Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bruce Springsteen - The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story

 So I've been waiting a bit to write about this one.  Favorite record by my favorite artist so as you can imagine I've been looking forward to this for a while.  A serious price tag is rewarded with one of the better box sets that I have seen.  3 CD's and 3DVD's in a replica of Bruce's notebook from the sessions is everything this type of release should be for the fan. 

CD1 is the remastered Darkness on the Edge of Town.  Sony has done a shit job with the original CD's and to date have only remastered Born to Run.  The sound quality is greatly improved, sort of like taking some ear plugs out.  There is a vibrancy missing from the original CD's, more in line with the original vinyl releases.

CD's 2 and 3 are The Promise which features 21 unreleased tracks from the era, many of which are making their first appearance on official releases.  It makes for a great listen but one that is very much different than Darkness.  I think Bruce releases the right album at the time.  With a little more space, Because the Night and the Promise would have fit, but most of the others are of a different sound altogether.  Some were recorded by Southside Johnny and the tracks have that 60's rockin' soul sound for the most part which sound far too "light" compared to what was released in 1978.  A great listen for sure, just don"t compare the two.

DVD 1 is the full Promise documentary.  DVD 2 has the entire Darkness album performed on 2009 by the E. Street Band as well as some videos recorded in the studio and the 4 existing tracks from the Phoenix 1978 show that generated the Rosalita video.

The third DVD is the motherload...a full show from Houston in 1978.  As far as I am concerned the best tour he ever did (although this past decade saw some great shows) is finally available as a complete show on this "offical bootleg".  The sound and video quality are fine and seeing the E. Street band in their youthful prime is just so good.  It brings back those early days when I became a fan and blows away my Passaic 1978 boot.

All in all this is a great box set that will please the fans.  As there are no real wishy-washy Bruce fans that means just about everyone who ever listened and liked.   Grab it for someone this holiday season.

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