Whenever the bell tolls for the music business, that people aren’t buying like they used to, little bits of joy still manage to resonate, especially around the holiday season. No, I’m not talking about the new Rod Stewart Christmas album (have you heard it?) – I’m talking big time box sets looking for a place under the tree. No surprise then, that a few choice offerings have made it onto this year’s Holiday Gift Guide. Extra special about two on display today – they’re for the vinyl collectors out there.
First up is a certifiable masterpiece of the 1990’s, courtesy of The Smashing Pumpkins. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was released back in 1995, a double cd that Pumpkins mastermind viewed as the 90’s answer to Pink Floyd – The Wall. The album was a critical and commercial success, hitting number on on the Billboard charts and generating hit singles in Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Tonight, Tonight, and 1979, one of which is likely playing on a radio someplace as you read this. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness has been reissues by Virgin/EMI in a bunch of different versions, including a 2cd set, a 5cd + 1 DVD collection, and a gorgeous 4 vinyl album box set.
Find out more about it after the jump!
For collectors, the vinyl version of this classic album is well worth the price of admission. The 2 cd set is split between 4 records/8 sides, the first time album has been available in this format ever in North America. The artwork, familiar to those of us who bought Mellon Collie…back when it first was released, is absolutely stunning encasing the various records. The set also comes with two record sized booklets – one containing the lyrics, the other photographs, an interview with Billy Corgan and his own reminiscence about each individual song. Though it doesn’t contain the demos found in the 5cd set, if your world still rotates around vinyl, this is the ultimate way to enjoy what many consider to be the definitive Smashing Pumpkins release.
Staying on the proggy side of things, this season also sees the release of the double vinyl, limited edition box set consisting of Jethro Tull’s Thick As A Brick and frontman Ian Anderson’s 2012 sequel, titled TAAB2 (Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock). The original album is classic Tull, and was remixed this year by Porcupine Tree frontman and noted Surround Sound audio master Steven Wilson. The second picks up the story of the original’s lead character some forty years after the original. Once again, packaging is a key reason to grab this box set for the prog rock or vinyl collector in your life. The actual album covers are large newspaper reproductions and can only really be appreciated in the album cover format. Meanwhile, the hardcover book contained in the box set is another gorgeous piece of album notes that only mega box sets can offer up. This one contains the original 1972 art, recollections and photos galore that help link and explain the two albums. Once again, for Tull fans or those who like the air in the room as thick as a brick when spinning vinyl, this set is the perfect holiday offering.