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Jack Rabid's Best of 2015 list: Top 100 LPs (new recordings), Top 50 Retrospective/Reissue releases, and Top 30 stand alone singles and EPs

High, by Royal Headache
13 January 2016

Hi folks!
Since I have now completed my two countdown radio shows for the Top 50 albums of 2015 — see the Big Takeover “Radio” button above to hear one song from each — here is my complete list of the 100 best albums, 50 best archive/retrospective/reissue releases, and 30 best stand alone singles and EPs of this previous year. My best bets on another great year for music, old and new. (Never mind the cranks, here’s the good stuff as ever.) Plus several “honorable mentions” that barely missed out. Hope this little list inspires you to find, or give a second look too, a few cool releases you might miss otherwise that you end up truly loving. Otherwise, lists are for time-wasting. Not my bag. But as I listened to all of these a great deal this year, perhaps you might like some of them, or will be glad to see them recognized if you are already enjoying them.

Cheers to you all and happy new year.

Jack Rabid’s picks, 2015’s 100 Best Albums (new recordings)

1 Royal Headache – High (What’s Your Rupture?)
2 Swervedriver – I Wasn’t Born to Lose You (Cobraside)
3 Don McGlashan – Lucky Stars (Don McGlashan)
4 The Chills – Silver Bullets (Fire)
5 Wire – Wire (Pink Flag)
6 The Decemberists – What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World (Capitol)
7 Robert Pollard – Faulty Superheroes (GBV Inc./Fire)
8 The Granite Shore – Once More From the Top (Occultation U.K.)
9 The Shifting Sands – Cosmic Radio Station (Fishrider NZ/Occultation U.K.
10 Whitehorse – Leave No Bridge Unturned (Six Shooter)
11 Sam Vicari – Giving Up (Sip City)
12 Lou Barlow – Brace the Wave (Joyful Noise)
13 Three Hour Tour – Action and Heroes (Martian)
14 Cheatahs – Mythologies (Witchita)
15 Triptides – Azur (Croque Macadam/Requiem Pour Un Twister)
16 Paul Smith & The Imitations – Contradictions (Billingham U.K.)
17 The Black Watch – Highs & Lows (Pop Culture Press)
18 The Urinals – Next Year at Marienbad (Happy Squid)
19 Martin Newell – Teatime Assortment (Captured Tracks)
20 The Twerps – Range Anxiety (Merge)
21 Belle & Sebastian – Girls In Peacetime Want to Dance (Matador)
22 Robert Forster – Songs to Play (Tapete)
23 Whyte Horses – Pop or Not (Not On Label)
24 The Popguns – Pop Fiction (Matinee)
25 Killing Joke – Pylon (Spinefarm)
26 Roger Lion – Roger Lion (Team Love)
27 La Luz – Weirdo Shrine (Hardly Art)
28 EZTV – Calling Out (Captured Tracks)
29 Donovan’s Brain – Heirloom Varieties (Career)
30 D.O.A. – Hard Rain Falling (Sudden Death CAN)
31 Ron Sexsmith – Carousel One (Cooking Vinyl)
32 Astrid Williamson – We Go to Dream (One Little Indian UK)
33 Co-Pilgrim – Slows to Go (Battle Worldwide U.K.)
34 Nada Surf – Live at the Neptune Theater, Seattle, March 24, 2012 (Mardev)
35 Death Cab For Cutie – Kintsugi (Atlantic)
36 Idlewild – Everything Ever Written (Empty Words U.K.)
37 The Shondikes – Psychotic Make Out Music (The Shondikes)
38 Salad Boys – Metalmania (Trouble In Mind)
39 No Joy – More Faithful (Mexican Summer)
40 Ultimate Painting – Green Lanes (Trouble In Mind)
41 Dråpe – Relax/Relapse (Riot Factory)
42 Totally Mild – Down Time (Bedroom Suck/Fire)
43 John Howard & The Night Mail – John Howard & the Night Mail (Tapete GER)
44 Christopher Paul Stelling – Labor Against Waste (Anti-)
45 Pointed Sticks – Pointed Sticks (Northern Electric/Sudden Death CAN)
46 Pins – Wild Nights (Bella Union)
47 The Monochrome Set – Spaces Everywhere (Tapete GER)
