I’m not going to talk about the music on the gargantuan Bruce Springsteen box set that was released today. I mean, I’ll get to it eventually, but I’m waiting for my package to arrive.
What I wanted to comment on right now is the way things have changed over the years. First, for those who don’t know about this release (not everyone is a Bruce fanatic), the box set features a remastered Darkness on the Edge of Town; a two-CD set of 21 previously-unreleased songs recorded at the same time as the tracks that made it onto the album; a feature-length documentary on the making of the album; video of the band playing the entire Darkness album in 2009; various live footage from 1976-78; and (this is the part I’m most looking forward to), an entire concert from the 1978 tour.
When Darkness came out, I bought it right away, came home, and put Side One on the turntable. Again, there will be plenty of time for me to talk about the music and what it meant to me, then and now. What I’m focusing on here is that feeling of putting the LP on and listening for the first time.
It is now 2010. I await the arrival of my box set. But I am not awaiting for the arrival of the music. I’m listening to the 21-track “extras” on MOG (it’s probably on Rhapsody, too, but MOG is easier for me to load up). I could also listen to the remastered album (and yes, I’m aware of the irony of listening to a remaster via streaming audio), or “Bruce Springsteen – The Classic Interviews” (I have no idea what this is).
It’s funny … I don’t mind listening to compressed and/or streaming audio … it’s pretty much all I listen to anymore (I have lots and lots of CDs if anyone wants them … the pile of “I’ve ripped them to the hard drive” grows bit by bit). But when it comes to video, or the combination of video and audio, I turn into a snob. I bought the Blu-ray version of the box, because it matters to me that the three discs are at the highest possible level. Considering I’m most excited about the 1978 concert, which is taken from the b&w feed to the in-house video screen, you’d think I wouldn’t bother with Blu-ray … I mean, how much better is it going to look, given the source material? I bet is sounds real good, though.
Meanwhile, I’ve been listening to the new/old stuff as I type this, and I like it so far. There’s a fine pop album amongst these songs, one that would be completely different from Darkness.