Classic Rock Bottom

So how 'bout a new thread?  I have always been a fan of the box set.  They have certainly changed over the years, don't you think?  I mean, for one, they started out as basic compilations.  At least, that's what I think.  But these days, with the state of the music biz what it is, they often revolve around one album.  You know what I mean.  The artist, or the record company, dig around and find any clip they can that relates to the album so they can sell you five discs in the name of lost treasure.  I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, but that's not what I'm looking for here.

As a matter of fact, I'm not looking for any of the following:

  • Multi-disc Super Deluxe Album Box Sets
  • Complete Album Box Sets (Though I dig those as well)
  • Classic Series Sets

I am looking for multi-disc sets that cover an artist's career, at least the artist's career from the start until the time the set was released.  A set that helps me see what that artist was about without having to go back and pick up a bunch of back catalog.  Also, something that offers previously unreleased material (completed songs preferably, maybe the occasional demo) and b-sides that never made it onto a proper album.  A decent book/pamphlet would be nice as well. And it doesn't have to be a set that covers one band or artist, it could cover a genre of music as sell

I have bought several of these sets recently, but I haven't taken the time to listen to any of them from start to finish. The closest I came to that was the 5 disc Kiss box set.  Then maybe the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Playback set. But my plan is to use this thread to discuss every set I have or that I pick up in the future.  I'll include photos.  And of course, this will force me to listen to them from start to finish.

I'll start out with the set pictured above.   Yesyears was released in 1991 as a four disc retrospective.  The set comes in a LP sized box with each of the discs housed in it's own jewel case.  As you can see, the cover artwork is that of Roger Dean.  His work certainly isn't difficult to pick out of a crowd.  The release number is ATCO 791644-2.  There is a multi-page booklet that covers the history of the band including photographs, an album discography, a singles discography and a timeline.  And finally, the set covers the band from it's first single in 1969 through studio material that was recorded in 1988 with Billy Sherwood.

I picked this up at a record store in Augusta a year or so ago for a cool ten bucks.  Notice in the cover photo that there was a price of 18 dollars on it at some point.  I grabbed it because I had wanted to check out some of the band's back catalog.  The only material I was familiar with was 90125 and Big Generator.  

I have listened all the way through over the last few days, and I have to give it a thumbs up.  Discs one and two didn't exactly knock me on my butt, though I certainly like the songs Every Little Thing (Beatles Cover), Yours Is No Disgrace, I've Seen All Good People and Roundabout.  I really enjoyed discs three and four, with the standout tracks being Wonderous Stories, On The Silent Wings Of Freedom, Tempus Fugit, Run With The Fox, Make It Easy (previously unreleased song from the Cinema sessions with Rabin on lead vocal), It Can Happen (previously unreleased version from Cinema sessions with Squire on lead vocal), Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Hold On, Shoot High Aim Low, Rhythm Of Love, Love Will Find A Way and Heart Of The Sunrise (previously unreleased live version).

The band was stocked with excellent musicians through the years.  I dig the drumming Bill Bruford and Alan WhiteSteve Howe's guitar playing is impeccable.  But what really spoke to me was the bass work by Chris Squire.  That man was a helluva bass player.

As far as availability goes, you can pick it up on Amazon for about 21 dollars.

For a complete track listing, click HERE.

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I got this one when we still had Music Clubs. (Columbia House / BMG) It did count as 4 CDs towards my 12 Free CDs initiation, but even so it was a great deal. Especially, because I only had to buy 4 CDs at regular price afterwards and they each came with another free CD offer. Practically, for the price of 4 CD's I got 20 CDs. Good old days. And the regular CDs were priced between $9.99 and $12.99.

At the same time, same place I also picked up the Cheap Trick box set and the similar looking ABBA box set. Still got them all.

BTW, what is the Classic Series Set?

Not sure I had the title exactly right, but I was referring to sets like this:

I agree with Jon, these collected releases shouldn't be dismissed as long as they have bonus tracks. My Cozy Powell set looks similar and it has a booklet inside too. As opposed to my Deep Purple one that is in a cardboard replica of their first 3 albums. No bonuses on them, if I remember correctly. But I got you now, you are looking for best of box sets with extra material and a booklet.

Trying to think what other things I have that might fit the bill:

I have the Steve Vai box set, which came originally with 3 CDs and was suppose to be an ongoing task to complete it, as he prints the new releases. It went on for two or 3 more discs where the spine of each CD had a letter. When put them in a correct order it was supposed to spell out a phrase. Then he realized, he didn't secure all the rights for all the material he wanted to include on these CD so they stopped coming out. I had to fill the hole with few Steve Vai bootlegs. If you have bought the whole set from his site, you would have gotten a booklet for free too. Now that option is gone. Well, at least the box has a secret CD hidden out of sight (I found it on the day I received the set).

Other than that, I have the Lord (Australian band) box set.

I have the Cheap Trick set, which should eventually find a place here.  And I've been thinking about that Abba set.  It's only 20 bucks used on Amazon.

ABBA? You? Why?

I love vocal harmony.  Why not?

Because you could "take it or leave it" when it comes to ABBA?

So why not take it?

Ah, what a heck!

Take A Chance on it.

I've had the Cheap Trick box set since it was released.

I wouldn't frown upon some of those Original Album Classics sets. A lot of those feature the pinnacle of an artists career and quite a few also include bonus tracks. Original Album Series sets are ok and there's a few import sets that also include bonus tracks.

But...looks like you're looking for boxset greatest hits, basically. Personaly I would rather have the studio album with the bonus tracks included.

I'm not frowning on them.  I'm not saying that I wouldn't purchase them.  I have before.  I like them.

Many of those I already have anywhere from one to three or four of the cd's in them.  

This is just what it is, box set greatest hits and deep cuts along with previously unreleased material.


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