48 The Nils – Shadows and Ghosts (Cobraside)
49 Dot Dash – Earthquakes & Tidal Waves (The Beautiful Music CAN)
50 Day Ravies – Liminal Zones (Strange Pursuits/Sonic Masala)
51 Miranda Lee Richards – Echoes of the Dreamtime (Invisible Hands U.K.)
52 Novella – Land (Sinderlyn)
53 Pugwash – Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends) (Omnivore)
54 Nap Eyes – Whine of the Mystic (Paradise Of Bachelors)
55 Chatham Rise And Thelightshines – We Are the Sun (Split Album) (Picture In My Ear)
56 The Furious Seasons – My Love Is Strong (Stonegarden)
57 Beach House – Depression Cherry (Sub Pop)
58 Adolescents – La Vendetta… e un Piatto Va Servitor Freddo (Frontier)
59 Wilco – Star Wars (Dbpm)
60 The Lovely Intangibles – Tomorrow Is Never (The Lovely Intangibles)
61 Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders – Chrome Cassettes (Daniel Wylie)
62 Stay – The Mean Solar Times (Picture In My Ear)
63 Jello Biafra & The New Orleans Raunch and Soul All-Stars – Walk On Jindal’s Splinters (Live) (Alternative Tentacles)
64 Ash – Kablammo! (Earmusic)
65 Tim Lee 3 – 33 1/3 (Cool Dog Sound)
66 Strawberry Whiplash –Stuck In The Never Ending Now (Matinee)
67 The New Dylans – Meta (Caveat Emptor/Morphius)
68 N. Lannon – Falling Inside (Badman)
69 The Junior League – Also Rans (Greenleaves Sound)
70 Mike Gale – Finger Bone From Swan Wing (Battle Worldwide U.K.)
71 17 Pygmies – Isabel Ii (Abaddon Rising) (Trakwerx)
72 Pete Astor – Spilt Milk (Slumberland)
73 Low – Ones and Sixes (Sub Pop)
74 Penetration – Resolution (Polestar U.K.)
75 Inventions – Maze Of Woods / Blanket Waves (Temporary Residence)
76 Mercury Rev – The Light in You (Bella Union / PIAS)
77 Girls Names – Arms Around a Vision (Tough Love)
78 Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style (Matador)
79 The Soulphonics – Heart Full Of Soulphonics (Scratched)
80 Latvian Radio – Until Tomorrow Gets in the Way (Bellpid)
81 Various Artists – Static Waves 4 (Saint Marie)
82 Ransom & The Subset – No Time to Lose (Ransom & The Subset)
83 Andrew Wasylyk – Soroky (Empty Words U.K.)
84 New Candys – New Candys As Medicine (Picture In My Ear)
85 Sad Magazine – Sad Magazine (Sad Magazine)
86 Mammoth Penguins – Hide and Seek (Fortuna Pop!)
87 Tamaryn – Cranekiss (Mexican Summer)
88 Neil Young + Promise Of The Real – The Monsanto Years (Reprise/WEA)
89 Promised Land Sound – For Use and Delight (Paradise Of Bachelors)
90 Static Daydream – Static Daydream (Saint Marie)
91 Lanterna – Backyards (Jemez Mountain / Badman / Independent Project)
92 Red-Sided Garter Snakes – Endless Sea (Blue Apple U.K.)
93 Great Northern – Tremors (Great Northern)
94 Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Going’ Down (Matador)
95 Johnny Marr – Playland (Warners/ADA)
96 Tommy Keene – Laugh in the Dark (Second Motion)
97 Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard – Django And Jimmie (Sony/Legacy)
98 Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty)
99 Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter (Slumberland)
100 The Orange Peels – Begin the Begone (Mystery Lawn/Minty Fresh)
HM The Juliana Hatfield 3 – Whatever My Love (American Laundromat)
HM X_X (Aka X The Jazz Destroyers X) – Albert Ayler’s Ghosts: Live at the Yellow Ghetto (Smog Veil)
HM The Minus 5 – Dungeon Golds (Yep Roc)
HM The Sonics – This is the Sonics (Revox)
HM SPC ECO – Sirens and Satellites (Saint Marie)
HM Sleater–Kinney – No Cities to Love (Sub Pop)
HM The Red Telephone – Places You Return (Raise Giant Frogs)
HM Mikal Cronin – MC3 (Merge)
HM The Stratford 4 –Keep Your Crazy Head on Straight

