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Rock - Released October 4, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released March 8, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released March 8, 2019 | Rhino

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Pop - Released April 15, 2016 | Rhino

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Pop - Released April 15, 2016 | Rhino

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Pop - Released February 26, 2016 | Rhino

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Pop - Released November 27, 2015 | Rhino

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Rock - Released July 10, 2015 | Rhino

Rhino's 2012 box set The Studio Albums 1969-1978 rounds up their remasters of what many consider Chicago's golden period: the band's first ten albums. Every one of the albums from 1969's Chicago Transit Authority to 1978's Hot Streets is here, packaged as paper-sleeve mini-LPs. For hardcore fans, this is a handsome way to get the remasters, and for more casual fans, it's a convenient and relatively affordable way to get the best albums of Chicago in one place. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 14, 2015 | Rhino

Released in support of the Replacements' ongoing mid-2010s reunion, the 2015 box The Complete Studio Albums 1981-1990 rounds up all the studio albums the Replacements made for Twin/Tone and Reprise, plus the Stink EP. This may be based on the 2008 remasters from Rhino, but the box lacks any of the 2008 bonus tracks so this isn't a set for die-hard 'Mats fans, who will miss all those outtakes, B-sides, live cuts, alternate takes, and stray songs. What this is, then, is the complete canon at an exceedingly affordable price -- the kind of thing that the less dedicated, whether they're nostalgic Gen-Xers or curious Millennials, will find attractive. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released June 27, 2014 | Rhino

If Frankie Valli was the voice of the Four Seasons, and he certainly was, possessing an astounding high tenor voice that could ascend effortlessly into falsetto range at the beat of a drum, then Bob Gaudio was the group's heart and soul. A fine songwriter, arranger, and producer, Gaudio was the creative auteur behind the Seasons in much the same way that Brian Wilson was the creative and production force behind the Beach Boys. He knew the kind of talent he had in Valli, and wrote songs like "Sherry," "Dawn," "Rag Doll," and countless others to put that amazing, soaring voice in play, and he did it well, with the Four Seasons ending up the fourth most successful singles act in pop history, trailing only the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Ray Charles, placing nearly 50 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1995. This box set collects 18 of their albums released between 1962 and 1992 in facsimile gatefold editions, preserving most of the group's legacy and history (a few things are missing, including 1962's Christmas release The Four Seasons' Greetings; the 1968 compilation Edizione d'Oro, which featured stereo mixes and alternate takes; 1972's Chameleon, which was released by and is still controlled by Motown Records; and 1981's Reunited Live). That's a lot of Four Seasons, who were always mainly a singles act. The group's albums were packaged around the hits, and usually included covers and other filler to flesh things out, so a set like this is primarily focused on ardent fans and collectors, who may be disappointed to find no additional annotation other than the original album notes for each facsimile, and some songs listed are in fact not actually on the discs, although over the course of 18 albums, it's a minor problem, but still irritating. ~ Steve Leggett
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Pop - Released June 27, 2014 | Rhino

Frankie Valli was the voice of the Four Seasons, possessing an astounding high tenor voice that could ascend effortlessly into falsetto range at the beat of a heart, a Jersey boy who knew how to sing pop inside and out, from street-corner doo wop to uptown Vegas crooning. The bulk of his legacy will always be based on his work as part of the Four Seasons, who placed some 50 classic singles in Billboard's Top 100 charts before all was said and done. Valli enjoyed a moderately successful solo career as well, and since the songwriter and arranger behind most of the Four Seasons' hits, Bob Gaudio, continued to work closely with Valli during the solo years, his recordings make an easy transitional sidebar to the Seasons' material. This set collects eight of Valli's ten solo albums in facsimile fashion, missing only 1975's Inside You, which was released and is still controlled by Motown Records, and Valli's most recent album, 2007's Romancing the '60s. The end result is a lot of Frankie Valli in one place, which will probably be too much for the casual fan, but as an addendum to his work fronting the Four Seasons, this set is a valuable archival release, in part because Valli's soaring falsetto was simply one of the most amazing and distinctive voices in all of 20th century pop music. ~ Steve Leggett
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Pop - Released June 17, 2014 | Rhino

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Pop - Released October 29, 2012 | Rhino

One has to wonder why this box, Joni Mitchell's The Studio Albums 1968-1979, was issued only in the European market. During this period --and some would argue even after -- Mitchell had one of most consistent quality runs in pop history. She is one of the most influential songwriters and recording artists of the 20th century. Included here are Song to a Seagull, Clouds, Ladies of the Canyon, Blue, For the Roses, Court and Spark, Hissing of Summer Lawns, Hejira, the double album Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, and Mingus. The first four are regarded as her "singer/songwriter" era offerings, the next one (For the Roses) details her crossing over into pop success (without compromise, of course), and the final five as her "jazz period," an era that lasted longer than her tenure with Warner Bros, and into her years at Geffen. What's remarkable is that they are all indelibly Mitchell. From the earliest, her vocal phrasing and guitar playing were just off enough to underscore the depth and poetry in her lyrics. By the time she reached For the Roses, she was already inventing new melodic and rhythmic paths. By Hissing of Summer Lawns, Hejira, and especially on Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, she was off-road, cutting a new swath of rhythmic invention in popular music, utilizing jazz syncopation and harmonics, Brazilian and Latin rhythms, and even modal elements that seemed to make time, melody, and lyric concerns more elastic. There is a great anecdote from Robbie Robertson about Mitchell asking the Band to back her at the Watkins Glen rock festival. They were unable to play with her because only drummer Levon Helm could flow with her sense of groove. All these albums feature their own mini-LP sleeves (no fancy paper, sorry). There is no bonus material of any kind included. The art is not so much redone as extremely reduced, making most of the print small enough that reading can be difficult. There is no liner essay in the package, either. The plus -- in addition to a stellar body of music -- is that the price is right; each album prices out to considerably less than these recordings sell for individually. ~ Thom Jurek
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Pop - Released November 20, 2007 | Rhino

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Pop - Released November 22, 2005 | Rhino

Like many Rhino Handmade releases (available only via Internet), the Monkees' Headquarters Sessions is marketed for fanatics. Indeed, this set - which contains over three discs filled with all the outtakes and studio chatter you could ever hope for or need -- is essentially the Holy Grail of Monkees material. Informal versions of "Cripple Creek," "Don't Be Cruel," "Nine Times Blue," "The Story of Rock and Roll" (made into a modest hit by the Turtles), and "She's So Far Out, She's In" are only a handful of the set's rarites. On the tracks that would become the Headquarters album, it becomes obvious this was an amateur band struggling to get through a simple take. However, you can feel the camaraderie (even though Davy Jones is absent from most of this) between musicians Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork, while actor Mickey Dolenz is heard numerous times throughout apologizing for yet another drum flub. In this potentially volatile scenario, there is a sense of friendship and lack of studio ego, which is exactly why this package is so charming. These are mainly actors, struggling to prove their musicianship, maintaining their cool while finding out the hard way how difficult the recording process actually is (and how good Don Kirshner's studio musicians were). After Headquarters, the Monkees would never attempt to go into the studio again depending wholly on themselves. Their individual musical direction, especially in Nesmith's case, would be required from then on, with the final results being mixed at best. Along with the mainly unreleased instrumental versions of these tracks, studio flubs and conversations is the scrapped mono version of Headquarters with a completely different song sequence that included Nesmith's "The Girl I Knew Somewhere." ~ Al Campbell