Yesterday, Bruce Springsteen celebrated his 65th birthday. Here in New Jersey, the birth date of The Boss might as well be considered a state holiday; the occasion was marked by various events including a video presentation by Springsteen's longtime collaborator Thom Zimny at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. (Springsteen was, of course, born in Long Branch and wrote "Born to Run" in a Long Branch cottage.) But today, Springsteen's fans are the ones receiving a gift for his birthday. The official announcement has arrived confirming that, on November 17, the artist and icon's first seven albums - most with new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The E Street Band - will be collected in one 8-CD or vinyl LP box set as Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984.
The release of The Album Collection builds on February's announcement that Springsteen's first ten albums had been remastered by Bob Ludwig for digital-only release; speculation, of course, ran high that physical issues would follow. While Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town were both sonically upgraded for remastered box sets in recent years, this box set marks the first time that remasters have been made available for the remaining albums in Springsteen's catalogue through 1984 since their initial releases on CD. The box includes:
- Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)
- The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (1973)
- Born to Run (1975)
- Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
- The River (1980, 2 CDs)
- Nebraska (1982)
- Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
We have more details after the jump!
All seven of the albums are newly remastered, including Darkness and Born to Run. All are making their remastered debuts on vinyl. Original LP packaging is being replicated for each, and the box set also includes a 60-page book featuring rare photos, memorabilia, and original press clippings from Springsteen's first ten years as a recording artist. All albums are presented in their original album sequences, with no additional material. The box continues Springsteen's relationship with Bob Ludwig, whose work with the artist dates back to 1982's original release of Nebraska. Ludwig also previously handled the Born to Run and Darkness box sets. Fans are urged to check out his interview at all-things-Springsteen site Backstreets.com about the remastering process, including the scoop on how Ludwig and Springsteen overcame problems inherent in properly remastering Nebraska.
There is no word yet about individual releases for any of the titles included in the box set. Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984 is due from Columbia Records on November 17, just in time for your Black Friday gift shopping!
Bruce Springsteen, The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984 (Columbia/Legacy 88875 01414-1/2, 2014)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Amazon MP3: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Disc 1: Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (Columbia KC 31903, 1973)
Disc 2: The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle (Columbia KC 32432, 1973)
Disc 3: Born to Run (Columbia PC 33795, 1975)
Disc 4: Darkness on the Edge of Town (Columbia JC 35318, 1978)
Discs 5-6: The River (Columbia PC2 36854, 1980)
Disc 7: Nebraska (Columbia QC 38358, 1982)
Disc 8: Born in the U.S.A. (Columbia QC 38653, 1984)
John Phillips says
Great.....another double dip, or triple if there's an anniversary edition of The River....yea?
Guess I'll view this release as an opportunity to work on my patience and hold out for an eventual release of the individual titles. The Darkness and BTR box-set discs already sound splendid, and they've already hinted at upcoming boxes for The River and BITUSA. I'm not about to shell out for this when it's quite possible that half the content will be supplanted by other, more extensive releases.
I'm curious if the Nebraska remaster will be speed cirrected. The US version runs at the incorrect speed. The Japanese version corrected this, and the first release also included the coda at the end of "My Father's House".
I may end up with three distinct versions of "Nebraska" when this comes out.
Joe Marchese says
Yes, NEBRASKA will be speed-corrected. Per the Ludwig interview linked to above, "The original album was mixed to a cassette, and we could not cut vinyl from that, so during those Nebraska sessions, I made a 1/2-inch master reel which contains the correct takes, edited together, at the correct speed and with the correct azimuth Bruce wished for the album. That reel was used for the original vinyl cut, cassette masters and CD mastering, and it is what we worked from here."
I have a hard time jumping on the 'everything needs remastering' bandwagon.
What is the criteria?
Esp when it comes to double-dipping via a large box set.
Spencer Marquart says
@scarecrowbike - remastering is a good thing. Have you heard the CD versions of "The River" and "Born In The USA"? I imagine the remastering will blow away the original CD's that came out in the 80's!
William Schneider, Jr. says
Any word on a HD release via HDTracks or Pono? Most of these albums are long overdue for a proper remastering (some none at all, at least the rest haven't been on a "Tommy" or "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" re-release cycle), but I am more compelled to download HD versions than another CD release if there aren't extra's beyond packaging. Personally, I get the collector's market, but i tire of these odd-shaped box sets and "mini LP" covers for CD's. The mini-LP cover craze reminds me of those bubble-gum mini-record candies I used to pick up as a kid in the early 80's.
William- from that Backstreets article:
"The remasters will be coming not only to vinyl, CD and iTunes, but also other digital services like Spotify. There's even a chance that high-res digital files may become available: 'I believe Sony is talking with HDTracks and other high resolution file download services…. Bruce and Sony want to make the new versions available in all formats.'"
So good news!
mark schlesinger says
There is a pre-order link on Amazon.ca - I have it on order, thanks
So the main difference between this and the "red box" collection from 2010 is the new remaster and the booklet? That set is still available for around $35. I wonder if this new set will be similarly priced.
On Amazon Canada it's $81 CAD so that works out to be $73 USD - so maybe it will be around that price.
I have the red box, and like others I experienced an issue with the Darkness disc: Badlands won't play/rip from my computer drive.
I liked that set because of the price and packaging tho minimal: the new remaster is a big selling point here. It's funny how this and Basement Tapes come so late in the life of CDs as collectible media. It's a shame both weren't released at least 10 years earlier.
This article states: "Original LP packaging is being replicated for each.." Does that apply only to the vinyl or with the CD's be in replicated Mini LP Paper Sleeves as well?
Joe Marchese says
Yes, you can see the images of the mini-sleeves in the pack shot, above.
http://www.myplaydirect.com/bruce-springsteen < SONY's Music Store for Bruce has this for pre-order, including pricing.