Exclaim! Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Box Sets of 2020
Gift ideas for the music lover who wants everything, from Run the Jewels to Sarah Harmer
Published Dec 03, 2020With some musicians, every stone is worth turning, be it a live recording, B-side or demo. If one of the people on your holiday gift list this year is a fan of artists like Wilco, Prince, Rush and Sade, these box sets might make the perfect addition to their collection.
Pick almost any prominent artist and you're likely to find a trail of influence that includes Sade. This Far collects the British group's six studio albums, all remastered on 180 g vinyl for the first time.
Full Vinyl Discography
This new set pairs Are You Gone, the latest from national treasure and former Weeping Tile member Sarah Harmer, with her five previous solo albums. Four of these, including 1999's solo debut Songs for Clem, are being pressed on wax for the first time ever.
Sign o' the Times Super Deluxe Edition
The Purple One's best album is given a super-sized boost, adding 63 new tracks to the original double-LP. Yet, in Prince's world, B-sides and outtakes are more than historical curiosities — they offer crucial context for the musical polymath's creative process.
Run the Jewels
RTJ4 Deluxe Edition
Killer Mike and El-P's latest collection of mosh pit-inducing hip-hop adds two LPs of instrumentals on metallic gold vinyl to the original album, here pressed on magenta wax. It also includes a booklet of lyrics, liner notes and photography.
Bob Marley and the Wailers
The Complete Island Recordings
This new set features all nine studio albums and two live albums that Bob Marley and the Wailers made for Island Records across 11 CDs. It all comes housed in a Zippo ligher-shaped box that pays homage to the group's famed original album cover for Catch a Fire.
Delicate Sound of Thunder Super Deluxe Edition
Though included in 2019's The Later Years collection, this 1988 concert and film is now available on its own. Remixed, restored and re-edited, the new set adds new tracks to the original release along with a 40-page booklet, tour poster and postcards.
Permanent Waves Super Deluxe Edition
A landmark record for the Holy Triumvirate, this new collection arrives in time to celebrate Permanent Waves' 40th anniversary. The Super Deluxe Edition includes tracks from the album's subsequent tour, as well as a two tour programs, a 40-page hard cover book, replica backstage laminates, Neil Peart's handwritten lyric sheets and more.
Summerteeth Box Set
As well as a remaster, Wilco's third LP gets bulked up with two-dozen unreleased demos, outtakes and alternative versions. Limited to just 6,000 copies, the vinyl version also includes An Unmitigated Disaster, a Tower Records in-store live performance recorded days after the album's original release in 1999.
Paranoid 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition
The new 50th anniversary edition of Paranoid includes a stereo quadradisc mix of the original album along with two live sets, which should be enough to dig into before the Super Deluxe Edition of Vol. 4 arrives in February.
Elton: Jewel Box
Perhaps the clearest sign that Sir Elton really is retiring is this closet-clearing trio of box sets, which spreads his career across nine LPs. The first set collects hand-picked deep cuts; the second, rarities and B-sides; and the third packages all the songs mentioned in John's memoir, Me, onto two LPs.