Big Albums in 2009

(Excerpts from this blog article)

In the coming year, there is also much to look forward to on the recording front, including major releases by U2, Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam.

In one of the biggest album rollouts in memory, U2 is making its upcoming “No Line on the Horizon” available in five versions, among them a $96 box set with 60-page hardcover book, as well as a poster and DVD of the new Anton Corbijn film about U2.

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U2 (members Bono, left, and The Edge are pictured) is making its upcoming “No Line on the Horizon” album available in five versions.

Also available the first week of March are a standard CD, a double-vinyl package, a digi-pack version in folded sleeve (with 36-page booklet, poster and the Corbijn film as a download; $35.98), and a magazine version (with a CD enclosed in a 60-page, soft-cover magazine-style book and downloadable Corbijn film; $49.98).

One of the songs, “Crazy Tonight,” features will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas.

“Working on a Dream,” Springsteen’s album due Jan. 27, already has been “leaked” in the form of a single of “My Lucky Day,” which was available in early December on AmazonMP3 and MySpaceMusic for one week.

The new album follows Springsteen’s previous album, “Magic,” by only 15 months. Springsteen has said in an AP interview that the momentum from “Magic” created “more than enough fuel for the fire to keep going,” resulting in another album.

Springsteen, recently nominated for two Grammy Awards, performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla.

On March 24, Pearl Jam is re-releasing “Ten,” the debut album that sold more than 12 million copies, in four expanded editions.

The “Ten” reissue launches a two-year Pearl Jam campaign to re-release albums from its catalog before the band’s 20th anniversary in 2011.

Each “Ten” package includes the remastered version of the original album, as well as remixed version by Brendan O’Brien, the band’s longtime producer, who has worked with Springsteen, AC/DC and Audioslave, among many others.

“The band loved the original mix of ‘Ten,’ but were also interested in what it would sound like if I were to deconstruct and remix it,” O’Brien said in a statement.

“The original ‘Ten’ sound is what millions of people bought, dug and loved, so I was initially hesitant to mess around with that. After years of persistent nudging from the band, I was able to wrap my head around the idea of offering it as a companion piece to the original — giving a fresh take on it, a more direct sound.”

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