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Interview:
Beyonce, Bieber among last-minute music stocking stuffers
 

By GARY GRAFF
21st Century Media/Digital First Media, @GraffonMu

» See more SOUND CHECK

The music biz is usually down to the dregs when it gets to the last couple of release weeks of the year, but the days before Christmas have a few choice goods in store for fans, including some surprises...

*Beyonce, "Beyonce" (Parkwood/Columbia): If you're not among the million-plus who have purchased Queen Be's fifth album since it snuck out on Dec. 13, there's still time to make it the 14-song, 17-video set a digital stocking stuffer -- or wait for its imminent physical release.

*Justin Bieber, "Journals" (RBMG/Schoolboy/Island): The Biebs offers up an end-of-year present for fans, and gets one last chance to boost the Christmas Day release of his "Justin Bieber's Believe" concert film, with an iTunes set that compiles his guest-laden Music Mondays releases along with a couple of music videos and the "Believe" trailer. Joyeux Justin, and joy to the Beliebers.

*Various Artists, "American Hustle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (Legacy): Get your 70s fix with tracks by Elton John, Wings, the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, ELO and more, with a little Duke Ellington thrown in for good measure.

*Various Artists, "Muscle Shoals: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (Universal Republic): A surface-skimming soundtrack -- with highlights from Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Paul Simon -- that could easily be a box set given how much great music was produced in the Alabama studio.

*Yes, "The Studio Albums 1969-1987" (Atlantic/Rhino): The British prog rock hero's first dozen albums all in a box. with bonus tracks and new artwork by the iconic Roger Dean.

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