Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

15Nov/101

Waiting for Darkness

On Saturday night, we'll celebrate the long awaited release of the Springsteen Darkness on the Edge of Town box set at The Winchester with Springsteen author Lawrence Kirsch, photographer Rocco Coviello and Springsteen tribute band Jersey.  Listen to V107.3 this week for your chance to win tickets to the event and a copy of the 2 CD version of The Promise.

I held this year's version of the holy grail in my hands tonight. Thanks to a chain of local record stores that you can always count on to break street date, I knew I'd be able to find The Promise sitting on the shelves to get at least a quick look at the future enjoyment that awaits me in the coming weeks.  The event was slightly anti-climactic, thanks to video released earlier this week featuring a page by page look at the contents of the box set.  But still, with the opportunity right there in front of me, I had to take a look at the box set and also the 3 LP vinyl edition of The Promise (which collects only the previously unreleased tracks included in the box set, minus the video content).

Worth the wait?  Absolutely.  But as Springsteen fans, I think we already knew that.

Each time that Bruce releases a new box set, it's been an event for me personally.  It all began with the live box set in 1986 that I received as a Christmas gift from my parents. That was a big event because after all, that box set provided the catalyst for the full on head first plunge that I would take into being a complete Springsteen maniac.

From there, it would take 12 years before I would get the next box set dosage in 1998 with Tracks. During that time period, I discovered the world of Springsteen concert bootlegs, so it's safe to say that I was sufficiently occupied during those 12 years listening to bootlegs and hunting around for better copies of some of those bootlegs.  When Tracks hit the shelves, it marked the beginning of the opening of the proverbial floodgates. For years we had heard about many unreleased songs that were kept in the vaults - you don't have to be a die-hard Springsteen fan to know this. Thanks again to bootlegs, we had heard some of these songs, but Tracks revealed many of them for the first time in better quality and pulled the curtain back on quite a few others that hadn't been heard period.

2005 brought us the box set treatment to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Born to Run with a special release featuring Born to Run remastered, the Wings for Wheels documentary about the making of the album and quite unexpectedly, a DVD of a full live show from '75 at the Hammersmith Odeon.  Believe it or not, there were some people that still bitched. Springsteen fans can be hard to please.

With the release of The Promise, it's hard to imagine that too many people will find fault with this set, although there already are a few points of discussion regarding the tinkering/updating of the "new" material included in the box. As Springsteen author Lawrence Kirsch said to me in conversation, the box set proves that Springsteen has been listening to his fans. I'm most excited to see the live footage from Houston, which as I had hoped it might, looks really good for the time period and sounds really good to boot. The 2009 rendering of Darkness looks solid and the odds and ends compilation of video material from the Thrill Hill vaults sits right at number 2 (behind the Houston footage) of the things that I'm looking forward to checking out once the box set arrives.

There's plenty of teaser material to be had out there on the great world wide web.  Pete and the bunch over at Blogness on the Edge of Town have been working nearly around the clock (only a slight exaggeration) keeping up with the updates regarding the various material from the box set already out there for sampling.  For me, I've kept away from most of it - I'd like to experience the contents of the full box set for the first time when I actually have my copy to enjoy.

But for those that would like a sneak peek, here are a few things that I will admit I've enjoyed....

Can't wait for Tuesday! (And btw, Springsteen himself will celebrate the debut of the box set with a release day appearance Tuesday night on Jimmy Fallon where he'll spend the entire hour with Fallon and presumably, he'll play at least one song.)


Celebrate the release of the Darkness on the Edge of Town box set on Saturday night at The Winchester with an evening of entertainment featuring Springsteen tribute band Jersey, Springsteen author Lawrence Kirsch and photographer Rocco Coviello. Doors are at 7pm and admission is $10