The John Lennon
Of the Beatles' solo careers, John Lennon's eclipses all the others, which explains why he was the real mastermind behind the Beatles. Had the group gone on to record even more albums, McCartney probably would have towed the line on their pop side, with Harrison being its spiritual voice, and Ringo being, well, Ringo. This new box set, timed to coincide with Lennon's 70th birthday last October had he lived, is cleverly entitled The John Lennon Signature Box. It contains eight remastered albums, a disc of rare and previously unreleased recordings, and an EP of Lennon's non-album singles. The CDs are housed in digisleeves within a deluxe box, including a collectible limited edition John Lennon art print and a hardbound book featuring rare photos, artwork, collages, poetry, and new liner notes by Rolling Stone magazine's Anthony DeCurtis.
All the albums have been remastered and the sound is stunning, especially his intensely personal ground-breaking first solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Gone at last is a lot of the noise that made it sound like an eight-track tape, even when the CD was first released. Trust us; you'll want to find this under the Christmas tree!
Cowboys From Hell,
The holidays wouldn't be the same without some metal, and in this case, we're not talking about chrome. Pantera's classic Cowboys from Hell has been given the deluxe treatment and for those who discovered this album some 20 years ago, prepare to have your noggin rocked again. The album debuted with the Pantera lineup of vocalist Phillip Anselmo, guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul, and bassist Rex Brown. You students of rock mayhem may recall the tragic wasteful overdose behind the death of Anselmo and the shocking onstage murder of "Dimebag" Darrell that seemed to eclipse the group's musical accomplishment for a time. But during the '90s Pantera set a high bar for loud metal that's never been toppled. This newly updated set is a real treasure trove for fans that like to ride down the highway with the volume maxed out. The deluxe edition features three CDs that include rare and unreleased demos along with live tracks and essays by the surviving members of the band. Wanna clear out the relatives early during the holidays? Play this LOUD during the holiday dinner. You'll be smiling while they head for cover.