New Springsteen single expected soon


"Human Touch," the long-awaited new single from Bruce Springsteen, finally shipped to record stores yesterday. But much to the dismay of Baltimore retailers, that shipment never arrived locally.

"We've had a lot of requests," said Tammy, a part-time clerk at Record & Tape Traders in Towson, who declined to give her last name, "but we haven't had it in our store yet. We're hoping it will be here [today]."

Nor were there any Springsteen singles to be found at the Rotunda outlet of Recordmasters. Or at Record Theatre on Liberty Road. Or at the Sam Goody in Columbia Mall. Or at Record World's Marley Station store. Or the Camelot Music in Hunt Valley Mall.

Tower Records in Annapolis did have the single, but according to manager Paul Menkes, its arrival was "late for us. We didn't get it until late morning," he said. And how was it selling?

"We haven't sold a single one," answered Menkes.

That's not to say that Springsteenmania is dead, or that the single will be a flop; Menkes is sure that the single will eventually "sell like crazy."

Other retailers were less enthusiastic, however. "It's gonna be an iffy one," said Jason Paul, who manages the Marley Station Record World. "I've only had a few requests on it so far."

Of course, it's worth noting that "Human Touch" hasn't been given much of a push yet; indeed, the video doesn't hit MTV until 9 p.m. Monday. That's why Vicki Ruth, the buyer at Record

Theatre, feels that "there'll be more of a buzz when the albums come out." Springsteen's new albums -- "Human Touch" and "Lucky Town" -- are scheduled for March 31 release.

Why didn't the records arrive though? According to a spokeswoman at Columbia Records, Springsteen's label, "They definitelyshipped it out."

However, given the somewhat labyrinthine path recordings take on the way from warehouse to retailer, only the biggest retailers were likely to have received the singles yesterday.

Most local retailers hoped to have the single on their shelves by today, but some didn't expect to have the single in stock until jTC Tuesday. But considering that it's been four years since the last time Springsteen released any new music, what's a couple extra days?

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