AllMusic 2015 Year In Review

Favorite Box Sets -

 This year's best box sets include a deep dive into one of Bob Dylan's most acclaimed eras, the complete discography of dream pop pioneers Lush, a close examination of Bruce Springsteen's The River and a staggering 80-disc set from the Grateful Dead.
The Atlantic Years, 1973-1978

Billy Cobham

The Atlantic Years, 1973-1978

The iconic drummer's pioneering Atlantic sides are all compiled in one place for the first time at an attractive price.

The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12:  The Cutting Edge 1965-1966:  [Deluxe Edition]

Bob Dylan

The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: [Deluxe Edition]

A phenomenal six-disc set of outtakes, alternate versions, and fragments from Dylan's 1965-1966 peak.

Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush

Bobby Rush

Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush

Wildly entertaining and illuminating four-disc history of the bold, bawdy soul-blues singer.

Dandelion Albums & BBC Recordings Collection

Bridget St. John

Dandelion Albums & BBC Recordings Collection

Three classic albums from the idiosyncratic U.K. folksinger, along with several rare radio performances.

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection [CD/DVD]

Bruce Springsteen

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection [CD/DVD]

Audio/video box set offers an in-depth look at the making of one of the Boss' best and most important albums.

Five Years 1969-1973

David Bowie

Five Years 1969-1973

A handsome, exquisitely remastered box set containing all six studio albums, two live albums, and a collection of non-LP tracks released by Bowie between 1969 and 1973.

You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything: 1970-1975

Faces

You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything: 1970-1975

A box set containing expanded editions of the four Faces albums, including a bunch of rarities not found on the Five Guys Walk into a Bar... box.

Tusk [Remastered & Expanded]

Fleetwood Mac

Tusk [Remastered & Expanded]

Major expansion of the Mac's 1979 album contains two discs of live material, a disc of demos and variant mixes, and a full alternate version of Tusk.

A Voice on Air 1935-1955

Frank Sinatra

A Voice on Air 1935-1955

A sterling four-disc set of vintage radio broadcasts from Frank Sinatra.

30 Trips Around the Sun [80-CD Set]

Grateful Dead

30 Trips Around the Sun [80-CD Set]

Mammoth 80-CD box featuring a full previously-unreleased concert from every year the Grateful Dead was active.

Complete Works

Harmonia

Complete Works

Phenomenal vinyl box set compiling the entire recorded output of the influential Krautrock supergroup featuring members of Cluster and Neu!

Snake Box

Harvey Mandel

Snake Box

A box containing the iconic guitarist's first five albums and a rare disc of a 1968 live jam with Jerry Garcia and Elvin Bishop.

I Like Rain: The Story of the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

I Like Rain: The Story of the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

Career-spanning collection of the Flying Nun outsiders' work, some of the most interesting indie rock of their era.

At Sun Records: The Collected Works: What the Hell Else Do You Need?

Jerry Lee Lewis

At Sun Records: The Collected Works: What the Hell Else Do You Need?

Everything Jerry Lee Lewis recorded at Sun -- mono mixes, alternate takes, chatter, overdubs, and more -- collected in a hefty, 18-CD box.

The  Singles

Johnny Mathis

The Singles

Four-disc set of all the music Johnny Mathis originally released as singles, including 31 tracks seeing their digital debut.

Directly from My Heart: The Best of the Specialty & Vee-Jay Years

Little Richard

Directly from My Heart: The Best of the Specialty & Vee-Jay Years

Dynamite triple-disc set that contains almost all but one of the master takes Little Richard cut for Specialty and Vee-Jay in the '50s and '60s.

Collected Recordings

Lloyd Cole / Lloyd Cole and the Commotions

Collected Recordings

Five discs of brilliant-to-great sophisticated guitar pop, some of the best of the '80s, with 18 previously unreleased songs.

Chorus

Lush

Chorus

Almost complete, thoroughly pleasing anthology of the top-tier dream pop band's 1989-1996 output for 4AD.

Volume One: 1961-1965

Marvin Gaye

Volume One: 1961-1965

The singer's varied first seven albums for Tamla and Motown, presented in a sharp box set.

