Top 15 Archival Rock Releases of 2020
Like most years, the best archival rock releases of 2020 are made up of a combination of things.
There are the usual career-spanning box sets and the uncovered live recordings from decades ago. There are also "deluxe editions" of classic albums, expanded to include everything from demos and outtakes to B-sides and alternate takes. But there are a couple of sets that aim to rewrite history by revisiting not-so-classic albums - Paul McCartney's Flaming Pie and the Rolling Stones' Goats Head Soup - and nearly succeed in making them sound like revelations.
Some of the usual big names are here, too, including the Stones, Elton John and a pair of Beatles, McCartney and his old writing partner, John Lennon. A couple of late legends' best albums got even better with multi-disc collections that clean out Tom Petty and Prince's vaults, while Joni Mitchell and Neil Young jumped into their extensive archives with period-specific sets.
But it wasn't just the old-timers who revisited their storied pasts. The '80s and '90s are represented by, respectively, the Replacements and Wilco, who offer new perspective on their career-shifting albums, Pleased to Meet Me and Summerteeth.
Finally, like most years, there's really no theme to the below list of the Top 15 Archival Releases of 2020, other than the great music they all collect. It was a tough and challenging year for almost everyone. These new sets by old favorites helped make it a little more tolerable.