Essential New Music (Reissues/Collections Edition): Spoon, Prince, David Bowie, Everything But The Girl, B-52’s And More

Spoon Everything Hits At Once: The Best Of Spoon (Matador)
This compiles a dozen tracks spanning seven Spoon LPs and a solid new song. We’ve always loved Britt Daniel and Co. dearly, so anything that collects standouts like “The Underdog” and “Cherry Bomb” is essential. But the song selection here is not. Nothing from the first two albums? Questionable choices from Gimme Fiction and Girls Can Tell? Oh no, we just can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t believe it.

Prince Originals (The Prince Estate/Warner Bros./TIDAL)
The 15 songs collected here—chosen in part by Jay-Z—are ones that His Royal Badness wrote and gave to others (including the Bangles, Sinéad O’Connor, Kenny Rogers and Martika) to record. Listening to Prince’s demo versions, you see how closely they wisely stuck to his original vision for each of the tracks.

David Bowie The ‘Mercury’ Demos (Parlophone)
50 years ago, David Bowie and fellow guitarist/vocalist John “Hutch” Hutchinson recorded these 10 songs live in one take in Bowie’s apartment at the request of Mercury Records. First track “Space Oddity” launched (pun intended) Bowie’s career later that year. Hutch eventually stopped playing music professionally and got a job in the oil industry. As for Major Tom … well, we know he’s a junkie.

Everything But The Girl Amplified Heart: 25th Anniversary Edition (Buzzin’ Fly)
Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt were a critically acclaimed duo with modest mainstream success for the first dozen years of their career. And then came their seventh album and its worldwide hit single, “Missing.” Amplified Heart now appears on vinyl for the first time, with half-speed mastering. The artwork is new (the original photos went, uh, missing sometime after the album’s 1994 release), and the track listing is faithful to the initial 10-track running order (without the bonus tracks found on later CD runs and the 2013 reissue).

The B-52’s Cosmic Thing: 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition (Rhino)
This two-CD set features the original album and assorted b-sides and remixes (all remastered), plus a previously unreleased 16-track live set from 1990 with fan faves like “Rock Lobster” and “Private Idaho.” You’re what?

Preservation Hall Jazz Band That’s It! and So It Is (Sub Pop)
Two reissues from this New Orleans institution. 2013’s That’s It! was produced by Jim James and is the first album of original material in PHJB’s then-50-year history. 2017’s So It Is was produced by Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio) and was heavily influenced by the group’s 2015 trip to Cuba.

Television Personalities Some Kind Of Happening: Singles 1978-1989 and Some Kind Of Trip: Singles 1990-1994 (Fire)
As you might surmise from the titles, these are chronological collections of the many singles, EPs, flexis, etc., that Dan Treacy and his revolving-door bandmates released during the first two-and-a-half decades of their still-ongoing career. Some Kind Of Happening contains 1980’s seminal “Part Time Punks,” so if we’d have to pick one, that’d be our choice. But both sets are excellent introductions to the wonderful world of the vastly underrated Treacy.

that dog. that dog. (UMe)
We were fans of that dog. back before they were even housebroken, so we’re thrilled the quartet’s self-titled debut has been digitally reissued to celebrate its 25th anniversary. These 15 tracks (and four bonus cuts) are puppy photos that remain far more than just cute.

The Love Language The Love Language (Merge)
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Stuart McLamb and Co.’s out-of-print, cry-in-your-beer debut, our friends at Merge have reissued it on opaque yellow vinyl with updated artwork. The download includes four bonus tracks, as misery loves company.

Hamell On Trial Choochtown: 20th Anniversary Edition (New West)
Ed Hamell’s first post-major-label-bust album gets the deluxe reissue treatment with 11 bonus tracks. Any LP that starts with a song called “Go Fuck Yourself” is timeless and a keeper. (No word if former Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is a fan of Choochtown.)

POP ETC Covers Collection: 2007-2019 (Pop Etc)
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a band called the Morning Benders. Though these days they go by POP ETC, Chris Chu and Co. still have a passion for doing versions of songs that inspire them. So this 21-track LP features interpretations of tracks from many artists we all adore, like Bowie, Petty, Nirvana, McCartney, Springsteen, Costello, Beach Boys, U2, the Strokes and, of course, Wham!.

James Taylor The Complete Warner Bros. Albums: 1970-1976 (Rhino)
Brother JT recorded six LPs for the brothers Warner. Now, all of them—1970’s Sweet Baby James, 1971’s Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon, 1972’s One Man Dog, 1974’s Walking Man, 1975’s Gorilla and 1976’s In The Pocket—have been remastered and compiled as a set available on six CDs and six LPs. How sweet it is.