Album Collection Vol 2: 1987-1996
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Cardboard sleeve box set release from Bruce Springsteen contains five albums released from "Tunnel of Love" (1987) through "The Ghost of Tom Joad" (1995) as well as two EP works "Chimes Of Freedom" & "Blood Brothers." All albums are remastered for this release by Bob Ludwig and Toby Scott. Comes with a deluxe booklet. Each mini LP faithfully replicates it's original vinyl design. Comes with lyrics and a description.
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All that being said, this box set is gorgeous. Each CD is packaged like the original CD or vinyl album, with artwork and lyric inserts. Being a Japanese issue, all have the OBIs as well. There’s also a fantastic booklet spanning the releases and the press involved with each.
And this is a 7 disc release, not 5, including: Tunnel of Love, Human Touch, Lucky Town, Mtv Plugged, The Ghost of Tom Joad, Chimes of Freedom EP, and Blood Brothers EP.
The most important reason for purchasing this is that all the above albums have (finally!) been remastered! Tunnel has always been in need of remastering, and Human Touch and Lucky Town both benefit from the tweaking as well. Finally, the EPs sound incredible as well.
If you’re on the fence about this box set, you can either wait and hope it does get a domestic release, or purchase it now on Amazon or other sites.
That being said, I have a few problems with it. First, with the exception of Tunnel of Love, these are not among Springsteen's strongest albums. Human Touch in particular is a mediocre release, and no remastering can change the quality of the songwriting or of the dated, early-90s production. I'm a completist, and there are still great songs in this set, but nothing compared to the absolute classics that make up the first volume.
Second, it is unfortunate that the CD version of this set is only available (as of this writing) as an overpriced import. I understand that CD sales are bottoming out, but the format is not completely dead yet. Why not release it worldwide in order to match the first volume? I find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be a market for this set among Springsteen fans like myself who want to have a complete collection of sonically upgrade albums on a physical format. No, it's not going to move huge numbers, but based on comments I've seen throughout the internet, there are many people among his fanbase who would buy this set up at a more reasonable price.
Anyway, great sound on some good-to-OK albums, with an unfortunate price and limited availability. Hardly essential at this price, but still a nice companion to the first remastered boxset.