • New Pornographers: Electric Version (Matador)
  • Willie Nelson & Ray Price: Run That By Me One More Time (Lost Highway)
  • Non-Prophets: Hope (Lex)
  • Erlend Oye: Unrest (Astralwerks)
  • Peaches: Fatherfucker (XL/Beggars)
  • The Postal Service: Give Up (Sub Pop)
  • Pretty Girls Make Graves: The New Romance (Matador)
  • Radiohead: Hail to the Thief (Capitol)
  • Robert Randolph & the Family Band: Unclassified (Warner Bros.)
  • The Rapture: Echoes (DFA/Strummer/Universal)
  • Damien Rice: O (Vector)
  • Richard X: Presents His X-Factor, Vol. 1 (Astralwerks)
  • Kurt Rosenwinkel: Heartcore (Verve)
  • RZA: Birth of a Prince (Sanctuary)
  • Shesus: Loves You . . . Loves You Not (Narnack)
  • The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop)
  • Wayne Shorter: Alegria (Verve)
  • Sidestepper: 3AM: In Beats We Trust (Palm)
  • The Sleepy Jackson: Lovers (Astralwerks)
  • Tammy Faye Starlite & the Angels of Mercy: Used Country Female (Diesel Only)
  • Steely Dan: Everything Must Go (Warner Bros.)
  • The Stills: Logic Will Break Your Heart (Atlantic)
  • Sun Kil Moon: Ghosts of the Great Highway (Jetset)
  • Thursday: War All the Time (Island)
  • Rufus Wainwright: Want One (DreamWorks)
  • Gillian Welch: Soul Journey (Acony)
  • Wide Right: Wide Right (Poptop)
  • Cassandra Wilson: Glamoured (Blue Note)
  • Wire: Send (Pink Flag)
  • Robert Wyatt: Cuckooland (Hannibal)
  • Yerba Buena: President Alien (Razor & Tie)

Compilations/Vault Music:

  1. Cedric Im Brooks & the Light of Saba (1974-76, Honest Jons)
  2. King Sunny Ade: The Best of the Classic Years (1967-74, Shanachie)
  3. When the Sun Goes Down, Vol. 6: Poor Man's Heaven (1928-40, Bluebird)
  4. Gene Ammons: Fine and Mellow (1972, Prestige)
  5. The Guitar and Gun: Highlife Music From Ghana (1981-84, Stern's/Earthworks)
  6. The Incomparable Mildred Bailey (1933-42, Columbia/Legacy)
  7. Kings of Highlife: The Vibrant Music of West Africa (Wrasse)
  8. Rhythm Love and Soul: The Sexiest Songs of R&B (1958-81, Shout!, 3CD)
  9. Sam Cooke: Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964 (Abkco)
  10. The Essential Dave Brubeck (1949-2002, Columbia/Legacy, 2CD)
  11. Bill Monroe: Anthology (1950-81, MCA Nashville/Decca, 2CD)
  12. Mildred Bailey: Mrs. Swing (1929-42, Proper, 4CD)
  13. Johnny Hodges: The Jeep Is Jumpin' (1937-52, Proper, 4CD)
  14. New Order: Retro (1981-2002, London, 4CD)
  15. High Explosion: DJ Sounds From 1970 to 1976 (Sanctuary/Trojan, 2CD)
  16. Count Basie: America's #1 Band: The Columbia Years (1936-50, Columbia/Legacy, 3CD)
  17. The Essential Willie Nelson (1961-2003, Columbia/Legacy, 2CD)
  18. Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Ella and Louis Again (1957, Verve, 2CD)
  19. Flowers in the Wildwood: Women in Early Country Music (1923-39, Trikont)
  20. The Essential Sly & the Family Stone (Epic/Legacy)
  21. Merle Travis: Hot Pickin' (1943-52, Proper, 2CD)
  22. The Big Horn (1942-52, Proper, 4CD)
  23. James Brown: Motherlode (1967-76, Polydor)
  24. Miles Davis: The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions (1970, Columbia/Legacy, 5CD)
