The release last Friday of two never before known to exist soundboards from Bruce’s epic 1977 tour shocked the daylight out of me. Sure it happened because Chas Gerber recorded these shows and put them away many years ago. What matters to me is that Bruce Inc. seems to finally have a plan to dive as deep as they can probably go into what archives there are and at least give us some of what they do have to share. And I’m deeply afraid of how they are going to go about it.
I believe that yours truly stated after the press release for the TTTB collection that the dream was over. I was born hours before Bruce and the band walked into Atlantic studios on 06/01/1977. I was never able to see the band at the high of its powers (for me that would be 77-81). My dream was to have a complete, professional filmed and multi track show from that era. What is most frustrating to me watching the Tempe video is thinking about what could have been? The E Street band has never sounded or looked better than on that document. For Landau to declare Bruce the future of Rock and Roll and then never compel him to record a complete show professionally on both ends is infuriating.
The early days of the archive releases have been such a mixed bag for me. The quality of Agora and Nassau Coliseum shows are less than desirable to me. The love the mix of Philly ’75 and for the most part like the mixes of East Rutherford ’84 and Los Angeles Sports Arena ’88. Yet most of series seems underwhelming to me.
There have been multiple remixes of more recent shows (and many others that should have been) making fans wonder what kind of quality controls are in place. I can‘t help to think about the Columbia contract and stipulations about quality of archive releases being below CD releases.
My hope would be that what multi track recordings are available will be handled with higher priority. If they’re supposed to have high quality official cd releases from Columbia, please for the love of everything holy make sure the Bob Clearmountain is the one with the hands on the dials. Roxy (‘75 &’78), Passiac ’78, Winterland, Nassau ’80 and any other multi track from that era would be wasted any other way.
I can live with the imperfections of the ’77 boards and whatever else they have on cassette. Not giving us the best of everything else would be nothing short of wrong.