With Thanksgiving, and the official start of the holiday buying season nearly upon us, its not surprising that the bulk of this week's new album releases aren't really new at all.
Can you say ka-ching?
The one saving grace in this week's sea of reissues, however, is the fact that many of these have been repackaged with an emphasis on detail, and nearly all of them feature extras of one variety or another. In fact, if there has been any one significant trend in the glut of holiday releases this year, it has been the multi-disc package that includes both CDs and DVDs. The catch here, is that more than often than not you are given a choice between a standard version, and a deluxe version — which is where you are usually going to find the bonus goodies like the DVD.
Take the newly mastered version of U2's landmark 1987 release The Joshua Tree for example. Here you get not one, but two deluxe editions. The more modestly priced version features the original album — remastered of course — as well as a second disc of B-sides and rarities.
The second, includes all of that plus a bonus DVD with a documentary, a full 1987 concert, and a previously unreleased video for the song "Red Hill Mining Town," all housed in a hardcover book. They've pretty much all ready got me with the live footage from the Joshua Tree tour, which I'm hoping is better than the disappointing Rattle And Hum film was.
Genesis has a box-set covering the years 1983-1998, or what most will remember as the "Phil Collins Era."
This is when the once wonderfully adventurous — albeit less commercially successful — prog-rock band of the seventies, with Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett driving the boat, devolved into something more resembling an MTV driven, hit-making machine. The Collins era is covered here on 5 CDs and 5 DVDs. Fans of the more progressive (and interesting) Peter Gabriel years might want to opt for the four disc box, Archive 1967-1975 if they can find it, for the complete live recording of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway alone.
On the heels of last week's release of the new Led Zeppelin compilation Mothership, comes the remaster job on the group's live concert film, The Song Remains The Same. Which comes in — you guessed it! — both CD and DVD versions. The idea here of course is to get it right this time, as the original from the seventies has long been a sore spot with Zep fans, due to the poor sequencing and sound quality. Of course, there is still the little matter of the performance itself, which most agree captures Zeppelin on something of an off-night.
Other notable reissues this week include a Nine Inch Nails remix album which is supposedly an interactive deal where fans can create their own mixes, using bonus features on a DVD and the band's website. Keith Urban's Greatest Hits should have the cash registers ringing, as should everybody's favorite band of cartoon rappers Gorillaz with their D-Sides. Bruce Springsteen fans should be happy about the reissues of both Southside Johnny's The Jukes and E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren's debut album. On the holiday music front, R&B crooner Keith Sweat offers A Christmas of Love.
Topping the new releases which actually feature new music is the debut album from American Idol's Jordin Sparks. I haven't heard too much about this release, but based on what I saw on last year's season (okay, ya' caught me — I watch American Idol, too), I'd expect the sort of R&B diva act that seems to have worked for everyone from Mariah to Beyonce. If nothing else, the way that fellow Idols Daughtry and Carrie Underwood cleaned up at this weekend's American Music Awards proves that the show does still sell records.
Personally though, I'm a lot more interested in Angel Down, the new solo album from Skid Row's Sebastian Bach. I was never a big fan of Skid Row myself, but this set does have some cameos by Axl Rose, who helps out Bach on a cover of Aerosmith's "Back In The Saddle." And of course, any album that sports a song with a title like "(Love Is) A Bitchslap," immediately is going to warrant my attention.
Here are all of this week's new album releases, courtesy of All Music Guide:
Get Off My Bach/MRV/Caroline
Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
Free at Last
Hardcore Rap, East Coast Rap
Teen Pop, Urban, Dance-Pop
Joshua Tree: 20th Anniversary [2 CD/DVD]
College Rock, Album Rock, Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Post-Punk
The Brit Box: U.K. Indie, Shoegaze, and Brit-Pop Gems of the Last Millennium
Dance-Rock, Madchester, Dream Pop, Britpop, Shoegaze, Alternative Pop/Rock
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers
Hard Bop [Bonus Tracks]
Jewish Music, Cuban Jazz, Jewish Folk, Son, Afro-Cuban Jazz, Klezmer, Mambo, Latin Jazz, Salsa, World Fusion
Vernon Duke: Piano Concerto; Cello Concerto; Homage to Boston
Modern Concertos & Piano Music
The Awakening Live
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
The Nightfly Trilogy
Jazz-Rock, Pop/Rock, Soft Rock
Pop/Rock, Soft Rock, Adult Contemporary, Album Rock
Alternative Rap, Britpop, Alternative Pop/Rock
Until Tomorrow Then: The Best of Ed Harcourt
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Mosaic Select: Bobby Hutcherson
Carestini – The Story of a Castrato
Baroque & Classical Opera Arias
The American Dream
Southern Rap, Hardcore Rap
Eyvind Kang: The Yelm Sessions
Contemporary Chamber Music
Dr. Octagon, Pt. 2
Underground Rap, Hip-Hop
The Battle of Killiecrankie
Scottish Songs & Chamber Works
Nothing Is Underrated
The Song Remains the Same [Bonus Tracks]
Hard Rock, Album Rock, British Metal, British Blues, Arena Rock, Heavy Metal
Heartland Rock, Roots Rock, Rock & Roll
James Murphy & Pat Mahoney
Club/Dance, Disco, Post-Disco, Left-Field House, House
Nine Inch Nails
Y34R Z3R0 R3MIX3D [CD/DVD]
Industrial Metal, Alternative Metal, Industrial
Dreaming Out Loud
Weinberg: String Quartets, Vol. 1
Modern String Quartets
Alvin and the Chipmunks [Original Soundtrack]
Razor & Tie
Holiday, Film Music, Soundtracks, Christmas, Sing-Along, Novelty
Enchanted [Disney Soundtrack]
Teen Pop, Original Score, Soundtracks
High School Musical: Hits Collection [Box Set]
Teen Pop, TV Soundtracks
The Voice of Midnight
Fantasy, Drama, Experimental, Avant-Garde, Electronic
Six Organs of Admittance
Shelter from the Ash
Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes
Bar Band, Rock & Roll, Album Rock
A Christmas of Love
Holiday, Contemporary R&B, Christmas, Adult Contemporary
Taking Back Sunday
Louder Now: Part Two [CD/DVD]
Beat of Love/Things That You Dream
Collectors' Choice Music
Collectors' Choice Music
Black Mirror: Reflections in Global Musics 1918-1955
Dust to Digital
Traditional Chinese, International Folk, Indian Pop, Rhumba, Gamelan, Oratories, Opera
The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 8: 1968
Pop-Soul, Motown, Soul
Discovered: As Sampled by Daft Punk
Contemporary R&B, Vocal Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Contemporary Jazz