10 New Box Sets Every Classic Rock Fan Should Get


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It’s 2024, the age of digital media and streaming services, and for a lot of classic rock fans that’s perfectly satisfactory. After all, why mess around with easily scratched vinyl and other physical media when you can access music on your phone and keep your home free of clutter?

For other classic rock fans, that just won’t do. They’re very attached to their vinyl and CDs, and they feel like the music doesn’t really belong to them if there isn’t a hard copy on the shelf. These fans love beautifully presented box sets with multiple discs, informative booklets, and generous shelf appeal. If that sounds like you, check out our rundown of recently-released or soon-to-be-released box sets that no classic rock fan should be without.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / Robin Trower / Roxanne Music Ltd..

1. The Dream Academy

Religion, Revolution & Railways: The Complete Recordings

The Dream Academy was a British band that only managed to release three albums during their 1980s heyday. It would be accurate to call them a cult band if not for their 1985 hit song, “Life in a Northern Town,” which remains their most beloved track, and hit number seven on the U.S. charts in ’85. Their fans feel that there was a lot more to them than just this one song, so they’ll be happy to see the seven-disc “Religion, Revolution & Railways: The Complete Recordings” set. The box contains their three official albums alongside B-sides, remixes, and unreleased tracks.

Image Credit: Amazon.

2. Paul McCartney & Wings

Band on the Run: 50th Anniversary Edition

“Band on the Run” was the third studio album by Paul McCartney & Wings, his solo band after the Beatles’ breakup. It sold like crazy and was listed on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. While this 50th-anniversary edition features only two discs and may not be the sprawling document some fans might hope for, the original album is paired with a second disc of “underdubbed” rough mixes, which contain all the album tracks in an unfinished form. It’s very likely to surprise fans who are used to how the album normally sounds.

Image Credit: Paul McCartney Official Store.

3. Def Leppard

Pyromania: 40th Anniversary

“Pyromania” was the third studio album by English hard rock band Def Leppard, and when it came out in 1983, it was a massive mainstream success. Songs like “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages” kept the album on the charts for a long time. This 40th anniversary reissue contains the original album, a disc of rarities, two live discs, and audiophile mixes. The audiophile mixes should be revelatory to Gen Xers who remember the sound of the album on a crappy store-bought cassette, played to death on a Walkman.

Image Credit: Def Leppard Official Store.

4. Robin Trower

Bridge of Sighs: 50th Anniversary

Guitar god Robin Trower left his band Procol Harum for a solo career. “Bridge of Sighs,” his second album, remains his biggest hit. The album has been reissued for its 50th anniversary as a deluxe box set containing three compact discs and a Blu-ray, featuring a Dolby Atmos Mix for the audiophile in your life. The real treat for fans is the remixed album on disc two, which takes songs that faded out after four minutes on the original vinyl and lets them keep going until the band stops playing (in some cases almost doubling them in length). If you’re a fan of Trower’s guitar playing, ask for this as a very early Christmas present.

Image Credit: Robin Trower.

5. Yes

Fragile: Super Deluxe Edition

The 1972 album “Fragile” by British progressive rock giant Yes is considered not just a definitive statement by this band, but for prog rock in general. Best known for the song “Roundabout,” this album has been given the super deluxe box treatment, containing the original album, remixes, outtakes, and live material. While you’re picking that up, you also might want to grab a copy of the 30th-anniversary reissue of 1994’s “Talk,” a great album has been reissued with outtakes and live content.

Image Credit: Amazon.

6. Jethro Tull

Bursting Out: The Inflated Edition

1978’s “Bursting Out” was a well-received live album by Jethro Tull. The band has been methodically working to give every album the deluxe box treatment. Like the others released so far, it comes in a hardcover book format, so you can line them all up nicely on one shelf. The album has been remixed by Steven Wilson, whose deft touch has given many albums with subpar mixes a new lease on life thanks to his expertise.

Image Credit: Rhino.

7. The Police

Synchronicity: Super Deluxe Edition

Police fans have waited a long time for the band’s catalog to be anthologized properly, to the extent that many assumed it would never happen. Imagine their delight when it was revealed that “Synchronicity,” the band’s fifth and final studio album, was finally getting reissued in a quite generous six-disc configuration. Containing hits like “Every Breath You Take” and “Synchronicity II,” the album was a massive seller, but that wasn’t enough to keep the oft-feuding band together. They must have finally buried the hatchet, as all three band members were involved in overseeing this box, which contains the original album, two discs of rare and unreleased material, and two discs of live recordings. Do “Outlandos D’Amour” next, please.

Image Credit: Roxanne Music Ltd..

8. Van Halen

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge: Expanded Edition

Just like Police fans, many Van Halen fans believed they were never going to see the band’s classic catalog recieve the respect it deserves in the form of expanded reissues. This was especially true for fans of the Sammy Hagar era, who were used to seeing the singer’s contributions to the band get short shrift. Perhaps as an angry retort, 1991’s “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” is being given a two-disc reissue, with the original album on the first disc and live and single tracks on the second. Apart from that, the set also includes a Blu-ray disc and the original album on vinyl.

Image Credit: Amazon.

9. Joni Mitchell

The Asylum Albums (1976-1980)

Rather than spend a lot of time picking tracks to put on a retrospective compilation, the good people at Rhino Records have decided that fans of Joni Mitchell’s music would be best served by reissuing her original studio albums in a box of four without changing any content. If you’re a fan of Mitchell’s music and are missing the albums that make up her output from the late ’70s and into the next decade, this is an ideal way of rectifying that with a single click to Amazon. The set contains “Hejira,” “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter,” “Mingus,” and the live album “Shadows and Light.” It’s just those albums in a decorative box, but for her fans, that’s plenty.

Image Credit: Rhino and Joni Mitchell.

10. Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention

Whisky A Go Go, 1968

The great Frank Zappa has been gone for over 30 years, but you would never know it by the steady stream of releases that have been coming out. The latest release is the three-disc recording of his performance with the Mothers of Invention at the legendary Los Angeles nightclub, Whisky A Go Go on Tuesday, July 23, 1968. While most live albums are culled from multiple performances and whittled down to just the highlights, this set features all three performances from that date in their entirety. If you’re a Zappa newbie, this is absolutely not the place to start, but longtime fans will be thrilled to have this.

This story was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

Image Credit: Frank Zappa Official Store.

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Image Credit: Joni Mitchell Performing Live, 2023 by Library of Congress Life (CC BY).