Thursday, December 18, 2008


What's a cooler gift than a box set? I'm a huge fan of the format, and so are lots of other music fans. So I thought that tomorrow, I'd talk about some recently released box sets that I think are pretty cool.

First off is Roy Orbison's The Soul Of Rock and Roll. This is sort of the classic, career-spanning box set, including hits, album tracks and lots of rare stuff. Fans won't feel ripped off by it, but it's also a good starting point for people just getting into Roy (although starting off a new fan of any artist with a box set can be overwhelming - The Essential Roy Orbison might be a better jump on point). It has a nice booklet with comments from Roy's fellow legends.

Then, there's Hank Williams' The Unreleased Recordings. This box set is made up of long-lost recordings of Hank's radio show from the early '50s: he used to do a 15 minute show at 7:15 am, while people were making breakfast, milking cows, etc. The show was sponsored by Mother's Best flour, which he often plugs. This box set includes some of Hank's classics, as well as his covers of other hits of the day. It may not be the best intro, but on the other hand, it's not like it is for super fans only. Personally, my starting point to Hank was 40 Greatest Hits, but that's hard to find, Gold is proably a better choice.

Cheap Trick 's 2 CD/2 DVD Budokan! is the opposite of a career
spanning box set: it is dedicated to a pivotal moment in the band's career: namely April of 1978 when they played Japan. They didn't really realize how huge they were there until they took the stage. But this was the moment that their career changed; the original live album, Cheap Trick at Budokan was the record that made them stars in the U.S. (and helped kick off the trend of live albums).

Finally, the deluxe reissue of R.E.M.'s full-length debut, Murmur. There's really no reason to remaster the sound on such a lo-fi classic, but the reason to pick this up (even if you have the original
- and who doesn't?) is the bonus second disc with a live performance from Toronto from July 9, 1983.
If you've got a music fan in your life, chances are they may not evne have these yet, they are all fairly recent releases, and they'll brighten anyone's day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent options -- maybe I'll pick up the REM one too.