What do you get for the guy who has everything?
Of course, the obvious answer to this has always been the same: Nothing. I mean, he really doesn't need anything, so why waste your time?
For those still willing to try, though, I may have just found the answer to your last-minute Christmas woes.
Columbia Records recently released "Miles Davis: The Complete Columbia Album Collection." Now, this is no small undertaking, considering Davis recorded 52 albums for Columbia from 1955 to 1985.
So how do you put all this work into a single collection? You put it on 70 CDs and throw in a live DVD. That's 71 discs in a single purchase!
I was reading a copy of my third-favorite music magazine when I initially discovered this behemoth of a collection. I nearly wet myself. My friends and family can tell you I'm a prodigious collector of music, owning something like 1,000 CDs and at least half that many vinyl records.
I like music a little bit.
I also deeply enjoy Miles' music, but why on earth would I want a 71-disc collection? Even more to the point, how could I ever afford it or ask for it as a gift with a straight face?
So I did a little research on the Web, and found Davis' boxed set would cost a person anywhere from $225 to $436.61. Now, even if you go with the high end of that spectrum, you are paying $6.15 per disc. The low end is $3.17 per disc!
Now, let's compare that to buying them individually. For some quick and dirty figures, we'll just say you pay $12 per disc (a modest estimate). For the entire collection, you'd be paying $852.
No matter how you stack it, this boxed set is a good deal.
But it's not always about being a good deal. I could sell you an Indy car for $100,000 and that would be way below market value. That doesn't mean you should make the purchase.
Who on Earth has the time to really listen and take in those discs? I have about nine discs worth of the material on this album and can only imagine myself owning a handful more. My Miles Davis collection is complete enough for me.
Those who would buy it would have to have a way deeper love of Miles Davis than I possess. The problem is, wouldn't they already own the bulk of the quality stuff from this era? Why buy it again?
In trying to find the people who would actually buy the collection, I got online to read some customer reviews. Indeed, at least 29 amazon.com customers found it worth their hard-earned money. However, most of the reviews were extremely negative, but only because of poor packaging. Box lids were split. The disc sleeves were poorly made. Glue was everywhere.
One collection was even missing discs, including the 1959 masterpiece "Kind of Blue." No big deal. It might just be the greatest jazz album ever made. Getting this collection without that CD is like the Jacksons touring without Michael. (What? They're doing that? Ouch!)
So, not only was this an ill-conceived idea in the first place, but they couldn't even do the packaging properly.
I would certainly hope if I dropped more than four bills on a collection that it's box would be plated with gold.
With all that said, though, it would be an interesting addition to a music collection. If anyone is looking for a last-minute gift for me, the collection is easy to find online.
Contact me at the e-mail address below and I'll give you my mailing address.
Jared Jernagan is the assistant editor of the Banner Graphic. He can be contacted at email@example.com.