Tis the season for re-releases, from Alan Jackson’s “Let It Be Christmas,” to Bob Dylan’s salvage collection of The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. II to Jack White’s The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records. Next up we have Bruce Springsteen, who is re-releasing his first seven studio albums in a box set, entitled Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984. It will be available starting November 17th, but is currently already available for preorder. What makes these re-issues special is that they are all newly remastered by Bob Ludwig and Toby Scott and will be available on both CD and vinyl. What makes the collection special is that each album comes in a recreation of its original packaging, and with a sixty page book of memorabilia, photos, and vintage press clippings from 1973 through 1984.
Needless to say, fans are ecstatic about this project finally happening, especially as it means remastering for several albums that have remained untouched, including Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, The River, Nebraska, and Born In The U.S.A. whereas albums Born To Run and Darkness On The Edge of Town have been remastered previously. In a press release statement, it was said that the discs have been “newly transferred from the original analogue masters using the Plangent Process playback system” which is a newer and better way to transfer analogue tape than has previously been available. According to Jamie Howarth, president of Plangent Process, it “is a software/hardware package combining state-of-the-art contemporary analog electronics coupled with unique digital signal processing.” Earlier restoration tools used additive or subtractive techniques (such as adding equalization or subtracting noise), but Plangent Process merely re-conforms the existing waveform, moving it back to its original shape before the tape mechanism distorted its timing.
Since Springsteen’s first two albums were transferred from tape to CD format in the 80’s, prior to these audio technology advancements, these doubly re-released records will feature some significant audio differences (not to mention the swag paraphernalia that comes with the box set). Also coming up in November is his annual appearance for the Stand Up For Heroes Benefit, on Wednesday, November 5th of this year at Madison Square Gardens.