Categories: Blog

Have a merry box set-mas

It’s crunch time. Are you desperate for last-minute gift ideas? No worries … music lovers are easy to shop for: They want it all.

Here’s a good place to start … box sets and greatest-hits packages that came out in the past year. Perfect for stuffing that stocking (or just gifting to yourself).

Here are my Top 10 favorites …

“Wings Over America: Deluxe Edition,” Paul McCartney & Wings — This excellent double live album from 1976 includes a bonus disc, “Live at the Cow Palace.”

“Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out: The Rolling Stones in Concert! (Expanded Edition),” The Rolling Stones — Another grand live album is revisited; this one is three CDs, with 12 bonus tracks by opening acts B.B. King and Ike & Tina Turner, plus a bonus DVD in 5.1 Surround that contains a short film of footage at Madison Square Garden in November 1969.

“Tommy (Super Deluxe Edition),” The Who — Quite simply the best rock opera ever (with their “Quadrophenia” a close second). This monster box set includes the original 1969 album (remastered in HD), a second disc of demos and outtakes, a 5.1 album mix on Audio Blu-ray and a live bootleg album.

“Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective,” Duane Allman — This seven-disc box set has 129 tracks spanning his all-too-short career in the Allman Brothers Band and Derek & The Dominos. It includes session work he did for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Boz Scaggs and more, and a 72-page booklet.

“Creedence Clearwater Revival,” Creedence Clearwater Revival — With this six-disc set, you get remastered versions of all their studio and live albums and 25 rarities from their pre-CCR days.

“Sound System,” The Clash — All their remastered albums are housed in a must-have retro boombox designed by bassist Paul Simonon. There are three CDs of rarities, non-album singles and B Sides and a DVD of music videos and live footage. The mother lode!

“The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection,” Otis Redding — Here’s every 45 (A-side and B-side) that helped exemplify the Stax Sound – 70 songs in all. Long live the King of Soul.

“Made in California,” The Beach Boys — What makes this six-CD collection stand out are the inclusions of previously unreleased studio and live tracks and rarities like “(Wouldn’t It Be Nice to) Live Again,” featuring sublime lead vocals by drummer Dennis Wilson.

“Higher!,” Sly & The Family Stone — Let their groundbreaking music take you higher: 77 songs, including 17 previously unreleased tracks. Plus a 104-page book and extensive liner notes.

“The RCA Albums Collection,” Nilsson — One of the best artists who’s NOT in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here’s all 14 of his albums, from 1967’s “Pandemonium Shadow Show” to 1977’s “Knnillssonn.” There are also three rarities discs, featuring sessions from 1967 to 1974. “The Moonbeam Song” gives me chills.


Gerry Galipault @

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

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