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TOP PICK — VIDEO GAME

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(THQ)

Apocalypse Now screenwriter John Milius penned this game's story about a near future where Korea pretty much has the United States in a headlock and freedom fighters kick ass in the pursuit of liberty. But the single-player action in this first-person shooter (for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) isn't nearly as much fun as the extensive multiplayer, where 32 players face off.

CD

The Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection

(Alligator)

This Chicago label has been releasing albums by blues legends and some of the genre's best descendants since 1971. This two-disc, 38-song set gathers tracks that span their history — from Koko Taylor's defiant "I'm a Woman" to JJ Grey & Mofro's slinky "The Sun Is Shining Down." In between are smokin' cuts by Albert Collins, Professor Longhair, and Mavis Staples.

DVD

MGM Limited Edition Collection

(Twentieth Century Fox)

The latest batch of cult movies in this series includes 20 movies — everything from westerns to crime thrillers to a movie starring Eric Roberts and a killer ambulance. Our favorites: The Black Sleep (about mutants), Queen of Blood (about an alien vampire), and 1961's The Explosive Generation, starring William Shatner as a teacher who gets in deep shit for talking sex in class.

CD

Tabu Ley Rochereau: The Voice of Lightness Vol. 2

(Sterns)

Rochereau is known as the Sam Cooke of African music — a fitting reflection of his sweet voice. This two-disc collection compiles 17 songs from 1977 through 1982, a creative period for the singer and bandleader, who pretty much created the dance music known as soukous. There's plenty of time to get your groove on here, since most of the songs clock in at 10 minutes.

CD

Phil Spector reissues

(Phil Spector/Legacy)

Before he became a wild-wigged wacko, Spector was one of music's all-time greatest producers. Four new collections celebrate the 50th anniversary of his record company. Girl groups the Crystals and Ronettes each get a disc, but head straight for The Very Best of Phil Spector and The Very Best of Darlene Love, a terrific collection featuring the recent Rock Hall inductee.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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