Compiled by Monk

The Uber Rock Approved stampThere is no doubt it, but 2020 has been a truly traumatic year for the rock ‘n’ roll Überverse, with live shows all but non-existent in the vast majority of places, and income streams completely decimated for many of those involved in the music business. The latter is a feeling we know all too well here at ÜRHQ, as we ourselves have not earned a penny since the Northern Ireland entertainments industry went into lockdown on 14 March. However, one thing that has shown through is the enormous creativity of many, many hundreds of artists, and equal numbers of those working behind the scenes, in adapting to the changed global landscape – one which, in many cases, may indeed be changed forever:  streamed shows, whether live or pre-recorded, have virtually (sic) become the norm, and no doubt will remain so, especially here in the Über Kingdom, for quite some time to come…

Another side effect of continuing and renewed restrictions has been that 2020 has had more than it’s fair share of compilation albums, re-issued releases and recordings dug out of the bands’ live archives (just to remind us all of the power music has in the live environment – and, consequently, make us miss proper gigs all the more!).

So, in time-honoured tradition, here are our writers’ thoughts on the best compilation, live and re-issued albums to have graced our individual and collective death decks throughout these past troubled months…

DJ Astrocreep

Artwork for A Slight Disturbance In My Mind boxsetCompilations:

  1. Various– ‘A Slight Disturbance In My Mind’

Live album

  1. Nick Cave – ‘Idiot Prayer’
  2. Devin Townsend – ‘Order of Magnitude – Empath Live Volume One’


  1. Hawkwind – ‘Roadhawks (Remastered Edition)’
  2. Motörhead – ‘Ace of Spades 40th Anniversary’

Gerald Stansbury


  1. Def Leppard – ‘The Early Years’

Jim Rowland


  1. Artwork for the Rock Legends boxset from Thin LizzyThin Lizzy – ‘Rock Legends’ Boxset
  2. The Hip Priests – ‘Solid Gold Easy Option (Singles n Shit 2017/19)’
  3. Various – Jobcentre Rejects Vol. 3
  4. Various – Jobcentre Rejects Vol. 4
  5. Buzzcocks – ‘Sell You Everything (1991-2014)’

Live album

  1. Blue Öyster Cult – ‘45th Anniversary Live In London’
  2. Stray Cats – ‘Rocked This Town: From LA To London’
  3. Blue Öyster Cult – ‘40th Anniversary Agents Of Fortune Live 2016’
  4. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘Live In San Francisco ‘16’
  5. Riverside – ‘Lost’n’Found – Live In Tilburg’


  1. Artwork for 40th anniversary box set edition of Ace Of Spades by MotorheadMotörhead – ‘Ace of Spades 40th Anniversary’
  2. Rolling Stones – ‘Goats Head Soup’ Deluxe
  3. UFO – ‘Strangers In the Night’ Deluxe
  4. Slaughter & The Dogs – ‘Do It Dog Style’ Expanded
  5. Trapeze – ‘Trapeze’ / ‘Medusa’ / ‘You Are The Music. We’re Just The Band’ Expanded
  6. Marillion – ‘Script For A Jester’s Tear’ Deluxe
  7. Blue Öyster Cult – ‘Heaven Forbid’ Remaster
  8. Killing Joke – ‘Pandemonium’ Double vinyl
  9. Swans – ‘Children Of God’ Remaster
  10. Girl – ‘Wasted Youth’ Boxset

John Bedard

Artwork for A Night At The Theatre by Dreamwalkers IncLive album

  1. Dreamwalkers Inc. – ‘A Night At The Theatre’


  1. Various – ‘Command & Conquer Remastered Collection’ soundtrack
  2. Theatre of Tragedy – ‘Musique 20th Anniversary Edition’
  3. Ewigkeit – ‘Land of Fog 20/20 ReVision’
  4. Tarja – ‘From Spirits And Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas) 2020’

