As I write this, it's Black Friday -- and the Christmas shopping insanity is officially in full swing. If you've got a music fan to buy for, the music industry has unleashed a staggering array of options this season. I've written about a number of "best of" collections and re-issues of classic albums. This week brings more. Here are a few, with more coming next week:
If you've got a Rolling Stones fan on your list who insists that no good music is released anymore, buy him or her a copy of Primal Scream's latest, Riot City Blues on Columbia. It's the closest you'll come to what might have happened if the early '70s Stones got together with T-Rex to record a great stompin' rock disc.
Or, if you know someone who used to be nuts about the band Chicago, pick them up the band's latest release, XXX. If you're familiar with Chicago's penchant for numbering their albums, you'll realize the title means this is the classic horn rock band's 30th studio album -- an amazing feat of creative longevity. While XXX doesn't measure up to their early material or their '80s rebirth with Peter Cetera, there are still some strong songs that Chicago fans will enjoy.
For the live rock fan
Joe Satriani has been wowing guitar fans for two decades now, and this month Epic offers Satriani Live!, a two-disc set recorded in May that includes some of his most popular instrumental guitar outings, including "Flying in a Blue Dream," and "Satch Boogie."
Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler paired up for an album and a tour with Emmylou Harris this year, and now a recording of their live show, Real Live Roadrunning is available. The set offers a CD of 14 tracks (including a sweetly quiet duet on Dire Straits' "Why Worry"), as well as a DVD with 17 songs and an interview.
Reaching back a ways, Reprise offers a live concert recorded more than 35 years ago from Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Live at the Fillmore East March 6-7, 1970 CD offers six tracks and promises to be the first in a series of releases of old Young concerts.
Modern Rock Bests
Sire has issued The Best of Depeche Mode Vol. 1 which offers 17 of Depeche Mode's hits, as well a new song, "Martyr." Included are "Personal Jesus," "Just Can't Get Enough," "Walking in My Shoes," "Master and Servant" and more.
Meanwhile Atlantic has teamed with Rhino to release a P.O.D. compilation. P.O.D. Greatest Hits: (The Atlantic Years) includes 17 songs from the Christian rock act, from "Southtown" to "Youth of the Nation."