Last week saw the release of a number of the ever-popular ‘original album’ box sets. For the uninitiated, these are boxes which collect together full album releases by one artist – normally five albums per box, but sometimes less.
These sets are aggressively priced (between £10-15), so the packaging is cheap and cheerful, rather than luxurious and indulgent. Sony collect these under the ‘Original Album Classics’ banner, while Warner Music, for example, opt for ‘Original Album Series’. You get the idea. Both of these labels package the albums in the same way, using simple card sleeves, that normally replicate the original vinyl design. There are no booklets and no credits, other than what might appear on the album sleeve itself (assuming it’s readable).
Below are some highlights of some of the best of the new releases.
Art Garfunkel (Sony/Columbia)
Art’s first five albums as a solo artist – Angel Care (1973), Breakaway (1975), Watermark (1977) Fate For Breakfast (1979) and Scissors Cut (1981).
- • UK Order: Art Garfunkel – Original Album Classics
- • USA Order: Art Garfunkel – Original Album Classics
Roberta Flack (Rhino)
A great selection of some of Flack’s most acclaimed albums. The five in question are: First Take (1969), Quite Fire (1971), Killing Me Softly (1973), Feel Like Makin’ Love (1975), Blue Lights In The Basement (1977).
- • UK Order: Roberta Flack – Original Album Series
- • USA Order: Roberta Flack – Original Album Series
Paul Simon (Sony/Columbia)
This three-CD set includes a few rather ‘forgotten’ albums including Songs From The Capeman (1997), You’re The One (2000,) and Surprise (2006).
The Replacements (Rhino)
The influential American alternative rock band’s first five albums: Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash (1981), Hootenanny (1983), Let It Be (1984), Tim (1985) Pleased To Meet Me (1987).
- • UK Order: The Replacements – Original Album Series
- • USA Order: The Replacements – Original Album Series
Leonard Cohen (Sony/Columbia)
Most of Cohen’s seventies output is represented here. The three albums are New Skin For The Old Ceremony (1974), the Spector-produced Death Of A Ladies Man (1977) and Recent Songs (1979).
- • UK Order: Leonard Cohen – Original Album Classics
- • USA Order: Leonard Cohen – Original Album Classics
Stone Temple Pilots (Rhino)
Californian band Stone Temple Pilots successfully rode the grunge wave in the early nineties and would produce four albums in that decade, with Shangri-la Dee Da their final album in 2001 before splitting up (they have recently reformed). All five of these albums – the others being Core, Purple, Tiny Music…Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop, and No.4 – are included with this box.
- • UK Pre-order: Stone Temple Pilots – Original Album Series
- • USA Order: Stone Temple Pilots – Original Album Series
Elvis Presley (Sony/RCA)
Five live albums from ‘The King’ from the late ’60s and early ’70s. They are the classic ’68 Comback Special (1968), Aloha from Hawaii (1973), On Stage (1970), That’s The Way It Is (1970), and Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis (1974).
- • UK Pre-order: Elvis Presley – Original Album Classics
- • USA Order: Elvis Presley – Original Album Classics
Booker T. & the MG’s (Rhino)
Here you will find the first five albums from Booker T. & the MG’s if you discount the In The Christmas Spirit from 1966 and the 1967 live album Back to Back. Green Onions (1962), Soul Dressing (1965), And Now! (1966), Hip Hug Her (1967) and Doin’ Our Thing (1968) are the records in question.
- • UK Pre-order: Booker T. & the MG’s – Original Album Series
- • USA Order: Booker T. & the MG’s – Original Album Series