Jack Rabid’s picks, 2015’s 50 Best Releases of Old Recordings and Reissues

1 The Pretty Things – Bouquets From a Cloudy Sky (Box) (Madfish/Snapper)
2 The Newtown Neurotics – Triumph Over Adversity: Live at Brunel University 04.04.1987 (Cruel Binary U.K.)
3 Robin Gibb – Saved by the Bell: the Collected Works of Robin Gibb, 1968-1970 (Triple Cd) (Rhino/WEA)
4 Leatherface – Razorblades and Aspirin 1990-1993 (Box) (Fire)
5 The Kinks – The Anthology: 1964-1971 (Five CDs) (Sanctuary)
6 Michael Head & The Strands – The Olde World / The Magical World of the Strands (Megaphone U.K.)
7 Various Artists – Creation Artifact: the Dawn of Creation Records 1983-1985 (Box) (Cherry Red U.K.)
8 The Go-Betweens – G Stands for Go-Betweens, Vol. 1 (Box) (Domino)
9 Able Tasmans – A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down/The Tired Sun reissue (Captured Tracks)
10 Idaho – The Broadcast of Disease (Idaho)
11 Secret Shine – Untouched reissue (Saint Marie)
12 Red Lorry Yellow Lorry – See the Fire; Albums, Singles and BBC Recordings 1982-1987 (Triple CD) (Cherry Red U.K.)
13 Modernettes – Teen City EP reissue (Sudden Death CAN)
14 Lilys – Eccsame the Photon Band reissue 12” (Frontier)
15 Rifles – No Love Lost reissue (Cooking Vinyl U.K.)
16 D.O.A. – Positively D.O.A. EP reissue (Sudden Death CAN)
17 Procol Harum— Shine on Brightly / S/T reissues (Cherry Red U.K.)
18 Man Sized Action – Five Story Garage (30th Anniversary Edition) (Garage D’or)
19 Sweet Madness – Made In Spokane 1978-1981 Vol. 2 (BD Publishers/Light In The Attic)
20 Screaming Jay Hawkins & the Fuzztones – Live (Cleopatra)
21 The MC5 – Kick Out the Jams Mother*Cker! (Cleopatra)
22 The Reducers – Last Tracks & Lost Songs (Rave On)
23 The Scenics – In The Summer; Studio Recordings 1977-1978 (Dream Tower CAN)
24 Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers – L.A.M.F. Live at the Village Gate (Cleopatra)
25 Avengers – The Avengers reissue (Superior Viaduct)
26 Susanna And The Magical Orchestra – Melody Mountain reissue 12” (Susannasonata NORWAY)
27 The Fuzztones – Lysergic Emanations reissue 12” (Hound Gawd! GER)
28 Paul Revere & The Raiders—Revolution reissue (Now Sounds/Cherry Red U.K.)
29 Really Red – Teaching You the Fear: the Complete Collection 1979-1985 (Alternative Tentacles)
30 The Only Ones – The Only Ones reissue 12” (Drastic Plastic)
31 Second Layer – World of Rubber reissue (Cherry Red U.K.)
32 Pale Face of Youth – Pale Face of Youth 1985-1987 Mini-LP (Pale Face Of Youth)
33 Blind Mr. Jones – Tatooine reissue (Saint Marie)
34 Jackson C. Frank – The Complete Recordings (Ba Da Bing)
35 Shock – Shockproof: 1976-1979 12” (Artifix)
36 Simon & Garfunkel – The Concert in Central Park reissue (Columbia/Legacy/Sony)
37 The Muffs – The Muffs reissue (Omnivore)
38 The’ Legendary Shake Shakers – Cockadoodledon’t reissue 12” (Hound Gawd! GER)
39 Close Lobsters – Firestation Towers 1986-1989 (triple CD) (Fire)
40 Pere Ubu – Elitism For The People 1975-1978 (4X12” Box) (Fire)
41 The Lovin’ Spoonful – Do You Believe in Magic / Daydream / Hums reissues (Sundazed)
42 The Monochrome Set – The Lost Weekend reissue (Cherry Red U.K.)
43 Stone Roses – Stone Roses / Turns Into Stone reissues (Light In The Attic)
44 The Bevis Frond – Through the Looking Glass / Triptych / The Aunt Winnie Album reissues (Cherry Red U.K.)
45 Supergrass – I Should Coco (20th Anniversary Reissue) (Parlophone U.K.)
46 Jawbox – Jawbox (Dischord) / My Scrapbook Of Fatal Accidents (Double 12”) reissues (Arctic Rodeo)
47 Cocteau Twins – The Pink Opaque / Eches in a Shallow Bay EP / Tiny Dynamite EP reissues (4AD)
48 Chrome – Alien Sountracks I & II / Blood on the Moon / The Chronicles I & II (Cleopatra)
49 The Gun Club – Fire Of Love reissue 12” (Porterhouse)
50 Sisters Of Mercy – First and Last and Always (Box) (Rhino/WEA)
HM McCarthy – Complete Albums, Singles, and BBC Sessions Collection (Box) (Cherry Red U.K.)
HM Flake Music – When You Land Here, It’s Time To Return (Omnibus / Sub Pop)
HM Father Yod & the Spirit Of ’76 – Kohoutek (Drag City)

