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Rewinding 2019 | The Fullest Box Sets

The best and the rest of the year's most exhaustive archival offerings.

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Between the streaming revolution, the resurgence of vinyl and the death of brick-and-mortar record stores, the CD may not be long for this world. But I can guarantee this: The box set will never die. Not as long as there are music collectors in this world — and people who need to buy birthday, Christmas and Father’s Day presents for them. Here are the best multi-disc compilations that landed with a thud at my door in 2019:


TINNITIST’S PICK

The Beatles
Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

“Last chance to be loud!” jokes John Lennon to his fellow Beatles on one of the Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition’s bonus tracks. At the time, of course, he had no idea how right he was. But as even the least-fervent Beatles fan can tell you now, their 11th album also turned out to be their final studio collaboration. Thankfully — and fittingly, in light of Lennon’s line — they went out not with a whimper but with a brilliant bang. Cut in the wake of the frustrating film shoot that would spawn their literal swan song Let It Be, the original 17-song Abbey Road stands as both their final masterwork and highest-selling album. Hell, even the zebra-crossing cover picture is iconic. Now, almost five decades to the day after its release, the album is back in a deluxe box set that follows in the footsteps of the Sgt. Pepper and White Album sets by tastefully remixing the remastered original songs while adding dozens of outtakes, Blu-Ray audio expansions and a superb hardcover book that chronicles every moment of the action in exhaustive detail. Step on the gas and wipe that tear away.

READ THE FULL REVIEW AND HEAR THE ALBUM HERE


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Band | The Band: 50th Anniversary Edition
The Beatles | The Singles Collection
Bob Dylan | Travelin’ Thru, 1967–1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15
Bob Dylan | The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
Rory Gallagher | Blues
Grateful Dead | Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991
Jimi Hendrix | Songs for Groovy Children: The Fillmore East Concerts
Freddie Mercury | Never Boring
Steve Miller Band | Welcome to The Vault
Motörhead | 1979
Pink Floyd | The Later Years 1987-2019
The Police | Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings
Prince | 1999 Super Deluxe Edition
R.E.M. | Monster 25th Anniversary Edition
The Replacements | Dead Man’s Pop
Keith Richards | Talk is Cheap 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
The Rolling Stones | Let It Bleed 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Various Artists | Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records: The Definitive Collection
Various Artists | Land of 1000 Dances: The Rampart Records 50th Anniversary Complete Singles Collection
Various Artists | Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Frank Zappa | Halloween ’73
Frank Zappa | Hot Rats Sessions
Frank Zappa | Orchestral Favorites 40th Anniversary
Frank Zappa | Zappa in New York 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

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