Music Review

Rah Rah! for Reissues

EW reviews the latest album reissues -- We look at rereleased music by Dinosaur Jr., Billie Holiday, Stiff Little Fingers, and The Cure

EW reviews the latest album reissues

DINOSAUR JR.

J Mascis sang like Neil Young in a quaalude coma and played guitar like some Frankensteinian hybrid of Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and the Stooges' Ron Asheton. Hear him taking baby brontosaurus steps on 1985's Dinosaur, creating a masterpiece with 1987's You're Living All Over Me, and further perfecting his trip on 1988's Bug. All in all, pretty dino-mite.

Extras These guys did videos? Who knew!

Dinosaur: B
You're Living All Over Me: A
Bug: A-

STIFF LITTLE FINGERS

Belfast's Stiff Little Fingers certainly kicked up a fine, Clash-like squall, no? Most of what was great about 'em is on 1979's raw Inflammable Material, but that's not to knock the more polished Heroes (1980) and Go for It (1981), or the live Hanx! (1980).

Extras Gotcher interviews with SLF singer-axman Jake Burns right here, Bunky.

Inflammable Material: A-
Nobody's Heroes: B
Hanx!: B-
Go for it: B+

BILLIE HOLIDAY

If you only know her by reputation, this two-CD/one-DVD comp is your chance to experience the magnificent artistry of Lady Day (who died in 1959 at age 44), still the quintessential female jazz singer. Cock an ear to ''God Bless the Child,'' ''Body and Soul,'' or ''Strange Fruit'' and it will be clear what all the fuss was about.

Extras Noirish clips of assorted film and TV performances are included on the bonus DVD.

The Ultimate Collection: A

THE CURE

This moody triptych was the soundtrack to many a depressed teen's adolescence, making it okay for boys to cry (and get their mascara smudged, too). Seventeen (1980) and Faith (1981) offer shards of hope, but for a real despondent wallow, slip on 1982's Pornography.

Extras Each two-CD set has rarities, demos, and live tracks.

Seventeen: B
Faith: B+
Pornography: B

Originally posted Apr 11, 2005 Published in issue #815 Apr 15, 2005 Order article reprints