Prince and Madonna are the latest artists to see a large chunk of their output offered to the public via the popular ‘original album series’ box sets. These are 5-Disc boxes with each album packaged in mini-LP CD ‘vinyl replica’ sleeves.
The Prince set has a strong line-up of albums – skipping his early period and kicking off with the mega selling 1999. Purple Rain, Parade, Lovesexy and Diamonds and Pearls complete the box. Around The World In A Day and in particular Sign ‘O’ The Times are the notable omissions from his classic eighties commercial and critical high.
If Madonna’s 11-Disc Complete Studio Recordings Box Set is more than you need, then her Original Album Box (released on the same day) might suffice. Again, a 5-Disc set, it is also a surprisingly strong collection consisting of True Blue (the remastered edition with bonus remixes), Like A Prayer ( it remains her best album), Ray Of Light, Music and Confessions On A Dancefloor. So no Hard Candy or American Life to endure, but also no Erotica or her splendid debut, to enjoy.
Both sets are released on 26 March 2012 in the UK and Europe but currently appear only to be available in the US as expensive imports. The bargain price of £8.99 makes any quibbles over album selection somewhat redundant.