I’ve got a new "Think Again" column called "How to Control Health Care Costs, Conservative Style," about what happened when Bush and the Republicans tried to "reform" and it’s here. (And I did a short post for the Daily Beast on the health care bill, here.)
Ok, now are some Alter-reviews by Sal: The new Elvis Presley box, the new Genesis box, and the new Elvis Costello "Spectacle" DVD/Bluray box.
ELVIS PRESLEY: ELVIS 75: GOOD ROCKIN’ TONIGHT
It’s really hard to get behind the just released "Elvis 75: Good Rockin’ Tonight" Presley boxed set. No other artist in history has had their body of work repackaged, reconfigured, remastered, and "re-foisted" upon his fans as much as "The King." All of Beatles’ boxed set naysayers, take note. Aside from this truly annoying fact, it’s hard to fault the music on this 4 CD set. As a matter of fact, this seems like the only set you might need. 100 songs, beginning with his very first recording, "My Happiness" and ending with the remix of "A Little Less Conversation" that became a hit after being used in the Steven Soderbergh remake of "Ocean’s 11," this boxed covers every key track. Yes, it is also nicely packaged, but the question remains, why do this again? I know Elvis would have been 75, and that is a pretty big birthday. But I think if he were alive, he’d have bought this set for all of us, instead of making us pay again.
Eric adds: And yet, for all the people who, unlike Sal, do not have every Elvis cut they might need, or are looking for a gift to give someone in need of not only an education but also a little less conversation and a little more actionwhich is pretty much my favorite song right nowits a lovely package.
GENESIS: THE MOVIE BOX
The 4th and final (?) box in the Genesis 5.1 upgrade campaign is a collection 5 DVDs starting with a 1982 concert film supporting the then released "Three Sides Live," LP and finishing with a VH-1 episode of "Behind The Music." Also included are three more concert films, the previously released documents of the 1987 and 1992 tours, as well as a film of the "Mama Tour of 1984," which makes its DVD debut. Like the previous sets, the third of which I’d still love to get a hold of, packaging is wonderful and the content is stellar. I am not a fan of the later, MTV Genesis. I pretty much stop at 1981’s "Duke." But for those who prefer Phil Collins over Peter Gabriel, "The Movie Box" is a nice addition, especially the 1981 film, which includes some older chestnuts that the band dropped when the hits started to pile up. I should also point out that the episode of "Behind The Music" has been updated with current interviews. Nicely done.