Bruce Springsteen Launches Official Concert Download Site
Along with the arrival yesterday (Nov. 17) of remastered versions of his first eight albums, Bruce Springsteen unveiled another new archival project. The oft-bootlegged artist has opened up a section of his website devoted to selling official versions of his concerts.
Five years ago, Brad Serling, founder and CEO of nugs.net, was rebuffed by Springsteen's management when he proposed the idea. But he tried again earlier this year and got a different response, largely because Springsteen took an interest in the project. "It was Bruce looking at YouTube and seeing fan-generated content from his recent shows, as well as archival stuff" Serling told Backstreets. "And he was like, 'We can do better than this. We own the masters!' What's great is, he wasn't saying, 'F--- those guys. Take that stuff down. Screw YouTube.' It was, 'If this is happening, we should be doing it officially.'"
Shortly before the start of the 'High Hopes' tour earlier this year, Springsteen announced that fans could download soundboard mixes in either 320 kpps MP3 or FLAC, which were taken down at the end of June. The new site -- live.brucespringsteen.net -- also offers them in high-resolution 24-bit downloads and CDs. Thirty of that tour's 35 shows are available on the new site, with the 31st being his March 2012 concert at the Apollo Theater that served as a dress rehearsal for the 'Wrecking Ball' tour, which was added at Springsteen's request.
"What I've found with any actively touring artist, big or small, is that recent always trumps older in the artist's mind," Serling continued. "There's an afterglow of big moments in the near-rear-view mirror that are more meaningful to them than the glories of the distant past."
Serling is promising that many more shows from throughout Springsteen's career will be added in the future. Although he didn't list any by date, he said that he has a shortlist of 30 shows of which, according to Backstreets, "a healthy percentage of them are circa 1973-78."