Music gift guide: DVDs

Carrie Underwood.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Carrie Underwood.

For music fans, holiday shopping can feel a lot like personal shopping — and after a few hours, one can devolve into the other with frightening ease. The world of music has something for everyone. The best music DVDs of the holiday season for gifts:

Roy Orbison, “Black & White Night”

Originally broadcast as a television special in 1988, this star-studded concert was among Orbison’s greatest (and final) achievements. Filmed in sumptuous black-and-white, it paired Orbison with guests ranging from Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and k.d. lang to Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, and Jackson Browne. It includes 17 performances.

Big Star, “Nothing Can Hurt Me”

At long last, the story of Big Star, one of America’s greatest rock bands that has been inexplicably relegated to cult status, is told in his loving documentary that details the group’s rise out of Memphis in the early 1970s. It makes clear why Big Star had such a profound influence on bands such as R.E.M., Beck, and the Replacements.

Morrissey, “25: Live”


Celebrating his silver anniversary as a solo artist after fronting the Smiths, Morrissey performed at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles in March. The set list was far-flung, from Smiths classics (“The Boy With the Thorn in His Side”) to more recent solo material (“Let Me Kiss You”).

Carrie Underwood, “The Blown Away Tour: Live”

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She’s the petite blond country singer with a voice that will huff and puff and blow your house down. This DVD chronicles Underwood in concert in March, performing selections from her latest blockbuster, “Blown Away,” along with her biggest hits. Behind-the-scenes footage captures rehearsals and stage setup, and videos from the album are also included.

Thelonious Monk, “Paris 1969” A CD/DVD combo, “Paris 1969” captures the jazz giant behind his piano with his quartet at the Salle Pleyel concert hall. They bop and swing through a spirited concert film, which was previously unreleased and shot in black-and-white, including Monk classics such as “Straight No Chaser” and a few lovely solo piano performances.

The Rolling Stones, “Sweet Summer Sun — Hyde Park Live”

Over 100,000 fans crammed into Hyde Park to catch the Rolling Stones for two shows this past summer, featuring a special guest, former Stone Mick Taylor, on two tunes. In addition to the two-hour hit-filled concert, the disc includes behind-the-scenes footage of Mick, Keith, and the boys.

Jason Aldean, “Night Train to Georgia”

The country star headed to his home state in April to celebrate his successful album “Night Train” with 66,000 fans at the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium. The show includes all of Aldean’s biggest hits, and features an appearance by rapper Ludacris on “Dirt Road Anthem.”

Bruce Springsteen, “Springsteen & I”


This compendium of diehard Springsteen fan tales, coproduced by acclaimed filmmaker Ridley Scott (“Alien,” “Blade Runner”) and authorized by Springsteen himself, includes stories that are both comic and poignant. Interspersed with the testimonials to the Boss is live footage of the man in action with the E Street Band.

Various Artists, “Amnesty International Presents: ¡Released! The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998”

This collection of star-studded concerts to benefit the human rights organization features more than 12 hours of live music and interviews across six discs with dozens of artists, including Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, the Police, U2, and Peter Gabriel, among many more.

Cee Lo Green, “Cee Lo Green Is Loberace Live in Vegas”

The “Voice” coach set up camp — emphasis on camp — at Planet Hollywood for this glitzy, dancey costume comedy of a concert that includes his biggest hits (“Forget You” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”) as well as a variety of covers of artists from Boy George to Rick James.