Classics Du Jour



Top 10 Classic Rock Holiday Gift Ideas

Hello all you rockers!

Yes, no matter what age, so many of us seem timeless, and I think the music has had a lot to do with that.

It’s that time of year again and I received a request for another “Classic Rock Holiday Gifts” suggestion list.  Instead of doing it the “Letterman” way, I am going to start with my favorites first!

RedisCover Jigsaw Puzzles BARNES & NOBLE RedisCover Jigsaw Puzzles
You won’t find anything better out there than these!!  Iconic, Classic Rock album cover jigsaw puzzles!!!!  OMG!  People are going mad for them!  There’s eight in all, made by Rediscover, including Bob Dylan’s “Free Wheelin’,” Jimi Hendrix “Axis Bold As Love,” Rolling Stones “Let It Bleed,” Grateful Dead, “Aoxomoxoa,” and more!!!!  And, here’s the kicker, each is two sided featuring the original front AND BACK cover!  Plus there are some cool facts on the package about how each cover was made and interesting notes about the albums themselves.   Immediately go to Barnes & Noble, buy every one in sight, and give them to your friends!
Led Zeppelin Celebration Day Led Zeppelin Celebration Day CD & DVD
Second, and not by much, I highly recommend gifting the new Led Zeppelin “Celebration Day” CD and DVD!  The band rehearsed for months for this performance and it shows.  It’s the best Led Zeppelin performance you’ll ever see, the musicality is just stupendous, and frankly, it’s so good it simply defines rock.  Every household should have one, like a refrigerator or TV set.
This is a repeat, but it’s important—a turntable!  You can get one that will even transfer your vinyl to CD, and that would be an Ion or Numark.  I got one, but honestly don’t even do the transferring—just enjoy listening to vinyl again.  And lest you think that’s “OLD,” think again!  Vinyl is the rage and all bands are putting some out as a younger generation seeks to really “HEAR” fidelity!  Yup, it’s true.
I didn’t do this column last year, so I highly want to recommend that you get some of Pink Floyd’s recent “Immersion” box sets.  “The Dark Side Of The Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “The Wall” are all, OUTSTANDING.  The newly mastered versions of the original albums really sound amazing, and each box is chock full of rarities and live recordings never before heard.  Plus, you get a cool scarf, designed by Floyd visual master himself, Storm Thorgerson!
Our webmaster turned me on to a Guitar Shaped ice cube tray!!  Wait ‘till you see this!! Perfect for holiday parties…  you gotta have it!
If you’re a Beatles fan (and I don’t know many who aren’t, at least in some way), you should check out “LIFE With The Beatles.” The photos were taken by band’s official photographer, Robert Whitaker, and lots of them are pictures we’ve never seen before. Some are iconic shots for sure, but many are candid and you can really get a sense of the guys as just normal human beings. In this hardcover, you really and truly get an “inside” look at John, Paul, George and Ringo—fascinating.
Similarly, but in a different way, the hardcover “Rolling Stones 50X20″ has some extraordinary photos taken by twenty of the world’s greatest music photographers. These are the kind of photos that you find yourself staring at for long periods of time. And, if you are a Stones fan like I am, they conjure up all kinds of provocative feelings. Also reminds you of a magical by-gone era which will never happen in quite the same way.
Do you know what Absinthe is? It’s a very trippy drink that has all sorts of strange spirits in it. Famous painters and writers from back in the day used to drink it to hallucinate. In fact, it’s so powerful it is illegal in this country (I get mine from friends in France—oops!). Well, the Blue Oyster Cult are the Absinthe of rock! Amazing, out of this universe, metaphysical lyrics combined with great, rock musical composition sets them apart from all others. Those in the know, KNOW. The newly mastered stuff makes all the early albums seem up to date sound-wise, so you can really crank the sh*t up in your car and get that magical feeling. Also, cool rarities, a DVD, and download cards for some of their most historic concerts. Find some Absinthe (Google it so you can see how to prepare the “green fairy” drink), and turn up the volume on “The Red And The Black,” “Harvester Of Eyes,” and more—and you will definitely be in a very “different place.” Kind of like Alice falling down the rabbit hole of rock!
I also recommend you look into “Heart: Strange Euphoria” Box set and/or their new book, “Heart: Kicking & Dreaming.” These women have fought the good fight, been true to their music, and rock your socks off in concert! And they have quite a story. FINALLY, they will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame this year. Wayyyyyyyyy overdue!

Lastly, but not leastly, in the least little bit, I want to give my thumbs up to some great releases that came out this year that I think are worthwhile as holiday gifts because they’re that good! Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” has a whole lot of power and meaning in there, Van Halen’s “A Different Kind Of Truth” has to be the comeback album of the decade—crank that up in the car with the windows down, and you will be totally set free! Rush’s “Clockwork Angels” is one of the best they’ve ever done (could actually be their best yet!). Another late addition to the Rock Hall (I think they put them in ‘cuz fans were getting so nuts they probably would have burned the joint down if the guys didn’t get in this year! Ha! But true!). Other highlights include Joe Walsh’s “Analog Man”—what a comforting voice and can that guy play or what?!! And also, Don Felder’s “Road To Forever.” If you want to hear how an album is SUPPOSED to sound, check out the production on this—also some very moving songs and tasty, Felder guitar licks.

So, that’s it kids! Hope this helps if yer stuck for ideas or discovered some things you’d like for yourselves.

Happy Holidays to you all!



Paul Rappaport

Paul Rappaport was Senior VP at Columbia Records where he enjoyed a 33 year career in radio promotion and marketing. He is recognized as being instrumental in the careers of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Santana, Journey, Elvis Costello, Judas Priest, Alice in Chains, and many more. He is also noted as the Co-Creator...

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