The Best Box Sets Of 2017.

Each and every year, hundreds, if not thousands of box sets are released by independent and major record companies, and usually there’s something for every budget. That is also the case on list of the Best Box Sets of 2017, which features box sets that cost £10 right up to £100. There’s something for every budget on The Best Box Sets of 2017.

Bob Marley and The Wailers-Exodus 40.

Label: Commercial Marketing.

To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the release of Bob Marley and The Wailers’ classic album, Exodus, a triple CD box set Exodus 40 was released in the summer of 2017. Disc one featured the original version of Exodus which was released in 1977, while disc two features Exodus 40: The Movement Continues album. The third disc features Bob Marley and The Wailers’ recorded live at London’s Rainbow Theatre in June 1977. This concert has never been released before and features eight previously released tracks. This is an added bonus and one of three reasons to add Exodus 40 to your collection.

Bread-The Elektra Years: Complete Albums Box. 

Label: Elektra Records.

Bread’s entire career was spent at Elektra Records, where they recorded six carefully crafted album of soft rock between 1969 and 1977. This began with the release of their debut album Bread in 1969. After that, Bread could do no wrong. Their 1970 sophomore album On The Water was certified gold, and so was 1971s Manna, 1972s Baby I’m-a Want You and Guitar Man and Bread’s swan-song Lost Without Your Love in 1977. By then, Bread had been crowned Kings of soft rock and The Elektra Years: Complete Albums Box is a reminder why.

The Brain Box – Cerebral Sounds Of Brain Records 1972-1979

Label: Brain.

In late 1971, Bruno Wendel and Günter Körber founded Brian Records, which would become one of the most important record labels in the history of German music. Brain Records would release some of the important, influential and innovative Krautrock, Berlin School and progressive rock albums during the seventies. It was home to everyone from Cluster, Guru Guru, Harmonia, Jane, Novalis and Tangerine Dream, who all featured on The Brain Box-Cerebral Sounds Of Brain Records 1972-1979. It’s a limited edition eight CD box that features eighty-three tracks and is the perfect introduction to a legendary label, Brain Records. 

Dr. John-The Atco Albums Collection.

Label: Atco.

The Atco Albums Collection features the seven albums that Dr. John released for Atco between 1968 and 1974. He released his debut album Gris-Gris in 1968, which was followed by 1969s Babylon, 1970s Remedies, The Sun, 1971s Moon and Herbs, 1972s Dr. John’s Gumbo, 1973s In The Right Place and 1974s Desitively Bonnaroo. By then, Dr. John had released some of the best music of long and illustrious career. These albums find Dr. John’s fusing blues, boogie woogie, jazz and rock ’n’ roll to create his unique sound that can be heard on the seven albums within The Atco Albums Collection. It’s the perfect introduction to a musical legend, Dr. John.

Focus-Hocus Pocus Box. 

Label: Red Bullet

One of the giants of continental progressive rock was Focus, whose career is celebrated on the Hocus Pocus Box. It features thirteen CDs, including every album the band released between 1967 and 1973. This includes In and Out Of Focus, Focus II-Moving Waves, Focus III, Hamburger Concerto and the live album At The Rainbow. There’s also Jan Akkerman and Thijs van Leer’s 1985 album Focus and albums featuring Focus led by Thijs van Leer. By then, Jan Akkerman was no longer a member of Focus, and the newly reinvigorated band were receiving rave reviews. These albums, plus the albums released between 1967 and 1973, make the Hocus Pocus Box the perfect introduction to Focus.

Jethro Tull-Τhe Country Set: Songs From The Wood 40th Anniversary Edition.

Label: PLG UK Catalog.

By 1977, Jethro Tull’s music began to change direction on Songs From The Wood, which was their first album to celebrate British pagan folklore and life in the countryside. It was released to critical acclaim and was certified gold in America and Canada.

Forty years later in 2017, Jethro Tull released Τhe Country Set: Songs From The Wood 40th Anniversary Edition as a 3CD and 2DVD box set. Disc one features the original album and previously unreleased material, while discs two and three feature Jethro Tull Live In Concert 1977. Then on disc four and five there’s various mixes of Songs From The Wood and Live In Concert 1977. This is an outstanding reissue and is an example of how to reissue an album properly.

John Morales Presents The M&M Mixes Volume IV.

Label: BBE.

John Morales Presents The M&M Mixes Volume IV is the most ambitious album of the veteran DJ and remixer’s career, and finds him remixing twenty-seven tracks across four CDs. This ranges from disco and boogie to soul and funk. The result is one of the best albums of remixes released during 2017, and is another reason why John Morales should be considered as the rightful heir to Tom Moulton, and assume his title as The Master of the remix.

Marillion-Misplaced Childhood.

Label: Rhino.

When there was a resurgence of interest in progressive rock during the eighties, one of the leading lights of the Nu Prog scene was Marillion who released their classic album Misplaced Childhood in 1985. It was reissued during 2017 as a 4CD and DVD set. Disc One features a remastered version of Misplaced Childhood, while discs two and three feature Live At Utrecht 1985. There’s also singles, B-Sides and demos on disc four, while the DVD, disc five features the Steven Wilson Remixes and promo mixes. For anyone yet to discover Marillion’s Nu Prog classic Misplaced Childhood, then this box set offers the perfect opportunity.

