Music gift guide: Reissues

 Nirvana’s “In Utero” album is offered in three forms — 70-track CD/DVD box, three-LP vinyl set, and one remastered disc.
Nirvana’s “In Utero” album is offered in three forms — 70-track CD/DVD box, three-LP vinyl set, and one remastered disc.

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. Here are the Globe picks for for the best reissued albums for gifts:

Van Morrison, “Moondance”

There are three versions of this update on Van the Man’s 1970 classic, which featured the title track, “Caravan,” “Into the Mystic,” “Crazy Love.” A single remastered disc, a deluxe set, and a two-disc iteration that includes unreleased studio outtakes. (It’s worth noting that Morrison decried this reissue earlier this year on his website as being done without his cooperation.)

The Who, “Tommy”

The “Pinball Wizard” reigns again in this newly remastered set. Those just interested in the classic album can check out the single disc while those with more completist tastes can go for several deluxe editions that include the album plus a live bootleg and a disc of rarities, demos, and outtakes.

Nirvana, “In Utero”


This “2013 Mix” of the 20-year-old album — the group’s last — is available in various configurations from a deluxe CD/DVD box with 70 tracks to a three-LP vinyl set to a single remastered disc. Original producer Steve Albini revisited the album with the “blessing and oversight” of Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic.

Death Cab for Cutie, “Transatlanticism”

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This 10-year anniversary edition of the Seattle rockers’ fourth album — one of the best-selling albums in indie rock history and the band’s breakthrough — is available either in vinyl or digital-only versions. Both versions include previously unreleased demos of all 11 songs from the album.

Lenny Kravitz, “Are You Gonna Go My Way”

What he’s got to know is, are you gonna go his way . . . again? In honor of its 20th anniversary, the “Hunger Games” star remasters and bolsters one of his biggest albums — featuring the hit title track — and includes a disc of acoustic versions, B-sides, and demos.

Frank Sinatra, “Duets”

Ol’ Blue Eyes made history in 1993 when he released “Duets,” which reimagined some of his classic songs accompanied by artists from the worlds of pop, rock, and R&B. The collection was so successful, selling more than 3 million copies, that it spawned a second volume the next year. Marking the 20th anniversary of that first edition, this two-disc set combines those two albums and includes previously unreleased duets.

Robbie Basho, “Visions of the Country”

Not nearly as heralded as his contemporaries such as John Fahey, the great guitarist Robbie Basho has been inexplicably unsung, no doubt because he died at such a young age. Out of print for more than 30 years, “Visions of the Country” was his 10th album, and it’s a quiet classic of acoustic guitar virtuosity that largely went unnoticed upon its release in 1978. Expressive and profound, it’s worth discovering.

John Coltrane, “Afro Blue Impressions”


Recorded live during sets in Stockholm and Berlin in 1963 but not released until 1977, “Afro Blue Impressions” finds the great jazz saxophonist fronting a quartet that included McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. This reissue includes the original album, plus three bonus tracks from the Stockholm date.

Bing Crosby, “Le Bing: Song Hits of Paris” / “Bing Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook”

Recorded in 1953, “Le Bing: Song Hits of Paris” was Crosby’s first full-length release, and it was imagined as a concept album sung entirely in French. The 60th-anniversary reissue swells to 23 songs, 12 of which have never been released, and includes bonus tracks. “Bing Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook” spans more than two decades and presents Crosby at his most swinging.

Claudia Lennear, “Phew!”

In a film full of heartbreaking stories, Claudia Lennear’s appearance in the recent “20 Feet From Stardom” was especially bittersweet. A former backup singer who was part of the Ikettes and inspired Mick Jagger to write “Brown Sugar,” Lennear fell into obscurity and eventually became a school teacher. “Phew!,” her only solo album (1973), was righteously soulful but never a blockbuster. Real Gone’s new reissue marks its long-overdue debut on CD.