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!