Audiophile: Digital (January 2019)

Loud & Proud! The Box Set
BMG BMGCAT157BOX (32CDs + four LPs + three 45s)

This is truly the most ambitious box set I have ever seen. A 50-year retrospective, it contains – with only minor omissions – 32 CDs covering 23 remastered studio and two live albums; others with unreleased tracks; four LPs and three 7in singles. The tale is told in a 52-page hardback book, plus memorabilia including programmes, lyric sheets, posters and a sticker. Oh, and a metal badge! It's high-quality, take-no-prisoners hard rock, so devotees should expect a week-long binge… This magnificent achievement is a limited edition, but casual fans can consider 3CD, 2LP and digital versions. What I would like to know is how they can offer this feast for £50 less than Led Zeppelin's recent 13-disc box. KK


Rick Derringer
All American Boy/Spring Fever
Vocalion CDSML8540 (multi-channel SACD)

Boy, do I love this label's discrete, playable versions – via SACD – of what were difficult to access even when they were current 40+ years ago: true quadraphonic mixes. Alas, these two albums from 1973 and '75 are so overwhelmingly bass-heavy in quad that you'll prefer the vastly superior stereo mixes, but what the heck: they are truly representative of their time. This is totally gutsy, guitar-driven hard rock by a protege of Johnny Winter. Derringer is no mean axe-wielder by any measure and held his own with the great Texan, but do be careful if easily offendable for certain tracks are too creepy and/or non-PC to play circa 2019, eg, 'Teenage Love Affair'. KK


The Louvin Brothers
Love and Wealth: The Lost Recordings
Modern Harmonic MHCD-038 (mono; two discs)

Fantastic! Seminal Country & Western from one of the most influential duos in the genre's history, this 29-track set contains what were song-writing demos from the 1950s – but the remastering from original sources makes you forget they're mono. The material ranges from jokey hillbilly hokum to uncharacteristic, mildly blue material to Bible-thumping gospel. You can hear Jerry Lee Lewis, The Byrds, Alison Krauss and others in these tunes, an amazing legacy despite a fiery relationship and a career cut short by Ira dying in a car crash in 1965 (Charlie lived until 2011). Trivia fans note: their real name was Loudermilk, and they were cousins to the great John D. KK


Various Artists
The Percy Phillips Studio Collection
Speakeasy Recordings SPEA1094 (four discs)

Priceless archive-dredging, this, four CDs containing 54 tracks from a treasure trove of mainly unreleased recordings made in Liverpool from 1955-69. The major labels weren't interested, so this astounding box is being offered online from What a haul! Through the portals of the Phillips Sound Recording Service walked the soon-to-be-famous and the forever-obscure, from Ken Dodd, The Beatles and Billy Fury to a host of names that don't even appear as footnotes in Liverpool rock histories. For The Quarrymen tracks alone, Beatles fans need this; for those interested in the history of Merseybeat in general, this is the Rosetta Stone. KK