  25. Roger Miller: All Time Greatest Hits (1964-85, Mercury/Chronicles)
  26. Anders Gahnold: Flowers for Johnny (1983-85, Ayler, 2CD)
  27. Lou Reed: NYC Man: The Collection (1967-2002, RCA/BMG Heritage, 2CD)
  28. Slim Gaillard: Laughing in Rhythm (1937-52, Proper, 4CD)
  29. The Rough Guide to Highlife (World Music Network)
  30. Arabesque Tlata 3 (React)
  31. Globalista: Import-Export (Trikont '02)
  32. Stan Getz: Bossas and Ballads: The Lost Sessions (1989, Verve)
  33. Trojan Box Set: Nyahbinghi (1968-75, Sanctuary/Trojan, 3CD)
  34. King Sunny Ade: Synchro Series (1982-83, IndigeDisc)
  35. Russendisko: Hits (Trikont)
  36. Soul Eyes: The Mal Waldron Memorial Album (1955-62, Prestige)
  37. Humphrey Lyttelton: Snag It! (1948-52, ASV)
  38. Junior Byles: Beat Down Babylon: The Upsetter Years (1971-74, Sanctuary/Trojan)
  39. Dexter Gordon: Classic Blue Note Recordings (Blue Note, 2CD)
  40. Bud Powell: Parisian Thoroughfares (1957-61, Pablo)
  41. The Essential Byrds (1965-71, Columbia/Legacy, 2CD)
  42. Ultimate Reggae: 20 Classic Reggae Riddims! (UTV)
  43. Black & Proud: The Soul of the Black Panther Era, Vol. 1 (Trikont)
  44. Thelonious Monk: Monk in Paris: Live at the Olympia (1965, Hyena)
  45. First Steps: First Recordings From the Creators of Modern Jazz (1944-53, Savoy Jazz)
  46. The Incomparable Ethel Waters (1925-40, Columbia/Legacy)
  47. Memphis Minnie: Me and My Chauffeur (1929-44, Proper, 2CD)
  48. Flatt & Scruggs: The Complete Mercury Recordings (Mercury)
  49. The Jaki Byard Quartet With Joe Farrell: The Last From Lennie's (1965, Prestige)
  50. Mutant Disco: A Subtle Dislocation of the Norm (1978-82, ZE, 2CD)
  51. Best of Koffi Olomide (Next Music, 2CD)
  52. Ghana Soundz: Afro-Beat, Funk and Fusion in the 70's (1966-77, Soundway)
  53. Flying Groove (1963-75, Bluebird)
  54. Reverend Charlie Jackson: God's Got It: The Legendary Booker and Jackson Singles (1970-78, CaseQuarter)
  55. Jimi Hendrix: Live at Berkeley (1970, Experience Hendrix)
  56. Bill Evans: Getting Sentimental (1978, Milestone)
  57. Dillinger: The Ultimate Collection (1974-80, Hip-O/Island)
  58. Stuff Smith: Time and Again (1936-45, Proper, 2CD)
  59. The Stanley Brothers: The Complete Mercury Recordings (1953-58, Mercury/Chronicles, 2CD)
  60. Sam Cooke: Sam Cooke at the Copa (1964, Abkco)
  61. Max Romeo: Ultimate Collection (1970-77, Hip-O/Island)
  62. Willie Nelson: Broken Promises (1960-66, Proper, 2CD)
  63. Andrew Hill: Passing Ships (1969, Blue Note)
  64. Watch How the People Dancing: Unity Sounds From the London Dancehall, 1986-1989 (Honest Jons)
  65. The Essential Thelonious Monk (1962-68, Columbia/Legacy)
  66. The Essential Ricky Skaggs (1979-88, Epic/Legacy)
  67. Mott the Hoople: Greatest Hits (1972-75, Columbia/Legacy)


  • The Best Tango Album in the World (Capitol)
  • The Best There Ever Was: The Legendary Early Blues Performers (Yazoo)
  • The Blue Series Sampler: The Shape of Jazz to Come (2002-03, Thirsty Ear)
  • Blues Story (1920-84, Shout, 2CD)
  • Cabaret Voltaire: Conform to Deform '82 / '90. Archive; (1982-90, Virgin, 3CD)
  • The Essential Mary Chapin Carpenter (1989-2001, Columbia/Legacy)
