Need a last minute gift for the rock and roll fan in your life? Or do you just need to figure out what to spend that awesome gift card on? We’re here to help with rundowns of this year’s best box sets from classic artists.
THE DEAL: Between the dissolution of the Beatles in 1970 and the founding of Wings in late 1971, Paul McCartney managed to release two albums. While his first self-titled debut was comprised of home recordings, for 1971′s RAM, McCartney collaborated with his wife Linda for their only album as a duo, inspired by their time in the Scottish countryside. The album – full of vivid instrumentation – was a hit, spawning the No. 1 U.S. hit “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” and kick-starting the formation of Wings.
This year, RAM got the remastering treatment at Abbey Road Studios and was reissued in a number of formats, including vinyl. For fans who want a deep-dive into all things McCartney at this strange time in both his career and personal life (he had just left The Beatles, moved to Scotland with his growing family, and amassed a big ole beard, for crying outloud), the very affordable RAM box set isn’t a bad way to go, gift-wise. It’s the sort of box set that includes the sort of relics that one doesn’t necessarily need but would likely enjoy browsing through, from handwritten lyric sheets to a massive scrapbook and old photo prints. The set’s bonus disc of songs recorded during the album sessions (like single “Another Day”) is actually something you’d want to hear. The DVD features performances, home movies and McCartney’s stories behind the album. There’s even a disc of instrumental versions of RAM songs and a mono version of the remastered album, both of which are admittedly a little unnecessary. But for the price, not a bad gift idea – and one of Macca’s most underrated albums.
THE PRICE: $80
RELEASE DATE: May 2012
Need more holiday gift ideas? Try our Holiday Gift Guide.
– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local