It’s that time of year again. The march of the seasonal box sets is energized even more this year to take advantage of all the last, aged, baby-boomer record buyers on planet Earth still collecting (and still not downloading). I think the labels know their catalogs have only so many incarnations left before their core audiences die off… only to be replaced by a new generation of buyers who couldn’t even imagine storing their music in the place they live. Here’s a cross-section of some interesting releases coming up this pre- and post-holiday season. The prices are the current going rates at Amazon. If you pre-order, the price is locked in if it goes up (and it sometime does). If it goes lower, you get the lower price, too. Most of the descriptions are from Amazon, too. Follow the links for track listings and other details. Happy shopping.
Royal Orb USB Limited Edition Premium Box Set (Dec. 6, 2011)
$288.99. 15 Digital Albums in FLAC & 320. Includes: Lined gift box, with a majestic orb emblazoned with a Queen logo. Top crest removes to reveal a USB drive containing ALL Queen studio albums and photo gallery. Inside of the orb lies a pendant necklace resting in a red velvet collector’s bag. Audio content will be provided in 24-bit FLAC (44.1 kHz) and MP3 (320 kbps) formats, fully compatible with PC and Mac. Includes: Queen (1973), Queen II (1974), Sheer Heart Attack (1974), A Night at the Opera (1975), A Day at the Races (1976), News of the World (1977), Jazz (1978), The Game (1980), Flash Gordon (1980), Hot Space (1982), The Works (1984), A Kind of Magic (1986), The Miracle (1989), Innuendo (1991), Made In Heaven (1995).” Amazon.
Wembley Roadie Cube (Dec. 6, 2011)
$201.99. 2CDs. Includes:Photo book featuring rare photos from The Magic Tour, Queen – Live at Wembley Stadium 2-Disc CD Set. Replica Concert Tickets and VIP Passes. Full Page Tour Ad. Hand-Drawn 1986 Tour Map Replica Poster by Harold May (Brian’s father). “Friends Will Be Friends” Scarf “Magic Characters” Hawaiian shirt (L/XL). Inflatable Freddie cartoon character doll. All packaged in a mini-roadcase. Amazon.
$617.56. 8CDs, 7CD Singles, a 7″ Vinyl Single. CDs: Motorhead, Overkill, Bomber, Ace Of Spades, No Sleep Till Hammersmith, Iron Fist, Another Perfect Day & No Remorse. CD Singles: Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers, Louie Louie, Golden Years EP, St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Killed By Death, Stand By Your Man & Shine. 7″ Vinyl: “Leaving Here”/”White Line Fever”). Complete Collectors Guide To Motorhead book. Justin Hampton Motorhead print. Concert program replicas, hard back book featuring full color programs. 3 Born To Lose, Live To Win’ pin badges. Amazon.
$300.36. 21CDs. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Creature Music has compiled this box set comprising 21 CDs, a 36-page booklet of the band’s history with extensive notes for each album, a 32-page book of Manfred’s own memories and anecdotes and a poster of the current band. The catalog CDs have been remastered and repackaged in LP-style sleeves. The albums have the original UK running order and refreshed sleeves. Live In Ersingen is a brand-new live recording from 22 July this year, featuring the band’s latest vocalist, Robert Hart. Leftovers is a compilation of the hit singles and rare or previously unavailable recordings. Albums in the set are Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Glorified Magnified, Messin, Solar Fire, The Good Earth, Nightingales And Bombers, The Roaring Silence, Watch, Angel Station, Chance, Somewhere In Africa, Live In Budapest, Criminal Tango, Masque, Manfred Mann’s Plains Music, Soft Vengeance, Mann Alive (2CD), 2006, Live In Ersingen 2011, Leftovers. Amazon.
$179.03. 10CDs (UK-only). Includes The Kinks’ first seven albums: The Kinks, Kinda Kinks, Kontroversy, Face To Face, Something Else, Village Green Preservation Society & Arthur. Also: Three extra CDs collecting the EPs (Kinksize Session, Kinksize Hits, Kweyt Kinks & Dedicated Kinks) and remaining Mono material, plus a 32 page pop annual style book with new notes, rare photos, memorabilia, discographical information and more. Each CD is housed in a digipak. Amazon.
$509.00. 3CDs, 4 Vinyl LPs. 15 Minutes: Homage To Andy Warhol was created with the full approval of The Andy Warhol Foundation For The Visual Arts and is headlined by Columbia Records artists Bob Dylan and Patti Smith + 16 other world-renowned fine artists, poets, painters, photographers,actors and musicians. Each artist in this collection offered an original recording and original work of art in a limited edition inspired by their relationship with Warhol. Includes: 4 vinyl LPs, 3 CDs, liner notes, artist photos & sixteen 12″ x 12″ collector quality color offset lithographs. Amazon.
$139.99. 5CDs, 2LPs, Two 7″ singles. The band’s legendary 1966-’67 sessions for the never-completed SMiLE album – “the most famous unfinished album in rock & roll history.” Includes: Three-dimensional shadow box lid featuring the original artwork, 60 page case bound book, 7″ vinyl singles (“Heroes and Villains” & “Vega-Tables”), 2 LPs of stereo mixes and session highlights (not available on CDs), 12″ x 12″ booklet, 24″ x 36″ poster of Frank Holmes cover art. Amazon.
$143.80. 2CDs, 1DVD, 7″ Vinyl Single. Super Deluxe Edition contains the digitally remastered and expanded two CD Deluxe Edition of the album, a bonus DVD, 7″ vinyl single, hardback book, a set of postcards, Helmut Newton prints, and a poster. Amazon.
