The Second Disc’s HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2012

Looking for that perfect present to place under the tree this holiday season?   Look no further!  2012 has been an amazing year for deluxe (and super deluxe!) box sets, so we have highlighted the creme of the crop right here to make your spirits bright, whatever your musical taste!  Plus: selected holiday-themed releases and more!

10cc, Tenology (UMC U.K.)

One of the more underrated bands of the ’70s, 10cc finally gets their due with a multi-disc CD/DVD box set. Hits, album cuts and B-sides abound. – MD (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Edie Adams, The Edie Adams Christmas Album (Omnivore)

You’ll want to spread the holiday cheer with this compendium of vintage Christmas performances from the late comedienne, actress and singer! – JM (Amazon U.K.)

Louis Armstrong, The Complete OKeh, Columbia and RCA Victor Recordings 1925-1933 (OKeh/Columbia/RCA/Legacy) (10 CDs) / Charlie Christian, The Genius of the Electric Guitar (Columbia/ Legacy) (4 CDs) / Duke Ellington, The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection 1951-1958 (Columbia/ Legacy) (9 CDs) / Bessie Smith, The Complete Columbia Recordings (Columbia/ Legacy) (10 CDs)

What makes a legend most?  The answer is right here in this series of box sets from a quartet of jazz and blues pioneers: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Christian and Bessie Smith!  Watch this space for links to upcoming reviews of the Armstrong and Ellington collections!  – JM

The Beach Boys, 50 Big Ones: Greatest Hits (Capitol/EMI)

It wasn’t all good, good, good vibrations when The Beach Boys ended their acclaimed 50th anniversary reunion tour earlier this year, but there’s nothing but sunshine on this new 2-CD anthology.  The full review is here! – JM (Amazon U.K.)

The Beat, I Just Can’t Stop It/Wha’ppen?/Special Beat Service (Demon/Edsel)

We’re Beat-crazy!  The complete studio output of The Beat (or The English Beat, if you prefer) got the deluxe reissue treatment in the U.K. earlier this year from Edsel as 2-CD/1-DVD sets chock-filled with extra material!  Don’t miss our review of all three sets, which can be ordered at the links above!  But that’s not all.  Edsel has just recently unveiled a special vinyl box set (pictured above) for you LP-buying collectors!  Or, if you prefer, check out the U.S. domestic box set from Shout! Factory on CD! – JM

The Fab Four’s 2009 stereo remasters have been painstakingly pressed on vinyl. The whole box set will set you back considerably, but you can get the ones you want on their own (and, if you’re in New York City or Los Angeles, can do so through the roving pop-up shop/double-decker buses that’ll be cruising each city). – MD (Vinyl box: Amazon U.S./Amazon U.K.)

Cilla Black, Completely Cilla 1963-1973 (EMI)

You’ll get a lorra lorra great music on this swinging box set from the U.K. pop legend: five CDs of George Martin-produced tunes and a DVD of rare BBC television appearances. Full details are here. – JM (Amazon U.K.)

The Brecker Brothers, The Complete Arista Albums Collection / Etta James, The Complete Private Music Blues, Rock ‘n’ Soul Albums Collection / Sarah Vaughan, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Legacy)

The latest PopMarket boxes include the Arista output of the Brecker Brothers’ pop/jazz fusion, plus the bluesier side of Etta James and a quartet of albums from “Sassy,” Sarah Vaughan! – JM

Blur, Blur 21 (Virgin/EMI)

21 refers not only to the legendary British band’s lifespan to date, but the amount of discs in this collection: all seven studio albums expanded with bonus discs (which are available separately, if that’s your thing), plus another four discs of rarities and three mostly live DVDs. – MD (Amazon U.K.)

Clifford Brown, The EmArcy Master Takes, Vol. 2: The Singers Sessions (U.S./U.K.) (Hip-O Select/Verve)

Brownie sits in with Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Helen Merrill on this 3-disc set from the trumpet legend. – JM

Johnny Cash, The Complete Columbia Album Collection (Columbia/Legacy)

Here’s the box set to end all box sets this season: a colossal celebration of a titan of American music, Johnny Cash.  All 59 of Cash’s Columbia albums are here, plus two special bonus collections, for a total of 63 CDs.  We’ll have a review for you soon, as this one hits stores on December 4!  You’ll find the full list of included albums here. (Amazon U.K. )

The Chipmunks, Chipmunks Christmas (Bagdasarian/Capitol)

Alvin, Simon and Theodore are back on this new holiday-themed anthology!  We’ve reviewed it right here! – JM (Amazon U.K.)

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ultimate CCR: Greatest Hits and All-Time Classics (Fantasy/Concord)

All of CCR’s beloved hits from “Proud Mary” to “Bad Moon Rising” are here on this new 3-CD anthology.  Here’s our review! –  JM (Amazon U.K.)

