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Best of December classic rock releases

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Vintage live performances, anniversaries and limited editions dominate the list of new releases from classic rock artists in December.

1. Eric Clapton - 'Slowhand' 35th anniversary editions

Eric Clapton Slow Hand 35th anniversary editions
Polydor Records

Eric Clapton's fifth studio album, released in 1977, is best known for containing three of what are now Clapton standards: "Wonderful Tonight," Cocaine" and "Lay Down Sally." A remastered Slow Hand will be available in various editions, from CD-only to deluxe editions with varying amounts of ancillary printed and recorded extras.

Release date December 11, 2012 - available on CD (standard, deluxe and super deluxe editions) and vinyl LP

2. Rush - '2112' deluxe editions

Rush 2112 special editions
Mercury Records

Okay, you may need your calculator for this one. In 1976, Rush released 2112, which makes 2012 its 36th anniversary. (Okay, I officially have a headache now.) Most likely, though, the December release of deluxe editions of the album that first put Rush on the map has more to do with this being 2012 than with the release anniversary. The super deluxe edition includes a comic book and comes in a hardbound case.

Release date December 18, 2012 available in CD + audio Blu-ray and CD + audio DVD editions

3. Hot Tuna - 'Live At New Orleans House Berkeley, CA - 9/69' remaster

Hot Tuna - Live At New Orleans House Berkeley, CA - 9/69
Relayer Records

Hot Tuna began life in early 1969 as a side project of members of Jefferson Airplane who wanted something to do while Grace Slick was undergoing and recovering from throat surgery. By late 1969, Hot Tuna has become the opening act at Jeff Airplane concerts. Live At New Orleans House Berkeley, CA - 9/69 was originally released in 1970. The remaster being released in December contains outtakes and alternate versions that are being released for the first time.

Track List
1. "Come Back Baby"
2. "Keep On Truckin'"
3. "Death Don't Have No Mercy"
4. "Winin' Boy Blues"
5. "Uncle Sam Blues"
6. "Know You Rider"
7. "Don't You Leave Me Here"
8. "Never Happen No More"
9. "How Long Blues"
10. "True Religion"
11. "Sea Child"
12. "Candy Man"
13. "Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning"

Release date December 4, 2012, available on CD

4. Emerson Lake & Palmer - 'Live in California 1974'

Emerson Lake & Palmer - Live in California 74
Shout! Factory

Live in California 1974 is the first official release of this concert at California Jam in Ontario CA. Says ELP guitarist/vocalist Greg Lake, "The band was at the very pinnacle of their performing powers, the event was of biblical proportions and the performance itself was almost flawless." More than 200,000 people were in the audience, and the performance was broadcast on network television.

Track List
1. "Toccata"
2. "Still... You Turn Me On"
3. "Lucky Man"
4. Piano Improvisations (including "Fugue" and "Little Rock Getaway")
5. "Take A Pebble"
6. "Karn Evil 9, First Impression Part 2"
7. "Karn Evil 9, Third Impression"
8. "Pictures At An Exhibition"

Release date December 11, 2012 - available on CD, MP3

5. Deep Purple - 'Music Milestones Made in Japan'

Deep Purple - Music Milestones Made in Japan
Anvil Media

Back in 1972 when Deep Purple's performances during a tour of Japan were recorded for an album that was to have only been released in Japan, neither the band nor their label (Warner Bros.) were all that thrilled about the sales potential of live performance albums. Nonetheless, the album was released in the U.S. in 1973 and, in spite of the unanimous misgivings, it sold a million copies within two weeks of it release. Music Milestones Made in Japan is an in-depth documentary film review of the album.

Release date December 4, 2012 - available on DVD

6. Frank Zappa - still more catalog reissues

Frank Zappa - Yellow Shark
Zappa Records

The reissue of the seemingly bottomless Frank Zappa catalog wraps up with a bang in December with the CD release of five albums released just prior to and just after Zappa's death in 1993, and the release of 50 titles for digital download.

MP3 release date December 4, 2012
CD release date December 18, 2012

7. War - 'The World is a Ghetto' 40th anniversary expanded edition

War - World Is a Ghetto: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition
Avenue Records

The World is a Ghetto was War's second album without their original vocalist Eric Burdon (ex-The Animals) and it was an immediate success. Released at the end of 1972, it became Billboard's Album of the Year (aka best selling album) in 1973. The album gave birth to two Top 10 singles, "The Cisco Kid" and the title track. The 40th anniversary edition has been remastered and expanded with a couple of alternate versions.

Release date December 11, 2012 - available on CD

8. On vinyl

Love - Forever Changes
Elektra / Asylum

The Who - Studio albums box set - 11-LP vinyl box set

Love - Forever Changes - 180 gram vinyl - December 4, 2012

Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed - limited edition vinyl - December 4, 2012

Television - Marquee Moon - 180 gram vinyl - December 4, 2012

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