Buying Round-Up – January 2014 Part 2: Box Sets

You can’t beat a nice box set. I’ll treat myself to one every now and again but a couple of irresistible bargains meant I ended up buying three in January. Check out these beauties!


Deep Purple – Now What?! (5CD/1DVD Box Set) (£18 Sainsburys)

Deep Purple’s last album Rapture of the Deep was repackaged and reissued so many times I was reluctant to buy their new one, Now What?!, too early. And, sure enough, just a short while after its original release the album hits the racks again: the original CD/DVD edition now comes bolstered with three singles, a CD of live recordings and a hideous T-Shirt! I had ruled it out due to the £30-£40 price range but I was delighted to find it going for only £18 in the Sainsburys January sale! It was a must-buy for that price!

Despite all the positive reviews Now What?! had received, I was sceptical about how much I was going to get out of it. I found it fairly unmoving on early listens but I’ve enjoyed it more each time I’ve played it and have become really taken with it. There are fantastic proggy moments and some edgy jamming that captures the group’s live attack (Don Airey is all over this) but there’s also a subtle classiness that befits the groups age. It’s a great example of a heritage band tapping into their past while moving forward. I’ve only managed to play the live CD (The Now What?! Live Tapes) once but it’s surprisingly good as well. In fact, listening to that made me return to the studio album with even more enthusiasm. Most impressive!


Fleetwood Mac – Boston (3CD Ltd. Edition) (£8 Sainsburys)

These 3 discs of Peter Green’s Mac Boston show have been available for some time. This 2013 reissue repackaged the discs in a round box with drinks coasters(?) but didn’t seem especially worth the £20 price tag. Back to Sainsburys for yet another bargain! Although this time it seems less like a sale and more like a mistake… the title was pulled from the site after my purchase and later re-listed for £21.99! Impeccable timing from the Heavy Metal Overlord! Can’t say much about this other than the round box is hella annoying and that I’ve only listened to the first disc once. It was great but… you know… KISS happened.


Witch Cross – All That’s Fit for Fighting (3CD/1DVD Box Set) (£25 eBay)

Witch Cross’ Axe to Grind was one of 2013’s top albums and discoveries for me so I’ve been keen to check out their older stuff. This gorgeous box set has been on my wish-list for a while but only seemed to be available in mainland Europe with off-putting delivery costs. But I finally found a reasonably priced new copy on eBay from a Scottish seller so I managed to save myself some crucial pennies. It contains the band’s first album Fit for Fight (with its remarkable cover!), a live DVD, a thick booklet of interviews and a double CD of demos and rarities that is unavailable anywhere else. KISS stopped me giving this set the full attention it deserves but Fit for Fight is great addition to the HMO Vault: a NWOBHM-style treat with some top-tier guitar playing and Axe Dance, a blazing instrumental that gives Maiden a serious run for their money.


It’s all adding up to an extravagant month spending-wise but sometimes you just can’t walk away from bargains like these and live with yourself. And that leads us nicely on to… Part 3! January threw up some nice second-hand scores – a couple of vinyl bargains and a couple of rare CDs that I’ve been after for some time. I’ll be back in a couple of days!

Buying Round-Up – January 2014 Part 1

Buying Round-Up – January 2014 Part 3: Second Hand

27 thoughts on “Buying Round-Up – January 2014 Part 2: Box Sets”

  1. I know I’m biased but our record company Hells Headbangers really have gone the extra mile with the repackaging and re-release of the Witch Cross back catalogue!
    …and that DP box set is a bargain!


  2. What a gorgeous collection of treats. The Fleetwood Mac set looks delicious, and we already know how I feel about Deep Purple. I like that you get all the singles in there. I’m glad you got the album and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you get to know it more intimately!


    1. The Mac set is quite sexy… but a bit fidgety. I’ve ripped the CDs onto my laptop so I think I’ll probably leave the box alone for the most part! Taking these photos was the only time I’ve ever bothered taking the coasters out. And probably the last time!

      I’m really pleased with Purple. Easily their best since Purpendicular. It’ll be getting many more listens. And EvaOverload enjoyed it too!

      Are you enjoying the Live Tapes disc?


      1. Loved it. It took forever to rip though! My CD had little blake flakes of…something…on it and it took forever to get them all off. I thought it was a defective disc.


      2. Yeah more or less. You’re always going to create a mark by wiping a CD but nothing really noticeable. I thought I was going to have to return it but I finally got it playing right. It was like someone in the factory was eating a cookie and one crumb fell into my CD and disintegrated.


  3. I hate the slap in the face the real fan gets when, after supporting the band by having bought the original CD, the bonus, extended, boxed, whatever version comes out just a short time later. This might be OK if they didn’t include the original CD.

    OK, one might argue that adding in the original CD doesn’t increase the cost that much, so why not do it so that someone discovering this later can buy it all in one go? Fair point, but I suspect that 99% of buyers of box sets are not buying it as an introduction to the band. (This brings up another pet peeve: why do most box sets include a “best of”? The fan who buys the set for the rarities, B-sides, radio sessions, demos etc already has all the “best” songs. The curious who buy it just for the best of don’t need the other stuff, so would be better served by a regular “best of” CD.) That means that one has an extra CD which one doesn’t need, and those who buy CDs are concerned about space.

    Admittedly, it’s not as bad as releasing the original CD then, shortly later, the extended version which has an extra track one can’t get otherwise (at least for now). This is a reason why, despite the good reviews, I might not buy the new Sabbath album. I haven’t bought it in any version yet (indeed, I own no Sabbath at all, though this will be rectified at some point), so I could buy whichever version I think best. However, I just hate the concept of releasing various versions of essentially the same CD.


    1. I’m sure the reissues must make sense money-wise to business folk… but, you’re right, it is a slap in the face to the keenest fans that rushed out and bought the thing in the first instance. If there are going to be extra bells and whistles they should come with the original release of the album to reward the most loyal fans. I used to always buy new albums pretty early but with certain bands I’ve just learned to hold off. Like Anthrax and Deep Purple – you just know the album is going to appear again at some point with bonus stuff.

      But in fairness to Deep Purple: they did the right thing by also releasing the bonus live disc separately and at a fairly cheap price too. So anyone that bought the album in the first instance didn’t have to buy it again to get the extra stuff. I think that was a good call on their part.

      I feel in chasing money the music industry is punishing the people that it should be doing it’s best to please. The Black Sabbath is a good example. Even the people that shelled out on the super deluxe box version didn’t get all the available tracks! Ridiculous.

      Thanks for your great points, Phillip!


  4. That Purple set looks gorgeous. You come for the music, you stay for the hideous t-shirt! You’ll be ashamed of me, though, I still haven’t even heard the album proper!

    Really great score on the F- Mac. Nice of you to point out to them the error of their ways! That set would be really great to hear.

    The Witch Cross thing looks cool, but I have to admit I don’t know much about them. Yet. Let’s have reviews of all your goodies! YAY!!

    Bring on Part The Third!


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