Christmas has come early this year. The mother of all box sets has finally arrived. The Promise delivered. It's mindblowing just looking at it; so much attention and effort creating something of this magnitude, all revolving around an album with just ten songs; ten songs which have changed countless of lives. Amazingly it still holds up extremely well with the rock records of today. It still sounds fresh. The Springsteen camp definitely wanted to make this release as memorable as possible for the long-time fans. Born To Run is still Bruce's greatest album, but its reissue pales in comparison to this.
First off, the packaging has to be seen to be believed. The main box is roughly A4 size, with Bruce's famous 'don't push me' look on the front. Interesting thing to note -- the color looks very desaturated from the original. In it houses a spiral bound notebook, which replicates Bruce's notebook, in which he wrote and conceptualized his songs during the Darkness sessions. What you get is about fifty pages chalked full of Bruce's handwriting. There's so much stuff here; song lyrics in different incarnations, random verses/phrases, different song sequences (of Darkness) and other weird interesting doodles. (Everytime I go back I see something different. I think I saw David Lindley's name scribbled on one of the pages.) It's every fan's dream; we have a chance to see what was on Bruce's mind literally at work. The writings are reproduced as authentically as possible, right down to the creases and coffee stains on the pages. Seriously, there's an overload of words that I could spend the whole day looking through every single thing, considering it's not that easy reading Bruce's handwriting.
The CDs and DVDs are housed in five cardboard pages spread equally within the book. There are lotta never-before-seen pictures from the stage, studio and photoshoots. Over two hours of music and over six hours of video; it's just so overwhelming. So what if this set won't move numbers? It's still a big deal, because it has set the benchmark for future single album re-packages. A big thank you to the Bruce camp for this wonderful labor of love.