OK, we've officially reached crunch time. Just a few days left and you still have that heavy metal-loving nephew to shop for. And what about your best friend who lost half of his Beatles CDs when his girlfriend split? What to do?
Box sets are the way to go. They're economical (well, most of them anyway), easily obtainable (well, most of them anyway) and a great way of saying, "I wanted to get you something I know you'd love." (All of them fit the bill here.)
Sales of physical CDs continued their decline in 2009, but we still saw a glittering array of drool-worthy box sets, full of photos, brand-new liner notes and other fabulous bells and whistles (in the latter case, Rammstein outdid everybody). But it's the music that matters, and here's a roundup of box sets that run the gamut from must-haves to can't-live-withouts.
To start things off, we go for a little-known group called The Beatles.
They're still not on iTunes, but The Beatles' catalogue of matchless songs was finally remastered this year and released in lavish box sets, both in stereo and mono. Personally, we can't think of one reason to pass up these essential collections.
Check out MusicRadar's comprehensive reviews: Part 1 (1963-66) and Part 2 (1967-70). While you're at it, have a look back at our stupendous assortment of Beatles Week features.
Buy the Beatles box sets here:Amazon, HMV