  • Classic Old-Time Music: From Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (1958-98, Smithsonian/Folkways)
  • The Very Best of Jessi Colter: An Outlaw . . . a Lady (Capitol)
  • Jim Croce: Home Recordings: Americana (Shout)
  • The Essential Bing Crosby: The Columbia Years (1931-34, Columbia/Legacy)
  • Dr. John: All By Hisself: Live at the Lonestar (1986, Hyena)
  • Fats Domino: Blues Kingpins (1949-55, Capitol/The Right Stuff)
  • The Essential Dan Fogelberg (1973-90, Epic/Legacy)
  • The Bud Freeman All-Star Swing Sessions (1935-62, Prestige)
  • John Lee Hooker: Blues Kingpins (1949-55, Virgin/The Right Stuff)
  • Lightnin' Hopkins: Blues Kingpins (1946-54, Virgin/The Right Stuff)
  • Elmore James: Blues Kingpins (1952-55, Virgin/The Right Stuff)
  • Tom Jones: Reloaded: Greatest Hits (1965-2003, Decca/UTV)
  • B.B. King: Blues Kingpins (1952-64, Virgin/The Right Stuff)
  • Cyndi Lauper: The Essential Cyndi Lauper (1983-96, Epic/Legacy)
  • Jimmy Lyons: The Box Set (1972-85, Ayler, 4CD)
  • The Miracles: Love Machine: The '70s Collection (1973-77, Motown/Chronicles)
  • The Essential Eddie Money (1977-91, Columbia/Legacy)
  • N.Y No Wave: The Ultimate East Village 80's Soundtrack (1978-80, ZE)
  • The Ultimate Dolly Parton (1970-88, RCA Nashville/BMG Heritage)
  • Teddy Pendergrass: Anthology (1977-82, Philadelphia International/The Right Stuff, 2CD)
  • Poison: Best of Ballads and Blues (Capitol)
  • Pop Will Eat Itself: Box Frenzy (1987, Sanctuary/Castle)
  • Elvis Presley: Close Up (1957-72, RCA/BMG Heritage, 4CD)
  • Elvis Presley: 2nd to None (RCA)
  • Pulp: Hits (Island/Chronicles)
  • Putumayo Presents American Blues (1972-2002, Putumayo World Music)
  • Putumayo Presents Brazilian Groove (Putumayo World Music)
  • Putumayo Presents Christmas Around the World (Putumayo World Music)
  • Putumayo Presents French Café (Putumayo World Music)
  • The Essential Redbone (1969-74, Epic/Legacy)
  • Rough Trade Shops: Post Punk Vol 01 (Mute, 2CD)
  • Savoy Brown: Hellbound Train: Live 1969-1972 (Sanctuary/Castle)
  • The Essential Simon & Garfunkel (1964-75, Columbia/Legacy, 2CD)
  • Nina Simone: Anthology (1957-93, RCA/BMG Heritage, 2CD)
  • The Essential Frank Sinatra: The Columbia Years (1944-52, Columbia/Legacy)
  • Art Tatum: The Best of the Complete Pablo Solo Masterpieces (1953-55, Pablo)
  • Art Tatum: The Best of the Complete Pablo Group Masterpieces (1954-56, Pablo)
  • Ernest Tubb: The Texas Troubadour (1936-52, Proper, 4CD)
  • Ike Turner: Blues Kingpins (1952-61, Capitol/The Right Stuff)
  • Bobby Womack: Anthology (1967-76, Capitol/The Right Stuff, 2CD)


  • Desmond Dekker: Rudy Got Soul: The Complete Early Beverly Sessions 1963-1968 (Sanctuary/Trojan, 2CD)
  • Willie Nelson: Crazy: The Demo Sessions (1960-66, Sugar Hill)
  • The Clean: Anthology (1981-96, Merge, 2CD)
  • The Essential Babyface (1989-97, Epic)
  • Black & Proud: The Soul of the Black Panther Era, Vol. 2 (Trikont)
  • William Parker: Through Acceptance of the Mystery Peace (1974-79, Eremite)
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Turkey (World Music Network)
  • David Murray Quartet: Live at the Village Vanguard (1995, 411 Records)
