2. Bruce Springsteen, 'The Ties That Bind: The River Collection'
The River, issued in October 1980, was the last album in Bruce Springsteen's late-Seventies ascension trilogy. It was another turn in his songwriting — from the tenaciously held teenage dreams on Born to Run and the endangered American ideals on Darkness on the Edge of Town to a tighter focus on the trials and joys of working-class life and close-to-home passions. The sessions were also the usual drama of furious productivity and indecision. The deluxe edition of this reissue includes Springsteen's early single-album sequence, named after the subsequent opener "The Ties That Bind," and 22 outtakes, many of which became hits nevertheless on stage, B-sides and bootlegs: "Where the Bands Are," "Paradise by the C," "Restless Nights," "Held Up Without a Gun." For another artist — and less ferocious editor — there were a few great albums here. The extra discs, in fact, affirm Springsteen's original choices (including The River's rescue of Darkness-era orphans like "Point Blank") while laying on everything we were missing at the time, proving that — as Springsteen wrote, then gave away to Dave Edmunds — "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)."