In the world of music it's a common thing to do the re-mastering of previously released albums to improve the sound. But some bands go even further, deciding to re-record (partially or even completely) their original releases.
And it's often a very debatable decision - on the one hand it can allow fans to hear the recording in better quality, but on the other hand it's like "re-writing the history" as many fans say.
So we prepared the list of 15 music albums that were re-recorded - for better or for worse...
Note that we didn't include compilations of various old tracks re-recordings - only re-recordings of the whole albums.
Also, there are some examples as Nirvana's 2013 mix of "In Utero" which includes different versions of the songs (for example there's a different solo in "Serve the Servants") - but we tried to focus on more global changes.
And before the actual list - here's the (lengthy) list of honorable mentions - you'll be surprised how many albums were re-recorded (if you don't want to read - just scroll down):
- Abigor - Quintessence (2012) [new interpretation of the album "Channeling the Quintessence of Satan" (1999)]
- Alcest - Le Secret (2011) [re-recorded version of "Le Secret" (2005)]
- Armory - The Dawn of Enlightenment (2007) [re-recorded and re-arranged version of "The Dawn of Enlightenment" (2004)]
- Artrosis - Ukryty Wymiar (2001) [re-recorded version of "Ukryty Wymiar" (1997)]
- Artrosis - W Imię Nocy (2001) [re-recorded version of "W Imię Nocy" (1998)]
- Ataraxie - Project X (2011) [album features re-recorded and re-arranged version of Ataraxie "The Other Path" (2003)]
- Bad Brains - Rock for Light (1983) [re-recorded version of "Bad Brains" (1982)]
- Bearstorm - Americanus (2015) [re-recorded version of "Americanus" (2013)]
- Belenos - Errances Oniriques (2009) [re-recorded version of "Errances Oniriques" (2001)]
- Born of Osiris - The Eternal Reign (2017) [re-recorded version of "The New Reign" (2007)]
- Camel - The Snow Goose (2013) [re-recorded version of "The Snow Goose" (1975)]
- Canopy - Will and Perception (2009) [re-recorded version of "Will and Perception" (2005)]
- Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult - Evoking a Decade (2008) [re-recorded version of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult "The Pest Called Humanity" (1999)]
- Dark Space -I (2012) [re-recorded version of debut demo "-I" (2002)]
- Edguy - The Savage Poetry (2000) [re-recorded version of "The Savage Poetry" (1995)]
- Einherjer - Dragons of the North XX (2016) [re-recorded version of Einherjer "Dragons of the North" (1996)]
- Ekklesiast [Екклесиаст] - ...Когда Мёртвые Ветви Воспрянут от Снов (2008) [re-recorded version of the original 2001 album]
- Elend - Weeping Nights (1997) [album contains re-recorded songs of "Les Tenebres Du Dehors" (1996)]
- Elffor - From the Throne of Hate (2004) [re-recorded version of "From the Throne of Hate" (2004).
- Elffor - Into the Dark Forest... (2007) [re-recorded version of "Into the Dark Forest" (1998)]
- Elffor - Son of the Shades (2002) [re-recorded version of "Son of the Shades" (2002)]
- Elffor - Unblessed Woods (2006) [re-recorded version of "Unblessed Woods" (2006)]
- Exhumed - Gore Metal: A Necrospective (2015) [album includes a re-recorded version of "Gore Metal" (1998)]
- Extreme Noise Terror - A Holocaust in Your Head (1991) [re-recorded version of "A Holocaust in Your Head" (1989)]
- Fear - The Fear Record (2012) [re-recorded version of "The Record" (1982)]
- Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects - Sol Niger Within Version 3.33 (1999) [new version of "Sol Niger Within" (1996), consists in a new mix without the church organ]
- Fuck Off - Hell on Earth II (Revisited & Faster) (2015) [album contains 7 re-recorded songs from "Hell on Earth" (1990)]
- Girlschool - Hit and Run: Revisited (2011) [re-recorded version of "Hit And Run" (1981)]
- Gorgoroth - Under the Sign of Hell 2011 (2011) [re-recorded version of "Under the Sign of Hell" (1997)]