  • Skip James: Rare and Unreleased Studio Sessions (1967, Vanguard)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd: Thyrty: The 30th Anniversary Collection (UTV, 2CD)
  • Haul and Pull Up Selecta: Heavy Weight Dancehall 1979-82 (Sanctuary/Trojan)
  • Leadbelly: When the Sun Goes Down, Vol. 5: Take This Hammer (1940, Bluebird)
  • The Rough Guide to Latin Jazz (World Music Network)
  • Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee: Sportin' Life Blues (1940-52, Proper, 2CD)
  • Platinum Glenn Miller (1939-42, Bluebird, 2CD)
  • Johnny Cash: Greatest! (1956-58, Varese Sarabande)
  • The Story of the Blues (1928-95, Columbia/Legacy, 2CD)
  • Jimmy Cliff: Anthology (1962-93, Hip-O/Island/A&M, 2CD)
  • Once Upon a Time: The Best of Delroy Wilson (1967-74, Sanctuary/Trojan)
  • Tarheel Swing (1946-53, Krazy Kat)
  • The Allman Brothers Band: Live at the Atlanta International Pop Festival: July 3 & 5, 1970 (1970, Epic/Legacy, 2CD)
  • The Essential Peter Tosh: The Columbia Years (1976-77, Columbia/Legacy)
  • George Jones: Love Songs (1972-86, Epic/Legacy)
  • Bob Marley: Live at the Roxy (1976, Tuff Gong/Island/Chronicles)
  • Al Green: The Love Song Collection (Right Stuff/Hi)
  • The Best of Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (The Millennium Collection) (1965-68, Mercury/Chronicles)
  • George Jones: Hank, Bob and Me: Songs of Hank Williams and Bob Wills (1962, Fuel 2000)
  • Everything I Own: The Best of Ken Boothe (Sanctuary/Trojan)
  • Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys (1962-88, Capitol)
  • Flying Funk (Bluebird)
  • CIMPosium: Volume 12 (2002-03, CIMP)
  • Luciano: Ultimate Collection (1993-2000, Hip-O/Island)
  • All That Jive: Jazz Classics With a Swinging Sense of Humor (1945-53, Savoy Jazz)
  • Hank Locklin: RCA Country Legends (1956-67, BMG Heritage)
  • The Essential Blue Oyster Cult (1971-83, Columbia/Legacy)
  • Caravan of Love: The Best of Isley Jasper Isley (1984-87, Epic/Legacy)
  • Liquidator: The Best of the Harry J All Stars (1969-72, Sanctuary/Trojan)
  • Russian Songwriter: A Collection From Boris Grebenshikov (Naxos World)
  • Trojan Box Set: Ganja Reggae (1970-85, Sanctuary/Trojan)
  • Swing Tanzen Verboten! (1933-44, Proper, 4CD)
  • Susan Cadogan: Hurt So Good (1975, Sanctuary/Trojan)
  • Vince Guaraldi: The Charlie Brown Suite and Other Favorites (1968, Bluebird)
  • 6 Degrees of P-Funk: The Best of George Clinton and His Funk Family (1979-96, Epic/Legacy)
  • The Essential Charlie Daniels Band (1974-89, Epic/Legacy)
  • Daniel Johnston: The Early Recordings Volume 1 (1980-83, Dualtone)


  • Aphex Twin: 26 Mixes for Cash (Warp, 2CD)
  • Bad Brains: Banned in DC: Bad Brains' Greatest Riffs (Caroline)
  • Björk: Live Box (1993-2002, One Little Indian, 5CD)
  • Kurtis Blow: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection (Mercury)
  • Dennis Brown: The Promised Land (1977-79, Blood & Fire)
  • Johnny Cash: Unearthed (American/Lost Highway, 5CD)
  • James Chance: Irresistible Impulse (Tiger Style, 4CD)
  • The Chemical Brothers: Singles 93-03 (1993-2003, Astralwerks)
  • The Eagles: The Very Best Of (Warner Bros.)
