Triple Played: Dec. 6
I know this may not sound right, but even I have a budget when it comes to music.
Being the music fan that I am — fan being short for fanatic — I cannot possibly purchase all of the music I want or we would be bankrupt.
Since I already made the decision to purchase the seven-CD Duane Allman box set, “Skydog,” and Van Morrison’s five-CD celebration of his classic album “Moondance,” I have already shot my budget for the year.
So there are several more musical items I will be putting on my Christmas list in hopes that Santa might leave just one of them under the tree. I think that I have been a good boy, but it’s out of my hands now.
■ Let’s start with vinyl and the amazing Beatles LP box set that contains all of the band’s recordings in their stereo mixes. They are without a doubt the best sounding Beatle LPs ever released. These albums were remastered, not remixed, and the results are more clarity with tightened imaging. It is almost like someone removed a film of plastic from your speakers making everything sound cleaner and fresher.
■ A six-LP box set of the Eagles studio albums, “Eagles,” Desperado,” “On the Border,” One Of These Nights,” “Hotel California” and The Long Run” along with two bonus tracks, was released by Warner Brothers in October. Like the Beatles’ box set, these LPs are the best sounding Eagles’ records available.
■ “Live at The Academy of Music 1971” from the Band is available in a four-CD set with a DVD that chronicles the group’s entire four-night stay at the Academy of Music. Two of the discs are dedicated to the entire New Year’s Eve show that featured a rare appearance by Bob Dylan. In my opinion, this is the finest live representation of the Band. I have never heard them sound any better.
■ Due Tuesday, Dec. 10, is the Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat” 45th anniversary Super Deluxe Edition. This is a three-CD set featuring both the original mono and stereo releases, completely remastered with bonus tracks including alternate versions, unreleased outtakes, John Cale’s last studio sessions with the band, and the official release of its complete show on April 30, 1967, at The Gymnasium in New York.
The set includes five previously unreleased performances taken from Cale’s personal copy. The Super Deluxe Edition has four new remixes, including “Beginning To See The Light” and previously unreleased vocal and instrumental versions of the Gift. There also is an exclusive 56-page hardbound book with rare photos, memorabilia and David Fricke Essay/interview with Cale and Lou Reed from 2013. This, their second LP, was one of the most if not the most influential punk record ever released. I am pretty sure the Clash listened to “White Light/White Heat” repeatedly.
■ Finally, Eric Clapton’s “Give Me Strength: the ‘74 /‘75 Recordings” is a five-CD, one BluRay box set that takes a look at the mid-1970s recordings “461 Ocean Boulevard,” “There’s One In Every Crowd” and the live “E.C. Was Here” with expanded versions of each album. One disc is a jam session with the great blues guitarist the late Freddie King.
What I am most looking forward to is more of Clapton’s experimentation of reggae music, which was evident on “461 Ocean Boulevard.”