Music-related gifts are an easy option this holiday season. Everyone loves music, right? Here are some excellent record collections for lovers of rap, metal, and pop, a pair of catchy books, and some clothing to help musicians in need.
Piano Man: Bill Joel celebrates 50 years of making music this year and he’s reminding us all of how it got started. “Billy Joel – Vinyl Collection, Vol. 1” Nine LPs are included: his first six solo studio albums (“Cold Spring Harbor,” “Piano Man,” “Streetlife Serenade,” “Turnstiles,” “The Stranger,” “52nd Street”) along with his first live album (” Song in the Attic”) and “Live at the Great American Music Hall – 1975,” an unreleased concert recording first available in a box set as a double vinyl album. The box also includes a 50-page booklet that highlights Joel’s early career through archival photographs, his insights on his songs, and tributes from fellow musicians, artists, and celebrities. Price: $250.
Book Note: “Music is History” Very personal and extensively historical by Questlove, one of the most fascinating music-based books of the year. The five-time Grammy-winning producer and drummer of The Roots picks one song per chapter from 1971–2001 and lets his encyclopedic mind interpret the tune in its context, reaching back to its influences, associating it with , and let’s discover pop. Culture and American History. It is a tour de force. Take 1976, which highlights Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” then spotlights Duke Ellington and links it to Richard Nixon, the Republican Party, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Questlove also includes great lists like the best e-minor songs or hip-hop deep cuts. Cost: $30.
HEAVY BOX: Metallica’s 1991 self-titled LP, commonly known as the “Black Album,” celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and one way to be involved is by listening to so many more people. Which is not in Metallica. “Metallica Blacklist” is a four-hour, 53-track behemoth of covers by artists including Phoebe Bridgers, Miley Cyrus, St. Vincent, Weezer and Elton John. They tackle the album’s famous tracks, including “Enter Sandman,” “The Unforgiven,” “Nothing Else Matters,” “Where I May Rome” and “Sad But True.” A seven-LP vinyl box set retails for $150, a 4-CD version is $30 and a digital download costs $50. All profits go to Metallica’s own foundation, All Within My Hands, as well as the charity of each contributing artist’s choice.
RAP IS UP: Lil Wayne has dropped the vinyl box set “Tha Carter Singles Collection” Which included 19 of the rapper’s hits on 45 RPM records, including “A Millie,” “Hustler Music,” “How to Love” and the still-unreleased “Carter III”-era song “Ya Dig.” Included in a booklet box filled with two-liner lithographs and never-before-seen photographs, decorated with a tattoo of Lil Wayne. “Tha Carter” reached number 5 on the Billboard 200 in 2004, “Tha Carter II” reached number 2 a year later, and “Tha Carter III” reached both “Tha Carter IV” and “Tha Carter V”. . Top ranked in 2008, 2011 and 2018 respectively. Cost: $200.
Billie’s Gift: How did Billie Eilish become Billie Eilish? You can learn from her songs or in the Apple+ doc “Billy Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry.” But “Billie Eilish” by Grand Central Publishing also has hundreds of photos of her growing up. He plays the piano as an infant in a sling worn by his father, and he and his brother, Phineas, look as mischievous as small children. “All I want is for you to look at me and see my life with your own eyes,” she writes in the introduction. “I want to give you a great pile of pictures that speak for themselves.” They are at the same time deeply intimate portraits of the future Grammy-winning artist and yet often generic shots of a child growing up in a loving home. Cost: $35
Do Good, Look Great: The Nonprofit Sweet Relief Musicians Fund Provides support to all types of career musicians who are struggling to meet their needs while facing illness, disability or age-related problems. One way for Sweet Relief to help others is to help yourself or your loved ones with some cool music-themed merchants from totes, t-shirts, tank tops, caps, mugs, bags, sweatshirts and more. Check out his “Music Heels” and “Music Is Love” lines. The proceeds from each purchase go to help those in need.
Candid Camera: Singer-songwriter Graham Nash has been taking pictures longer than he was making music. A collection of his images over the years – “A Life in Focus: The Photography of Graham Nash,” 30 – Caught up on fellow celebrities like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Mama Cass Elliott, Twiggy and of course Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. “I’ve been a very lucky person in some very strange places,” Nash wrote in the introduction. Many of the images have a surreal flavor, some have a political vibe and some are just random subjects they encountered on the street. Cost: $60.
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