This month I am going to aim the spotlight at tracks from the commonly overlooked Box Set section within our Central Library music collection. Box sets can be found just around the corner from where the two CD Players live (did you know you could borrow headphones and comfortably enjoy any album?), on your right as you walk past the trays of CDs. The bigger box sets (vinyl-sized boxes), are next to the Librarian’s Choice display, which is on your left as you pass through the entrance of this wonderful sound and vision world.
Box sets are for fans, aficionados, collectors and addicts who want to have it all and take an inner dive to the lands of their favourite bands. Another attractive tip: these costly sets (sometimes reaching hundreds of dollars!) can be lying in your bedroom for a week for a mere dollar! This is August’s selection:
Vitamin C [Can]
Can aficionados will be pleased to find this multi-disc boxed-set of the defunct band. After excavating 50 hours of material ranging from jams, live sessions, out-takes and of course, multiple sonic experiments including chainsaws and kitchen paraphernalia, we’re left with a work that must be celebrated as the culmination of Can’s trajectory, packed in a solid vinyl-sized box which features a generous booklet with a lot of photos of their cool studio spaces. The Lost Tapes are not to be missed!
Search and destroy [Iggy and the Stooges]
A punk-rock milestone, this box of Raw Power includes:
CD1: 1973 original Raw Power.
CD2: Live at Georgia, Atlanta, 1973.
CD3: rarities, outtakes & alternate versions from the Raw Power era.
CD4: DVD Documentary on Raw Power.
La Femme D’argent [Air]
This anniversary edition of the band’s debut album Moon Safari includes the original release from 1998, a second CD with live sessions (mainly recorded @ the BBC studios), and a DVD where one can indulge in Video Clips + “Eating, Sleeping, Waiting and Playing”, a documentary produced during Air’s first tour. Here we get to know Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel intimately as they tour around New York, London and Paris for their first time, while enduring crazy working hours, having funny interviews, and emanating musical insights.
Credulidad [Luis Alberto Spinetta]
This is a personal favorite as not only is Spinetta one of the most beloved musical characters from Argentina, but also because I bought this limited release in Buenos Aires in one of my many visits. Once back in Wellington my desires for it to be heard made me approach the library about donating this copy, and to my delight it was kindly added to its amazing musical repertoire. This is the best introduction to South America’s humblest rock star.
Tell Me Why. [Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young]
This invaluable set gives us the opportunity to indulge in a marathonic 137 songs of Young’s early days, 47 of which have never been released. The massive archival effort has won it a Grammy Award for Best Boxed or Limited Edition Package. A must for all those gold-rushers!
I Wanna Be Sedated [Ramones]
In case you haven’t got enough with The Stooges, here are more drilling punk-rock tunes to make your flatmates either bang their heads or bang at your door!
This collection brings 85 songs of broken-jeans, leather jackets and distorted reefs + a documentary filled with music videos, interviews, and a cool comic book telling the story of the band, which is heightened by the 3D glasses that come with it!
X Offender [Blondie]
If Punk Rock is a foreign world for you, then search no further! No thanks! :’70s Punk Rebellion will provide you with a very insightful look back to when this genre was born, and will educate you in the development of the movement into its different grounds. Classics and hidden obscurities, this box contains a 100+ pages book filled with frames that depict the “worst of times and the best of times”, and a thorough text that will fill you up with what you need to know.
Octopus [Syd Barrett]
If bands like Herbal Mixture, Mandrake Paddle Steamer, The Attack, The Smoke, The Virgin Sleep, Orange Bicycle, or Kaleidoscope ring a bell, or if “Acid Drops, Spacedust & Flying Saucers” make you feel warm and giggly inside, then you would know what to expect. If not, then it is time for you to take the magical mystery tour into the land of the Psychedelic Confectionery from the UK Underground and enjoy the trip. This compilation focuses on the years 1965-1969; the peak of psychedelia. A short bio of each featured band is included in this informative volume.
Sir Duke [Stevie Wonder]
If you don’t feel like reading a full-text biography of the Magic Man, here’s a way of getting to know him> through amazing portraits (he was as fashionable as Miles Davies -sunglasses and all!), friends and family’s testimonies, promotional old posters, and much more while enjoying the 4-disc chronological record of his greatest hits.
Slip On Through [Beach Boys]
This is one of my favorites too. We acquired it sometime last year, and I remember it catching me eye straight away, with its yellow, orange and golden lush case. The signatures of the boys on the first page are so real I had to check with the cataloger if they were actually hand written. Though they were not, they certainly give one the sense that this is a limited edition we’re having in our hands. The 6 discs surf around the band’s entire well-known career, with an addition of 60 previously unreleased tracks, which of course are composed of enough rarities to turn anyone on.