Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers box set is a must-have for Pettyphiles

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 1995 By Steve Newton Some boxed sets are basically just glorified greatest-hits collections, with maybe a handful of remixed or previously unreleased tracks tossed in to lure die-hard fans with bulging pockets, but the 92-track Playback isn’t one of those. While it does contain all the big … Continue reading Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers box set is a must-have for Pettyphiles

Roxy Music vinyl box offers a second shot at ’70s art-rock

By Steve Newton I wasn't the artsiest rock-music fan to grow up in Chilliwack in the seventies; there was way too much Molly Hatchet in my vinyl diet for that. But every now and then I'd venture beyond guitar-based boogie and try something a little more involved, like Roxy Music. I remember buying Stranded when it came … Continue reading Roxy Music vinyl box offers a second shot at ’70s art-rock

Rod Stewart box set captures his post-Faces hits and the odd clunker

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 2002 By Steve Newton Before Rod the Mod became the kind of guy who would release a CD of golden-oldie pop standards called It Had to Be You—and then shamelessly plug it on Larry King Live—he was quite a ferocious rock crooner. Nothing will ever match the … Continue reading Rod Stewart box set captures his post-Faces hits and the odd clunker

Thin Lizzy box set is a fitting tribute to hard-rock poet Phil Lynott

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 2002 By Steve Newton Thin Lizzy was among my top-five fave rock bands in the ’70s. I picked up on the group after reading a rave review of 1973’s Vagabonds of the Western World in my magazine of choice at the time, Circus. I rushed out and … Continue reading Thin Lizzy box set is a fitting tribute to hard-rock poet Phil Lynott

Capitol Records 60th Anniversary box gets the Newt’s noggin noddin’

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 2002 By Steve Newton To celebrate 60 years in business, Capitol Records has released an ambitious, six-CD boxed set, with each disc containing 16 tunes from one particular decade, spanning the ’40s to the ’90s. Not surprisingly, some of my fave pop and rock tunes of all … Continue reading Capitol Records 60th Anniversary box gets the Newt’s noggin noddin’

Led Zeppelin’s best album, Physical Graffiti, to get deluxe box-set treatment

By Steve Newton Led Zeppelin announced the other day that it will release a super-deluxe boxed-set edition of its best album, 1975's Physical Graffiti. Fvckin-AAA! The package--newly remastered by Jimmy Page and featuring previously unreleased tracks--will hit stores on February 24, 40 years to the day after the release of the original. In case you forgot what … Continue reading Led Zeppelin’s best album, Physical Graffiti, to get deluxe box-set treatment

The Tragically Hip to release super-deluxe edition of the Newt’s fave Hip album

By Steve Newton When you love the Tragically Hip as much as I do—or did, anyway, back in the '90s—it's hard to pinpoint one favourite album. But let's try anyway. My alltime fave song of theirs—the one that has given me the most chills when heard either on record or live—is "Nautical Disaster", so sometimes … Continue reading The Tragically Hip to release super-deluxe edition of the Newt’s fave Hip album

David Wilcox’s whimsical boogie doesn’t warrant a 63-song box set

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1993 By Steve Newton In the early ’80s David Wilcox flew onto the Canadian music scene with Out of the Woods, a debut album that was chock-full of snappy, whimsically rocking tunes that couldn’t help but infect you with their primal, blues-driven energy. Catchy tracks such as … Continue reading David Wilcox’s whimsical boogie doesn’t warrant a 63-song box set

The Return of the Manticore box set is for devoted ELP fans only

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1993 By Steve Newton As a high schooler back in ’73, I blindly purchased a copy of Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery, which was highly unusual for me, since the band didn’t even have a rockin’ lead guitarist and I didn’t even do drugs. Yet … Continue reading The Return of the Manticore box set is for devoted ELP fans only

Ashes to Diamonds box set shines with unreleased Tom Cochrane gems

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1993 By Steve Newton This three-CD box set is a real bonus for Tom Cochrane fans who enjoyed his recent hits, “Big League” and “Life Is a Highway”, but who still believe his best musical moments occurred with his former band, Red Rider. The majority of the … Continue reading Ashes to Diamonds box set shines with unreleased Tom Cochrane gems

Led Zeppelin box gets you the best of Zep on tape or CD for one nominal price

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 3, 1991 By Steve Newton So you’re all upset because over the years you’ve invested $200 into your mint collection of Led Zeppelin LPs, only to turn around and find that vinyl is going the way of the dodo. Well, quit your bawling, ’cause now you can get … Continue reading Led Zeppelin box gets you the best of Zep on tape or CD for one nominal price

George Harrison box set stirs ’70s memories and gets Conan on the case

By Steve Newton An eight-disc George Harrison box set titled The Apple Years 1968-75 was released today, for all you post-Beatles Harrison freaks out there. I probably won't run out and buy it, since I don't have a spare hundred bucks kickin' around right now, but hearing about it made me recall the Year of Our Lord, 1973. That was … Continue reading George Harrison box set stirs ’70s memories and gets Conan on the case

Rush to issue box set with previously unreleased live footage (of John Rutsey!)

By Steve Newton If you're the type of diehard Rush freak who thinks who've seen everything the band's ever put to video, get ready for this. The Canuck prog-rock legends announced today that, on November 11, they'll be releasing R40, a 10-DVD/6-Blu-ray collector's boxed set which also includes all eight songs from a show in … Continue reading Rush to issue box set with previously unreleased live footage (of John Rutsey!)

