Two box sets have recently come into my possession, from opposite ends of the rock spectrum, and opposite ends of the How To Do A Box Set Properly bookshelf. The first is the mega 3-CD box set of The Fall’s This Nation’s Saving Grace, and the other is the even more mega 7-CD set of Brooce Springsteen’s first six albums. Six!
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a long essay with me wittering on about how The Fall somehow produced their finest record – and it is, don’t even think about arguing – 9 albums into their long career. Which other band, or artist, has done that? Only Bob Dylan, I suppose, with Blood On The Tracks (#15), and you’ll get quite a bit of argument from Dylan fans about that. Or how Brooce Springsteen took Dylan’s ability to document the American psyche, mixed it with raw working-class attitude and work ethic, and made the best mainstream rock albums you’ll ever hope to hear drifting from an AM radio1 whilst driving through North Dakota.
Nope, this is just a quick note to say Thank You Very Much to whoever thought of these two. TNSG is the full added tracks (that you actually want to hear!2), big booklet affair, the sort of thing that you normally only get done for albums Q readers like. Great to see a classic proper Indie-rock record get this quality treatment.
Conversely, the “Bruce Springsteen Collection 1973-1984″ is stripped down to the bare bones; some lyrics, basic packaging, no extra tracks, just the records themselves in all their glory. No extraneous packaging, nothing. All for £12. For an artist who prides himself on his artistic and commercial honesty, this is a wonderfully appropriate move.
If only the rest of the record industry could wake up and do this kind of thing rather than trying to fleece us at every possible opportunity. Well done, folks.
Now I’ve just got to find the time to listen to the buggers.
1 Do such things still exist?
2 Though we all have the Peel Sessions. Thanks.