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David Byrne
Box-set highlights: Paramount Records, William Onyeabor, Joni Mitchell
Box-set highlights: Paramount Records, William Onyeabor, Joni Mitchell

The best box sets are their own worlds, aural encapsulations so fully imagined that five or six hours becomes something to get lost in, like a Brontë sisters bender or a Martin Scorsese weekend. These are gifts that can help opinionated folkie dads sway daughters away from Luke Bryan toward Hank Williams or connect siblings trying to out-geek each other with resurrections from Numero Group and Now-Again. Whether it's parents conspiring with kids to get "The Beatles in Mono" box or Bob Dylan's "The Basement Tapes Complete" for some lucky grandpa or mom and daughter bonding over George Harrison's "The Apple Years: 1968-1975," the reflex is...

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