This is an exciting week for Smashing Pumpkins fans. Billy Corgan and, um, whoever else is in his band these days, have released the first volume in their 11-EP Teargarden By Kaleidyscope series. To be totally fair, the group is generously allowing its fans to download all songs from the project free. But if you want a physical version, be ready to shell out some major cash for a painstakingly crafted special edition. Insound notes that the debut installment “is packaged in a silk-screened wooden box (7 1/4″ tall x 8″ wide x 1.05″ thick). Each box contains: a 4-song CD (with four new Smashing Pumpkins songs and instrumental intros), a 7″ vinyl single (containing a new song and a B-Side), and a hand-carved “leopard stone” obelisk, about 2″ tall, similar to marble.” Considering that there will eventually be 11 $33 EPs to buy, Pumpkins completists stand to spend upwards of $350 to own the entire set.
Think that’s bonkers? Well, it’s nothing compared to some of the other insanely expensive (or just plain over-the-top) box sets and special-edition albums we’ve seen. Check out 10 of the weirdest and most expensive after the jump.
Mastodon, Deluxe Vinyl Box Set
We know you like Mastodon, but do you love Mastodon? Enough to buy a nine-LP set containing the band’s entire discography? Plus an exclusive live record? And “an embroidered logo patch, a vinyl sticker set, as well as a custom Mastodon turntable mat”? If you do, then you might be one of Mastodon’s 1000 biggest fans — or the envy of diehards who didn’t take advantage of this limited-edition release.
Neil Young, Archives Volume 1 (Blu-ray DVD format)
Already have everything Neil Young released on CD and vinyl? Well, we bet you don’t yet own his discography on Blu-ray. This first batch, featuring material from 1963-1972, contains ten discs, tons of hidden tracks, videos, interviews, live banter, a DVD of Young’s film Journey Through the Past, an “interactive timeline,” a record of ancient tour dates, a poster, digital download codes, and a 236-page hardcover book that includes… whatever didn’t make it onto the CDs, we suppose. Then there’s the schmancy packaging, which we suppose could double as a living-room tchotchke. What’s kind of amazing about this is that it’s only the first installment of a series that we assume will eventually cover 40+ more years of Young’s career.
Hole, Nobody’s Daughter (with makeup)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Courtney Love finally put out her long-awaited Hole album Nobody’s Daughter in April. But did you realize that there are no fewer than three special-edition versions available for purchase? The most extreme package contains the CD; a digital download; a bright blue, Miss America-style Nobody’s Daughter sash; signed LP; “cassette USB w/album and unreleased photo collection”; messenger bag; thermal shirt; and makeup. We suggest putting all this gear on at once and then applying the makeup using Courtney’s video tutorial.
Dukes of the Stratosphear, The Complete and Utter Dukes Box Set
XTC’ got psychedelic under the Dukes of the Stratosphear pseudonym. And despite the fact that their entire output consists of two albums, we think they’ve totally earned this whimsical box set. Complete and Utter contains not only the records on both vinyl and CD but also booklets, play money you can use to buy a T-shirt, a seven-inch single, and — most awesome of all — a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle. The whole thing comes packaged in the purplest box this side of Prince.
Rammstein, Liebe Ist Für Alle Da
There are crazy box sets… and then there is this crazy release, from Germany’s wackiest metalheads. It includes the album itself, five bonus songs the band admits isn’t as good as what did make the final tracklist, a hard metal case, handcuffs, lube, and (get ready for it) six pink dildos modeled after the, uh, band members themselves. How’s that for a pleasurable listening experience?