The Yardbirds: Ultimate! (Rhino)
This mammoth, double-disc set honors the 1960s English rock band that eventually morphed into Led Zeppelin, and also served as starting points for six-string pros Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. You can find similar collections out there, but none as thorough, both sonically (Jimmy Page, Clapton, and Beck are all here) and visually (very cool CD booklet), as this set. A must.
A Twist of Marley
Various Artists (GRP)
With the 20th anniversary of Bob Marley’s passing, his reggae moves back into the spotlight in 2001. This disc puts a jazz (yes, jazz) feel to the traditional songs when producer/guitarist Lee Ritenour joins an ensemble cast that includes vocalists Maxi Priest, Patti Austin, and Marc Antoine. You haven’t heard “I Shot The Sheriff,” “Get Up Stand Up,” and 11 others done quite this way before.
The Best of Eddie Money (Columbia/Legacy)
Take this home tonight: A compilation of all the hits racked up by the Money Man, whose Saturday night anthems were born to be blared from little red Corvettes. Laugh all you want at how goofy “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Take Me Home Tonight,” “Baby Hold On,” and “Shakin’” sound today, but there’s no way you can’t sing along between snickers.