‘Reissue’ is a word that is regularly used in STACK Record Club, but if you’re new to collecting vinyl, you might not be familiar with its definition.
Some record enthusiasts will settle for nothing but an original pressing in their pursuit of classic albums. An original pressing is produced using the original master recording and is considered by many vinyl purists to be the holy grail. However, original pressings of highly desired albums are expensive – and extremely rare – putting them out of reach of many collectors.
The alternative is a reissue. Not too dissimilar to out-of-print books that return to the press for a new run, reissues are new pressings of older albums. Some albums like Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon have been reissued over 1000 different times.
There are several ways that a reissue can be produced. If the original master tapes are still in good condition, a reissue can be pulled directly from that source, and amongst collectors, these are the more desired versions. If the tapes have deteriorated or are unavailable, reissues can be produced using digital files; by using this method, additional bonus material can also be added to the record.
But what about the sound quality on a reissue? It can vary depending upon what source was used for the pressing or where the record was produced. And personal preference is a big player here, too – sound is always subjective depending on the individual. In many cases, unless you’re playing vinyl on a high-end system, you’re unlikely to hear a significant difference. Reissues are a great way to own a classic album on vinyl.
Check out Blue Note president Don Was and Joe “Tone Poet” Hurley discussing the 2021 Blue Note reissues below.