Saturday Single No. 185

As readers likely know by now, I’m a collector, and I gather in far more music than one person – even one seriously disturbed person – can listen to. The current counts are 2,956 LP and 873 CDs (some of which in both categories were brought home by the Texas Gal) and 45,380 mp3s (many of which duplicate music from both LPs and CDs).

I know I cannot possibly listen to all that music unless I sequester myself in my office until my beard grows to a ZZ Toppish length and dust bunnies the size of bears lurk in the corners. So I consider the collection a resource, a library that aids me in the writing of this blog and on occasion, aids a fellow blogger in finding an elusive fact or piece of music.

I mention the collections because I passed a milestone yesterday. I’ve had complete collections of some performers and groups for some time. As I’ve mentioned before, I have all of original Beatles’ releases on vinyl (and many on CD). I have all of the releases of the original version of The Band on vinyl and I have all the albums by the later version of the group (as well as some of the original group’s albums) on CD. I own everything Bob Dylan has ever released, again, with all of the early work on vinyl and the later releases (as well as some of the early work) on CD.

And I have complete or nearly complete collections of many other groups: I have all of the Doors’ original albums on vinyl, and I think I have a complete collection of the vinyl releases of the Moody Blues. (I know there are some CD releases by the Moodies I have ignored.) To move from the often played to the rarely played, I know I have all three LPs by the Sanford-Townsend Band. (I would have used the clichéd “sublime to ridiculous,” but there are times when the Moodies, as much as I like their music, are not sublime, and the Sanford-Townsend albums, though they are not entirely top-notch, are not ridiculous.) And there are likely other groups with three or fewer releases whose entire catalogs I own.

All that brings me to one performer I’ve not mentioned this morning: Bruce Springsteen. Up until the release of the 1993 CD In Concert/MTV Plugged and then, the 1998 box set Tracks, I had all of Springsteen’s official releases on vinyl, and even after I got a CD player in late 1998, I continued to buy his music on vinyl, through 2002’s The Rising.

Staying committed to Springsteen on vinyl only, however, meant passing on MTV Plugged as well as on Tracks. If I were going to have a complete set, it was time to move to CD, as neither the box set nor the MTV album were released on vinyl at the time (and neither ever has been, if I read the notes at All-Music Guide correctly). So I filled those gaps from earlier, picking up the MTV album and Tracks. And then, almost by default, I began to buy new Springsteen releases on CD. At the same time, I’d haphazardly grab old releases on CD when I found them at garage sales or in the used or discount bins at music stores.

The space devoted to Springsteen on the CD shelves got larger as I proceeded. The list of CDs I didn’t have got shorter and shorter, and I realized I wanted to complete the collection on CD. I began to buy through online stores rather than trust to serendipity at local shops. And yesterday, the mailman dropped off 18 Tracks, the highlights CD that was released in 1999, packaging fifteen selections from the Tracks box set with three rarities (thus making the CD essential for completists, which is either good marketing or cynical manipulation, take your pick). That acquisition filled the one gap remaining on the Springsteen shelf.

So what’s the point? I’m not entirely sure, I guess. Not every album The Boss has released is great or even consistently good. The MTV album is a good example of that, as are the 1992 simultaneous releases Lucky Town and Human Touch. But complete is complete, and after the arrival of the last disc yesterday, I thought I should note it here. And I thought about doing a random selection of a Springsteen performance to cap this off.

But I decided instead to highlight one of the three new tracks found on the 18 Tracks CD. So here, recorded at the Record Plant in New York City on May 16, 1973, is “The Fever,” today’s Saturday Single.

(For the record, the personnel are Bruce Springsteen on vocals and piano, Vini Lopez on drums, Gary Tallent on bass, Danny Federici on organ and Clarence Clemons on saxophone and background vocals.)

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4 Responses to “Saturday Single No. 185”

  1. Roddus says:

    Hey Whiteray, fellow collector, interesting read. It’s good to read others shares about their music collections. I too collect music, although I’m not a completest(almost all Zappa and Mothers CDs and all Beatles Cds of course.) I know what you mean about not being able to listen to all this music we have and with all the amazing rare music now avaliable on music blogs I download far more than I can copw with, especially over at RareMP3. I currently have over 85000 MP3 files on my hard drive, which includes all od my 1500 odd CDs and all the downloaded music I have collected over the last 12 years, I think it works ot to approx 5200 albums. I use to have around 1000 records but sold them back in 98′. Still I cant help myself and still have room for another 40000 Mp3 on my hard drive 🙂

  2. Yah Shure says:

    Happy Bruce milestone! Who’s next on the list?

    I’m not a big Springsteen fan at all, but I did pop for the UK ‘The Born In The U.S.A. 12″ Single Collection,’ along with a Dutch 12-inch “My Hometown”/”Santa Claus…” all on 12/29/85. There are two promo copies of ‘Darkness On The Edge…’ on the shelves, but the rest are all 45s. Except for that odd one.

    The local Columbia Records rep gave me a copy of ‘Born To Run’ on a visit to the local CBS promo office. It wasn’t until I got back to the college station that I noticed it looked different than the promo LP we’d just gotten in the mail. It had a “script” cover, for one thing…

  3. Paco Malo says:

    Regarding Bruce, I was bouncing around the web today and discovered an Australian website called “Hey Hey My My: Music for Adults”. They have a tune of the day section that featured a live cut from the Bruce Springsteen and The Seeger Sessions Band tour. It’s Bruce & Co. performing “When the Saints Go Marching In”. It blew me away. Here’s the YouTube URL if you want to check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PboP-m67ZTA

  4. Paco Malo says:

    Part Two: Having Everything Dylan Has Released

    I would very much enjoy owning a complete set of Bob Dylan’s material. He simply is one of my favorite living artists.

    I have two sayings I use when someone states that they don’t like Dylan. I say (if forced to rebut) “You are lucky to be alive while such a great artist is working.” If I think the person really wants to learn, I say, neutrally, “It’s your loss.”

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