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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
reprint, release (music)

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.


Common additions to reissued albums include:

Reasons for reissues

Special, Limited and Commemorative Editions

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

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 CD 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 originally released on his former label, King Records. King 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 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.

Rareness of Record

A common reason for reissuing on independent record labels is due to the rareness of a record. It is very common for independent music records to reissue old records sometimes twenty years after the record was first put out. Since in some cases the album would have only been available in now obsolete format but would still be out of print.

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 every seven years, even after they had appeared on videocassette.

Gone With the Wind (1939) stands out as another film which has been reissued many times before being shown on television.

Today, theatres called "revival houses" show nothing but reissues of older films.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Reissue" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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