- Graveland - Pamięć i Przeznaczenie (2012) [rerecording in Polish of "Memory and Destiny" (2002)]
- Graveland - Prawo Stali (2001) [rerecodrding in Polish of "Creed Of Iron" (2000)]
- Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction (1999) [re-recorded version of "Appetite for Destruction" (1987); NOTE: was never released officially]
- Heretoir - Substanz (2012) [include re-recording of completely revised and improved "Existenz" (2011) songs]
- Hypocrisy - Catch 22 (V2.0.08) (2008) [re-recorded version of "Catch 22" (2002), re-mixed, re-mastered and include re-recorded vocals]
- Johann Wolfgang Pozoj - Birth of Pozoj (2011) [re-recorded version of "Birth Of Pozoj" (2005)]
- Johann Wolfgang Pozoj - Escape of Pozoj (2011) [re-recorded version of "Escape Of Pozoj" (2009)]
- Kataklysm - Victims of This Fallen World (2005) [re-recorded version of "Victims of This Fallen World" (1998)]
- Kayak - Merlin - Bard of the Unseen (2003) [re-recorded version of "Merlin" (1981), also contains some new tracks]
- L.A. Guns - Cocked & Re-Loaded (2000) [re-recorded version of "Cocked & Loaded" (1989)]
- Last Sacrament - Maniacal Meditations (2013) [re-recorded version of "Maniacal Meditations" (2011)]
- Le Orme - Felona & Sorona (1973) [partly re-recorded version of "Felona e Sorona" (1973) with English lyrics by Peter Hammill]
- Leatherwolf - New World Asylum (2007) [re-recorded version of "World Asylum" (2006), features re-recorded vocals]
- Locus Mortis - Inter Uterum et Loculum MMXI (2011) [re-recorded and re-arranged version of "Inter Uterum et Loculum" (2005)]
- Melvins - Houdini Live 2005 (A Live History Of Gluttony And Lust) [re-recorded version of Houdini (1993) live in an empty warehouse]
- Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2003 (2003) [re-recorded version of "Tubular Bells" (1973)]
- Moonspell - Under Satanæ (2007) [re-recorded version of Moonspell "Under the Moonspell" (1994) and previous promotrack/demo]
- Monster Magnet - Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol (2014) [album for the most part is a re-recorded & re-arranged version of "Last Patrol" (2013)]
- Nebelung - Mistelteinn (2016) [re-recorded version of the band's debut "Mistelteinn" (2005)]
- Negură Bunget - Măiestrit (2010) [re-recorded and re-arranged version of "Măiastru Sfetnic" (2000)]
- Nocturnal Depression - Suicidal Thoughts MMXI (2011) [re-recorded and re-arranged version of "Suicidal Thoughts" (2004)]
- Nokturnal Mortum - Weltanschauung (2005) [international version, re-recorded with English lyrics & different in-between ambient tracks, of "Мировоззрение" (2005)]
- Novembre - Dreams D'Azur (2002) [re-recorded version of "Wish I Could Dream It Aagain" (1994)]
- Ophthalamia - A Long Journey (1998) [re-recorded version of "A Journey In Darkness" (1994)]
- Pagan's Mind - Infinity Divine (2004) [re-recorded version of "Infinite Divine" (2000)]
- Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica - Revisited: 15th Anniversary Edition (2014) [re-recorded version of "Ecliptica" (1999)]
- Streetlight Manifesto - Keasbey Nights (2004) [re-recorded version of "Keasbey Nights" by Tomas Kalnoky's previous band Catch 22]
- Suicidal Tendencies - No Mercy Fool! / The Suicidal Family (2010) [album features re-recorded tracks from "Join the Army" (1987)]
- SUP - Anomaly (2000) [re-recorded version of "Anomaly" (1995)]
- Svartsyn - The True Legend (2012) [re-recorded, remixed & remastered version of "The True Legend" (1998)]
- Tangerine Dream - Phaedra 2005 (2005) [re-recorded version of "Phaedra" (1974)]
- Tarot - The Spell of Iron MMXI (2011) [re-recorded version of "The Spell of Iron" (1986)]
- The Crown - Crowned Unholy (2004) [re-recorded version of "Crowned in Terror" (2002), features re-recorded vocal & bass tracks]
- The Enid - Aerie Faerie Nonsense (1983) [re-recording of "Aerie Faerie Nonsense" (1977)]
- The Enid - In the Region of the Summer Stars (1984) [re-recording of "In the Region of the Summer Stars" (1976)]
