If you’re searching for a special gift for the music lover in your life this Christmas, consider giving them a new box set. There are always some exciting new releases around the holidays, but 2017 has produced some real gems. Here are the top 10 box sets for 2017:
David Bowie, A New Career in a New Town [1977-1982]
Although most Bowie fans already own the music at the center of “A New Career in a New Town,” this box set from Rhino/Parlophone is still a must-have for music collectors. This 10-disc set covers some of Bowie’s peak years, including his Berlin trilogy. It includes the graphics from the original record sleeves, albeit shrunk for CDs. The box retails for $109.69.
Johnny Cash, Unearthed
There is still a treasure trove of unexplored Johnny Cash material, and this box set from American collects some great outtakes from Cash’s work with super-producer Rick Rubin, now on vinyl for the first time. There are seven LPs, plus some songs that haven’t been heard before. The set really reveals Cash as a true virtuoso who could interpret blues, country, folk, rock and gospel. He covers songs by Steve Earle, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and others. Greatness does not come cheap: the set retails at $246.99.
Eagles, Hotel California
There seem to be two camps when it comes to the Eagles these days, those who revere the band a little too much and those who hate them a little more than is justifiable. Asylum’s 40th anniversary deluxe three-disc set is designed for the latter group. If you’re an Eagles fan, you will love the remastered album, which constitutes the first disc. The second features some excellent live performances from Inglewood in 1976, and the third disc is Blu-ray audio of the original album that will score big with audiophiles. The set comes with a 46-page book with plenty of period ephemera. The set retails for $99.98.
The Fall, Singles 1978-2016
Manchester’s Mark E. Smith is best known as the brains behind The Fall, a project which has now spanned nearly 40 year. Now Smith’s work is being feted with a box set from Cherry Red. The seven-disc box begins in the 1970s, with his characteristic industrial punk. Smith’s crazy songwriting prowess is seen throughout the box, with songs like “Why Are People Grudgeful” and “The Men Whose Head Expanded.” Cherry Red pulls together 117 singles and B-sides for this standout. Retail deal for that punk-lover in your family at $67.99.
The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — 6-Disc Super Deluxe Box Set
You may not think you need another copy of Sgt. Pepper’s but you’d be wrong. St. Pepper has been released on CD several times, but in both stereo and mono, pieces were missing. Now Giles Martin has remixed his father’s greatest album, and George’s complete sonic palette is available in this box set from Capitol. This is a great holiday gift because in addition to the album, it arrives with outtakes and a 144-page hardbound book that delves into the scene around The Beatles in the 1960s. $115.
The Beatles, The Christmas Records
If someone on your list is a fan of Christmas music, then prepare for a treat: Capitol has recreated The Beatles annual fan-club Christmas records. This is the first release of the records, which were originally in flexi disc format. The records were released once a year from 1963 to 1969, packaged in square envelopes with written Christmas greetings. This release includes 7-inch vinyl reproductions, with the original picture sleeve art, digitally remastered at Abbey Road Studios. The lenticular box also comes with a booklet by Kevin Howlett, a Beatles historian. At just $73, this set will thrill all Beatles fans.