Now this is more like it.
If last week's new album releases seemed just a bit thin, what we've got in store for you this week is a lot closer to what the record store is supposed to look like this time of year. With just over two weeks to go before the kickoff of the holiday buying season, "Black Friday" may not be so black this year after all.
The reissues, hits packages, and boxed sets are looking especially good this week. Tom Johnson will be along in just a bit to talk about the new Genesis box, which focuses on the Peter Gabriel years. Meanwhile, Rhino has deluxe double-disc reissues of all of New Order's early albums.
Cheap Trick's four disc Budokan! features the great power pop band's complete legendary Japanese concert at Budokan, as well as another show from the same venue recorded a few nights later. Best of all, it includes the original Budokan concert on DVD for the first time (the concert was originally shown on Japanese television). This set is a must-have for Cheap Trick fans.
Christina Aguilera's Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits is a little more than just a greatest hits compilation, as it includes several new tracks and remakes of "Genie" and "Beautiful." It's also one of those ever-more frequent retail exclusives, with Target being the sole place you can purchase the CD this time around.
The Flaming Lips new Christmas on Mars is a multimedia event that has been seven years in the making and, as usual, is just the sort of whacked-out psychedelic freakout you'd expect from the Lips. The package includes both the CD and the DVD featuring the Christmas on Mars film. You certainly can't fault the Flaming Lips for any lack of ambition.
Tom Petty's Mudcrutch gets its second release this year with the four-song Mudcrutch Extended Play Live E.P. Country cutie Taylor Swift gets Fearless on her sophomore CD. T-Pain is joined by Akon, Ciara, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Kanye West and others on his third album, Thr33 Ringz. Tracy Chapman's new one finds the folk-rock singer/songwriter optimistic about Our Bright Future. This week's holiday greetings come from Enya.
Mark Saleski manages to name-drop everyone from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Terry "Seasons In The Sun" Jacks in his pick for this week. But first, NAR is pleased to welcome Tom Johnson back into the fold to talk about that huge new boxed set from the early, prog-rock era of Genesis.
1970-1975 was one of the most creative, if not weird, periods of musical history, and that goes for Genesis as well. The most artistically exciting material of the band's career, which is all covered on Box Set 3 (1970-1975), was produced during these years. Even if this music wasn't the most commercially profitable, Box Set 3 (1970-1975) will likely be the most successful Genesis box, because this is the one the die-hards have been waiting for.
Covering the first five albums with Peter Gabriel at the helm (Trespass, Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England By The Pound, and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway), and including DVDs for each album, it is a hefty 13-disc set. Maybe as a die-hard fan, you balk and say, "I know this music like the back of my hand." Flip your hand over; do you know the front of your hand so well? See? Check it out thusly:
Like the other sets, it is not just remastered but remixed from the original master tapes – guaranteed to be Gabriel-era Genesis as never before heard. It's revisionist history at its best – it sounds as if every attempt was made to serve the original style of music as well as possible, but to make the instruments shine in ways not possible in the '70s. But wait, there's more! What fans are clamoring for are the surround-sound and hi-rez audio included on the DVDs, which are also packed with new band interviews and, in some cases, old concert footage where it exists. Plus, there's a bonus CD with singles, BBC tracks, and the long-awaited "Genesis Plays Jackson" material. Tell me you aren't already sitting there with your wallet out, ready to order. You're checking out the front of your hand, I can tell.