- The Kovenant - In Times Before the Light (2002) [re-mixed and (partly) re-recorded version of Covenant's debut album "In Times Before the Light" (1997)]
- The Ocean - Fluxion (2009) [re-recorded version of The Ocean's debut abum "Fluxion" (2004), refreshed with new vocal recordings, new mixing and re-mastered]
- Theodor Bastard - Agoraphobia (2007) [partially re-recorded version of "Agorafobia" (2000)]
- Theodor Bastard - Pustota (2014) [partially re-recorded, remixed and remastered version of "Pustota" (2004)]
- Thornspawn - Sanctified by Satan's Blood (2008) [re-recorded version of "Sactified By Satan's Blood" (2007)]
- Uneven Structure - 8 (2013) [re-recorded version of "8" (2009)]
- Xytras - Passage (1998) [re-arranged instrumental version of Samael "Passage" (1996)]
So here's the list:
15. Dimmu Borgir - Stormblåst (2005)
In 2005 Norwegian sympho black metallers decided to fully re-record their classic 1996 album "Stormblåst." The album was re-recorded entirely by band members Silenoz and Shagrath with guest appearances from Hellhammer and Mustis, without the original 1996 members Tjodalv, Brynjard Tristan and Stian Aarstad. The album also has two new studio tracks, "Sorgens Kammer – Del II" and "Avmaktslave," while some of the original material was excluded: the instrumental "Sorgens Kammer" from the original album could not be re-recorded due to copyright issues associated with the 1992 Amiga game "Agony," as then-keyboardist Stian Aarstad had passed the song off as his own. Similarly, for the intro to "Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen," Aarstad used parts from the Magnum song "Sacred Hour"; for this reason the intro is not part of the song on the re-recorded version. Some lyrics are not the same as on the first release.
14. Katatonia - Viva Emptiness [Anti-Utopian MMXIII Edition] (2013)
In 2013 Katatonia re-released their classic album "Viva Emptiness" (2003), and the new version was re-mixed, re-mastered and includes additional vocals & keyboards. The re-release features new keyboard arrangements and was completely remixed and remastered by David Castillo, as the band wasn't satisfied with the overall sound and production of the original release. The track "Inside the City of Glass" features vocals and lyrics on this edition, compared to the instrumental version included in the original release.
13. DragonForce - Valley of the Damned (2010)
In 2010 DragonForce release "remixed and remastered" versions of their first two album, "Valley of the Damned" (2003) and "Sonic Firestorm" (2004). And some tracks (i.e. "Heart of a Dragon") on the new version of "Valley of the Damned" feature newly re-recorded parts (with Frédéric Leclercq on bass and Dave Mackintosh on drums) instead of the original ones, recorded in 2003 by then-members Diccon Harper (bass) and Didier Almouzni (drums).
12. Flotsam and Jetsam - No Place for Disgrace - 2014 (2014)
In 2014 thrash metallers Flotsam and Jetsam re-released their classic album "No Place for Disgrace" (1988) with Tory Edwards on violin and mandolin, stating that they had received many requests to remix the record. The band had experienced difficulties in obtaining the master tapes of the 1988 album and as such, decided to re-record the album. Re-release met with more than a cold reception from fans. Of the decision, the band commented that "The aim was not really to change but to enhance it with the opportunity with the use of new tools. We have the time available as well, and it just seemed like a no-brainer."
11. Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene: New Master Recording (2007)
French composer and electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre decided to fully re-record his classic album "Oxygene" (1976) in 2007 marking the record's 30th anniversary. To promote this release, Jean Michel Jarre performed a series of ten Oxygène Live concerts in Paris, inside the Theâtre Marigny, from 12 to 26 December 2007.
