To Doug Schneider,
While searching for a remastered copy of Bruce Springsteen's Tunnel of Love, I stumbled across your review.
Sonically, my audiophile ears don't think the recording is quite as bad as you describe, but it does cry out to be remastered.
Seeing as your review is quite old at this point, I was wondering: Do you know if this has been remastered, or if a foreign copy exists that exhibits better sonics?
Thanks for your time!
Wow, I wrote that review 15 years ago! I had to look it up because I didn’t even remember. That was back on our original site, which seems like ages ago today.
But it's funny you should bring that album up now, since I was listening to Tunnel of Love the other day through the Meitner Audio MA-1 DAC and have never heard it sound better. Still, the recording quality is pretty bad, which is the way it is with all of Springsteen’s releases from the ‘70s through to the ‘90s (Tunnel of Love was released in 1987). I noticed his recording quality started to improve significantly with The Ghost of Tom Joad, which was released in 1995.
Insofar as Tunnel of Love goes, it’s quite bold and dynamic sounding, but it’s also quite hard and brittle, particularly in the mid and high frequencies. But what I’m most put off by are the lack of detail and poor soundstage depth -- it’s as if the voices and instruments were captured, but nothing around them was. Perhaps it was the recording technique, the equipment they used, the place(s) where it was recorded, or something else. I'm not sure. It could also be that it was an all-digital recording -- Springsteen's first, I believe, and done at a time when many digital recordings sounded pretty bad. The MA-1 brought more detail and soundstage information out than any other DAC I’ve heard, which is why I said it’s the best I’ve heard this album sound, but it should still sound way better than it does.
I just went looking for a remastered version of Tunnel of Love and, unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything either, although I, too, would obviously like to see something released, given how great the music on it is -- I think it's one of his best albums, if not his best. There was an LP released, mind you, but I've never heard it, although I'd be interested to hear from someone who has, particularly if they compared its sound to the CD's. Perhaps remastering it and releasing a CD or high-resolution download would reveal better recording quality, but until that happens, we’ll never know. . . . Doug Schneider