It'd be easy to blow thousands on all the good stuff that's for sale, but these are tough economic times, so here are five essential, must-own exclusives that come with The Amp seal of approval:
Hot on the heels of the Dark Side of the Moon reissue, Pink Floyd reissue all three of the Wall singles ("Run Like Hell," "Another Brick in the Wall," and "Comfortably Numb") and put them in one box set. Worth purchasing for the Gerald Scarfe artwork alone, but also the sound quality on these Floyd remasters has been stellar. One word of warning, though: In 2012, the band is giving The Wall the same deluxe treatment Dark Side received, so chances are these 7" singles will be a part of that set as well.
The Amp already spent about $250 on the Nevermind reissue, so what's another $50. Admittedly, these four 10" reproductions of the album's four singles ("Smells Like Teen Spirit," "In Bloom," "Come As You Are," and "Lithium") should have been included with that giant deluxe Nevermind. Still, we'll jump at the opportunity to buy them now in this format, even though all the B-sides are already included in the reissue. Call us completists.
The second volume of music from the greatest live band's greatest live album. This isn't the original Europe '72; instead Vol. 2 is a new four-LP set featuring unreleased music from that legendary trek. This album also boasts new artwork by Stanley Mouse, and one track that didn't appear on the CD version of Vol. 2, because vinyl is better than compact discs.
Another collection of reproduced singles! Beatles stuff always makes for great gifts, whether it's the remastered albums or John Lennon's teeth. This box set houses four of the Fab Four's best 7"s - "Ticket To Ride"/"Yes It Is," "Hey Jude"/Revolution," "Something"/"Come Together," and "Yellow Submarine"/"Eleanor Rigby" - sticks them in a metal tin, and throws an exclusive poster in there.
If you held off on buying the Beasties' comeback disc, now is the time to get one of the best hip-hop albums of 2011. It's not a vinyl release, but this deluxe HSCP2 comes with a 5.1 surround sound version of the CD, a Blu-ray/DVD of the album's awesome music videos, and a 60 page hardbound book. Snatch it up before Hot Sauce Part One arrives.
Other recommendations: Wilco's Speak Into the Rose EP, featuring two unreleased Whole Love tracks, Ryan Adams' "Do I Wait"/"Darkness" single, and Tom Petty's exclusive live album Kiss My Amps. Ogle the entire list of RSD releases here.