Michael Cosmic-Peace In The World and Phill Musra Group-Creator Spaces.

Label: Now Again Records.

All to often, private presses released during the seventies passed record buyer by. That was the case with Phill Musra Group’s Creator Spaces in 1974 and Michael Cosmic’s Peace In The World in 1975. Both albums had the potential to transform and launch their careers. Sadly, that wasn’t to be and it wasn’t until 2017 that the two albums were released as part of 3CD set. They’re joined by World’s Experience Orchestra’s debut album The Beginning Of A New Birth which was recorded in 1975 and features Phill Musra and Michael Cosmic. These three groundbreaking and genre-melting albums feature ambitious and innovative music that hopefully, will find the audience it so richly deserves.

Suzanne Vega-5 Classic Albums.

Label: Spectrum Audio.

One of the greatest singer-songwriters of the past thirty-five years is Suzanne Vega, whose most successful period was between 1985 and 1996. During this eleven-year period, she enjoyed commercial success and critical acclaim with her unique fusion of pop, rock and folk. This began with her debut Suzanne Vega in 1985, which was followed with 1987s Solitude Standing, 1990s Days Of Open Hand, 1992s 99.9F° and Nine Objects Of Desire in 1996. These albums were released as a  box set as part of the 5 Classic Albums’ series during 2017, and is the perfect opportunity to discover or rediscover Suzanne Vega at the peak of her powers.

Tim Buckley-The Complete Album Collection.

Label: Rhino.

Although Tim Buckley was just twenty-seven when he passed away in 1975, he had already released nine albums for Elektra Records. These albums feature in The Complete Album Collection, and begin with his 1966 debut album Tim Buckley. This was followed by 1967s Goodbye and Hello, 1969s Happy Sad and Blue Afternoon, 1970s Lorca and Starsailor, 1972s Greetings from L.A, 1973s Sefronia and his 1974 swan-song Look At The Fool. By then, Tim Buckley had reinvented himself several times, moving from folk rock in the early days, to avant-garde rock in his middle period and latterly, his sex-funk period. These different periods of Tim Buckley’s career showcase a hugely talented and chameleonlike singer who should’ve reached greater heights during his lifetime.

The Stylistics-5 Classic Albums.

Spectrum Audio.

After signing to Avco, producer Thom Bell and his songwriting partner Linda Creed transformed the career of The Stylistics, a Philly based vocal group lead by Russell Thompkins Jr. Their first three albums 1971s The Stylistics, 1972s Round 2 and 1973 Rockin’ Roll Baby sold over a million copies and resulted in eight consecutive ten top US R&B singles. Despite this success the production team Hugo and Luigi took over for 1974s Let’s Put It All Together and Heavy. By then, The Stylistics were no longer as popular and their best days were behind them. However, 5 Classic Albums is worth buying for the trio of albums produced by Thom Bell, which features many a Philly Soul classic.

Welcome To Zamrock! Volume 1 (How Zambia’s Liberation Led To A Rock Revolution 1972-1977).

Label: Now Again Records.

When Welcome To Zamrock! Volume 1 was released it came with a 103 page hard cover book that documents life in the Republic of Zambia after the end of colonial rule. Led by its first president Kenneth Kaunda, conflict, poverty and isolation were problems for the newly independent country. However, between 1972 and 1977, a rock revolution was taking place and Zamrock flourished. Fuzz guitars, driving rhythms, James Brown’s funk as Jimi Hendrix’s rock influenced Ngozi Family, Witch, Crossbones and Machine Gunner during this revolution. They all feature on Welcome To Zamrock! Volume 1 which is the perfect introduction to what was golden period for Zambian music.

Welcome To Zamrock! Volume 2 (How Zambia’s Liberation Led To A Rock Revolution 1972-1977).

Label: Now Again Records.

Just like the first volume, in Welcome To Zamrock! Volume 2 is accompanied by a 103 page hardcover book. It documents the history of the Republic Of Zambia leading up to, and during the Zamrock revolution. Groups like Crossbones, Witch, The Five Revolutions, Tinkles, Salty Dog, Peace and Fireballs were among the leading lights of the Zamrock revolution and can be heard on Welcome To Zamrock! Volume 2. It’s another essential buy for anyone with even a passing interest in Zamrock or African music.

Wells Fargo-Watch Out!

Label: Now Again Records.

During the mid-seventies, heavy rock was at the peak of its popularity in Rhodesia, which nowadays, is known as Zimbabwe. One group of the pioneers of Zimbabwean heavy rock was Wells Fargo. They emerged as a rock ’n’ roll counterculture that was based upon hippie ideals and the sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple took shape in Zimbabwe. Over the next few years, heavy rock and groups like Wells Fargo united young people from different social and racial backgrounds. In doing so, Wells Fargo defied the laws on segregation and risked arrest by the secret police as they made a stand for democratic change. One of their most popular track Watch Out, which lends its name to the box set, became a counterculture anthem, and is a tantalising taste of Wells Fargo in their prime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: