The ultimate Queen fan and vinyl freak just creamed his or her jeans

By Steve Newton There's been some pretty freakin' sweet deluxe-edition vinyl box sets released in the last little while, especially if you're a '70s-rock fanatic. That John Lennon package from last April--with all his solo albums on LP--was a real treat for Lennon aficianados. And the Roxy Music collection that came out the month before that was a godsend … Continue reading The ultimate Queen fan and vinyl freak just creamed his or her jeans

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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

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

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

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

Quadrophenia: Live in London gets primo packaging in a collector’s edition

By Steve Newton I've long posited that the Who's Quadrophenia is the greatest rock album of all time. The 1973 double-disc captured the British rock quartet at its creative peak, firing on all cylinders, and—thanks to Pete Townsend's songwriting skills—told a thoroughly engrossing tale of a young man's struggle for identity amid the Mods vs. Rockers turmoil … Continue reading Quadrophenia: Live in London gets primo packaging in a collector’s edition

Rush gives John Rutsey his due on ReDISCovered box set

By Steve Newton The Pete Best of Canada finally gets his due. John Rutsey, the drummer who played on the very first Rush album before being replaced by Neil Peart, will get some of the credit he deserves with today's (April 29) release of the Rush ReDISCovered LP boxed set. If you don't understand how important Rutsey … Continue reading Rush gives John Rutsey his due on ReDISCovered box set

Dio-era Rules of Hell box proves Sabbath thrived after Ozzy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 3, 2008 By Steve Newton Just as there are many who feel that Van Halen turned to crap when David Lee Roth left the fold, there are scads of metalheads who believe that Black Sabbath wasn’t worth shite without Ozzy Osbourne at the mike. Screw them. There’s no denying that … Continue reading Dio-era Rules of Hell box proves Sabbath thrived after Ozzy

Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same remains awesome on vinyl

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 3, 2008 By Steve Newton No sooner had I replaced the stylus on my ancient Yamaha turntable than into my mail slot slid a review copy of The Song Remains the Same, a four-disc vinyl re-release recorded during three sold-out Led Zeppelin gigs at Madison Square Garden in 1973. Thanks … Continue reading Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same remains awesome on vinyl

The mighty KISS marketing machine pulls off another fast one with IKONS

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 3, 2008 By Steve Newton I’ve always argued that KISS’s best album was its self-titled 1974 debut, and that musically the band went downhill from there. For those who disagree, there’s IKONS. In an obvious effort to squeeze a few more bucks out of the American glam-rock quartet’s extensive catalogue, … Continue reading The mighty KISS marketing machine pulls off another fast one with IKONS

Essentially John Mayall sees the British bluesman with a cavalcade of guitar heroes

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2006 By Steve Newton The lineup of guitar slingers on this five-CD package is enough to make any blues-rock devotee start foaming at the mouth: Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Mick Taylor, Billy Gibbons, Otis Rush, Steve Miller, Walter Trout, Jeff Healey, Steve Cropper, and Jonny Lang. Such … Continue reading Essentially John Mayall sees the British bluesman with a cavalcade of guitar heroes

Extravagant Doors box captures cosmic aspects of the Lizard King

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2006 By Steve Newton Anyone put off by surviving Doors members Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzarek’s attempts to cash in on the band’s legacy by scooping up Jim Morrison look-alike Ian Astbury for last year’s Doors of the 21st Century tour can take solace in this extravagant package. Perception … Continue reading Extravagant Doors box captures cosmic aspects of the Lizard King

Nine Lives box set best suited for hardcore Robert Plant fans only

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2006 By Steve Newton Only hard-core fans of Robert Plant’s post-Zeppelin output should invest in the 10-disc Nine Lives set, which includes his nine solo albums—from 1982’s Pictures of Eleven through last year’s Mighty Rearranger—plus bonus tracks and an hourlong DVD. Nine Lives isn’t Christmas music, obviously, but that … Continue reading Nine Lives box set best suited for hardcore Robert Plant fans only

Tragically Hip box set artfully melds sound and vision

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 8, 2005 By Steve Newton My wife Dawn and I are big Tragically Hip fans. Heck, back in '97 we went to see them at Thunderbird Stadium when she was eight-months pregnant, giving our first-born an in-utero sampling of Canada's top guitar rockers. No wonder the opening riffs of "Little … Continue reading Tragically Hip box set artfully melds sound and vision

Ozzy Osbourne box the perfect primer for his post-Sabbath period

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 8, 2005 By Steve Newton Ozzy Osbourne could easily have gotten away with compiling a bunch of album tracks, tossing in a live concert DVD, and calling it the Prince of Darkness box set. But the pioneering bat-biter evidently wanted to give his hordes of fans something special. His idea … Continue reading Ozzy Osbourne box the perfect primer for his post-Sabbath period

100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong….or can they?

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 9, 2004 By Steve Newton I remember once seeing a poster that was just a picture of a turd and a sentence that read something like Eat Shit: 100,000,000 Flies Can't Be Wrong. That's what came to mind when I first laid eyes on the new, five-disc Bon Jovi boxed … Continue reading 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong….or can they?

Judas Priest’s Metalogy box set comes wrapped in metal studs

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 9, 2004 By Steve Newton Back in '82 when I first started writing for the Straight, I instantly became the paper's on-call heavy-metal dude. Nobody else seemed to want the job--certainly not Alexander Varty, the main music critic at the time. So I happily took on the role, because it meant … Continue reading Judas Priest’s Metalogy box set comes wrapped in metal studs

Consider yourself warned about Sabbath’s Black Box

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 9, 2004 By Steve Newton Now here's the ultimate stocking stuffer for that die-hard metal freak on your Christmas list. It's gonna cost you a fair chunk of cash--I just saw the Black Box going for $124 at A&B Sound--but little Timmy will be gaining invaluable insights into the roots of heavy … Continue reading Consider yourself warned about Sabbath’s Black Box

Deep Purple’s monumental Made in Japan gets box-set treatment

By Steve Newton Yesterday on its official YouTube channel, legendary rock band Deep Purple posted a video announcing the upcoming rerelease of its Made in Japan album in various formats, which include previously unseen footage on DVD, bonus material and mixes, memorabilia, and a hardback book. Made in Japan was recorded in Osaka and Budokan between August 15 and … Continue reading Deep Purple’s monumental Made in Japan gets box-set treatment

Joe Satriani’s upcoming box set is one mighty batch o’ Satch

photo by the Newt By Steve Newton The Joe Satriani show at the Vogue last year was one of my fave gigs of 2013, no surprise since Satch has been consistently blowing me away ever since I first heard Surfing With the Alien back in the eighties. Similarly minded guitar freaks who don't already own all of Satriani's albums--or … Continue reading Joe Satriani’s upcoming box set is one mighty batch o’ Satch

Mike Bloomfield’s fearless fretwork shines on new box set

By Steve Newton When you're talking about amazing guitarists who've passed away before achieving the widespread acclaim they deserve, Mike Bloomfield's right up there. But a four-disc boxed set released today on Sony's Legacy Recordings imprint should help get the word out on the mindblowing blues player. Here's the promotional bumph: Produced and curated by Al Kooper (who … Continue reading Mike Bloomfield’s fearless fretwork shines on new box set

Eric Clapton box set features Slowhand trading licks with Freddie King

By Steve Newton Music lovers of a certain age—let's call them "old fogies" for want of a better term—know that 1973 was an incredible year for guitar-based rock. You can read all about it in music historian Michael Walker's great new book, What You Want Is in the Limo, which focuses on the albums and touring … Continue reading Eric Clapton box set features Slowhand trading licks with Freddie King