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Year in Review: The Top 10 Historical Albums of 2021

Our critics pick their favorite re-releases and vault finds of the year

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John Coltrane
John Coltrane (photo: © Chuck Stewart Photography LLC/Fireball Entertainment Group. All rights reserved.)

We calculated our top 10 historical/reissue recordings of 2021 based on year-end lists by our writers. They were asked to choose the five best historical titles—i.e., albums and box sets consisting primarily of music recorded 10 or more years ago. Each voter’s complete ballot (including new releases of 2021) is available here. Albums and box sets released between Nov. 9, 2020 and Nov. 12, 2021 were eligible. Some discs may have slipped through the cracks, however, as official release dates shifted or weren’t available.