Peter Gabriel, So: 25th Anniversary Edition (3CD Deluxe Edition: U.S./U.K.; 4CD/2DVD/2LP Box Set: U.S./U.K.; Classic Albums: So DVD (U.S./U.K.)/BD (U.S./U.K.)) (Real World)

A year late for the actual 25th anniversary (PG never was one for deadlines), So sledgehammers record shops with a variety of expanded formats, including one of many mega box sets released this year. – MD

Green Day, The Studio Albums 1990-2009 (Reprise)

This simple box consists all of the band’s proper studio albums in one set. – MD

Woody Guthrie, Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection (Smithsonian Folkways)

The legendary folk troubadour gets the box set treatment from Folkways with this career-spanning 3-CD anthology!  The box also includes a lavish hardcover tribute; read all about it here! – JM

Heart, Strange Euphoria (Epic/Legacy)

A 3 CD/1 DVD box chronicling the highs of Ann and Nancy Wilson’s lengthy careers, with hits and rarities in equal measure. Joe takes a look here. – MD

The Jam, The Gift: Deluxe Edition (Polydor/UMC U.K.)

A lavish deluxe version of The Jam’s final album, augmented with B-sides, unreleased demos, live tracks and video footage, all in a fancy “gift” bag. – MD (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Kinks, At the BBC (Universal U.K.)

This komprehensive, kink-size box set offers 5 CDs and 1 DVD of live, klassik Kinks dating between 1964 and 1994.  It sold out instantly, but is still available at reasonable prices secondhand as well as in a 2-CD highlights edition!  Read more here! – MD (Amazon U.K.)

Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day (Swan Song/Atlantic)

The one-off reunion nobody expected and everyone loved – a 2007 gig at the O2 in London – is now available in a variety of formats for your listening enjoyment. (Odds are this isn’t the last LZ catalogue bit you’ll see in the next year.) – MD (2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (2CD/1DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (2CD/Blu-Ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (2CD/1DVD/Blu-Ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (Blu-Ray Audio: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (3LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Jerry Lee Lewis, The Killer Live! 1964-1970 (Hip-o Select/Mercury)

This limited edition 3-CD set compiles a bevy of live albums from the piano pounder: “Live” At The Star Club, Hamburg and The Greatest Live Show On Earth, both from 1964; 1966’s By Request: More Of The Greatest Live Show On Earth; and 1970’s Live At The International, Las Vegas.  A full 16 bonus tracks, including 10 previously unreleased tracks, round out the set. – JM

Barry Manilow, Elvis Presley, Kenny G, Willie Nelson, John Denver, Luther Vandross, The Classic Christmas Collection (Legacy)

Oh my goodness, it really is almost sort of kind of close to Christmas, yes? Legacy’s got your seasonal fix covered with new compilations full of cheer (and, in a few cases, some harder to find Yuletide songs and tracks licensed from non-Legacy albums).  Joe’s review is coming later today! – MD

Charles Mingus, The Complete Columbia & RCA Studio Albums Collection / The Thelonious Monk Quartet, The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection / Weather Report, The Complete Columbia Albums 1971-1975 (Columbia/Legacy)

Legacy’s complete boxes showcase some of the best jazz and fusion artists to ever grace the Columbia label, and there are some great surprises in these boxes, including two rare tracks in the Mingus box and the first-ever domestic release of a Japanese live album in the Weather Report set. – MD

Matt Monro, Matt Uncovered: The Rarer Monro (EMI Gold)

The legendary vocalist is celebrated in style on this new 2-CD anthology of rare and unheard performances curated by Michele Monro and Richard Moore! – JM (Amazon U.K.)

The Moving Sidewalks, The Complete Collection / Various Artists, Surf Age Nuggets (RockBeat)

RockBeat Records returns with a two-CD anthology of music from Billy Gibbons’ pre-ZZ Top band, The Moving Sidewalks, and a lavish box set spotlighting lost legends of the surf-rock craze!  Here’s the scoop on these titles and more from RockBeat.  Reviews coming soon! – JM

Pink Floyd, The Wall: Experience and Immersion Editions (Capitol/EMI)

Early 2012’s Pink Floyd box, featuring live tracks and demos from the vault, will make you lose your marbles! (Editor’s note: I am so sorry for typing that.)  You can also still immerse yourself in Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, too.  – MD

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The 50th Anniversary Collection (Columbia/Legacy)

The New Orleans institution turns 50, and celebrates the occasion with this deluxe box set of performances recorded between 1962 and 2010, including five previously unreleased tracks!  Read more here! – JM (Amazon U.K.)