10. Ayreon - Actual Fantasy Revisited (2004)
In 2004, Arjen moved to a new record label, InsideOut Germany. With this move came re-issues of all previous Ayreon releases, including "Actual Fantasy" (1996). The re-issue came with a bonus DVD featuring a 5.1 remix of the entire original album, a video clip for "The Stranger from Within," and a video featurette showing the 2004 recordings of drums, bass, flute, guitar and vocals for the remix. Originally, "Actual Fantasy" was recorded with a digital drum computer. Arjen had for some time wondered what the tracks would sound like with a real drummer, and as his collaborations with Gorefest drummer Ed Warby became more consistent over the years, the exciting yet intimidating idea developed. Interestingly, when the album was first released in 1996, prior to Ed's association with Arjen, Ed commented to people he knew that he felt the record should have utilized real drums.
9. Necrophagist - Onset of Putrefaction (2004)
Onset of Putrefaction (1999), the debut album by German technical death metal band Necrophagist, was recorded almost solely by the band's founder, guitarist and vocalist Muhammed Suiçmez. But when Muhammed wanted to re-release the album later, he couldn't do it because the original version of the album was very difficult to obtain, due to distribution problems with the label that owned the rights. So in 2004 Necrophagist released new version of "Onset of Putrefaction," which was remixed, resampled and remastered, including vastly improved drum samples used by the drum machine (with the help of newly recruited drummer Hannes Grossmann) compared with the 1999 release of the album.
8. Philip Glass - Koyaanisqatsi (1998 version)
"Koyaanisqatsi" is a 1982 American experimental film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass and cinematography by Ron Fricke. And the film's soundtrack by Philip Glass was released in 1983, after the release of the film. Even though the amount of music in the film was almost as long as the film itself (about 85 minutes), the soundtrack release was only 46 minutes long and featured only selections from the film's pieces. In 1998, Glass re-recorded the album through Nonesuch Records with a length of 73 minutes, 21 seconds due to rights issues with the original recording. The re-recording of the album featured two additional tracks from the film, as well as extended versions of previous tracks from the original album. The album was released as a Philip Glass album titled "Koyaanisqatsi," rather than a soundtrack to the film.
7. Bethlehem - A Sacrificial Offering to the Kingdom of Heaven in a Cracked Dog's Ear (2009)
In 2009, German dark metallers Bethlehem made a very controversial decision to abandon the band's goth/rock direction and spend time re-mixing their groundbreaking album "S.U.i.Z.i.D." (1998). The result was "A Sacrificial Offering to the Kingdom of Heaven in a Cracked Dog's Ear." It was maligned by fans for being wholly unnecessary and needlessly using Niklas Kvarforth from Swedish band Shining on vocals instead of original vocal tracks.
6. Exodus - Let There Be Blood (2008)
In 2008, Exodus released "Let There Be Blood," totally re-recorded version of their classic "Bonded By Blood" (1985), featuring their lineup at the time. The only band members who play on both "Bonded by Blood" and "Let There Be Blood" are guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Tom Hunting, with new members being Rob Dukes (vocals), Lee Altus (lead and rhythm guitars/backing vocals) and Jack Gibson (bass/backing vocals). "Let There Be Blood" has met mixed reviews, with many fans have questioned the need for such a re-make, even accusing it of being a potential "cash-in" on the original album's legacy.
5. Manowar - 'Battle Hymns MMXI' and 'Kings of Metal MMXIV'
Manowar decided to re-record their classics not once but twice, with "Battle Hymns MMXI" (2010 re-recording of "Battle Hymns" (1982)) and "Kings of Metal MMXIV" (2014 re-recording of "Kings of Metal" (1988)). "Battle Hymns MMXI" features the British actor Sir Christopher Lee as narrator, Ross "the Boss" Friedman, who recorded the original record, on additional guitars and the original Manowar drummer Donnie Hamzik. "Kings of Metal MMXIV" features actor Brian Blessed as a narrator, as well as Donnie Hamzik on drums and Karl Logan on lead guitar/keyboards instead of original members Ross the Boss (guitar) and Scott Columbus (drums).
