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Music boxes

New collections make it easy to shop for the completists in your life

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Completists used to be seen as the most intense type of music collector -- the ones who didn't stop until they had everything an artist ever released.

They still exist, though record companies have been making it easier for them to accomplish their goals by collecting artists' complete works in one boxed set. This season is led by several of these complete sets, as well as reissues of some of the most important albums in pop music history.

Here's a look at some ideas for the music fan on your Christmas list (all prices listed according to


BOB DYLAN, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection, Vol. 1 (47 CDs, Legacy)

What's in it? Every album the ever-changing Dylan has recorded for Columbia Records, starting with his 1962 eponymous debut and ending with his 2012 album, Tempest, as well as six live albums and a double CD, Side Tracks, which includes previously released songs from soundtracks and other compilations.

Extras: A hardcover book featuring liner notes for each album by Clinton Heylin and an introduction from Bill Flanagan, as well as rare photos.

Price: $142.43


NIRVANA, In Utero 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (3 CDs, 1 DVD, Geffen)

What's in it? Nirvana's third album, with the hits Heart-Shaped Box and All Apologies, gets remixed and remastered for its 20th anniversary, and the deluxe version includes previously unreleased demos and rehearsals.

Extras: DVD of the hometown Live and Loud concert in Seattle in 1993.

Price: $132.27


TEARS FOR FEARS, The Hurting 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (3 CDs, 1 DVD, Universal)

What's in it? The British duo's pioneering debut, featuring the hits Mad World and Change, gave synth pop a darker, moodier edge. This set includes remixes, live performances and the band's In My Mind's Eye concert film on DVD.

Extras: A 34-page book about the album with new band interviews and a replica of the program from their 1983 tour.

Price: $47.32


FRANK SINATRA, Duets 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (2 LPs, 2 CDs, 1 DVD, Capitol)

What's in it? Remastered versions of the Chairman of the Board's groundbreaking Duets and Duets II albums, an idea which has since become all the rage, as legendary stars team up with younger artists. Previously unreleased duets with Tanya Tucker and Tom Scott have been added.

Extras: A DVD of new interviews, an exclusive lithograph and a book of rare photos and new liner notes.

Price: $128.76


THE CLASH, Sound System (11 CDs/1 DVD, Legacy)

What's in it? All of the legendary punk heroes' albums remastered by the band and engineer Tim Young and three CDs of rarities, B-sides and previously unreleased material.

Extras: The previously unreleased material includes a Rock the Casbah remix by Bob Clearmountain and an unedited version of Straight to Hell, reprints of Armageddon Times, a fanzine compiled by Paul Simonon, a poster and a DVD of unseen footage shot by director Julien Temple.

Price: $190.86

VAN MORRISON, Moondance: Deluxe Edition (4 CDs/1 Blu-ray Audio, Warner Bros.)

What's in it? Remastered version of Morrison's classic album, as well as multiple takes of the songs from the recording sessions and the previously unreleased track I Shall Sing.

Extras: The package is shaped as a book, opening with A Fable, by Janet Planet, taken from the original LP, that tells the tale of "a very young man, who was, as they say, gifted." It also includes notes from the original engineer, Elliott Scheiner.

Price: $62.66


RAMONES, Ramones, The Sire Years (1976-1981) (6 CDs, Rhino)

What's in it? The first six albums from the Da Bruddas from Forest Hills, Queens, shaped punk and indie rock for decades. This period starts with the primal power of Blitzkrieg Bop and runs through their biggest album, the Phil Spector-produced End of the Century and the poppier Pleasant Dreams.

Extras: Replicas of the original album covers. Also, the digital version includes all 11 of the band's albums on Sire, through 1989.

Price: $42.01


JOHN MELLENCAMP, 1978-2012 (19 CDs, Mercury)

What's in it? All the Heartland rocker's albums, from his time as John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp, on a variety of labels, including the out-of-print soundtrack to the film he directed, Falling From Grace.

Extras: Twelve of the remastered versions include bonus tracks, with all the albums including original artwork.

Price: $77.23


DONNY HATHAWAY, Never My Love: The Anthology (4 CDs, Warner)

What's in it? A CD of greatest hits, a CD of duets with Roberta Flack, previously unreleased studio tracks and a collection of previously unreleased performances at The Bitter End in 1971.

Extras: Liner notes from journalist Charles Waring, including interviews with Roberta Flack.

Price: $40.50


PAUL SIMON, The Complete Albums Collection (15 CDs, Legacy)

What's in it? All 12 of Simon's studio albums and two live recordings, collecting his various musical phases from The Paul Simon Songbook, where many of the Simon and Garfunkel classics began, through his '70s singer-songwriter era, his world music stage with Graceland and his recently impressive So Beautiful or So What.

Extras: The albums include bonus material not on the original albums, while the set also includes a 56-page book of rare photos and liner notes by music historian Ashley Kahn.

Price: $100.32


THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Edition (3 CDs, Universal)

What's in it? The remastered version of the Velvets sophomore album, which included Sister Ray, in stereo, mono and live in concert at The Gymnasium in 1967.

Extras: New liner notes by David Fricke, made all the more poignant by the recent death of the Velvets' Lou Reed.

Price: $79.58


-- Newsday

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 12, 2013 C4

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