It's Christmas shopping season, so I have compiled my own music gift wish list. These are all things that I want (hint, hint), but you should be able to find
something here for all the music lovers on your shopping list.
• Phish, "Hampton/Winston-Salem '97." ($36)
This box set features newly re-mastered stereo mix soundboard recordings of Phish's fi rst two-night run at the legendary Hampton Coliseum Nov. 21 and 22, 1997, and the next night's show in Winston-Salem. By 1997, Phish had settled into their newfound spike in popularity and the funk jams that the era was known for are well represented in this eight-hour, 45-song, seven-CD set.
• Miles Davis, "The Bootleg Series, Volume 1: Live In Europe 1967."
($36) This three-CD, one-DVD set features recordings of five concerts in Europe from October and November of 1967. During this time, Davis was playing with, in my opinion, his best lineup ever: Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. The era documented here would prove to be a transitional era for Davis from his cool, smooth jazz of the 1950s to the weirder psychedelic, then funky explorations of the 1970s and beyond.
• Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On? Super Deluxe Edition." ($40)
Originally released in 1971, "What's Going On" still stands as one of the great R&B politically themed concept albums. The reissue, on one CD and two Lps, contains a re-mastered version of the album plus 16 unreleased tracks and a stripped down "quality control test mix" of the record without added strings,
horns and backing vocals. The collection is rounded out with a booklet of rare photos, lyrics and new essays about the album.
• Ol' Dirty Bastard, "Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version Deluxe Wallet Box." ($28)
One of the best solo Wu-Tang albums gets the reissue treatment with a re-mastered version of the record; a second disc of remixes, rarities, instrumentals
and a cappellas; plus an Ol' Dirty Bastard food-stamp card. It's all packaged in a billfold wallet with a poster and a sticker. Shimmy Shimmy Ya.
• Nirvana, "Nevermind Super Deluxe Box Set." ($199.95)
The highlight of this four CD, one DVD set from these 1990s game changers is the version of "Nevermind" that the legendary Butch Vig produced and mastered.
It stands in contrast to the commercially released version that the label brought in Andy Wallace—possibly even more legendary than Vig—to master. Also included are discs of b-sides, rehearsal recordings, and a CD and DVD of a 1991 concert from the Paramount Theatre in Seattle.
• The Beach Boys, "The Smile Sessions Box Set." ($130)
"Smile" was supposed to be Brian Wilson's post-"Pet Sounds" magnum opus, but he essentially drove himself crazy trying to complete it, and the record never made it to release. This massive box sets comes loaded with five Cds, two Lps, and two 7-inch singles that chronicle the band's studio sessions for
"Smile" and give the listener an inside view of the recording process for what Rolling Stone magazine recently called "the most famous unfinished album in rock 'n' roll history."
• "Talking Heads Reunion Tour." (Priceless)
Considering members of the band have shot down several reunion proposals over the years, this is a long shot unless you happen to have an illegitimate child with David Byrne that you are willing to use for blackmail purposes. Let me know. I can be great in that capacity, especially if it means getting to hear the whole band play "(Nothing But) Flowers."