The Ron Kane Files
Writing About Music
Friday, December 29, 2006
Vinyl boxed sets
GLASS, PHILIP EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH (4LP boxed set)
CBS US re-issue
OLDFIELD, MIKE BOXED (4LP boxed set)
TANGERINE DREAM 70 - 80 (4LP boxed set)
VARIOUS ARTISTS ELECTRIC MUSE - FOLK INTO ROCK (4LP boxed set)
YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA SEALED (4LP boxed set)
ZAPPA, FRANK LATHER (4LP boxed set)
DYLAN, BOB BIOGRAPH (5LP boxed set)
FAITH, PERCY PERCY FAITH TREASURY (6LP boxed set)
CBS SPECIAL PRODUCTS
VARIOUS ARTISTS WARNER BROTHERS: 20th ANNIVERSARY BOX (6LP boxed set)
ZAPPA, FRANK HISTORY & COLLECTED IMPROVISITIONS (10LP boxed set)
I suppose you really have to mean it to buy a vinyl boxed set that’s more than 2 or 3 LP’s – for a start, the artist must be formidable enough to warrant a multiple LP boxed set – and must have been in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s – as very few LP boxed sets now occur in the new century. 2 and 3 LP boxed sets are practically ‘dime-a-dozen’!
I’ve been a Philip Glass fan ever since “North Star” – and I was delighted to find his intriguing work in an extended format with the 4 LP set of “Einstein On The Beach” – in the CD age, I dumped my Tomato original, but more recently obtained a CBS version. Yes, it’s on CD!
When Mike Oldfield’s boxed set walked down the pike, I believe it was the first time some of them (notably “Hergest Ridge”) had been “remixed” (by Oldfield himself) – it has a lovely whole LP of ‘rarities’, such as his work with David Bedford etc. Yes, it’s on CD!
I did not buy the Tangerine Dream 4LP boxed set at the time – likely too expensive for my interest in that group. I understand that at least some of this material has yet to make it to the CD format.
In addition to the “Electric Muse” 4LP boxed set, I also have the book that goes with it! (It’s along the lines of the Patrick Humphries “Fairport Convention” book, as I recall). The “Warner Brothers 20th Anniversary” 6LP boxed set is a gorgeous in-house promo set that I bought at a swap meet (from a guy who worked at the pressing plant) – I’ve seen very few of these in the ensuing years (I got it about ’79 –’80); it has “all the hits” and a few rarities, in a lovely presentation box. Both of these various artist collections need to be on CD, but they’re not!
When Y.M.O.’s “Sealed” came out, I believe there was a total of one rare (non-LP) track on it (for your 4,500 yen). But the box is beautiful, the pressings immaculate. The rare track was on a 45, so you really didn’t ‘need’ this boxed set – but there was a certain delight in owning a Y.M.O. boxed set, I confess – no, I haven’t felt the need to own a CD version of “Sealed” (as I own kami sleeves of all the original Alfa YMO titles and the 2 x massive Yen Label CD boxed sets).
Both of the Frank Zappa vinyl boxed sets that I have that are larger than 3 discs are bootlegs (unless you count the 12 x CD “You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore” as a contiguous CD set). “Lather” is basically what Zappa played on KROQ-FM that one fine day and “History…” is a bunch of somewhat interesting Zappa (live) stuff cobbled together. It’s all 60’s & 70’s material, in varying qualities (I got it in ’79). FYI, the ‘legit’ (Japanese) “Lather” vinyl boxed set is 5 LP’s (the CD version is 3 discs).
I think Bob Dylan “Biograph” may be the sole LP boxed set here that started it’s life as a CD boxed set (or that distinction may go to the Eric Clapton “Crossroads” boxed set). There’s some cool (old) stuff on “Biograph” that I certainly never heard before getting this boxed set – it made me want the CD version, even!
