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Box Sets Part 3

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This holiday season offers a real bonanza for fans of box sets and other special collections, and here we give you the scoop on sets from R.E.M. and Kalapana.

R.E.M. - R.E.M. at the BBC Super Deluxe Edition- 8-CDs + DVD
It's a testament to how popular Georgia band R.E.M. was in the U.K. during their heyday that a nine disc box set could be compiled from their appearances on various BBC programs. Everything here is a rarity, including a 1998 John Peel session featuring "Walk Unafraid," "Daysleeper," "Lotus" and "At My Most Beautiful" and two live BBC radio broadcasts of the band's 1999 appearance at the Glastonbury Festival that's packed with hits like "Losing My Religion," "What's the Frequency Kenneth," "Fall On Me," "The One I Love," "Cuyahoga," "Man on the Moon" and many others. Among the dozens and dozens of other songs spread throughout the set are more hits like "Orange Crush," "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)," and "Radio Free Europe" along with tons of deep album cuts like "New Test Leper," "West of the Fields" and "The Wake-Up Bomb." There's only one cut where the music features a guest; a take on "E-Bow the Letter" with Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame. The DVD hold the documentary film "Accelerating Backwards" and a "Later…With Jools Holland" show where the band performs 13 songs. Also on the DVD are bonus videos of "I've Been High," "Nightswimming" and "Bad Day." For those who don't want to pop for the box set, the 2-CD The Best of R.E.M. at the BBC culls the hits and highlights from the box. Liner notes include commentary from BBC personalities and music journalist Tom Doyle.

Kalapana - The Original Album Collection - 9-CDs
Kalapana was primarily known in their home territory, Hawaii, where they outsold acts like America and Chicago during their '70s heyday, but they also got a little airplay on progressive rock stations on the mainland. Longtime fans of the soft rock band will be pleased to update from scratchy LPs to this CD set that includes the band's eponymous album as well as Kalapana II and III, Many Classic Moments, Many Classic Moments Original Soundtrack (2-CDs), In Concert, Northbound and Black Sand: The Best of Kalapana. Every song is as mellow as a golden Pacific Ocean sunset, and cuts like the Crosby, Stills & Nash-recalling "Dorothy Louise" demonstrates the band's talent for smooth and delicate harmony vocals. Kalapana accent "Moon and Stars" with light orchestration, drift off into the dream that is the sublime and Santana-esque "Black Sand" and get funky with the pop of "Runnin' Hot in the Street." The Black Sand portion of the box set is available separately and it makes for a perfect entry point for the uninitiated who'll likely be eyeing the box set shortly thereafter. A 20-page booklet comes with Black Sand and a detailed 40-page booklet comes in the box set.

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