Longtime Bruce Springsteen fans are rejoicing that 10 of his albums -- including his first four -- have been digitally remastered for iTunes. The remasters, which for the first time are transfers from analog to digital masters, includes 1973's Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.; The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle; 1975's Born To Run; 1978's Darkness On The Edge Of Town, and 1984's blockbuster, Born In The U.S.A.
Among the more recent titles also included in this first digital roll out are 2006's We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions; 2009's Working On A Dream; 2010's The Promise; 2012's Wrecking Ball; and 2014's High Hopes.
- The press release announcing the revamped albums, which are out now, explained "Over the last two years, under the supervision of Bruce Springsteen and engineer Toby Scott, Jamie Howarth of Plangent Processes utilized new audio technology capable of repairing pitch and timing errors embedded in analog recordings to transfer Springsteen's early album with improved definition. Plangent Processes' unique technology for archiving original source tapes eliminates many of the inevitable distortions inherent in vintage recordings, resulting in greater transparency, detail and clarity. After the transfers were made, they were remastered by Ludwig."
- Bob Ludwig went on to post on Plangentprocesses.com, saying, "We were recently working on a remastering project that used the Plangent Process and I was thrilled with the result. The process not only corrected speed slips that had always been a problem with these tapes but, more importantly, the Plangent Process gave all of this music a new width and dimension that made it connect with me emotionally in a more profound way than I had ever experienced before."
- There's still no word yet on any remastered versions of The River, Nebraska, Tunnel Of Love, Human Touch, Lucky Town, The Ghost Of Tom Joad, Tracks, The Rising-- or any of Springsteen's live collections hitting iTunes.
- Bruce Springsteen's fourth album, 1978's Darkness On The Edge of Town, was a creative game changer for him and dealt specifically with what happens when the American dream comes up short for those who fall in between the cracks: "It's a reckoning with the adult world, y'know? There's a life of limitations and compromises, but also a life of kind of, of just resilience and commitment to life, to the breath in your lungs, y'know (laughs)? How do I keep faith with those things? How do I honor those things? Darkness was a record where I set out to try and understand how to do that."
- Keyboardist Roy Bittan first joined the E Street Band in 1974 and was the only member to tour with him during his 1992/1993 world tour with "the other band." He says that he's amazed at what Springsteen has been able to accomplish over the years: "I think he had tremendous pressures on him early in his career, he had a lot of trouble early in his career. Y'know, he had that terrible lawsuit that went down. So I think, y'know, he's come through a lot and he's, he's a survivor."
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band performs tonight (February 19th) in Sydney, Australia.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band North American tour dates (subject to change):
April 8 - Cincinnati, OH - U.S. Bank Arena
April 12 - Virginia Beach, VA - Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
April 15 - Columbus, OH - Nationwide Arena
April 17 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
April 19 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena
April 22 - Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center
April 24 - Raleigh, NC - PNC Arena
April 26 - Atlanta, GA - Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
April 29 - Sunrise, FL - BB&T Center
May 1 - Tampa, FL - MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
May 3 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - Fairgrounds Racecourse
May 6 - Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
May 13 - Albany, NY - Times Union Center
May 14 - Hershey, PA - Hersheypark Stadium
May 17, 18 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
JUST OUR OPINION
- Talk about one of the greatest catalogues in rock featuring some of the worst sounding discs -- these albums have DESPERATELY needed a revamp since the initial CD reissues.
- For all the guff that original manager/producer Mike Appel took over the years for the creative and financial snags he allegedly threw in "The Boss'" path -- those first two albums always sounded great -- the same could NOT be said for Born To Run -- which at times sounds so sludgy, you doubt whether there's even a true stereo signal in places -- and The River, which even on VINYL has zero bottom.
- Some modern love and care also needs to be put into the upcoming Tunnel Of Love, Human Touch and Lucky Town sets, which due to being recorded during the "digital age" at times come off sounding pretty cold and thin -- despite the excellent performances.
CHECK IT OUT: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band on May 1st, 1973 performing "Spirit In The Night" live at L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre:
Bruce Springsteen On The Theme Behind 'Darkness'
Roy Bittan On Bruce Springsteen Being A Survivor
Read more at Billboard