“The riverbed, the hose, the Echoplex, the crazy levels and grimy heads, the weeks spent in sweaty denim - they all added to the recording something that was sonically crucial, but also stubbornly resistant to mastering it for vinyl. Every time a mastering engineer tried to make a lacquer disc of the music, the needle, as if in protest, would literally leap out of the groove. Finally, two mastering engineers, Bob Ludwig and Dennis King, discovered that if the levels were set extremely low they could just manage to get the thing on disc. The result was Nebraska, an album nearly too lo-fi for vinyl.”
Greg Milner, Perfecting Sound Forever
Another Columbia record, although this time it’s an original mass-produced pressing - on thin, light vinyl - I bought second-hand, rather than the heavyweight 2008 repressing of Grace. You can see the quality of the writing and the use Milner makes out of a familiar story, which segues into a wonderful description of the material production of Springsteen’s next album Born in the USA as the first CD to be made in America, and onwards into the analog v. digital divide.
I’m not a huge Springsteen fan, in fact I’m quite a small one: this is the only record I’ve bought, while I listen to Born To Run occasionally. But Nebraska is superb (especially if you can hear the Suicide influences).