Top Classic Albums of 2008

Ranking the best of what went around and came around again.

Extras: Not much, save an explanatory essay by Williams's daughter Jett about how these songs sat in the vault for so long. Unsurprisingly, lawyers were involved.

ZZ Top


(Warner Bros.)

Old fogies might insist 1973's Tres Hombres is the Little Ol' Band from Texas's finest hour, but for my $24.98, it's Eliminator. Determined to force its ribald roadhouse blues into the arena of Blondie and Duran Duran, ZZ Top delivered a tour de force that swirls deep-fried Tex-Mex boogie ("Gimme All Your Lovin'"), swampy Southern strangeness ("TV Dinners"), and devil-may-care double entendres ("Got Me Under Pressure") into one of the defining albums of the Eighties — one that's still got plenty of, well, "Legs."

Extras: Five live cuts, the rubbery "Legs" remix, and a DVD including those iconic hot-rod videos and a sharp-dressed four-song set from the BBC's The Tube.

Delicious Vinyl All-Stars

Rmxxology Deluxe Edition

(Delicious Vinyl)

Founded in 1987, L.A. label Delicious Vinyl was first among equals when it came to radio-friendly rap: Tone Loc, Young MC, Masta Ace, etc. Rmxxology gives the greatest-hits concept a novel spin, enlisting some of today's leading decknicians to feast on the DV buffet: Pink Enemy turns Brand New Heavies' positivity anthem "Never Stop" into glitzy electro, Hot Chip applies pastoral synth to the Pharcyde's "Passin' Me By," and Peaches inserts her potty mouth into Tone Loc's "Wild Thing," making an ideal bathroom-quickie backing track.

Extras: A bonus disc of mostly instrumental remixes and a few undoctored originals: "Wild Thing," Young MC's "Know How," etc.

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