  • Clancy Eccles: Fatty Fatty: 1967-1970 (Sanctuary/Trojan)
  • Everything Crash: The Best of the Ethiopians (Sanctuary/Trojan)
  • Bennie Green: Mosaic Select (Mosaic, 3CD)
  • The Best of Guided by Voices: Human Amusements at Hourly Rates (Matador)
  • Definitive Hoosier Hotshots (Collectors' Choice, 2CD)
  • Wyclef Jean: Greatest Hits (Columbia)
  • The Essential Janis Joplin (Columbia/Legacy, 2CD)
  • Louis Jordan: Jumpin' and Jivin' at Jubilee (1943-44, Collectors' Choice)
  • Led Zeppelin: How the West Was Won (Atlantic, 3CD)
  • Mali Lolo: Stars of Mali (Smithsonian/Folkways)
  • Jackie Mittoo: Champion in the Arena (1976-77, Blood & Fire)
  • The Moles: On the Street (Wishing Tree)
  • No Thanks! The '70s Punk Rebellion (Rhino, 4CD)
  • Lee Scratch Perry: Chapter 2 of "Words" (1972-73, Sanctuary/Trojan)
  • Ragga Ragga Ragga! 2003 (Greensleeves)
  • In Time: The Best of R.E.M. (1988-2003, Warner Bros.)
  • The Collected Works of the Roches (Rhino/Warner Bros.)
  • The Rough Guide to South African Gospel (World Music Network)
  • Raymond Scott: Kodachrome: Compositions for Orchestra (Basta)
  • Talking Heads: Once in a Lifetime (Rhino, 3CD)
  • Television: Live at the Old Waldorf (Rhino Handmade)
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Gospel of the Blues (1938-48, MCA/Decca)
  • Tulear Never Sleeps (Stern's Africa)
  • The Best of Caetano Veloso (Nonesuch)
  • Robert Wyatt: Solar Flares Burn for You (1972-2003, Cuneiform)
  • ZZ Top: Chrome, Smoke & BBQ (Warner Bros., 4CD)


This year I'm separating out the reissues, both straight and slightly crooked reissues (hopped up with bonus cuts, sometimes a whole extra disc). The main reason is that these feel more like a random selection from the catalogue rather than progress.

  • James Brown: In the Jungle Groove (1969-72, Polydor)
  • Duke Ellington's Far East Suite (1966, Bluebird)
  • Al Green: I'm Still in Love With You (1972, Right Stuff/Hi)
  • Duke Ellington: Never No Lament: The Blanton-Webster Band (1940-42, Bluebird, 3CD)
  • Al Green: Let's Stay Together (1972, Right Stuff/Hi)
  • Sam Rivers: Fuschia Swing Song (1964, Blue Note)
  • Bill Withers: Still Bill (1972, Columbia/Legacy)
  • Ben Webster: Soulville (1957, Verve)
  • Al Green: Gets Next to You (1970, Right Stuff/Hi)
  • Jimmy Cliff in The Harder They Come (Deluxe Edition) (1968-72, Hip-O/Island, 2CD)
  • Parliament: Mothership Connection (1976, Mercury/Chronicles)
  • Lee Konitz: Motion (1961, Verve)
  • Donna Summer: Bad Girls (Deluxe Edition) (1977-80, Mercury/Chronicles, 2CD)
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Reactor (1981, Reprise)
  • Black Uhuru: Red (1981, Island/Chronicles)
  • Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan: Two of a Mind (1962, Bluebird)
  • Thelonious Monk: It's Monk's Time (1964, Columbia/Legacy)
  • Neil Young: On the Beach (1974, Reprise)
  • Burning Spear: Social Living (1978-80, Island)
  • Toots & the Maytals: Funky Kingston / In the Dark (Island)
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Organisation (1980, Virgin)
  • Neil Young: Hawks and Doves (1980, Reprise)
  • Earl Hines: Once Upon a Time (1966, Impulse/Verve)
  • Gato Barbieri: Bolivia (1971-73, Bluebird)
  • Neil Young: American Stars and Bars (1977, Reprise)
  • The Amazing Bud Powell: The Scene Changes (1958, Blue Note)
  • The Isley Brothers: 3 + 3 (1973, Epic/Legacy)