Jonny Bakes


  1. Artwork for Best Of The Blessed by PowerwolfPowerwolf – ‘Best of the Blessed’
  2. Mastodon – ‘Medium Rarities’
  3. Epica – ‘The Quantum Enigma’
  4. Rage, Rage Against they Dying of the Hungry – ‘Eat the Rich’
  5. Various – ‘Fangs Volume 2’

Live album

  1. Skálmöld – ‘10 Year Anniversary – Live in Reykjavik’
  2. Jinjer – ‘Alive in Melbourne’
  3. Parkway Drive – ‘Viva The Underdogs’
  4. Dream Theater – ‘Distant Memories’


  1. Artwork for Stairway To Valhalla by Nanowar Of SteelNanowar of Steel – ‘Stairway to Valhalla’
  2. Lykantropi – ‘Lykantropi’
  3. Deftones – ‘White Pony’
  4. Rush – ‘Permanent Waves’
  5. Devin Townsend – ‘Empath (Ultimate Edition)’



  1. Artwork for The Best Of Rory Gallagher (2020)Thin Lizzy – ‘Rock Legends’ Boxset
  2. Rory Gallagher – ‘The Best Of Rory Gallagher’
  3. Various – ‘Shellshock Rock – Alternative Blasts From Northern Ireland 1977 – 1984’
  4. Mike Tramp – ‘Trampthology’
  5. Gypsy Pistoleros – ‘The Greatest Flamenco Glam Sleaze Band Ever’

Live album

  1. Artwork for Live From London by Gary MooreTriptykon – ‘Requiem (Live at Roadburn 2019)’
  2. Gary Moore – ‘Live From London’
  3. The Wildhearts – ’30 Year Itch’
  4. Rory Gallagher – ‘Check Shirt Wizard – Live In ‘77’
  5. Skálmöld – ‘10 Year Anniversary – Live in Reykjavik’
  6. Jinjer – ‘Alive in Melbourne’
  7. Stray Cats – ‘Rocked This Town: From LA To London’
  8. Metallica – ‘S&M2’
  9. Blue Öyster Cult – ‘45th Anniversary Live In London’
  10. VoiVod – ‘Lost Machine – Live’


  1. Artwork for Lightning To The Nations 2020 by Diamond HeadDiamond Head – ‘Lightning To The Nations 2020’
  2. Motörhead – ‘Ace of Spades 40th Anniversary’
  3. The HU – ‘The Gereg (Deluxe Edition)’
  4. Paradise Lost – Draconian Times (25th Anniversary Edition)
  5. Heavy Pettin – ‘Lettin Loose’/’Rock Ain’t Dead’/’The Big Bang’ Boxset
  6. Toby And The Whole Truth – ‘Ignorance Is Bliss (25th Anniversary Remastered Deluxe Edition’
  7. Reuben – ‘Racecare Is Very Fast’
  8. Girl – ‘Wasted Youth’ Boxset
  9. Diamond Dogs – ‘Honked All Over Again’
  10. Lesbian Bed Death – ‘Born To Die On VHS (2020 Remix.Remaster)

Phil Cooper


  1. Wormwood – ‘Ghostlands: Wounds For A Bleeding Earth’

So, there you have it: the ÜR team’s thoughts on the compilations, re-issues and live albums which grabbed their attention this year and have remained at the top of their playlists since release.

Tomorrow, we will continue our look back at the traumatic year that has been 2020 with our round-up of the EPs that have embedded themselves in our aural cortexes, as well as our thoughts on the best cover versions to have been released over the course of these past 12 months – and also a look back at the brief period at the beginning of the year when live gigs were still a regular feature of our lives, by remembering those shows that have stuck in our memory banks for the duration of the continuous lockdowns we have experienced since the pan(dem)ic hit in March.  Then, on Thursday – that’s New Year’s Eve, in case you’ve forgotten – we’ll present our countdown of the full-length albums that our crack team of ninja reviewers count as their best of the year…

Until then, as we say here at ÜRHQ, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and keep the music playing \m/