Today, on 5/5, we'll be examining Springsteen's fifth album, The River. This package is full of tons of goodies, so sit back and enjoy a nice, lengthy article. And, by that, I mean a ton of photos, because that's what you are really here for, right? The cover is the simplest to date: Springsteenface. Nothing to see here. But the back? Good lord.
This might be the first time I've seen the back of The River album, and goodness, what on Earth is going on? There's creepy wedding decorations, and American flag with its own bald eagle, and various other party decorations like glitter, glue sticks, and cups. I can see why the back of The River has never reached the notoriety of other Springsteen black-and-white photos, such as Nebraska. This is downright scary and confusing. I assume it has something to do with all the weddings discussed in songs such as "The River" and "I Wanna Marry You", but the overall effect is horrifying. It's one of those images that, if you encountered at a very young age, would be forever burned into your sub-conscience. To pacify myself, I'll say that, seeing the name "Charlie" in the background and the American flag/eagle combination, this photo served as inspiration for Charlie Kelly's "Rock Flag & Eagle" song.
The album doesn't unfold ala Born To Run, but each album comes in its own sleeve. These sleeves are amazing. Presented, in order, are album one's sleeve and album two's sleeve (both sides of each). Please, take your time to absorb these all, I'll still be here when you are done:
Go back and look one more time. Tons of classic, old-school photos of the Boss and crew in their primes. The E Street Band had been missing from Bruce's album packaging since The Wild, but they make up for lost time here. And, guess what? There's more!
Like Darkness, The River has a separate sheet for Springsteen's lyrics. Unlike Darkness, we get more photos of the band (plus some funky used car art).
Overall, I absolutely love the packaging for The River. This is exactly what I want to compliment the music I'm listening to: pictures of the band that performed it! The only thing that can make this better is if they varied the record label, right? I mean, it's been four records in a row of the same red circle? Surely, with two records, they will HAVE to change it! I can't wait to see what they went with!
...I brought this upon myself.
Want to start your own record collection? Buy it on Amazon!
Greetings from Asbury Park
The Wild The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle
Born To Run
Darkness on the Edge of Town