$127.72. 2CDs, T-Shirt. Apparently numbered & limited to 600 copies. Wig Box packaging – inspired by the original press release, includes both CDs from the Deluxe Edition, Hair Pick, Red Lipstick USB with 1GB storage, compact mirror and a Rolling Stones T-shirt packaged in a hairspray can. Amazon.
$261.35. 1CD, 1DVD, 10″ Vinyl EP. Limited to 1500 copies worldwide, each set is individually numbered with a special commemoration card autographed by Elvis Costello. Live box set, recorded over a 2-night stand at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on May 11 and 12, 2011. Includes a 40-page hardcover book, a tour diary of Costello’s musings from each tour stop, a 20″ x 30″ concert tour poster and a postcard. The DVD is from Costello’s show on May 12, 2011, and includes a special guest appearance by the Bangles, plus bonus footage including behind-the-scenes moments captured with the Imposters as well as extra performances not included in the main set of the show. The 10-inch vinyl record features four songs only available in this set. All this is housed in a lavish box with a working spinning replica of “The Spectacular Spinning Songbook” on the front cover! Amazon.
$29.58. 7 CDs. Hampton/Winston-Salem ’97 contains all the music played over 3 shows for a total of 45 songs – over 8 hours of music – including never-before-heard material from soundchecks at both venues. Amazon.
$27.70. 2CDs. Complete collection of all tracks Elvis recorded for the Louisiana Hayride radio show between 1954 to 1956. All tracks are remastered and include restored & more complete versions than before. Presented in a 100 page hardback book with rare & unreleased photos.
29 total tracks. Amazon.
$126.69. 5CDs, 1DVD (Audio) & 7″ Vinyl Single. Digitally remastered and expanded Super Deluxe edition. Features a remaster of the original double album, Pete Townshend’s previously unheard demos including songs that didn’t make it onto the original album, an exclusive eight track 5.1 sound DVD, a deluxe hard-back book, previously unseen personal notes, photographs, memorabilia and other exclusive material. Amazon.
$119.99. 6CDs, 1DVD. Discs 1&2: The Wall, digitally remastered by James Guthrie, 2011. Discs 3&4: The Wall Demos (previously unreleased). Discs 5&6: Is There Anybody Out There: The Wall Live (digitally remastered in 2011 by James Guthrie). Disc 7: DVD – Another Brick In The Wall pt2 – Promotional video, restored in 2011). Behind The Wall documentary, Gerald Scarfe Interview. Short filmed extract of Earls Court concert featuring animation. 44 page booklet, exclusive Storm Thorgerson Art Print, 5 Collectors’ Cards featuring art and comments, Replica of The Wall Tour Ticket, Replica of The Wall Backstage Pass, Scarf, Prints/Cards of Mark Fisher’s stage drawings, 3 x white marbles with design of bricks. 9 Coasters (unique to this box) featuring early Storm Thorgerson design sketches. Amazon.
$62.17. 10CD Singles. Retrospective box set consisting of CD replicas of 10 singles presented in a clam shell box. All tracks have been newly re-mastered from original tapes. Compiled by journalist and author Jon Savage, the box set is released in celebration of Ian Curtis – in the year that is the 30th anniversary of his death. Includes singles which have previously been issued and some which have been created specifically for this release. Amazon.
$233.91. 9CDs, 1DVD, 7″ Vinyl Single. Limited box set includes: a color poster and a 90-page hardcover book. Overseen by David Coverdale, this box includes remasters of the five studio and two live albums that Whitesnake released from 1978-82, plus two previously unreleased live albums recorded for the BBC at the 1979 and 1980 UK Reading Rock Festivals. The DVD features 10 promo clips, four rare BBC TV performances and a previously unreleased U.S. live show filmed in 1980 on the Ready An’ Willing tour. The coffee table-style book includes a new 10,000 word interview with Coverdale and Bernie Marsden discussing Whitesnake (1978-1982) plus many unpublished photos and rare memorabilia. The seven inch vinyl is a replica of the Snakebite EP, the very first release from Whitesnake, faithfully reproduced on white vinyl. Amazon.
$44.91. 5CDs. From 1998-2001: Struttin’ Our Stuff, Anyway The Wind Blows, Groovin’ and the 2CD Double Bill. Includes: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Albert Lee, Nicky Hopkins, and others! Amazon.
$53.56. 13CDs. EU-only 13 CD box set containing the entire Sony catalog of The Byrds, all housed in mini LP sleeves. Includes: Mr. Tambourine Man, Turn Turn Turn, Fifth Dimension, Younger Than Yesterday, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde, Ballad Of Easy Rider, Untitled, Byrdmaniax, Farther Along. Presumably, the Untitled and Sweetheart 2CD reissues each count as two. NOTE: A few labels recently started releasing these basic catalog compilations, gathering together all of the artists’ recent reissues and boxing them together. Doesn’t contain all the little extras and paper goods that more elaborate box sets now selling. Amazon.
Dick’s Picks Vol. 34: Rochester, NY 11/5/77 (3CDs)
Dick’s Picks Vol. 35: San Diego, CA 8/7/71 & Chicago, IL 8/24/71 (4CDs)
Dick’s Picks Vol. 36: The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA 9/21/72 (4CDs)
Nothing to say that hasn’t been said about the first 33 Volumes of Dick’s Picks. Here’s 11 more live Dead CDs, released November 21, 2011… if you can keep up. Click the covers to get to Amazon, or get them directly from the Dead (probably cheaper and with bonuses). The Dead are also giving away a track a day from their archives – all this month (November). So head over and get them all before they disappear. Also, they’re now selling the Dick’s (oops… Dave’s) Picks series in advance. Pre-order the 4 releases due in 2012 (each limited to 12,000 numbered copies, which is new) for $95.00 (details, ends Dec 31.)