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The Hip’s remastered “Phantom Power” is here!

Is it worth buying another copy of an album you already have in your collection, possibly in multiple formats, just because that album recently hit an anniversary? 

When it’s the Tragically Hip’s Phantom Power — or anything, really — the answer will be yes for a lot of people. 

Now out in commemoration of the album’s 25th anniversary, the remastered, bigger and better Phantom Power features all the great songs you know and love, from “Fireworks” to “Chagrin Falls” to the incredible and somehow often overlooked “Emperor Penguin,” plus five brand new (at least to publicly available media) songs. 

Bumblebee,” the first new track, has the late and very missed Gord Downie singing about something feeling “vaguely familiar,” a sentiment that’s true of this song and the other new tunes included on the expanded edition of Phantom Power. Another new song, “Vegas Strip,” starts off very showy and glitzy and immediately drops the tempo, fitting for a hazy, smoke-filled room where dancers prepare to bare all for their eager audience. It’s easy to imagine Downie’s wildly enthusiastic and wholly original dance moves mimicking that of a Vegas showgirl during a concert. 

This edition of Phantom Power is available in on CD and vinyl, whether you want to add the official 25th anniversary box set that includes two double LPs on 180 gram vinyl with an additional two LP live show from the Metropol in Pittsburgh, PA, recorded in 1998 around the time of the album’s initial release with a beautiful 64-page book with behind-the-scenes photos of the making of the album,  or a three-disc CD set. 

Both offerings also include new takes on six familiar tracks and one that’s a little less so: “Something On,” “Chagrin Falls,” “Fireworks,” “Thompson Girl,” “Escape is at Hand for the Travellin’ Man,” the beloved “Bobcaygeon” and “Super Farmer Nano Baby.” 

There’s also a whole slew of new merch available, just in time for holiday shopping, from t-shirts and touques to a shiny belt buckle. 

For the Hip completist, this is yet another gift from the band, sharing some gems from the vault in addition to remastered versions of songs you know and love. With each new anniversary re-release, we find a few more treasures to enjoy and a reminder of just how great this band was, how much the five individual members evolved over the years, and how lucky we are to have this music.

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

Amber Healy has 521 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

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