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Gift Guide 2017: The Best Box Sets

Deluxe, rarities-filled packages for serious collectors, die-hard completists and fans of Elvis, Bowie, Dylan, Weird Al – and even Freddy Krueger

rolling stone boxset gift guide

Even in this age of streaming and dead-to-dying brick-and-mortar stores, the most obsessive music and pop culture fans are determined to stay at least a little bit analog. The best time to indulge that collectors’ urge, of course, is over the holidays – with lush, extras-packed box sets that zoom in on a specific, magical moment in an artist’s career, or encapsulate an entire oeuvre. Whether the intended recipient just can’t get enough of David Bowie, Elton John, the Smiths, Weird Al or razor-fingered Freddy Krueger (yes, really), we’ve found a box set just for them.

rolling stone boxset gift guide

Various Artists, ‘Box of Souls: A Nightmare on Elm Street’

The recent flood of
horror vinyl soundtrack reissues hits an absurd, ambitious peak with a set
combining the scores from the first seven films in surrealist slasher franchise
A Nightmare on Elm Street. Seven different composers are compiled here,
all joined by moody original artwork from Chicago graphic designer Mike Saputo
and a certain burned sadist. The Charles Bernstein score to the 1984 original
is the highlight, an 8-track recording full of dark drones, dubby reverb,
playful melodies and post-Carpenter synths – anyone who enjoys Stranger
can find some original vintage here. For the 1985 sequel, Hellraiser
composer Christopher Young provided a supremely creepy score with the buzzy
orchestral fury of Iannis Xenakis or Stanley Kubrick fave Gyorgy Ligeti; and
parts of Craig Safan’s experimental electronic suite for 1988’s A Nightmare
on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
sounds more like Twin Peaks than Twin
composer Angelo Badalamenti’s strange soundtrack to Part 3. $250; mondotees.com

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