Christmas Jingles: Box Set Stocking Stuffers

It's not too late to pick up a bundle of musical gifts for your Holiday shopping. With these boxed sets, planting some tunes under the tree is a cinch.
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Various Artists—Love Train: The Soul of Philadelphia
If you're a soul fan, chances are you speak of Memphis' Stax Records and Detroit's Motown label with an air of reverence. Should you find some time, however, to get deep into this collection of classic cuts from the City of Brotherly Love like "Love Train" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now". Overseen by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, the powerhouse songwriting and production team that brought the sound to lifeThis 4-discer centers around the halcyon days between 1971 and 1976.
The Smiths—The Sound of The Smiths
Not a complete compilation but a careful cherry-picking of 45 of the group's greatest tunes. Since there's not anything here that an old fan won't already know every single word to, this is the perfect gift to that younger sibling who's just discovered wearing black, scowling, the opposite sex, and the poison-pen diary.
Miles Davis—Kind of Blue, 50th Anniversary Edition
Miles' work was born for the boxed set. The material released during his lifetime doesn't begin to tell the full story. Every few years or so fans are blessed with another exhaustive box from a different period in miles' sidewinding career. It's about time that Kind of Blue has received the same care and attention. The best-selling jazz album ever, Blue is a beautiful, languid masterwork that is only one of several albums miles released that marked an epochal shift in jazz. Included here are the original album version, bonus tracks, a live set from the same band line-up, lots of documentary footage, and a blue-vinyl companion LP.
Air—Moon Safari, 10th Anniversary Edition
Air's debut album is a luxurious chill-out classic that sparked a slew of imitators but few real rivals. It's the kind of singular landmark that is so well-formed, even its own creators couldn't seem to repeat it. The French duo may have gotten more technically advanced and sonically progressive since the late '90s, but they were never again as simply melodically gorgeous and seductive as they were on tunes like "All I Need" and "Talisman."
Peter Green—The Anthology
This set traces one of rock's hands-down greatest blues guitarists across a rich career arc that reached its apotheosis with Fleetwood Mac, the band he founded and left before the Buckingham/Nicks era. Early tunes with John Mayall, classics with Fleetwood and later material with his own Splinter Group show why Peter is a revered player and one of the very, very few who could give Clapton a run for his money.
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Genesis—Box Set 3, 1970-1975
Rhino rounds out its marathon boxed set treatment of genesis with this third installment, covering the prog-rockers' original incarnation, with Peter Gabriel at the helm and Phil Collins behind the kit. It's a painstakingly assembled archive of seven CDs and six DVDs, with full classic albums like "The Lamb Lays Down on Broadway," superb high-end mastering, heavy doses of bonus cuts, and plenty of live footage.
Bob Dylan—Telltale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8
Perfect for the insatiable Dylanite volume eight of the bootleg series gathers up rare, alternative and unreleased material by the living legend from 1989 to the present. The Dylan bootleg series continues to deliver fascinating glimpses into his career and creative process—this latest edition of Bob's basement tapes is further testament to a tireless genius that rivals Picasso.
Billy Joel—The Stranger, 30th Anniversary Edition
The 1977 original album version of The Stranger is already a de facto greatest hits for Billy&msdah;a power-punch of nine songs that made him into a superstar. Included here are a remastered edition as well as two live shows from the era—a concert on CD and a DVD of billy on the BBC's historic Old Grey Whistle Test program.
Philip Glass—Of Beauty and Light: The music of Philip Glass
This gathering of three albums by the influential minimalist composer on the Naxos label, includes his "Heroes Symphony," an orchestral rendering of material from Bowie's classic album.
Nina Simone—To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story
This invaluable chronicle proves Simones' peerless talent. No matter what song she choose she made her own, suffusing it with fire and soul. Thankfully there's plenty of live material here that captures the legend in her element.

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