Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Last-minute Music Gift Guide

With Christmas less than a week away, here are some terrific music-minded gift ideas including a slew of deluxe editions...

Artist: The Beatles
Title: "The Beatles" White Album / Super Deluxe edition (Capitol Records)
Tell me more: This writer considers The Beatles' 1968 album best known as the "White Album" the greatest rock album of all time, so the release of the six-disc Super Deluxe 50th Anniversary edition earlier this year is likely an essential addition to any music lover's collection. The diverse and intoxicating range of brilliant songs include the eloquent "Blackbird," sweeping "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," blistering "Helter Skelter," poignant "Julia," and ethereal "Long Long Long." In addition, it features Ringo Starr's first solo contribution as both singer and songwriter, the wistful "Don't Pass Me By." The inclusion of the acoustic "Escher" demos is a revelation, showcasing early and sparse takes on many of the "White Album" classics. For more casual lovers of the Fab Four, a three-disc version is also available. Information: TheBeatles.com.

Artist: Elvis Costello & The Imposters
Title: "Look Now" / Deluxe Edition (Concord Records)
Tell me more: One of the greatest albums of 2018, Elvis Costello & The Imposter's highly-anticipated return Look Now is a true masterpiece. The Deluxe Edition of Look Now expands the original dozen-track run with four additional gems including the lovely "Isabelle in Tears," French language "Adieu Paris (L'Envie Des Etoiles)" and tender "Final Mrs. Curtain." If you have not picked up "Look Now" yet, get the Deluxe Edition. Information: ElvisCostello.com.

Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Electric Ladyland - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Sony Legacy)
Tell me more: Released in early November 2018, the 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of the Jimi Hendrix Experience classic Electric Ladyland is simply amazing. Available as a 3CD/1 Blu-ray or 6LP/1 Blu-ray, the title features a newly remastered version of the original 1968 double album (which was the third and final album released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience), unreleased demos, an unreleased Hollywood Bowl concert recorded on Sept. 14, 1968, and a 5.1 surround sound mix of Electric Ladyland that will thrill any Hendrix fan. The collection also comes with a 48-page book. Information: JimiHendrix.com.

Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Title: Springsteen On Broadway (Columbia)
Tell me more: The audio companion to the acclaimed film currently showing on Netflix, Bruce Springsteen's Springsteen On Broadway features the complete audio recording of the Netflix special. Running the full length of two CDs (or available as a 4 LP vinyl set), Springsteen On Broadway is a mix of intimate performances and spoken stories leading up to the presentation of the songs. The winner of a Tony Award, Academy Award and 20 Grammy Awards, Springsteen brings the rich mix of songcraft and storytelling featured in his autobiography "Born to Run" to his performance captured at the Walter Kerr Theatre featured on Springsteen On Broadway. There is a mix of humor, wit and life's lessons that compel the recording at every turn. Songs include "Growing Up," "My Hometown," "The Promised Land" and "Born to Run." Information: BruceSpringsteen.net.

Artist: The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Title: Merrie Land (Studio 13)
Tell me more: Looking to pick up a really special gift for a modern music lover? The second release from The Good, The Bad & The Queen (featuring Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn and Clash bassist Paul Simonon) is titled Merrie Land and the recently-issued title also happens to be one of the best new albums of 2018. A deluxe edition of Merrie Land comes as a sensational package featuring a 56-page hardback book with the album on audio CD; the book itself features sheet music, lyrics and cool artwork. While the deluxe edition is wonderful casual fans can also pick up the album-only release as a single audio CD disc or digital download. Information: TheGoodTheBadAndTheQueen.com.

Robert Kinsler

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