Bruce Springsteen Goes The Wal-Mart Route

Dec 23rd, 2008 // 5 Comments

The logic of Bruce Springsteen releasing a Wal-Mart-only greatest hits collection immediately before his new album hits that store’s shelves is a little difficult to parse, except that well, people might pick up both at once and boost Sony’s bottom line in what will likely be a tough first quarter.

Still, and you had to see this coming, there are people that feel selling a product exclusively at Wal-Mart violates Bruce’s pro-worker ethical standards. One poster on rec.music.artists.springsteen summed up the incongruity rather well.

I think the more important question is why would Springsten allow for a Wal-Mart exclusive release? Wal-Mart isn’t exactly known for being all that employer-friendly. I find it an odd pairing. The idealist in me would like to think that maybe this was out of his hands, but knowing the control freak that Springsteen can be, I’d imagine that he’d have a say about it.

While that line of thinking could be argued into infinity, it’s also puzzling that the disc isn’t that great of a deal in the 99 cents a song digital era. Wal-Mart is taking $10 preorders for the disc, but the apparent regular price will be $12.99….for a greatest hits album with only twelve tracks, three of which are from more recent Springsteen albums. The Boss has largely been immune to the endless repacking of his material, but even the 18-track Greatest Hits is often on sale for $10, while the the two-disc, 30-track Essential collection selling for $15 on occasion. Why pawn off an inferior collection (no tracks from Nebraska?) at a poor price on Wal-Mart fans? Wait, I know the answer, but I guess I thought Bruce might be above such a thing.

Wal-Mart Snags Springsteen Exclusive [Billboard.biz]

Greatest Hits (Wal-Mart Exclusive) – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
[rec.music.artists.springsteen]

  1. Anonymous

    Springsteen fans don’t know how to use iTunes.

  2. Al Shipley

    It’s a compilation of only his records with the E Street Band, hence no Nebraska. The omission of certain records may make it lesser or incomplete compared to other best-ofs, but at least there’s a thematic logic to it.

  3. MameDennis

    The people who will buy this are the same people who thought Bruce was a Republican because “Born In The USA” had a flag on the cover.

  4. Dan Gibson

    @Al Shipley: Ah, that does make more sense. On that note, however, that “I’m On Fire” is missing is somewhat befuddling. Either way, either existing greatest hits package would be a far better deal.

  5. RaptorAvatar

    Nothing says populist quite like propping up a store that basically has China’s human rights record.

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