The best boxes of the year to offer for Christmas

Between reissues, singles and anniversary albums, 2022 has been rich and bountiful.

Blondie – Against the Odds 1974-1982

Long awaited, this integral part of the New York group led by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein confirms the continuity of a repertoire full of hits. Appearing on the stage of CBGB’s in Manhattan in 1976, the group knew how to exploit the sensual appeal of the blonde singer, one of the brightest pop stars of the era. Madonna’s obvious model, Debbie Harry, is the main presence of these discs, which we happily rediscover with her impeccable voice.

Box 10LP and 1 single (Universal Music) from €45 to €305.

Debbie Harry is the main asset of these discs, which have gone well over the years, which we rediscover with pleasure, endowed with an impeccable voice. Universal Music

David Bowie – Divine Symmetry

The Parlophone label continues this year’s chronological reissue of the Englishman’s albums: Hunky Dory. Released in 1971, this album is the premiere of the RCA label artist and director Ken Scott’s collaboration, and is also the first classic we find his songs on. Changes, Quicksand and Life on Mars. Here, we explore the various stages of the conception of titles in rigorously documented, often unpublished writings.

5-CD box set (Parlophone/Warner Music), €119.

Two books accompany Divine Symmetry, a 100-page hardcover compendium including memorabilia and exclusive photographs, and a 60-page copy of David Bowie’s notebook containing handwritten lyrics, costume sketches, liner notes and set lists. Warner music

Eric Clapton – The Complete Reprise Studio Albums vol.1

Celebrating thirty years of collaboration with the Reprise label guitar hero on two vinyl cases from the sixties. The first one covers the years 1983-1998. Transitional years for the struggling English musician in the 1980s, before experiencing a spectacular comeback in the following decade. Blues, blues, blues on the program, with solid performances from an artist who has not yet become a rarity due to his recent stance on Covid-19.

12 LP box (Reprise/Warner Music), €265.

The limited edition 12 LP box set revisits Eric Clapton’s first six albums for Reprise with an exclusive bonus LP. Warner music

PJ Harvey – B-sides, demos and rarities

A great way to celebrate the musician’s three-decade career with this anthology of alternate versions of his great works. An interesting alternative route that reveals the writing power and interpretive power of this effervescent singer. With a punch Dry In his more recent productions, PJ Harvey gives us a behind-the-scenes look at his inspiration, and it’s often surprising.

Box 6 LP (Island/Universal Music), €135.

Of Dry In his more recent productions, PJ Harvey gives us a behind-the-scenes look at his inspiration, and it’s often surprising. Universal Music

The Kinks – Muswell Hillbillies/Everybody’s in Showbiz, Everybody’s a Star

The Davies brothers entered the 1970s with Muswell Hillbilies, the Kinks’ last great record. A very striking piece from the era before the great leap into stadium rock. England-inspired columnist Ray Davies signs some inspired vignettes there. In addition, there is a reissue in the boxEveryone is in show business, a half-live half-studio record with all its charm.

Box 11 LP (BMG), €196.

There is a reissue in the boxEveryone is in show business, a half-live half-studio record with all its charm. BMG

Mark Knopfler – Studio Albums 2009-2018

Discovered by Dire Straits, antihero Mark Knopfler has preferred to flourish under his own name since the mid-1990s. This second chronological set reveals everything to love about the man. Impeccable writing, undeniable literary dimension, careful interpretation on both guitar and vocals, and a sense of production that allows these records to pass the years with grace.

9 LP or 6 CD set (Universal Music)

Joni Mitchell – The Asylum Albums (1972-1975)

After his debut on the Reprise label, Joni Mitchell became an early follower of David Geffen (who would follow Bob Dylan) when he formed Asylum. He released discs there that began the turn he was on, where he increasingly abandoned folk for the shores of jazz. Bold, inspired, sometimes experimental, Joni Mitchell of those years was one of the most exciting musicians on the planet. Fans like Prince or Morrissey will remember it in a few years.

4 LP or 4 CD set (Asylum/Warner Music)

Manset – Mansetlandia

4 white vinyls covering the years 2006-2018, great selections from the albums Obok, Manitoba No Longer Answers, A Bird Has Landed, Operation Aphrodite and On the Flower Deck. It is one of the most interesting stages in the career of the singer, who has cultivated his distinction since 1968 and continues his path with inspiration. His new album, Crab with Men’s Claws, is also one of the most stimulating albums of the year that is coming to an end.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Live at the Fillmore 1997 (Warner Music)

Whether you choose the short version (2Cd or 3 LP) or the XXL version (4Cd or 6 LP), this set of live recordings from the Fillmore in San Francisco is a marvel. We hear a band at the peak of their abilities having fun drawing an impressive cartography of American music: folk, blues, rock’n’roll. The composer, who died in 2017, shines in all his glory, with plenty of covers and powerful guests (Roger McGuinn and John Lee Hooker).

Pink Floyd – Animals, 2018 Remix

It’s been four years in the making, but a new version of this cult album, delayed by the pandemic and the open conflict between Roger Waters and David Gilmour, is finally seeing the light of day. A more aggressive mix allows you to restore the intensity of the theme, in full punk mayhem. The band’s last great album Animals is the missing piece in the trilogy of masterpieces that started with D’arc Side of the Moon and continued with Wish you Were Here.

Deluxe Gatefold Box Set, CD, Vinyl, Blu-ray & SACD (Parlophone/Warner Music)

Wilco -20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition

Sometimes considered the American version of Radiohead, the pinnacle of the band’s discography, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, was initially rejected by Jeff Tweedy’s record company and family before becoming a classic when it was released in 2001. The richest in its version (11 LP) !) this commemorative box traces the disc’s broken genesis, which will allow the band to settle down in the long term. Twenty-one years later, Wilco released another great album in 2022.

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 2 LP, box set 8 LP or 11 LP and 1 CD (Nonesuch/Warner Music)

Neil Young – Harvest 50th Anniversary Edition

The tree that hides the forest (the author’s prolific career), an album we often tend to discount, Harvest, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, benefits from a top-notch reissue. And if it’s not Neil Young’s best album, it remains one of the generational records found in all good nightclubs. In addition to the original songs, maniacally remastered by Loud Young, this multi-box set features live BBC audio and video, as well as several previously unreleased tracks. But what makes this facility important is the two-hour film “Harvest Time,” which tells the story of the making of the songs with lots of unpublished pictures and a few scenes from the anthology. A great way to celebrate a hit that was never meant to be.

Box 2 LP, 1 single and 2 DVDs or 2 CDs and 2 DVDs (Reprise/Warner Music)

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