Miles Davis at Newport: 1955-1975 - The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4

Miles Davis

Miles Davis at Newport: 1955-1975 - The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4

Box set compiling all of the trumpeter's live appearances at the Newport Jazz Festival from 1955 to 1975.

Soul Manifesto: 1964-1970

Otis Redding

Soul Manifesto: 1964-1970

Box set containing all 12 albums at the core of Otis Redding's canon, including all the LPs released during his lifetime and four posthumous records.

Saved by the Bell: The Collected Works of Robin Gibb 1968-1970

Robin Gibb

Saved by the Bell: The Collected Works of Robin Gibb 1968-1970

Excellent archival box containing all of Gibb's recordings from his two-year hiatus from the Bee Gees at the dawn of the '70s.

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll

Sam Phillips / Sam C. Phillips

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll

Double-disc compilation of Sam Phillips-produced rockabilly, country, blues, R&B, and rock & roll.

The Best of the Best Show

Scharpling & Wurster

The Best of the Best Show

Massive 16-disc set of the funniest and strangest phone calls from the long-running radio show.

Live at the Fillmore East: October 4th & 5th, 1968

Sly & the Family Stone

Live at the Fillmore East: October 4th & 5th, 1968

Four sets -- almost four hours -- of prime performances recorded back when the band had only one hit to its name.

The  Decca Years 1965-1967

Small Faces

The Decca Years 1965-1967

Five discs tracing the first 18 months of the Small Faces, when they were a hard-driving mod-soul rock band.

Portrait of an American Singer

Tennessee Ernie Ford

Portrait of an American Singer

Hefty five-disc box containing all 154 secular recordings Tennessee Ernie Ford made between 1949 and 1960.

G Stands for Go Betweens, Vol. 1

The Go-Betweens

G Stands for Go Betweens, Vol. 1

Massive set collecting the influential post-punk/indie pop band's first three albums, their early singles, and four discs of rarities plus essays, posters, and more.

The  RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters: 1959-1983

The Isley Brothers

The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters: 1959-1983

A lavish 23-disc box that documents one of the most progressive, prolific, and popular R&B groups of all time.

Fire and Skill: The Jam Live

The Jam

Fire and Skill: The Jam Live

Six-disc box containing a concert from every year the Jam were a going concern.

Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky: The Complete Pretty Things Collection

The Pretty Things

Bouquets from a Cloudy Sky: The Complete Pretty Things Collection

A gorgeous and hefty box set telling the entirety of the Pretty Things' career via their eleven studio albums, two discs of rarities, two DVDs, and a thick hardcover book.

Faith and Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976

The Staple Singers

Faith and Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976

Imperfect but generous four-disc overview that combines hit singles, deep cuts, and previously unreleased material.

The Complete Matrix Tapes

The Velvet Underground

The Complete Matrix Tapes

Refurbished live tapes of the fabled proto-punks provide excellent and most listenable evidence of their strength on-stage.

A Chord Too Far [Box Set Anthology]

Tony Banks

A Chord Too Far [Box Set Anthology]

Compiled by the artist himself, this is an entertaining and revelatory chronicle of the Genesis keyboardist's solo career.

Empire

Unwound

Empire

Uncompromising Pacific Northwest band's final two albums get a deluxe repackaging with bonus tracks and extensive liner notes.

Artifact: The Dawn of Creation Records 83-85

Various Artists

Artifact: The Dawn of Creation Records 83-85

The early days of the influential indie pop label Creation are covered in exhaustive detail, with loads of rarities and unreleased demos.

Ork Records: New York, New York

Various Artists

Ork Records: New York, New York

Features 49 tracks from the archives of the label that began documenting the dawn of New York's punk and new wave scene in 1975.

The Legendary Live Tapes, 1978-1981

Weather Report

The Legendary Live Tapes, 1978-1981

This four-disc box, taken mostly from board tapes and curated by Peter Erskine and Tony Zawinul, captures the band at a live peak.

Dread Prophecy: The Strange and Wonderful Story of Yabby You

Yabby You

Dread Prophecy: The Strange and Wonderful Story of Yabby You

The obscure roots reggae vocalist and producer is compiled on three discs, two filled with classic material and one with unreleased treasures.

Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two

Yes

Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two

An obsessive fan's dream, this 14-disc deluxe box captures the band at an early peak with high-quality, dynamic sound.