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Beyonce, Bieber among last-minute music stocking stuffers

21st Century Media/Digital First Media, @GraffonMu

Posted: Monday, December 23, 2013

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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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