The Percy Faith LP boxed set is trumped up – for a start, it’s a “record club” boxed set, so it was never sold in stores. I do not dispute that Mr. Faith was / is worthy of a boxed set, but it isn’t particularly well-assembled (no booklet or liner notes etc.) – where’s the Columbia Legacy multiple disc Percy Faith CD boxed set with the lavish book? If it ever sees the light of day, it’ll be in
For the CD universe, I am limiting my list to sets that are 10 discs or more:
HENDRIX, JIMI SINGLES COLLECTION, THE (10CD boxed set)
ROLLING STONES, THE SINGLES 1965 - 1967 (11CD boxed set)
STRANGLERS, THE U.A. SINGLES '79 - '82 (12CD boxed set)
BEATLES, THE COMPACT DISC E.P. COLLECTION (15CD boxed set)
REEVES, JIM WELCOME TO MY WORLD (16CD boxed set)
BEAR FAMILY DE
VARIOUS ARTISTS SONY: SOUNDTRACK FOR A CENTURY - 100 YEARS (26CD)
The first 4 of these sets are all “CD Singles” – with the various companies doing their best to re-produce the original vinyl 7” sleeves as 5” CD sleeves. The Jimi Hendrix one has some material that, as far as I know, it’s available elsewhere, as does the 2nd (of three) Rolling Stones singles boxes. The Stranglers box is very nice, covering roughly the 2nd era of that great British punk / new wave band – I got this inexpensively, so, it’s OK that there isn’t any ‘new-to-me’ material here – and the little sleeves are all so nice looking! The Beatles “EP Collection” is astonishing – with all the attention to detail that the Japanese are so good at – the sleeve for the “Magical Mystery Tour” EP must be seen to be believed!
If you are familiar with the German label “Bear Family”, I do not need to over-explain how complete and over-the-top the Jim Reeves CD boxed set is. It is a meticulously assembled and annotated 16 CD boxed set of Reeves’ entire RCA records output – too bad they couldn’t put little album covers in there for Reeves’ 20+ albums – but, hey! Everything you always wanted to know about Jim Reeves – guaranteed! I have been a fan of Jim Reeves ever since seeing a British TV documentary about him in the early 1990’s. “Kimberly Jim”!!!
The 26 CD Sony “Soundtrack For A Century” is easily the top of the heap – n early all styles covered – broadway, classical, hardcore jazz, rock music, soundtracks, ‘world’ music – you name it – it is represented in this massive 26 disc set. My one gripe: “Why the short version of Edgar Winter ‘Frankenstein’, Sony?”
Writing about these giant CD boxed sets makes me feel that I must at least give some honorable mentions to the following sets, for at least trying to be massive / comprehensive etc.:
BURROUGHS, WILLIAM S. BEST OF - GIORNO POETRY SYSTEMS (4CD boxed set)
MERCURY US pretty cool collection – but I somehow doubt it picks up absolutely everything
CREAM THOSE WERE THE DAYS (4CD boxed set)
RHINO US a whole boatload of Sammy, that’s for certain
DONOVAN FOUR DONOVAN ORIGINALS (4CD boxed set)
FREBERG, STAN STAN FREBERG SHOW, THE #1 (4CD boxed set)
SMITHSONIAN 1950’s radio shows
FREBERG, STAN STAN FREBERG SHOW, THE #2 (4CD boxed set)
SMITHSONIAN 1950’s radio shows
FREBERG, STAN TIP OF THE FREBERG (4CD boxed set)
RHINO US 4CD & a video – great stuff, worth every penny – if this is the ‘tip’, where’s the iceberg?
