2017 Holiday Gift Ideas

Everybody had a hard year, Everybody had a good time
Everybody had a wet dream, Everybody saw the sunshine
Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah, oh yeah – I’ve Got A Feeling by The Beatles from Let It Be

Yes, 2017 was a hard year but we the time to moan and groan is past and the time to buy some timeless, life-affirming music for you or a loved one has come.  This year marked the 50th anniversary of the granddaddy of them all (No, not the Rose Ball) Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and you’e got your pick of a half dozen Pepper packages: single and double CDs, a deluxe box of four CDs and two DVDs (containing videos and 5.1 surround mixes of the original album), as well as a double LP that, like the other expanded editions, includes a handful of the album’s songs in embryo and in various stages of development.  All editions feature a stereo remix by Giles Martin (who is the son of George Martin who  died last year at 90) and Abbey Road audio engineer Sam Okell. 

That Ringo flashback was from when I spoke to him last summer.

It is a golden era for vinyl mavens. We now have the opportunity to acquire the entire George Harrison catalog on wax in one package.  Another guy, named Gordon Sumner, also started a solo career after the biggest band in world broke up.   Sting’s complete solo discography has been lovingly re-mastered on180 gram vinyl with original artwork at, where else, Abbey Road.    All albums by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were also made available this year in The Complete Studio Albums Volume 1 covering 1976-1991 and Volume 2 covering 1994-2014.  The Chuck Berry super deluxe Great 28 box is also a tasty treat as it restores the definitive Berry anthology to two LPs along with three other albums of delights including a hot live set from ’63 with Motown’s Funk Brothers backing him up.  

Tom Petty at his last New York show at Forest Hills Stadium on July 27, 2017, Photo by Dana Distortion…More 

Dynamite live material from The Replacements and Bob Dylan was also unleashed in 2017.  Tapes of The Mats ‘86 Hoboken show has been kicking around for years but that hardly diminishes the excitement of the official release of For Sale.  The performance was captured about 

I spoke to Tommy in January when a new Bash & Pop album came out.

Zimmy was prolific, even by his standards, from 1979 to 1981 as his conversion to Christianity re-lit his songwriting fuse.  As with past eras, Volume 13 of The Bootleg Series presents enough material to satisfy completists while cherry-picking the inevitable treasures found among the live tracks and outtakes from his studio albums of the time: Slow Train Coming, Saved, and Shot of Love.  The packaging is gorgeous and the book of photographs, Pressing On, included in the 9 disc deluxe set is especially lovely.  All of those participating in putting together this and all the volumes of The Bootleg Series deserve praise.  However, I’d like to single out co-producer Steve Berkowitz and co-mixer/masterer Steve Addabbo – both of whom I had a chance to speak with regarding their work with Jeff Buckley last year.

Ho Ho Ho!  Have a fab holiday season and here’s to an excellent 2018 –

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