2011 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards – Best Box Set
It's the penultimate category of the 2011 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards, and it's your chance to decide which classic rock artist or group put out the best, most lavish, most vault-excavating box set this year!
Probably about 80% of the reason we're in this gig is to get free copies of these treasures, and guess what? Turns out in most cases you gotta buy them anyway. Luckily, it's been money well-spent, as there's been a bounty of fantastic box sets released this year.
Let's start with Ozzy Osbourne, who celebrated the 30th anniversary of the release of his solo debut album by putting together a beautiful box set featuring both of his albums with the late, great Randy Rhoads, including a DVD full of fantastic live footage. Not to be outdone, Rush collected all 15 of their Mercury-era records into a miniature road case, and Jimi Hendrix's estate freed reels of previously unheard music from the guitar hero's three-night 1968 stand in San Francisco.
And that's only half the story. Pink Floyd also unleashed the properly named "Immersion Editions" of two of their finest albums, combining the original records with a wealth of live material, surround-sound versions, photo books and lots of knick-knacks. (We chose 'Dark Side' over 'Wish You Were Here' for this list but it could be different tomorrow.) Pete Townshend dug through his notes to come up with the "Director's Cut" of the Who's 1973 concept record 'Quadrophenia,' and holy cow, the Beach Boys finally released the 'Smile Sessions.'
Good luck picking just one box set from all those choices, we don't envy you. You have until Jan. 1, 2012 to decide, and the winners will be announced on Jan. 3.