Friday, May 5, 2017

Teenbeat: The Bruce Springsteen Albums Collection

Sometimes after a while you finally get it together with a plan  and in order to make some sense of how it applies in this instance,  it's necessary to look at the history of Bruce Springsteen's music here as part of it because it was the early 80's that I  started to buy his albums out right starting originally with the pre-recorded tapes of Born To Run, The River and Born In The USA and then as my record playing equipment improved lp records of Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Tunnel Of Love.
By the time he'd released the misunderstood  Human Touch and Lucky Town albums in early 1992 that I bought on cd, I had decided to standardize on cd and replace my worn tapes at the same time.
Those cds were assembled mainly from tapes in the late 1980's and those editions until three years despite upgrades on the packaging still had that source which was thin and indistinct.

That is where this seven cd set comes in because a new process (Plangent) to restore unclear recordings  and pitch imperfections was used on the actual master tapes has been used throughout  plus they have been issued in mini lp  form.
This simply means they come in card sleeves that replicate the original lps so on Greetings from Astbury Park, N.J, it has a postcard folded over the jacket and Born To Run has a gatefold sleeve together with replica inner sleeves to house the cd(s) which where appropriate have specific art and the inserts.
Other nice touches to the set are reproductions of the lp labels on the discs themselves which does build on the tactileness of the whole set.
Having listened to the set extensively, they do sound a lot better with the first two albums (Greetings from Astbury, N.J and The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle) much clearer and even the at times glary mess sonically that is The River is tamed with a number of tracks gaining better depth, more clearer sense of individual instruments and heck even some bass which is nice as that album is a all time favourite of mine for the songwriting. 
As well the much played - over played on radio at the time - Born In The U.S.A.  has better defined bass and more shimmer on the cymbals especially on tracks such as Darlington County.
Original this set was a bit expensive on release November 17th  2014 and the booklet that comes with it isn't really needed being just reproductions of posters, reviews and photographs rather than a history of Bruce and these albums so I was on the edge over buying.
Fortunately I was able track it down to just under  £30 delivered which certainly fitted my budget for replacing all seven. Recommended.

 Albums Featured:
Greetings From Astbury, New Jersey (1973)
The Wild, The Innocent and E Street  Shuffle (Nov 1973)
Born To Run (1975)
Darkness On The Edge Of Town (1978)
The River (Nov 1980)
Nebraska (Sept 1982)
Born In The U.S.A. (June 1984)

Essential later albums:
Tunnel Of Love
Human Touch
Lucky Town
These three albums mark the more domestic and personal side of Bruce Springsteen's writing reflecting on his life and the birth of his child.

The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Centred around the Steinbeck character Tom Joad he  explores the hardships of mid nineties Mid West and also of Mexico, this marked the return to very acoustic, folk feel set after the electric density of much of Born In The U.S.A.

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