Year-end festivities kicked off this week at PopMatters, and as I have for the last four (!) years now, I've contributed a handful of capsules to the various best of 2011 music lists that they'll be rolling out over the next few weeks (I'm also in on the film lists, which will begin in January). First up is our list of the 25 best reissues of the year, always a personal category for me. Overall I'm pleased with the outcome; this has been a spectacular year for reissues, and although only three of my picks made it on the final list, nearly everything here is worthy of attention. The disparity between my list and the official 25 comes down to how one appraises an actual reissue. I personally favor records that are either out-of-print or extremely rare. Thus, you'll never see a record by Pink Floyd or the Rolling Stones on my lists, no matter the merits of the actual album. There's no right way to go about these kinds of things I suppose, so it's best to use lists like these as a jumping off point rather than as definitive canonizations.
Anyway, there's plenty to explore and/or rediscover, so head over here to check it out in full. For my part, I contributed some thoughts on our #4 selection, Disco Inferno's The Five EPs (and can I just say how awesome it is that a top five which includes records by U2, the Beach Boys, and Marvin Gaye also found room for a document of left-field sound experiments by a rather obscure English trio). But for those curious about my full list, it stacked up something like this: 1) Disco Inferno - The Five EPs; 2) The Beach Boys - The SMiLE Sessions; 3) Mark Hollis - Mark Hollis; 4) Martin Newell - Songs for a Fallow Land; 5) Bruce Gilbert - The Shivering Man; 6) Harold Grosskopf - Synthesis; 7) Bobb Trimble - The Crippled Dog Band; 8) Jürgen Müller - Science of the Sea; 9) Roberto Cacciapaglia - The Ann Steel Album; 10) The Reatards - Teenage Hate/Fuck the Reatards. And in case you're looking for even more contextual info, I wrote a little bit about both the Martin Newell reissue and the legacy of Jay Reatard earlier this year.