TOP MUSIC GIFT BOXES

For all the things that went horribly wrong in 2020, it was a good year for deluxe box sets and album reissues – all good options for Christmas gifts. Of the dozens of such sets that arrived this year, here are some recommendations.

Anthology Sets:

* Elton John: “Elton: Jewel Box” – The meat to this 8-CD set is three CDs of demos, the vast majority being unreleased songs recorded between 1965 and 1971. They illustrate the early growth of Elton and Bernie Taupin as a songwriting team. Quite a few solo demos sound like they would have blossomed in the studio, while some full-band demos, including the trippy and catchy “Regimental Sgt. Zippo,” the horn-filled “When The First Tear Shows” and the rollicking “Thank You For All Your Loving” are well worth hearing. Three other discs contain lesser known album tracks, while two discs of b-sides are another big selling point.


BUY NOW!

Shoes: “Elektrafied: The Elektra Years 1978-1982” –This four-CD set chronicles the period after the acclaimed 1978 album, “Black Vinyl Shoes,” when the Shoes got a major label deal with Elektra Records. This box set includes the Shoes’ three Elektra albums, band demos for each album and a fourth disc of non-album rarities. It makes for a comprehensive dive into the Shoes’ major label years – and some of the best music this power pop band has made during a long, impressive and still ongoing career.


BUY NOW!

Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels: “Sockin’ It To You: The Complete Dynavoice and New Voice Recordings” – This 3-CD set collects the songs Ryder recorded while fronting the Detroit Wheels (1965-1968). The famous songs are here (“Jenny Take A Ride” and the combo of “Devil With a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly”) plus a good share of prime cuts that didn’t become major hits (“Shakin’ With Linda,” “Breakout” and “I Can’t Hide It,” to name a view).


BUY NOW!

Briefly…These anthologies also deserve your attention.

The Allman Brothers Band: “Trouble No More” – What It Is: A 5-CD retrospective covering the entire 50-year career of the group. Why Get It: This set hits the highlights of each era of the group while not duplicating that much of the 1989 box set, “Dreams.”


BUY NOW!

The Boys: “On Safari” – What It Is: A 5-CD set with the three albums this band made for Safari Records from 1979 to 1981, plus 22 demos and outtakes and a 10-song BBC live set. Why Get It: This set is great way to discover this solid power pop band that deserved far more success than it had.


BUY NOW!

Various Artists: “Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2019” – What It Is: This 3-CD set cherry picks performances from the latest edition of this massive all-star guitar-centric festival. Why Get It: Numerous one-of-a-kind collaborations are included here, like Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt storming through the Bob Dylan track, “Everything’s Broken. And don’t forget the all-star jams on Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Joe Cocker’s “High Time We Went.”


BUY NOW!

Elvis Presley: “From Elvis in Nashville” –What It Is: This 4-CD set collects songs Presley recorded in Nashville in 1970 with the ace musicians known as the Nashville Cats. Why Get It: Even if you didn’t care for Presley’s late career move into middle-of-the-road music, this set shows he had grown into a superb and versatile singer and stylist.


BUY NOW!

Joni Mitchell: “Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963 to 1967)”

 – What It Is: A massive 5-disc set is loaded with unreleased songs and several concerts, including a full three-set show from 1967. Why Get It: You hear Mitchell evolve from singing folk standards into a songwriter (29 unreleased originals in all) who was already showing major talent and a unique style that would take her well beyond her folk beginnings.


BUY NOW!

Album reissues

It’s been a busy year for deluxe reissues of notable albums. Here are several that stood out this year.

Prince: “Sign O The Times” –This 8-disc box set reissue comes with the landmark original album, 45 (!!) previously unreleased studio tracks and two 1987 concerts. The wealth of unreleased material makes this set special. Highlights include “Witness 4 The Prosecution” (version 2), a hard-hitting rocker with electronic and funk overtones; the funky jam “Can I Play With U” which features a guest appearance by legendary trumpeter Miles Davis; and the hooky pop rockers “Promise To Be True,” “Cosmic Day” and “Big Tall Wall.” Two concerts, one on CD, the other on DVD, put a lively exclamation point on this stellar reissue.


BUY NOW!

The Replacements: “Pleased To Meet Me” –The Replacements’ best album gets supplemented by dozens of b-sides, outtakes, demos and rough mixes. Quite a few of the songs left off of “Pleased To Meet Me” would have been keepers for other bands – especially “Awake Tonight,” “Birthday Gal” and “Trouble On The Way” – and alternate versions of several “Pleased To Meet Me” songs are fun, too.


buy now!

Wilco – Summerteeth – This 1999 album marked the third and last studio effort from the original edition of Wilco before frontman Jeff Tweedy began to remake the band into its current, more musically adventurous and versatile lineup. This 4-CD deluxe reissue starts with the original “Summerteeth” album and then adds a disc of demos, outtakes and some of interesting alternate versions of “Summerteeth” songs. Two more discs house a complete 1999 concert, a fine live document of Wilco at its early peak.


BUY NOW!

Briefly…Here are some other noteworthy reissues…

Tom Petty: “Wildflowers and All the Rest” – What It Is: A 4-CD reissue of Petty’s 1994 solo album, “Wildflowers.” Why Get It: Nine fine songs left off “Wildflowers” plus home recordings and live performances make for a complete look at one of Petty’s most fruitful periods.


BUY NOW!

Elvis Costello: “Armed Forces” – What It Is: Essentially this is an expanded version of the excellent 2002 2-CD deluxe reissue of this classic third Costello album. Why Get It? An unreleased 13-song set from the Pinkpop Festival in 1979 and a six-song selection from a rather combative 1978 show capture the kinetic energy of Costello and the Attractions and the creative keyboard playing of Steve Nieve.


BUY NOW!

Rolling Stones: “Goat’s Head Soup” – What It Is: A 2-CD reissue of the 1973 album that was a letdown following the classic “Exile On Main Street” album. Why Get It: This reissue adds three versions of the unreleased funky rocker “Scarlet,” including one with Jimmy Page guesting, and the fantastic 1973 concert from Brussels, Belgium, which illustrated how lead guitarist Mick Taylor took the Stones to a whole new level as a live band.


BUY NOW!

Hope you will find one for that special music lover or just for your self! Happy Holidays from our music family to yours!

For More Great Reviews and Artist Interviews Check Out the Link Here: https://theplanetweekly.com/category/music/

 

About The Author

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.