Jack Rabid’s picks, 2015’s 30 Best Stand Alone Singles and EPs (i.e, no singles taken off albums!)

1 Soft Science and the Luxembourg Signal – Split Single (Test Pattern)
2 Flyying Colours – Roygbiv EP (Shelflife/Club AC30)
3 The Paranoid Style – Rock ’n’ Roll Just Can’t Recall EP (Battle Worldwide U.K.)
4 Honeychurch – September Songs (Siren Electric)
5 The Decemberists – Florasongs EP (Capitol/EMI)
6 The New Lines – Schismogenesis EP (The New Lines)
7 Promised Land Sound – “She Takes Me Down” (Paradise Of Bachelors)
8 93millionmilesfromthesun – Watch Her Fall EP (93millionmilesfromthesun U.K.)
9 The Persian Leaps – High & Vibrate EP (Land Ski)
10 Mike Adams at His Honest Weight – Preparation Age EP (One-Sided 12”) (Burnt Toast Vinyl)
11 Make It Be – “Sincero Amore” (Make It Be)
12 Pale Lights – Fourteen Stories Tall (Calico Cat)
13 Bye Bye Blackbirds – “Let Your Hair Fall Down” (Bye Bye Blackbirds)
14 The Popguns – “Still Waiting For the Winter” EP (Matinee)
15 Chambermaids – “Tall Grass” (Old Blackberry Way)
16 Wesley Gonzalez – “Come Through and See Me” (Wesley Gonzalez U.K.)
17 Magnet School – “British Monuments” (Shifting Sounds)
18 Cheatahs – Sunne EP / Murasaki EP (Wichita)
19 Art Bergmann – Songs for the Underclass EP (Weewerk CAN)
20 American Darlings – Rubber Tracks EP (Flexidisc/Digital) (American Darlings)
HM DIIV – “Bent (Roi’s Song)” (Captured Tracks)
21 The Knowle Roars – Rats EP (Braxeling)
22 Goat – “It’s Time For Fun” (Sub Pop)
23 Shakedown at the Majestic – Shakedown at the Majestic EP (Shakedown at the Majestic)
24 Jigsaw Seen – “Have a Wonderful Day” (Burger)
25 Stephen Hero – Golden EP (Ragoora U.K.)
26 Cliff And Ivy – New Blood Old World EP / “Earth Spits Fire” (House Of Extreme Darkness)
27 H.R. With the Scotch Bonnet – Quest EP (Morphius)
28 Torchy – “Red Light Camera” (Torchy)
29 Frank And Walters – “Look at Us Now” (Fifa U.K.)
30 Smash Palace – Some Kind Of Magic EP (Zip)

 

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