Best Archival Releases

The B List: 10 Best Archival Releases of 2010

Our look at the best releases of the year continues with an annual traditional around these parts that we don’t see elsewhere – a list of the best archival releases from the past 12 months. These are all albums which feature music (mostly live tracks) that was pulled from the artists’ archives and had never been officially released until 2010.

This year was another great one for archival releases as a number of bands kicked off new series (String Cheese Incident and Gov’t Mule) and many other acts kept releases for older series (Road Trips, Live Phish, Barko-Swill Zappa, Bootleg Series) flowing. I’ve included releases which feature both CDs and DVDs on our Best Concert DVDs of 2010 list, so don’t expect to see them here. Also, a release must feature music at least five years old to qualify for this list. Enough of the small talk, let’s get down to business…

10. Grateful Dead – Road Trips Vol. 3, No. 3

2010 was another banner year for Grateful Dead archival releases and my favorite of the bunch was Road Trips Vol. 3 No. 3 featuring most of the Dead’s early and late shows at the Fillmore East on May 15, 1970. Forty years after Workingman’s Dead came out, this release gives a look into where the band was at this important time in their history and contains a number of acoustic gems that have never been included on an official release before.

Where You Can Sample This Release: Dead.Net Listening Party

READ ON for Scotty’s top nine archival releases of 2010…

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The B List: Top 10 Archival Releases of 2009

While this decade may have been tough for the recording industry, music fans can’t complain about the number and quality of the hundreds of archival releases that have flown out of the vaults since 2000. Record labels realize that there’s plenty of money to be made after the comparatively negligible cost of mixing and digitizing these old releases.

2009 was another fantastic year for live archival releases as we’ve seen massive box sets from the likes of Neil Young, Tom Petty and the Grateful Dead that featured impressive recordings of high-caliber performances. Let’s take a look at Hidden Track’s Top 10 Archival Releases of 2009…

10. Widespread Panic – Huntsville ’96

wsp huntsvill 1996

The Widespread Panic Archives opened wide in 2009 after years and years of fan requests for older material to be released. Carbondale 2000 started the action last year, Valdosta 1989 came next followed closely by Huntsville 1996 and Montreal 1997. Out of the three that were released this year, Huntsville ’96 stands out due to Panic’s spine-tingling performance of an incredible setlist as well as the quality of the recording.

Where You Can Sample This Release: WSP Archives Blog

READ ON for the rest of our list of the top archival releases of 2009…

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