Let's face it - after a year like this one, we wish we could hop in a time machine and go back to the '80s. While that may not be possible, there are plenty of reissues and box sets that '80s music lovers can get their hands on this holiday season to make their own trip through time. Here's a list of some of our favorites. Each one is perfect to give to someone on the nice list - even if that someone is you!
Prince, Sign O’ the Times (Super Deluxe Edition)
Even the most devoted Prince fans can't agree on what his best album is, but a convincing argument for 1987's Sign O' the Times was made this year. This box set dives deep on this double-album masterpiece, including B-sides, rare outtakes from Prince's storied vault and two live shows - altogether, eight CDs or 13 LPs and a DVD, with 45 tracks that have never been released. It's one of the finest monuments to His Royal Badness' incomparable artistry in the post-Purple Rain era.
The Replacements, Pleased to Meet Me (Deluxe Edition)
The 'Mats' "one foot in the door / the other one in the gutter" era gets a closer look on this 4CD/1LP box set, featuring the band's celebrated 1987 album (featuring "Alex Chilton," "Can't Hardly Wait" and "Skyway") plus dozens of rough mixes, demos, and outtakes from the band's final sessions with original guitarist Bob Stinson.
The former members of Joy Division solidified the next chapter of their career with their synth-heavy second album as New Order. This 2CD/2DVD/1LP box set is packed with bonus material, including more than a dozen outtakes (including an early version of classic single "Blue Monday"), a John Peel session and hours of live video.
David Coverdale took Whitesnake fans on an exciting tour through his band's discography this year through the first two in a series of three themed compilations, featuring remixes and even a few outtakes from across their career. If you like these sets, make sure to look out for The Blues Album next year!
Dire Straits, The Studio Albums 1978-1991
Dire Straits got going in the '70s and wrapped up in the '90s, but some of their biggest hits were part of the '80s canon, including U.K. hits "Romeo and Juliet" and "Private Investigations" plus international smashes "Money for Nothing" and "Walk of Life." Now, you can give that special someone all six of their studio albums in one convenient CD package.
Roxette, Bag of Trix: Music from the Roxette Vaults
Just when you thought you could finally get any of Roxette's killer songs out of your head, Bag of Trix arrives to get totally new ones lodged in there! This 3CD or 4LP set features demos, outtakes, remixes and Spanish-language versions of your favorite Roxette hits - and even a few you haven't discovered yet.
Lou Reed, New York (Deluxe Edition)
Uncle Lou closed out the '80s with this gripping homage to the city that made him famous. This 1989 album, featuring the modern rock hit "Dirty Blvd.," now features two bonus discs of unreleased studio and live material, a live longform video making its DVD debut, and the original album on CD and LP.
Tears for Fears, The Seeds of Love (Deluxe Edition)
The third and arguably strangest of Tears for Fears '80s albums is worth a second look, and that's just what this 4CD/Blu-ray box set does, offering B-sides, outtakes and even a surround mix of the original album.