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LPs and CDs, get 'em while you can

PopMarket from Sony Music sells LP and CD box sets not available in stores.

The Byrds Complete Album Collection, available from PopMarket Sony Music

PopMarket is a Sony Music Entertainment online club, or more specifically, it's a (free) members-only music club that caters to fans, bargain hunters, and serious collectors. The site offers "Daily Deals" (changing each day at 9 a.m. PT) and five channels containing a mix of premium music and rare, collectible albums, boxed sets, and memorabilia at discounted prices. Shipping is free on most items.

PopMarket is an online store, but Sony temporarily converted New York City's Morrison Hotel Gallery into a brick-and-mortar record shop on May 25, and will continue selling a limited selection of CD and LP box sets, T-shirts, and more through June 30 at the store. I attended the opening party at the Gallery, and I have to say the presentation was a feast for the eyes. There were some Dylan LP sets I've never seen before, packaged in beautifully constructed boxes. Miles Davis' music was also well represented.

Sure, downloaded music is the future, but I don't think a music file will ever be as meaningful as physical formats. I still treasure LPs I bought when I was a kid, and I'll probably own those records for the rest of my life. When I play them and look at the jackets, every little imperfection is meaningful to me. I remember going to my local record shop and buying The Clash's "London Calling" LP the day it came out. Does anybody think the "21 by Adele" iTunes download will bring back memories decades from now? If you can't touch the music, is it real?

A Bob Dylan LP box set at PopMarket Steve Guttenberg

Sony will be selling, exclusively through PopMarket, "The Complete Album Collections" by The Byrds, Aretha Franklin, Stan Getz, Sam Cooke, and Return To Forever. Each set features 5-by-5-inch minijacket reproductions of the original album art and new booklets in a slip case.

Some of PopMarket's best-selling offers to date included the "Miles Davis Genius of Miles Davis" collector's edition set in a real trumpet case; AC/DC's "Backtracks" anniversary collection in a working guitar amp case; Pearl Jam's "Ten" deluxe set; Jimi Hendrix's "West Coast Seattle Boy" deluxe set; Aretha Franklin's "Complete On Columbia" set; Yo-Yo Ma's "Outside the Box" deluxe set; and Lamb of God's "Hourglass" collectible with a signature guitar in a custom coffin case.