4. Suicidal Tendencies - Still Cyco After All These Years (1993)
In 1993 Suicidal Tendencies who became a big metal band decided to re-record their classic self-titled hardcore punk debut from 1983 plus two songs from "Join the Army" (1987). Mike Muir was upset with Frontier Records, the independent label that released Suicidal Tendencies' debut album, over various royalty and publishing issues. Since Muir did not have the rights to reissue the debut, he instead re-recorded the songs for release through Epic Records. The album's cover mimicked the original's, with the exception of Muir being the only band member to be hanging upside-down by his feet (possibly a reference to the fact that he was the only original band-member featured on the record). It has met mixed reviews, with fans thought it was less "genuine", as many of the songs on the album relied on youthful angst better exemplified by the younger band that Suicidal was in 1983 as opposed to 1993.
3. Meshuggah - Nothing (2006 version)
In 2006, Meshuggah re-released re-recorded and re-mastered version of their classic record "Nothing" (2002). The new version features the rhythm guitar tracks re-recorded with new custom 8-string guitars (the original was recorded with 7-string down-tuned guitars) and amplifiers. The drums were also re-recorded by triggering the original drum hits using Drumkit from Hell Superior. The vocals were not re-recorded, but were given extra effects. Aside from the re-recorded guitars and triggered drum samples, there are only two songs significantly modified from their original version: the tempo of "Nebulous" was lowered, and the length of "Obsidian" was nearly doubled.
2. Megadeth - 2004 'Remixed and Remastered' series
In 2004 Dave Mustaine decided to re-mix and re-master all of the first Megadeth albums up to and including 1999's "Risk." Yes, not the first three or the first four - the first eight! It all started when Dave Mustaine went in to remix the band's debut "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good" in 2002. Overall the whole result was good enough because the original album had a notoriously low-budget mix. And in 2004 Dave started working with the other albums, trying to improve the sound. And the "Remixed and Remastered" versions met very mixed reviews among fans as many of them weren't satisfied by the new sound of classic records. And another controversial decision was to completely re-record in 2004 some of the classic parts such as vocals, bass and guitars. The most disputable example being the "Remixed and Remastered" version of 1996 album "The Craving" by MD.45, side-project of Dave Mustaine and Fear guitarist/vocalist Lee Ving - Dave Mustaine replaced original Lee Ving's vocal tracks and Lee's harmonica parts with his own vocals and simulated the harmonica on his guitar. Due to many mixed reviews since 2011 all remastered versions were based on the original master tapes again rather than on 2004 ones.
1. Ozzy Osbourne - 'Blizzard of Ozz' and 'Diary of a Madman' 2002 reissue
Maybe one of the most controversial reissues in the music history. The first two Ozzy's classic albums, "Blizzard of Ozz" (1980) and "Diary of a Madman" (1981), were recorded and co-composed with bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake - but the bass and drum credits were originally given to Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge, then members of Ozzy Osbourne's live band, even though they didn't play a note, and performance royalties have never been paid to Daisley and Kerslake. Daisley also claimed that, in addition to his studio work with Ozzy, he was responsible for all the lyrics in Ozzy's solo catalog in the 1980s (something Ozzy admitted to in his later interviews).
In 1986, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake won a court case which awarded them songwriting royalties, but until 2003 they still didn't receive proper performance credit for "Diary of a Madman." Daisley and Kerslake have been fighting the Osbournes in court again over that same issue. The lawsuit has yet to be settled, but Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne did it further. They made a 2002 reissue of these two albums which replaced Daisley and Kerslake's original bass and drum parts with new parts recorded by Osbourne's then-current drummer Mike Bordin and bassist Rob Trujillo. The 2002 reissue also included new backing vocals from a pair of singers named Mark Lennon and John Shanks.
Sharon stated at the time that it was Ozzy, not she, who was responsible for the decision to re-record the parts. However, Ozzy contradicted this claim in his 2009 autobiography, stating that the decision to re-record the original bass and drum parts was strictly Sharon's decision. He also stated that "a sticker was put on the covers telling everyone about it," though in fact the sticker was not initially placed on the re-issue and was only placed on the covers at a later date due to fan outcry over the altered recordings.
Later because of much of negative feedback from the fans Ozzy stated: "You know what, whatever the circumstances were, I want the original thing back." The 30th Anniversary release of "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman" contains the original recordings, not the 2002 reissues.
Know more classic music albums that were re-recorded? Feel free to post them in the comment section below.