In rock 'n' roll, fans so often look to the past. It's the older artists -- the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Black Sabbath, Depeche Mode -- who remain the most dependable draws at major amphitheaters and arenas.
While that might not be good for the genre's overall health, it's great for those shopping for classic-rock fans. There's never any shortage of box sets and other special reissues to choose from during the holiday season. Here are five gift ideas for the classic rocker on your shopping list:
"Moondance," Van Morrison: Van the Man's most popular studio album, which gave the world such classic cuts as "Crazy Love," "Into the Mystic" and the amazing title cut is being celebrated with a new reissue campaign. Fans can choose from three different "Moondance" offerings, ranging from a remastered version of the original album to a deluxe five-disc set that includes 50 previously unreleased tracks. ($11.98-$69.98, www.rhino.com) "Sunshine Daydream," Grateful Dead: Deadheads have been asking for this one for years, and their patience has finally paid off. "Sunshine Daydream (Veneta, OR 8/27/72)" captures the band during a fabled benefit show organized by longtime pal Ken Kesey. It's available in several different configurations, including an individually numbered deluxe edition with three CDs and one Blu-ray film of the concert. ($19.99-$79.98, www.dead.net) "Carry On," Stephen Stills: The talented vocalist-guitarist gets his proper due with this four-disc, 82-song career retrospective, which draws from his work with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acts Buffalo Springfield and CSN, as well as from his solo career. The impressive set features 25 previously unreleased tracks and a 113-page booklet. ($54.98, www.rhino.com) "Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite," Elvis Presley: Fifty years ago, the King put on one of the most famous concerts in history -- dubbed "Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite" -- which was reportedly viewed by some 1.5 billion TV viewers worldwide. The recording of that legendary 1973 show has now been remastered for this two-disc set, which also includes Presley's "The Alternate Aloha" live album. ($13.98, www.legacyrecordings.com) "Metallica Through the Never (Music from the Motion Picture)": The film was mediocre, but the soundtrack is sensational. The two-disc live set is a must-have for all Metallica fans, featuring the Bay Area's mightiest metal band running through such classics as "Master of Puppets," "Nothing Else Matters" and "Enter Sandman." ($13.99, www.metallica.com)
"Sunshine Daydream" from the Grateful Dead. (www.dead.net)
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