Doobie Brothers box set suffers from some Michael McDonald-penned ditties

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1999 By Steve Newton Is a band that only put out two great albums in its 30-year career justified in releasing a four-CD, 78-track boxed set? You betcha. A lot of bands that don’t have any great albums put out boxed sets. So just the fact that … Continue reading Doobie Brothers box set suffers from some Michael McDonald-penned ditties

The Art of McCartney boasts ’70s rockers Heart, Steve Miller, Sammy Hagar, and the Coop

By Steve Newton Groundworks Marketing announced today that a new Paul McCartney tribute album will be released on November 17, and that it will feature some of my fave artists from the seventies, including Alice Cooper, Steve Miller, Heart, Bad Company's Paul Rodgers, Montrose's Sammy Hagar, the Who's Roger Daltrey, and Cheap Trick's Robin Zander and … Continue reading The Art of McCartney boasts ’70s rockers Heart, Steve Miller, Sammy Hagar, and the Coop

Genesis box set goes heavy on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 17, 1998 By Steve Newton Before paying the hefty list price for this boxed set, you’ll want to make sure you’re a big fan of Genesis’s 1974 double album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, because a live version of it—recorded at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium in January of … Continue reading Genesis box set goes heavy on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

There’s plenty of room to keep your weed in the Queen box if you toss the two duds

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 17, 1998 By Steve Newton Don’t let the oversized imitation-velvet box fool you—this cheaply designed collection is nothing more than a digitally remastered reissue of the band’s first eight studio albums. Unlike in most boxed sets, there’s nothing previously unreleased here, nothing rare, nothing live. Instead of paying … Continue reading There’s plenty of room to keep your weed in the Queen box if you toss the two duds

Mott the Hoople box set is definitely worth the extra dollars

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 24, 1998 By Steve Newton This long-awaited, three-disc Mott the Hoople box--All the Young Dudes: The Anthology-- is only available as a British import, but for die-hard fans of the distinctive and innovative glam-era band it’s definitely worth the extra dollars. As well as the group’s biggest hits … Continue reading Mott the Hoople box set is definitely worth the extra dollars

New Zep reissues will do until the Physical Graffiti box comes around

By Steve Newton Four months ago I did a blog about Led Zeppelin releasing deluxe reissues of its first three albums, under the headline "Led Zeppelin super-deluxe boxed sets destroy all other boxed sets." Well, I take it back. Today the legendary hard-rockers announced that they are releasing two more deluxe editions, and these are the ones that really destroy … Continue reading New Zep reissues will do until the Physical Graffiti box comes around

Status Quo box set brings ’70s guitar-boogie in spades

  By Steve Newton One of my favourite things to do as a music-crazed teen in the '70s was to go to record stores and buy albums based solely on how rockin' they looked. I can still remember checking out the record bins and laying my eyes on a 1972 album by a group that … Continue reading Status Quo box set brings ’70s guitar-boogie in spades

New John Mellencamp box set crams 19 discs into one tidy package

  By Steve Newton If you're a hardcore John Mellencamp fan and you just lost your entire Mellencamp CD collection because your house burned down, and now you've gotta go live in a small apartment without a lot of space for discs, have I got the thing for you. This Tuesday (July 22), Universal Music Canada is … Continue reading New John Mellencamp box set crams 19 discs into one tidy package

Silverchair fanatics will lap up the Aussie grunge-rockers’ Freak Box

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1997 By Steve Newton You’ve gotta think pretty highly of yourself to issue a five-disc box set when you’ve only got two albums to your name, but that’s what teenage Aussie grunge-rockers Silverchair have done with this limited-edition import, The Freak Box. Even more bizarre, though, is … Continue reading Silverchair fanatics will lap up the Aussie grunge-rockers’ Freak Box

The Doors box set documents the band in all its unrefined glory

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1997 By Steve Newton This four-disc package of Doors material, spanning the years 1965 to ’71, favours previously unreleased live tracks and demo recordings over studio-polished hits, and documents the band in all its eccentric, unrefined, and—with tunes that pass the 18-minute mark—excessive glory. Its mix of … Continue reading The Doors box set documents the band in all its unrefined glory

Bonfire box a godsend for fans of AC/DC’s ear-bustin’ boogie blues

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1997 By Steve Newton My reviewer’s copy of the long-overdue AC/DC box set was labelled with a warning that it was not for sale and “must be returned on demand of recording company”. Yeah, right—I’d like to see Warner Brothers just try to get this prized package … Continue reading Bonfire box a godsend for fans of AC/DC’s ear-bustin’ boogie blues

Crossroads 2 (live in the seventies) finds Slowhand bluesy as hell

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1996 By Steve Newton They should have subtitled this one live (and bluesy) in the seventies, because over the course of this four-CD package old Slowhand really gets down, covering tunes by Johnny Otis, Elmore James, Sonny Boy Williamson, T-Bone Walker, Otis Rush, and—no fewer than six … Continue reading Crossroads 2 (live in the seventies) finds Slowhand bluesy as hell

Cheap Trick box set wisely avoids ’80s clunkers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1996 By Steve Newton Back in ’78, my personal Top 10 included power-rock LPs such as UFO’s Obsession, AC/DC’s Powerage, Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous, and the third Cheap Trick album, Heaven Tonight. At the time I was a UBC faculty of arts slacker, and the best … Continue reading Cheap Trick box set wisely avoids ’80s clunkers

Fans of early Queen will flip for Live at the Rainbow ’74

By Steve Newton I f***in' love early Queen. That crazy guitar tone Brian May had on the band's self-titled 1973 debut album was unlike anything I'd ever heard before. It kinda freaked me out, in a wonderful way. The fantasy elements and heavy prog stylings of the 1974 Queen 2 concept album also won me over big time, and … Continue reading Fans of early Queen will flip for Live at the Rainbow ’74