Columbia Records has finally given The Boss’s first 7 albums the remastered upgrade that it deserves, unfortunately the packaging the houses the high tech remastered sound is a big disappointment.
Let’s start with the sound quality… the audio is absolutely amazing. These 7 albums have never sounded better and 5 of the 7 have never been remastered since their original release on CD. So if you are an audiophile and Springsteen enthusiast then this is absolutely going to be a must buy for you.
Now let’s discuss the packaging…
In my opinion the packaging on the box set is subpar. All 7 albums come in exact replicas of the original vinyl LPs with all of the original elements intact. If these were actual 12″ x 12″ vinyl albums that would be very cool but when shrunk down to 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ it’s pretty unimpressive in fact it’s annoying. Even someone with perfect eye sight would need a magnifying glass to read the lyrics or any of the album credits. The box set also comes with a 60 page glossy booklet that I thought would contain all the lyrics and album credits reprinted in more readable font… nope! Instead we get a scrapbook of memorabilia and magazine articles that are also impossible to read without a microscope. The outer box is a nice study package to house all the elements but what’s inside is disappointing for sure.
Here’s the biggest problem for me… In 2008 Columbia Records repackaged all of the original Springsteen studio albums from “Asbury Park” through “Tunnel Of Love.” The new packaging removed the ugly “compact disc” logo from the front covers, changed the spines from the generic red on white to the actual fonts from each album. The booklets contained all the original elements plus lyrics for every album and rare unseen photos. The re-packaging upgrades were perfect… 10 out of 10 while absolutely nothing was done to the sound quality.
The bottom line is this… if you want the perfect combination of packaging and sound you need to buy the box set and then re-purchase all the original CDs as well. I have no idea why Columbia just didn’t release the remastered CDs with the repackaged artwork together. Well I actually do know… $$$$
Sound quality 10 out of 10 drumsticks!!!
Box Set packaging 2 out of 10 drumsticks!!!
Pat Francis currently hosts the popular comedy/music podcast “Rock Solid,” called 1 of the 8 great music podcasts to put in your ears by USA Today and featuring artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar and Susanna Hoffs. His frequent appearances on Jimmy Pardo’s top rated podcast “Never Not Funny” are fan favorites. Pat began his entertainment career as a stand-up comic in Chicago, IL. After touring the country and performing in 42 states at comedy clubs and colleges, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. There he appeared as a comedian on Comedy Central, AMC, the UCB and is a yearly regular at the San Francisco Sketchfest. For the past 5 years he has also served as Co-Host of the yearly event Pardcast-A-Thon which to date has raised over 700,000 for Smile Train. When not entertaining people in person he also makes his living as a Story Producer for reality television programs. It is also important to know that Pat is a monkey in a human mask.