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Box-Sets Make Great Gifts

Looking for that last minute gift? USA Today suggests you unwrap these new box sets:

The Doors, Boot Yer Butt! (Rhino Handmade, 4, $80). Live performances and Jim Morrison monologues from 25 venues were assembled by Doors guitarist Robby Krieger. He concentrated on rarities, including an early Back Door Man and Bo Diddley's I'm a Man. Also out: a longbox reconfiguring of the seven-CD 1999 Complete Studio Recordings set (Rhino/Elektra, $100).

Bob Dylan, The Limited Edition Hybrid SACD Box Set (Sony Legacy, 15, $250). Superb sound is the chief selling point. Among the 15 remastered classics are Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde and Blood on the Tracks. Six feature 5.1 surround sound, and all are reissued in digipaks with the original artwork replicated. The titles also are sold individually.

Grateful Dead, View From the Vault IV (Grateful Dead, 4, $25). Also available as a DVD, this installment of the concert series captures 1987 shows in Oakland and Anaheim, Calif., with Dead standards and covers including the Dixie Cups' Iko Iko and Traffic's Dear Mr. Fantasy.

Todd Rundgren, Can't Stop Running (Sanctuary, 6, $50); Utopia, Last of the New Wave Riders (Sanctuary, 7, $50). A cornucopia of live material from protean popster Rundgren and his longtime band, performing three decades' worth of songs.

Rush, Rush in Rio (Atlantic, 3, $27). This three-hour concert was captured in Rio de Janeiro before 60,000-plus fans on the last night of the Canadian band's 2002 tour. The 30 live tracks span 30 years and include Tom Sawyer, Freewill and New World Man. Among the bonuses are two authorized bootleg tracks. A two-disc DVD also is available.

The Essential Bruce Springsteen (Sony Legacy, 3, $25). This overview expands on his 1995 Greatest Hits with fuller servings of mainstream fare, an entire disc of rarities and live versions of American Skin (41 Shots), Code of Silence, Held Up Without a Gun, Land of Hope and Dreams and Trapped.

Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime (Rhino, 4, $60). This extra-longboxed anthology traces the progressive New York band from its origins in the '70s club scene to its demise in the early '90s. Early favorites such as Psycho Killer and Life During Wartime and later hits And She Was and Stay Up Late are featured along with alternate and live recordings.

ZZ Top, Chrome, Smoke & BBQ (Warner Bros., 4, $60). The Texas trio, acclaimed for such hits as La Grange and Sharp Dressed Man, is captured in 80 blues-rock boogie tracks, including "medium rare" bonuses: Francene in Spanish, a live Cheap Sunglasses and a dance mix of Legs. Kid Rock, Dwight Yoakam and Billy Bob Thornton pay tribute in liner notes.

Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey (Sony/Universal, 5, $70). Tying in with last fall's PBS series, this set offers a definitive overview of 80 years of the blues. More than 100 songs document such greats as W.C. Handy, Bessie Smith, Son House, Robert Johnson, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
(usatoday.com)
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