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The Rhino round-up: Re-issues,
deluxe discs abound this spring

By Andy Argyrakis
The Doors April 8, 2008

During a time when most major labels are shrinking their stock of upcoming releases and indie entities are thriving like they never have before, Rhino Records continues to last by looking back to the past. Though the veteran company releases a fair share of new records, its treasure trove of archives is even more intriguing, especially when resurfacing in deluxe editions or rarities compilations. While 2007 ended with the high of the Genesis catalogue earning a remastered facelift, spring 2008 is off with a bang thanks to a trip through the vaults for a mixture of concert and studio collections.

Despite having a endless stream of posthumous releases, fans of The Doors will find yet another reason to fawn over the psychedelic innovators thanks to Live in Pittsburgh 1970. The collection is the sequel to the triple disc Live In Boston (taken from the same tour), though it possesses a completely different and much leaner set list. The sixteen tracks on this particular project find front man Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger in find form, blazing through the beer soaked blues of "Five To One," Howlin' Wolf'sThe Replacements "Back Door Man" and the band's own revamped version "Break On Through." Add in the twenty-two minute jam session of "When the Music's Over," plus the incendiary finale "Light My Fire," and the band sounds amongst its best.

Though not nearly as indelible in the overall creative spectrum, alt-rockers The Lemonheads had a respectable run throughout the 1980s and 90s, thanks in part to 1992's now classic It's a Shame About Ray. That famed project earns a deluxe makeover featuring the original album (anchored by the title cut, "My Drug Buddy" and a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson"), plus several bonus tracks of previously unreleased demos. Yet the true icing on the cake is the DVD Two Weeks In Australia, a mixture of concert clips and music videos that have been particularly tricky to find in recent years (outside of YouTube or eBay).

Switching genres entirely, metal-tipped progressive rockers Dream Theater have been incredibly influential on its fervent niche from the 90s through today, even without support from the radio or mainstream masses. In fact, members will be the first to admit their left of center status, cheekily titling this inaugural career retrospective Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs). As expected, the group's sole single "Pull Me Under" leads off the first disc (dubbed "The Dark Side") of this career spanning set, along with even lengthierThe Lemonheads epics like "Take The Time" and "Endless Sacrifice." But for those who prefer the more melodic and calmer side of the band's catalogue, disc two is known as "The Light Side," once again pulling from past studio projects, plus b-sides like "To Live Forever."

Outside of these current titles, the forthcoming forecast is ripe with re-issues, particularly in the case of Minneapolis' alternative icons The Replacements. The Paul Westerberg-led quartet finds not one, but four full-length titles earning deluxe re-releases, packed with previously unreleased rarities. Expect to catch the original Twin/Tone releases Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out the Trash, Stink, Hootenanny, and Let It Be as expanded editions, all hitting stores April 29.

Watch The Doors - "Light My Fire"

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