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Title: Reissue  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Big Star, Off the Wall (album), Creative Sparks, Kukeiha Club, Fat Mattress (album)
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For the reissuing of print material see Reprint

A reissue (also known as a re-release or re-edition) is the repeated issue of a published work. In common usage, it refers to an album which has been released at least once before and is released again, sometimes with alterations or additions.

Reasons for reissue

New audio formats

Recordings originally released in an audio format that has become technologically or commercially obsolete are reissued in new formats. For example, thousands of original vinyl albums have been reissued on CDs since introduction of that format in the early 1980s. More recently, many albums originally released on CD or earlier formats have been reissued on SACD or DVD-Audio.

Budget records

Beginning with Pickwick Records, which acquired the rights to reissue many of Capitol Records' non-current albums at a low price in venues other than record stores, several record companies started "budget" or "drugstore records" subsidiaries to sell their deleted items at lower prices.

New ownership

When one record label buys out another record label or acquires an individual recording artist's back catalogue, their albums are often reissued on the purchasing label. For example, Polydor Records reissued many of James Brown's albums which were originally released on his former label, King Records. King Records had itself previously reissued albums and singles by Brown that were originally recorded for its subsidiary label, Federal Records.

Strong or weak sales

Recordings are reissued to meet continuing demand for an album that continues to be popular after its original release. In other cases, albums are reissued to create interest in and hopefully revive the sales of a release which has sold poorly. For example, the heavy metal label Roadrunner Records is notorious for reissuing their artist's works' only months after releasing the original album. According to US music magazine Billboard, reissues target "casual consumers who hadn't picked up the album when it was originally released, as well as obsessives who need to own every song in an artist's catalog."[1]

Special, Limited and Commemorative Editions

Some recordings are reissued to celebrate their popularity, influence, or an anniversary of the artist or the recording.

Track controversy and revisionism

Some recordings are reissued soon after their original release because one of the tracks was seen in a negative light. Cop Killer by Body Count was one such example.

Some recordings are remixed and reissued in an effort to erase prior band member’s contributions. Two such examples were Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman.[2][3]


Common additions to reissued albums include:

Reissues and certification

For the purposes of quantifying sales, an album's original and subsequent releases are counted together. For example, if an album sold 300,000 of its original release and 700,000 in subsequent reissues, it would be entitled to platinum certification. However, the musical contents of the disc must remain the same on a reissue for it to count towards certification.

Reissue labels

Some record labels specialize in reissuing recordings originally released on other labels. Three of the biggest reissue labels are Rhino Records, Hip-O Records, and Legacy Recordings. Each of these companies reissues material from the labels of a major music conglomerate: Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony BMG, respectively. Collectables Records is another prolific reissue label that licenses recordings from other labels.


The term also refers to a new release of a classic motion picture (not to be confused with a remake, which is an all-new production of a film with a new cast). Reissues of older films were frequent before the days of television, videocassette, and DVD. Walt Disney Studios stands out as the film company which has re-released their older films more often than any other studio—up to their appearance on DVD, nearly all of the Disney full-length films were reissued to theatres on the average of once every seven years, even after they had appeared on videocassette. Gone with the Wind (1939) is another example of a film which has been reissued many times before being shown on television. A growing trend is for movie studios to re-release films in theaters converted to 3D or IMAX: notable examples include The Lion King, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Titanic. Other examples include films' being re-released in time for certain anniversaries; Lawrence of Arabia was given a limited re-release in 2012, fully remastered in 4K for its 50th anniversary, and Jurassic Park was re-released on April 5, 2013 in 3D and IMAX 3D for its 20th anniversary.


VHS tapes were re-released for years. One called Wiggledance! (Live in Concert) by The Wiggles was re-released in 1998, the same year after the original one was awarded. It wasn't even released on DVD.


  1. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (November 4, 2014). "Beyonce's Platinum Edition: Feeling a Twinge of Disappointment About The False Rumors".  
  2. ^ "Classic Album Reissues, due in May". 
  3. ^ "Ultimate Classic Rock, on last year’s Ozzy reissues". 
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