There have been some serious box sets that were released over the course of 2020 that are essential purchases for music fans. Of course, the artist’s we’re talking about are heard across many of our SiriusXM channels, with one even having their very own artist-dedicated channel.
All That You Can’t Leave Behind 20th Anniversary – U2
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since U2 released their classic tenth studio album. It featured songs like “Beautiful Day,” “Walk On,” “Elevation,” and “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”, and went on to score a slew of Grammy Awards. To celebrate the anniversary, this new Deluxe Edition features 51 tracks, including B-sides and remixes, along with a remastered edition of the original album. However, for die-hard fans, the most exciting inclusion in the set just may be the 2 CDsoundtrack to the band’s Elevation 2001 DVD. I watched that DVD regularly when it was first released and having it as a live album is a great addition to the U2 catalogue. There’s no question that U2 is one of rock’s legendary live acts, and this is a prime example of what the band can deliver on stage.
U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind 20th Anniversary also includes a hardcover book of photographs from Anton Corbijn, making the entire package a gorgeous celebration of the beginning of U2’s third decade. You can hear music from that album, and every other U2 release and more on SiriusXM’s U2 X-Radio.
Jewel Box – Elton John
This 8 cd set is a sequel to Elton John’s 2017 hits collection, Diamonds, itself an outstanding listen that pulled together so many of Elton’s most memorable songs. Jewel Box is an entirely different beast, though. The artist himself curated this massive 148 song set, which includes two discs of deep album cuts, three discs of demos and unreleased tracks, another two discs of rarities and b-sides, and a final disc of previously released songs that serve as the soundtrack to Elton’s autobiography, Me. The listening experience is stunning, and a constant reminder of just how brilliant songwriters Elton and Bernie Taupin are.
Apart from the songs themselves, what makes Jewel Box a must-have not just for Elton fans but for classic rock fans, is the book that the CDs are contained in. Within it, Elton himself writes about both the deep cuts he curated, as well as the songs he chose for the final disc. Often times with collections of this magnitude, the artist may only do an interview with the person crafting the liner notes, so the fact that Elton’s own writing is a part of this set is a key part of its appeal. While Elton John has made many albums well worth exploring, putting both Diamonds and Jewel Box together make for an exciting and thorough collection of classic and hidden Elton.