Elvis Presley, Prince from Another Planet/ Elvis: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden – Legacy Edition(RCA/Legacy)

Elvis’ two triumphant MSG shows in the summer of 1972 (the latter released as Elvis: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden a week after the shows and the former released as An Afternoon in the Garden in 1997) have been remixed and paired up as a Legacy Edition (Amazon U.S./Amazon U.K.), or as a deluxe 2CD/1DVD box set (Amazon U.S./Amazon U.K.) featuring rare footage of the afternoon show as well as the King’s press conference in the Big Apple. (Elvis: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden is also getting a double-vinyl reissue, available at Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K.)  Still deciding whether to pull the trigger?  Read Joe’s review here! – MD

R.E.M., Document: 25th Anniversary Edition (EMI)

R.E.M.’s fifth studio album has turned 25!  Document was recorded by vocalist Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry, and was the band’s first album to achieve platinum sales.  The remastered album is joined by a previously unreleased 1987 concert, and it’s all packaged in a sturdy lift-top box with four postcards.  Read all about it here. – JM (Amazon U.K.)

The Rolling Stones, GRRR! (Rolling Stones/UMe)

The Stones’ 50th anniversary is commemorated with this multi-format compilation, featuring all their hits, two new tracks and, in some cases, some tunes from the vault:

Whether you find GRRR! to be grrreat or outrageously grrrandiose, it’s somehow utterly appropriate for The Rolling Stones! – JM

Merl Saunders and Jerry Garcia, Keystone Companions: The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings (Fantasy/Concord)

Fantasy Records issues four CDs of prime live Garcia, in which the Grateful Dead leader is joined by Merl Saunders.  These remarkable Bay Area performances are packaged in a handsome box with copious notes and a bit of swag, too! – JM (Amazon U.K.)

The Searchers, Hearts in Their Eyes: Celebrating 50 Years of Harmony and Jangle (Sanctuary/Universal)

From Liverpool’s other ’60s hitmakers, a four-disc set of hits and rarities. – MD (Amazon U.K.)

Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols: Super Deluxe Edition (Universal U.K.)

Never mind the rest, the Sex Pistols have gone super-deluxe!  That means you’ll get a remastered version of the original album, a CD of outtakes and rarities (including previously unreleased tracks), a live CD, and a DVD, too, plus the requisite swag including a replica of the original A&M pressing of “God Save the Queen.”  This is available in the U.K. now, and in the U.S. next week!  If you don’t think this set is a load of bollocks, you’ll want to read more about it here! – JM (Amazon U.K.)

Paul Simon, Graceland: 25th Anniversary Edition (Legacy)

A man walks down the street, sees many configurations of the Graceland reissue (namely a CD/DVD featuring newly released outtakes and the new documentary Under African Skies – also separately available on DVD and Blu-Ray – and a four-disc box set which adds an entire 1987 concert from the Graceland tour on DVD) and gets pretty darn excited. Here’s Joe’s review! – MD (Amazon U.K.)

Sugar, A Box of Sugar (Edsel)

Following the label’s acclaimed CD reissues earlier this year, Edsel turns its attention to a complete vinyl box set of Sugar’s recordings! – JM (Amazon U.K.)

Various Artists, Bond 50 (MGM)

Okay, so this isn’t a CD box set…sue us!  We’re pretty jazzed about this collection of all 22 James Bond films pre-Skyfall…and we think you will be, too!  (And there’s even a slot in the box for Skyfall!)  It’s available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Various Artists, Broadway in a Box: The Essential Broadway Musicals Collection (Masterworks Broadway)

Need a major musical fix? How about 25 of the best original cast albums ever, including My Fair Lady, South Pacific, West Side Story and A Chorus Line, in one box? – MD

Various Artists, The Philadelphia International 40th Box Set (Harmless/Demon)

The long-delayed 10-CD box set celebrating Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International label finally arrived in the U.K. courtesy Harmless Records! If you’re still in a Philly mood, you also won’t want to miss any of the exciting reissues that have come your way this year from the tireless team at Big Break Records such as this one or this one or these! – JM

Various Artists, Rodgers & Hammerstein: The Complete Broadway Musicals (Masterworks Broadway, 2012)

Oh, what a beautiful box set!  This impressive 12-CD box set brings together one recording of each of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s groundbreaking Broadway musicals.  You’ll find full details here. – JM

The Velvet Underground and Nico: 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Verve/UMe, 2012)

Lou, John, Sterling, Maureen and Nico: the gang’s all here!  The Velvets’ debut album goes Super Deluxe in this gorgeous and quite possibly definitive 6-CD set.  Read more here! – JM (Amazon U.K.)

Bill Withers, The Complete Sussex and Columbia Masters (Columbia/Legacy)

You can rediscover the entire album catalogue of the “Ain’t No Sunshine”/Lean on Me” man with this 9-CD box set from Legacy Recordings!  Full track listing and more can be found here! – JM