LENNON, JOHN JOHN LENNON (4CD boxed set)
TOSHIBA JPN the ‘old’ Lennon box – which pretty much covers it’s subject
OLDFIELD, MIKE ELEMENTS (4CD boxed set)
SELLERS, PETER CELEBRATION OF SELLERS, A (4CD boxed set)
TOMITA, YANN MUSIC FOR LIVING SOUND (4CD boxed set)
FOR LIFE JPN incredible! Comes with a CD-ROM that has live Mute Beat and Watermelon on it
VARIOUS ARTISTS CHARISMA: FAMOUS CHARISMA BOX, THE (4CD boxed set)
VARIOUS ARTISTS VANGUARD COLLECTOR'S EDITION (4CD boxed set)
VANGUARD US beautiful box, caringly annotated
XTC TRANSISTOR BLAST (4CD boxed set)
TVT US just about all the live XTC you could ever really want to hear
ZAPPA, FRANK MOFO: THE MAKING OF 'FREAK OUT' (4CD boxed set)
BRUCE, LENNY LET THE BUYER BEWARE (6CD boxed set)
SHOUT US amazing set with one disc that’s supposed to be a re-construction of a single whole live set
VARIOUS ARTISTS RHINO: BEG, SCREAM & SHOUT! (6CD boxed set)
RHINO US tons of great 60’s R&B entertainment to be found here – caveat emptor: “Twine Time” by Alvin Cash & The Crawlers that is found here sounds bad
VARIOUS ARTISTS CAPITOL: FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY 1942 - 1992 (8CD boxed set)
Another various artist ‘honorable mention” must go to “The Long Road To Freedom – An Anthology of Black Music” (2001) that was assembled by Harry Belafonte – clocking in at 5 CD’s and a DVD – with a coffee table book included. Conceived as, but not released as an LP boxed set – this set covers a very wide area: folk music, gospel music, blues, jazz…a very compelling collection – the disc that stands out in my memory is “The Slave’s Christmas” (or thereabouts) – immaculate recording, production, subject matter.
Labels: Boxed sets
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I have been slow to come to the world of “DVD Audio” – for one thing, I do not have a proper 5.1 DVD audio set-up. The first one I bought was “Halloween” by Frank Zappa. I am a life-long fan of Frank Zappa and I have been known to buy just about anything that walks down the pike from the Zappa Family Trust. There is a 2nd FZ DVD-A (“Quadraphiliac”) but I haven’t obtained it yet. I bought this DVD-A in a store, probably paid a “regular retail price” for it (i.e. not full list, but not super cheap).
Both Crowded House and Simple Minds DVD-A’s were bought because of price – I got them for $3 each. I’m not much of a Crowded House fan – I sort of lost the program after the 2nd album, never saw them live. I was quite a Split Enz fan, once upon a time, however (I contributed the Split Enz discography to Mike Chunn’s first book etc.)
As far as I know, I have a full set of studio Simple Minds albums – some as re-mastered CD’s, some as original vinyl releases – I even bought their double DVD set from Canada of all of their video clips! And I have tons of their 80’s 12” singles – really good packaging, good sound…seen ‘em live – real good. I believe there is a 2nd DVD-A for the Simple Minds.
I spotted the Motorhead DVD-A at an outdoor record collector swap meet for $5 – I’m a fan of the classic 3-piece line up (Lemmy, Philty Animal, Fast Eddie), saw ‘em live many times, chased after all of their autographs; I own all of that line-up’s CD’s and most of the original vinyl; I was shocked to see that there was a US DVD of all of their video clips – which I also hurriedly bought.
At the Al Kooper concert in January 2006, he mentioned that he had mixed Blood, Sweat & Tears “Child Is Father To The Man” into 5.1 (for DVD-A). Now that’s a DVD-A I would be keen to buy (as far as I know, it hasn’t been released yet).
So, what’s the future for this format for me? I doubt I will set up a 5.1 system at my home – what room would it go in? It would mean having to buy a new amp, and some new speakers. I suppose some releases could appear that would motivate me to buy a bunch of new equipment – perhaps a 5.1 of John Cage’s “Indeterminacy” – a record that has been in mono (only) since it’s release in the late 50’s.
Why does this all reek of “quadraphonic” to me? I have a couple of quad LP’s in my collection – with their funky hi-pitched tone (for the decoder) – SQ, QS, Discrete etc. What about ‘3-channel’ – “tri-ereo”! Or that system devised in
I love all the variant audio / video formats – beta hi-fi, Mini-disc, 8-track, cassette, LP, 45rpm, 12” single, CD3, CD5, CD, reel-to-reel, laser disc, play-tape, micro-cassette… PAL, NTSC, SECAM, U-matic ¾”…the medium is the message – the medium is the massage – the medium is the mass age – Thank you, Marshall McLuhan!
Labels: DVD Audio