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Rediscover cherished musical memories at the public library

Check out special anniversary albums


Anniversaries provide an opportunity to reflect on past triumphs and tribulations, to rediscover treasured memories and to go forward with a greater respect for and understanding of the past.

Read on for some recent anniversary edition CDs you may want to check out from the West Linn Public Library.

“Graceland: 25th Anniversary Edition” by Paul Simonby: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Graceland

Originally released in 1986, “Graceland” featured some of Paul Simon’s best songs and lyrics in years (including “You Can Call me Al,” “Boy in the Bubble” and the title track, “Graceland”). The album eventually sold more than 14 million copies, won two Grammy awards and introduced millions of listeners to South African rhythms, music and performers (most notably, Ladysmith Black Mambazo).

Twenty-five-plus years later, “Graceland” sounds as fresh and vibrant as ever. The standout of this anniversary set, however, is the included DVD featuring the documentary “Under African Skies,” which recounts the controversy surrounding the album’s recording and release in the era of Apartheid. Interspersing period footage with film of Simon’s recent return to South Africa, the film explores the complicated relationship between art and politics and music’s power to transcend boundaries, both geographical and ideological.

“Mermaid Avenue: the Complete Sessions” by Billy Bragg and Wilcoby: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Mermaid Avenue

Upon his death in 1967, Woody Guthrie left behind notebooks with lyrics (but no music) for thousands of songs. Guthrie’s daughter, Nora, enlisted the British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg to help cull through the material and to compose original music for the lyrics that caught his eye.

Bragg, in turn, enlisted the American group Wilco to assist with the project, and their collaboration eventually resulted in two albums’ worth of material (“Mermaid Avenue” volumes 1 and 2) between 1998 and 2000.

The 2012 release of “Mermaid Avenue: the Complete Sessions” contains all the music from the original two albums, plus a third disk of rare or unreleased tracks. The package also contains a DVD of the documentary “Man in the Sand,” which features Bragg and Nora Guthrie recounting the project’s genesis, as well as plenty of archival footage of Bragg and Wilco working out the music that would eventually end up on the albums.

“Ten: Deluxe Edition” by Pearl Jamby: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Ten

For better or for worse, Pearl Jam will always be associated with the “grunge movement” of the early 90s. And while music fans still debate today about the “grunge” label, the power, originality and influence of Pearl Jam’s debut album is almost universally recognized.

The deluxe edition of “Ten” includes the original album, both in its original mix and in an updated, less-reverb-laden mix overseen by veteran producer Brendan O’ Brien. The package includes six bonus tracks, as well as a DVD containing the band’s 1992 acoustic performance on “MTV Unplugged”.

For an extra treat, pair this album with the DVD “Pearl Jam: Twenty.” Filmed and narrated by Cameron Crowe, the documentary is a comprehensive account of Pearl Jam’s history, documenting the band’s earliest days, the rapid ascent to stardom and the many public and private challenges the group has faced as they attempt to remain true to themselves and their fans.




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