Xmas Gift Guide
December 13, 2018
Still short a few gifts? Don’t panic. We’ve got some great Xmas box set suggestions for you…
If you’re anything like The Clash’s famously anti-establishment Joe Strummer, you’re probably leaving all your Xmas shopping to the last minute despite that inevitable, panicky, Xmas Eve dash along a snow covered High Street (well known to be the inspiration for ‘White Riot’).
But even if you’re more of a forward planner, such as the famously conscientious Billie Holiday who always has all her gifts under the tree by December 3rd, there’s always someone we end up scratching our heads over.
Either way, we’ve got you covered with recommendations for all manner of tricky recipients.
THE CLASH – ‘SOUNDSYSTEM’
Originally released in 2013 to critical acclaim and featuring all of the band’s studio albums (minus 1985’s ‘Cut The Crap’) remastered by Mick Jones himself plus there’re more extras than you can shake the remains of a stage-smashed Fender Precision bass at.
PERFECT FOR: Any young relative slowly transitioning away from autotune.
GEORGE MICHAEL – ‘LISTEN WITHOUT PREJUDICE / MTV UNPLUGGED’
This limited edition deluxe set includes George Michael’s ground-breaking album ‘Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1’, now remastered. CD 2 comprises his captivating MTV Unplugged live show from 1996, showcasing 10 songs from Wham!, Faith, Listen Without Prejudice and Older, available here for the very first time. One of our finest, and most terribly missed, artists at the height of his powers.
PERFECT FOR: Anyone you know who doubts that pop and genius can co-exist
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – ‘THE ALBUMS COLLECTION VOL. 1 (1973-1984)’
Remastered editions of the first seven albums recorded and released by Bruce Springsteen for Columbia Records between 1973 and 1984, a period that saw The Boss produce some of his darkest and yet also most commercially successful material. That’s ‘Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ’, ‘The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle’, ‘Born To Run’, ‘Darkness On The Edge of Town’, ‘The River’, ‘Nebraska’ and ‘Born In The USA’.
PERFECT FOR: Anyone who thinks Springsteen begins and ends with ‘Born In The USA’ (although they get that too).
BILLIE HOLIDAY _ ‘LADY DAY: THE COMPLETE BILLIE HOLIDAY ON COLUMBIA – 1933-1944’
Release in 2000, ‘Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933–1944’ is a ten-CD box set of master recordings and alternate takes by the legendary Billie Holiday. The box is cut like a 78 LP and contains CD remasters of Holiday’s songs recorded for Columbia, rare photographs, a discography, and liner notes by Gary Giddins.
PERFECT FOR: People who think they’ve already heard every note Billie Holiday ever sang.
EARTH, WIND AND FIRE – ‘THE COLUMBIA MASTERS’
A rigid slipcase boxset containing each and every individual album packaged in a replica mini-LP sleeve reproducing that album’s original cover art with an extensive booklet. The full line up is; ‘Last Days and Time’, ‘Head to the Sky’, ‘Open Our Eyes’, ‘That’s the Way of the World’, ‘Gratitude’, ‘Spirit’, ‘All ‘N All’, ‘The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1’, ‘I Am’, ‘Faces’, ‘Raise’!, ‘Powerlight’, ‘Electric Universe’, ‘Touch the World’, ‘Heritage’ and ‘Constellations’ (a new compilation supervised by Maurice White.)
PERFECT FOR: Musical history buffs who also love to dance.
ELVIS PRESLEY – THE PERFECT ELVIS PRESLEY SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION – BOXSET
The King wasn’t just a monarch of music, let’s never forget that he was a towering presence on screen as well. This essential 20 CD collection marries both – as well as 17 original soundtracks this collection also features three new compilations of ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘Follow That Dream’ (a compilation of Flaming Star, Follow That Dream and Kid Galahad) and ‘Viva Las Vegas’. Each and every CD is presented in individual replica LP covers and housed in a handy cube box.
PERFECT FOR: Anyone who watches Elvis movies with their eyes closed, and a tear rolling down one cheek.
THE PERFECT ROOTS & BLUES COLLECTION
Sometime after the Great War of 1914-1918 the American music business really started to get going. Much of what was recorded is now forgotten, with the most historically important work being done away from the mainstream with pioneering record producers and enthusiastic entrepreneurs recording the music that would become the building blocks for the greatest sounds of the latter part of the century. This collection on 20 CDs gives you an exceptional entry point into the heart and soul of roots and blues.
PERFECT FOR: Anyone who wants to know exactly where it all began.
‘SIMON & GARFUNKEL’ – THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION
‘Simon & Garfunkel: The Complete Albums Collection’ is the fifth (count ’em) box set of Simon & Garfunkel recordings. This 12 CD set contains all the studio albums from 1964 to 1970, remastered, as well as the soundtrack for The Graduate, the 1972 Greatest Hits collection and four previously unreleased live concert recordings. A legendary set of material from a legendary duo.
PERFECT FOR: Your aunt who wishes they could just have worked it all out.
LOU REED – ‘THE RCA & ARISTA VINYL COLLECTION, VOL.1’
A specially collectible 6LP 12″ vinyl editions, ‘Lou Reed- The RCA & Arista Vinyl Collection, Vol 1’ consists of six album titles pressed on high fidelity 150gram vinyl and housed in a meticulous reproduction of the original packaging including a 30 page softcover book featuring previously unseen photos and memorabilia from Lou’s personal archives and insightful liner notes. Those albums are: ‘Berlin’, ‘Transformer’, ‘Coney Island Baby’, ‘Rock N Roll Animal’, ‘The Blue Mask’ and ‘Street Hassle’.
PERFECT FOR: Your grandma who needs a walk on the wild side. Or at least a perfect day.
P!NK – ‘THE ALBUMS…SO FAR!!!’
A collection of the first six records from America’s pop/punk commanderess in chief. So that’s ‘Can’t Take Me Home’, ‘Missundaztood’, ‘Try This’, ‘I’m Not Dead’, ‘Funhouse’ and ‘The Truth About Love’. P!nk splits opinion like few other artists, but there’s no one with a better claim to having dragged pop and rock together, kicking and, often, screaming like a pair of distant cousins at a wedding.
PERFECT FOR: Anyone who just needs to damn well dance.
DEPECHE MODE – 12″ SINGLES COLLECTION
Depeche Mode’s formidable single discography is in the process of being remastered and reissued as 12″ box sets. One of the earliest adopters and most enthusiastic proponents of 12″ vinyl, Depeche Mode’s blend of pop, rock and electronica has always been a great fit for the format’s superior sound and deeper grooves. The first four box sets – ‘Speak & Spell’, ‘A Broken Frame’, ‘Construction Time Again’ and ‘Some Great Reward’ are out now.
PERFECT FOR: Your uncle with a Dave Gahan tattoo and a £2000 turntable.
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