Album by Album

Your new Springsteen desert island disc(s)

A few weeks ago I drove out to Astoria to help my pal Matt Love tape a pilot episode for a radio show about writers and writing. We talked Springsteen and he asked me something along the lines of, “What’s your favorite record? Which record would you take to the desert island?”

“Well, those are different questions,” I said.

My favorite record is Darkness on the Edge of Town.I think it’s Springsteen’s best record. But I’d take The River to the island. I’d take it because it’s long, and I’d take it because it has a little of everything he does so well.

Chronologically, musically, lyrically, ambitiously it manages to both summarize what came before and predict what was to follow. The beginnings of Born in the USA and Nebraska are on that record, which was also his first No. 1. Springsteen and the E Street Band conquered Europe on that tour. The River made Bruce Springsteen a Rock Star.

But I guess now I wouldn’t take The River to that island. I’d take The Ties That Bind,the four CD, three DVD box set Springsteen announced last night. It’ll be out December 4, priced perfectly to sap all the Christmas money. The kids don’t need any more Frozen stuff anyway.

Backstreets has a wonderfully detailed breakdown of what you get for your money.

It’s a big package, though. Eleven previously unreleased outtakes. A documentary. A coffee table book. (Good idea, a coffee table book.) It’s going to be a lot to work through. I look forward to working through it.

This is the first of the new tunes released, “Meet Me in the City.”

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