I’ve been wanting to post for a while about the archival 1975 Bruce Springsteen concert recording that was released a couple of years ago. So, as I finally sit down to write, I find myself with a variety of thoughts.
The first, and most important, is that I think it’s fabulous, important, and for me who has never been a particular fan of Bruce Springsteen, it seems like a great introduction to early Bruce Springsteen. Listening to it I thought both, “I finally get the appeal of this music” and that if, as I do, you think that Springsteen is a sufficiently important artist that it’s worth having at least one of his albums in your collection that this would be the one to have — without even having listened to all of the original albums, so take that with a grain of salt.
A good deal of the strength of the recording is described by Springsteen in the liner notes:
In 1975, we stepped out of the plane into the land of our mythic heros. A London, that was yet to see its first McDonald’s, that was still wrasslin’ with making a good cheeseburger and that seemed very foreign and exotic to a bunch of provincial Jersey Shore beach bums and musicians.
[T]hat evening an E Street Band, with a good deal of the carnival still left in it and armed with a set list I still dare any young band to match, strode onto the stage of the Hammermsith Odeon. The tempos were fast. A Jersey stew of almost punk soul, fueled by the visionary songwriters, 60’s records, garage bands, and Rhythm and Blues we loved. For me, the set went by like a freight train. Later, all I remember . . . [is] thinking we hadn’t played that well. I was wrong.
To select two tracks, consider Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, the second song in the concert, and the first track in which the band really comes in (the opener is a version of “Thunder Road” that mostly has Bruce singing by himself), and It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City, a song from later in the concert off his debut album, which was two years old at that point.
Read the rest of this entry »