Our annual end of the year box sets list arrives just in time for Black Friday Madness. Every year the pickings seem to be getting slimmer as the death of the CD is starting to become a sad reality. Most retail stores like Best Buy, Target and even FYE are now carrying hardly any CD’s in their brick and mortar stores. Most of the stores are limiting their CD choices to just a few shelves while the rest of the music sections are now lined with overpriced vinyl. Who would have ever seen that coming. For the past year, Honda has stopped installing CD players in their cars and don’t even offer the option of adding a CD player in a new Honda vehicle. Nonetheless, the world of the internet still offers CD lovers the opportunity to purchase their favorite bands on the 35 year old format.
As most classic artists are no longer releasing new music with few exceptions, record companies continue to release remastered versions of classic albums. Many of these remasters are combined in box sets with beautiful booklets and in some cases cool deluxe packaging. Some box sets feature multiple albums spanning certain years of a band’s catalog while other box sets feature a super deluxe version of a single album release packed with outtakes, alternate versions, unreleased cuts, and live tracks.
Our 10 Best CD Box Sets of 2018 features a combination of career spanning CD sets and a few that offer deluxe versions of classic albums.
# 10 – The Ramones – Road To Ruin 40th Anniversary Edition
We open our Top 10 Best CD Box Sets of 2018 with a great release of our favorite Ramones album Road To Ruin. The box set contains three CD’s and one vinyl LP. The CD’s include a remastered version of the original album, plus remixes, alternate takes and a live 1979 concert. This great box set was released on September 21st 2018.
# 9 – Kate Bush – Remastered Part I – 7 CD Set
Seven Kate Bush albums remastered to sound amazing. In a beautiful box set. For too long the sound of the original Kate Bush CD’s did not do justice to the works of art that Kate Bush had created. This box set makes it all right.
# 8 – Mott The Hoople – Mental Train: The Island Years 1969-1971
This great Mott The Hoople Box Set featured the four studio albums Mott The Hoople, Mad Shadows, Wild Life and Brains and Capers, that the band Mott The Hoople recorded for Island records between 1969 and 1971. The box set also includes a CD titled The Ballads of Mott The Hoople that features unreleased Mott The Hoople songs. Mental Train also includes a live CD that features live tracks from two separate live performances in 1970 and 1971.
# 7 – Golden Earring – Alive Through the Years: 1977-2015
Golden Earring gets the box set the band deserves with the great set Alive Through The Years:1977 -2015. The box set features 11 CD’s representing their seven official live albums. Also included in this box set is two CD’s of bonus live cuts. A beautiful 32 page booklet is also included making this a must for Golden Earring fans.
# 6 – The Moody Blues – In Search Of The Lost Chord 50th Anniversary
Hands down, this probably the most spectacular single album reissue of a Moody Blues album ever released. The set features 3 CD’s of the original stereo mixes of the album plus alternate mixes and new stereo mixes. One DVD contains the album in a 24-bit 5.1 Surround Mix. The second DVD features live 1968 BBC television performances.
# 5 – David Bowie – Loving The Alien
This great David Bowie Box Set Loving The Alien is a spectacular box set that represents a portion of David Bowie’s ‘career that saw Bowie continuing to shine in the 1980s while being incredibly successful from both an artistic and commercial standpoint.
The box set contains 11 CDs including……..
Let’s Dance, Tonight, Never Let Me Down (Original versions and a brand new remixed version) Glass Spider Live 1987, Serious Moonlight Live( Unreleased) and four compilations CDs filled with alternate versions, B sides, and soundtracks songs.
# 4 – Imagine – The Ultimate Collection 4CD / Blu Ray
No matter how many times we buy this album, there is always a definite interest when a new version of the album comes along. The title added to this box set says it all. This is the ultimate collection defining John Lennon’s most brilliant solo album. It’s basically 4 cds of demos, remixes, alternate versions, rough mixes and all that. Plus two Blu Rays that contain 5.1 surround mixes, HD audio, and a documentary. On this box set they define the mixes as “elements, rough and ultimate.”
# 3 – Def Leppard – The Collection Volume 1
If you grew up as a teenager or 20 something in the 1980s we bet 2 to 1 odds that you are a Def Leppard fan. This great Def Leppard Box Set The Collection Volume 1 presents in those legendary Def Leppard albums that were constantly played on radio and MTV in the 1980s. The box set includes the band’s first four albums On Through The Night, High ‘N’ Dry, Pyromania and Hysteria.
The set also includes the band’s first EP entitled The Def Leppard E.P. There is also the traditional box set collection of live tracks and unreleased material. The box set totals 7 CDs and a large booklet. This one will make a great gift to anyone who had a rock and roll heart and grew up during the last twenty years of the 20th century.
# 2 -Jim Hendrix – Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Box
If there ever was an artist that has had more posthumus releases issued, it was Jimi Hendrix. Celebrating the 5O anniversary of Electric Ladyland is a spectacular 4 Disk set that is simply to die for. The set includes 3 CDs and 1 Blu-ray. CD1 is a remastered version of the original album.. CD2 is a set of 20 demos done for the original album.
The third CD does what all great box sets do, the disk contains a great live recording. This one presents Hendrix at the Hollywood Bowl on September 14th 1968.
The Blu-Ray includes the documentary At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland plus a 5.1 surround sound mix of the original Electric Ladyland album.
Rounding out this fantastic Jimi Hendrix box set is a beautiful 48 page book.
The Box Set album cover comes from a photograph that Paul McCartney’s wife Linda Eastman took that was being considered for the album cover in 1968.
# 1 – The Beatles – The White Album – Super Deluxe Edition
Coming in at number one on our list of the top 10 best CD Box sets of 2018 is the incredible reissue of The Beatles White Album. We recently did a review of the box set so won’t go into details again here. You could just click on the link to review it. The Beatles White Album Super Deluxe Edition Review
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