Alright, music fans. Yesterday we gave you the lowdown on a couple essential rock DVD’s that are perfect holiday gifts for the classic rock fan in your life. And you can still enter to win copies of God Bless Ozzy Osbourne on DVD and the Rolling Stones Some Girls Live In Texas right here. In the meantime, for those of you with slightly larger wallets who love to immerse yourself in classic albums, there are two giant multi-disc box sets that make our Holiday Gift Guide this year. Achtung, y’all, and get quadrophonic with us, won’t you?
While many pundits would argue that the greatest album in The Who’s catalgue is the classic Who’s Next, there any many who swear by the band’s 1973 double album, Quadrophenia, about a schizophreniz mod named Jimmy. Though it didn’t have too many big hits (5:15 being the only one that made a real dent in the charts), Quadrophenia has a ton of classic tracks on it, including The Real Me, Bell Boy and Love Reign O’er Me. The album was recently reissued as a 2 disc deluxe edition, featuring the entire album and demo tracks – good enough for the casual fan, to be sure. But if you really want to get into Pete Townshend’s headspace, you want to pick up the Director’s Cut Super Deluxe Edition, featuring the album on two discs, two discs of demos, and a DVD of select tracks in 5.1 Surround Sound. There’s also a 7 inch single and poster included. For me, the biggest draw for the large set is the gorgeous hardcover book featuring an essay written by Pete Townshend that details the entire creative process that went into Quadrophenia. It’s worth the price of admission alone.
If you’re like me and spent much of the 90’s as a teenager, you could very well have been a big fan of U2’s Achtung Baby, the album that nearly broke the band up. It’s hard to believe that it’s been twenty years since I walked into Sunrise Records at Thornhill Square and bought my original cd copy. Man, I feel old. I felt even older when I opened up the massive Super Deluxe Edition of the album that was recently released. Keep in mind, I’m not talking about the Uber Deluxe Version that comes with Bono’s sunglasses and all sorts of other trinkets – this is merely the one that includes a hardcover booklet, art prints and ten discs of content. First, there’s the audio – Achtung Baby the album, its 1993 follow-up Zooropa, two discs of remixes, a collection of outtakes and b-sides and an alternate version of the album. Then there’s the video – the film From The Sky Down, the recent documentary about the making of the album; one disc of videos, one of footage from various tv programs and finally, the 1993 Zoo TV Live In Australia DVD. That’s a whole lots of Acthung, baby. But for those of us that grew up thinking Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Adam Clayton were our Beatles, this is a must have set.