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Caught in a Mosh, Again: Anthrax’s “Island Years” Features Classic LPs, Bonus Tracks Aplenty

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Anthrax Island Years boxInfluential thrash-metal band Anthrax were celebrated in the U.K. this week with The Island Years, a new budget box set combining four of their most notable albums, plus a bevy of bonus material.

The New York City-based quintet, dubbed one of metal’s “Big Four” alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer, earned early accolades in the mid-1980s, signing to Island Records and garnering fans for their intense musical style and accessible, non-serious image. The band’s colorful MTV-style personalities (particularly rhythm guitarist and founding member Scott Ian, known to younger folks as a frequent talking head on VH-1 during the late ’90s and early ’00s) and pop cultural-influenced lyrics (a signature song, “I Am the Law,” was based on the catchphrase of comic book character Judge Dredd) only added to their appeal, as did their willingness to tackle unique musical horizons (a cover of Joe Jackson’s “Got the Time” was an early single, and the band’s embrace of hip-hop led to a name-check in Public Enemy’s iconic “Bring the Noise” – and, ultimately, a stunning duet version with the rap group in 1991).

While the band’s line-up has shifted back and forth over the years, Anthrax continues to record and tour, with much of the Island-era lineup (Ian, vocalist Joey Belladonna, bassist Frank Bello and drummer Charlie Benante) still in the band, joined by guitarist Jonathan Donais earlier this year.

The Island Years collects the band’s four albums for the label: 1985’s Spreading the Disease, 1986’s Among the Living (featuring signature songs “Indians” and “Caught in a Mosh”), 1988’s State of Euphoria and 1991’s Persistence of Time. While none have been remastered for this set, the latter three all feature bonus tracks (Among the Living received a CD/DVD deluxe edition from UMe’s U.K. arm in 2009; all of those bonus tracks reappear here). Many of these B-sides and bonus cuts didn’t even see the light of day on the band’s 1991 compilation Attack of the Killer B’s, so this is a huge boon for fans of the group.

The box is available now (at a rather nice U.K. price) and can be ordered here. Hit the jump to check out the full track list!

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 16, 2013 at 09:58

Posted in Anthrax, Box Sets, News, Reissues

Release Round-Up: Week of January 10

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A slow week, but enough substantial releases to make this our first Round-Up of 2012!

Alex Chilton, Free Again: The 1970 Sessions (Omnivore Recordings)

After The Box Tops, before Big Star, the late, great Chilton finds his voice as a writer. A review from Joe is forthcoming!

Jellyfish, Bellybutton / Spilt Milk (Omnivore Recordings)

Brand-new vinyl remasters of the only two albums by the perennially underrated power pop band.

Andy Gibb, Greatest Hits / Iron Butterfly, Evolution: The Best of Iron Butterfly (Rhino Flashback)

From Rhino’s budget arm, two great, long-out-of-print compilations get their due on CD! (Check back very soon for a full breakdown from Joe!)

Various artists, ICON (UMe)

Another round of ’em.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 10, 2012 at 09:31

Another Year, Another Batch of “ICON” Titles

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It’s 2012, a new year full of new catalogue opportunities – and yet another batch of our favorite ridiculous, vaguely pointless series of compilations, UMe’s ICON.

The generic collections pack nothing but hits into an 11-track set list, enabling the uninitiated to get a simple primer of their favorite artist for maybe $8 and change. This time around, the batch is very rock-oriented (mid-’80s Deep Purple, Anthrax, Cinderella, Uriah Heep) with some traces of late-’90s rap and R&B (Dru Hill, Ja Rule, BLACKstreet).

All the titles street next Tuesday, January 10 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 5, 2012 at 13:58