Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The best gifts for music lovers

Here are some recent LP and CD sets with particular appeal to the Boston-area listeners on your list.

LP records — like these at Vinyl Destination, a record store in Lowell — have come roaring back in popularity in recent years. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

It was looking for a while that music might have forever fallen out of fashion as a holiday gift — after all, you can’t wrap an MP3, and it’s hard to fit a streaming service into a stocking. 

But that was before hipsters and oldsters alike — apparently desperate to hold onto something, anything, that represented the music they loved in some real-world way — made vinyl records come roaring back as the most popular physical music format. Between those and deluxe CD box sets, there are still plenty of gift-giving options for the music lover in your life.


So below, find five suggestions that should appeal in particular to listeners in our own neck of the woods — each has a certain Boston-area flair, in addition to being a welcome addition to anyone’s music collection.

‘The Skippy White Story: Boston Soul 1961-1967’

“The Skippy White Story” recaptures a lost era of Boston soul, gospel and doo-wop.

Skippy White’s, the iconic record store in Egleston Square, may be no more. But the legend of Skippy White lives on via this new collection of Boston soul nuggets he produced for his various record labels during the 1960s, curated by Brookline retro-soul singer Eli “Paperboy” Reed, with liner notes from Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band and music historian Peter Guralnick. Awash in luscious soul, gospel, and doo-wop by the likes of The Precisions and Junior Washington, it makes these heretofore forgotten tracks sound alive as ever. (Worth noting: In addition to his legend, Skippy White himself also lives on, hopefully living the good life during his retirement in Natick.) $15.99 CD; $24.99 LP

‘1971: The Road Starts Hear,’ Aerosmith

“The Road Starts Hear” features early recordings of Aerosmith on the verge of breaking out.

Good news for Aerosmith fans who missed this release when it came out in a limited edition cassette and LP for Record Store Day Black Friday last year; it’s now out in all formats, although purists are sure to want to secure the vinyl version, for old time’s sake. The previously unreleased early collection was most likely recorded in the band’s Boston rehearsal room — probably not surprisingly, the memories of everyone involved are a little hazy as to the definitive location — a year before they were signed to Columbia Records. Featuring future band staples like “Dream On” and “Mama Kin,” it captures Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the boys at their hungry, gritty, early-career best. $12 CD; $22 LP

‘Donna Summer: 40th Anniversary’

The self-titled “Donna Summer” was a transitional album for the disco queen from Mission Hill.

In 1982, with her ’70s super-hits behind her and her full-fledged “She Works Hard for the Money” comeback still a year off, Donna Summer’s career was in a bit of a limbo stage. But even if it doesn’t contain her best-known tracks, the self-titled 10th album from Mission Hill’s own Queen of Disco, produced by Quincy Jones, is still one of her most ambitious efforts, featuring the R&B hit “Love is in Control,” the reggae-tinged “State of Independence,” the torch-song standard “Lush Life,” and the Bruce Springsteen-penned rocker “Protection.” (Sadly, a planned duet with The Boss was scrapped.) The album’s remastered 40th anniversary edition features a bevy of B-sides and remixes, and the original LP is also available in a limited edition picture disc that would look great under somebody’s tree. $22.46 CD; $36.01 2-LP; $33.99 single picture disc

‘I Am The Moon’ I-IV, Tedeschi Trucks Band

All four of the “I Am The Moon” releases from Tedeschi Trucks Band are available as a bundled LP set.

In addition to being a Boston native — not to mention a scion of the famous New England food shop family of the same name — Susan Tedeschi is simply one of the best blues singers of the last several decades, period. So lovers of her Bonnie Raitt-meets-Janis Joplin earthy vocals, her fine blues guitar chops, and her collaborations with husband Derek Trucks in their Tedeschi Trucks Band should be especially excited about their latest project. Released over several months this year, “I Am The Moon” comprises four separate albums, 24 original tracks, and a phenomenal range of blues, Americana, funk, gospel hymns and more, punctuated by the epic jams the band is known for. (There are also four accompanying short films and detailed essays by music journalist David Fricke at the band’s website.) Best of all, you can now get them all as a 4-LP vinyl package in time for the holidays. $44.99 CD; $89.99 LP; $169.99 Deluxe LP Box (signed)

‘Become What You Are’ 30th Anniversary Reissue, The Juliana Hatfield Three

It came out at the height of the CD era, but Juliana Hatfield is marking the 30th anniversary of “Become What You Are” with a vinyl reissue.

Probably best known for the No. 1 Billboard Modern Rock single “My Sister” — which famously references a 1983 Violent Femmes and Del Fuegos show at Storyville in Kenmore Square — “Become What You Are” is the album that established former Blake Baby Juliana Hatfield as a Boston alt-rock icon. And now it’s back with a 30th anniversary vinyl pressing: No extra tracks, but just being able to experience “Supermodel,” “Spin the Bottle” and Hatfield’s other acerbic originals from the height of the CD era on vinyl makes it worth snagging a copy for the ’90s alt-rock rebel in your life (even if it’s you). $30-$32 LP; available for pre-order

Other options

Not concerned about the geographical origins of your music-related gifts? Other great options this year include “Life Moves Pretty Fast,” a collection of music from the 1980s movies of director John Hughes; Blondie’s massive, career spanning “Against The Odds, 1974-1982“; nine different physical-format reissues of Guns N’ Roses “Use Your Illusion I and II,” including a 12-LP set with 97 tracks; The Beatles’ “Revolver Special Edition” in CD and vinyl formats; and “Thriller 40,” a 40th anniversary 2-CD set of Michael Jackson’s monster hit, featuring remixes and bonus tracks. (But inexplicably, no vinyl version.)


And if you’re especially well-heeled and need something for the person who has everything, consider nabbing (in most cases verified resale) tickets to one of the big local concerts scheduled for 2023: The Dropkick Murphys, Bruce Springsteen, Ed Sheeran, Luke Combs and of course Taylor Swift all come to mind.


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