  • Lefty Frizzell: Country Favorites / Saginaw Michigan (Collectables)
  • Thelonious Monk: Criss-Cross (1962-63, Columbia/Legacy)
  • Archie Shepp: Attica Blues (1972, Impulse)
  • Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges (1959, Verve)
  • Pee Wee Russell: Ask Me Now! (1965, Impulse)
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (1980, Virgin)
  • The Best of Donna Summer (20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection) (1975-83, Mercury)
  • Junior Murvin: Police and Thieves (Island)


  • Albert Ayler: Music Is the Healing Force of the Unvierse (1969, Impulse)
  • The Beatles: Let It Be . . . Naked (1970, Apple/Capitol)
  • David Bowie: Black Tie White Noise (1993, Virgin, 2CD)
  • Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Press Color (1979, ZE)
  • Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Mambo Nassau (1981, ZE)
  • Bob Dylan: Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964, Columbia)
  • Bob Dylan: Slow Train Coming (1979, Columbia)
  • Bob Dylan: Oh Mercy (1989, Columbia)
  • Al Grey / Billy Mitchell: Snap Your Fingers (1962, Verve)
  • J.J. Johnson: J.J.'s Broadway (1963, Verve)
  • Hank Mobley: The Flip (1969, Blue Note)
  • Lee Morgan: Sonic Boom (1967-69, Blue Note)
  • Muslimgauze: Uzbekistani Bizzare and Souk (1995-96, Important)
  • Uncle Tupelo: Anodyne (1993, Rhino/Sire)
  • Was (Not Was): Out Comes the Freaks (1981-83, ZE)
  • Larry Young: Mother Ship (1969, Blue Note)


  • Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes: Wake Up Everybody (1975, Epic/Legacy)
  • Parliament: Chocolate City (1975, Mercury/Chronicles)
  • Parliament: Up for the Down Stroke (1974, Mercury/Chronicles)
  • Hugh Masekela: Grrr (1966, Verve)
  • Holy Modal Rounders: Good Taste Is Timeless (1971, Sundazed)
  • Alexander Von Schlippenbach: Pakistani Pomade (Atavistic)
  • Burning Spear: Man in the Hills / Dry and Heavy (1976-77, Island/Chronicles)
  • Charlie Rouse: Bossa Nova Bacchanal (1962-65, Blue Note)
  • Sonic Youth: Dirty (Deluxe Edition) (1992, Geffen/Chronicles, 2 CD)
  • Black Uhuru: Sinsemilla (1980, Island/Chronicles)
  • Jack Teagarden: Mis'ry and the Blues (1961, Verve)
  • Al Green: Green Is Blues (1970, Right Stuff/Hi)
  • Thelonious Monk: Solo Monk (1964, Columbia/Legacy)
  • Uncle Tupelo: No Depression (1990, Columbia/Legacy)
  • David Bowie: Aladdin Sane: 30th Anniversary Edition (1973, Capitol, 2CD)
  • The Jimmy Giuffre 3: The Easy Way (1959, Verve)
  • Thelonious Monk: Underground (1967-68, Columbia/Legacy)
  • The Ebonys (1973, Epic/Legacy)
  • The O'Jays: Ship Ahoy (1973, Epic/Legacy)
  • Alan Price: Between Today and Yesterday (1974, Sanctuary/Castle)
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Architecture and Morality (1981, Virgin)
  • Bill Withers: Menagerie (1977, Columbia/Legacy)
  • Jerry Portnoy: Home Run Hitter (1995, Sanctuary/Castle)
  • Black Uhuru: The Dub Factor (1983, Island/Chronicles)


  • Peter Brötzmann Group: More Nipples (Atavistic)
  • Jackie DeShannon: Jackie (1972, Rhino Handmade)
  • The Go-Betweens: Spring Hill Fair (1984, Beggars Banquet, 2CD)
  • Cecil Taylor: Student Studies (1966, Fuel 2000)
  • The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions (Deluxe Edition) (MCA, 2CD)
  • Television: Marquee Moon (1977, Rhino/Elektra)
  • Television: Adventure (1978, Rhino/Elektra)