Music » Culture Jamming

Here are the week's best releases from the pop-culture universe:

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CD -- U218 Singles: After more than a quarter-century, the world's biggest band finally releases its first single-disc best-of set. The songs reach from the anthemic ("Beautiful Day") to the political ("Sunday Bloody Sunday") to the just plain gorgeous ("One"). Two new tracks -- including a collaboration with Green Day -- sound out of place, but that's only because they're not hits . . . yet.

DVD -- Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection: The Sandpiper, The V.I.P.s, and The Comedians are all passable 1960s Hollywood entertainment. But it's the new two-disc special edition of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? that has us raising our glass in celebration. This biting look at a couple's deteriorating marriage over the course of one drunken night makes for perfect New Year's Eve viewing.

TV -- Law & Order New Year's Marathon: What better way to start the new year than with 37 straight hours of the all-time best crime show. Episodes stretch all the way back to the early '90s and run through the new season. Their titles say it all -- "Coma," "Blood," "License to Kill," "Savages," and "Burned."

BOOK -- Rockin' Down the Highway: The Cars and People That Made Rock Roll: This lavish, colorful book proves that musicians were pimpin' their rides long before Xzibit. From the Rolling Stones piling into a vintage jalopy to Tom Waits showing off a ride that's as rusty as his voice, the art and photos in this hefty volume are as historical as they are frame-worthy. Best: Eric Clapton fittingly playing chauffeur to B.B. King.

DVD -- The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season: This four-disc set features 25 episodes from the terrific 1997-'98 season. Bonus material includes deleted scenes, commentary, and Simpsons-related commercials. Highlight: "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson," in which the family car gets booted and much D'oh!ing ensues.

VIDEOGAME -- Tony Hawk's Project 8: Skateboarding comes to the next-gen consoles in style. Dazzling tricks and treats make it the most realistic 'board game ever. The best additions are the new Nail the Trick feature (where gamers set up their own combos by working the analog sticks) and the levels where you can move rails and ramps anywhere. It's a fuss-free return to a classic and the best new entry in years.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- P.O.D. -- Greatest Hits (The Atlantic Years): King of the Hill's Hank Hill said it best: "You're not making Christianity better. You're just making rock and roll worse." This 17-song CD from the San Diego God-rockers features many vague shout-outs to the Lord ("Truly Amazing"), as well as some more obvious ones ("Set Your Eyes to Zion"). The messages are delivered in a bludgeoning rap-metal style not even Jesus could forgive.

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