Archive for Born to Run

Review: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – “Tower Theater, Philadelphia, 1975”

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , on March 5, 2015 by 30daysout

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The year 1975 was quite a 12-month stretch for Bruce Springsteen. After a painstaking recording process, he finally released the Born To Run album, a critical and commercial success which peaked at number three on the Billboard album chart.  For the first time, he played to audiences overseas and he appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek the same week heralded as “Rock’s New Sensation.” On the last night of the year, he wrapped up four-night stand and the Born To Run Tour at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. Parts of this show have been floating around for years, but this is the first time it has been properly mixed and mastered in its entirety for release. The end result is nothing short of spectacular.

The standouts from this 19-song set include a slowed down, piano-driven version of “Tenth Avenue Bruce-Springsteen-Time-NewsweekFreeze-Out” that oozes soul, a powerful version of The Animals “It’s My Life,” hard-driving takes on “It’s Hard to Be A Saint in the City” and “Spirit in the Night,” an incredibly energetic version of “Born To Run, ” a nearly 15-minute version of “Rosalita” and an ultra-soulful “Jungleland.” The band is extremely tight and plays with incredible energy and heart throughout. Springsteen sounds like a man on a mission who plays and sings every note like his life depends on it.

I know many fans will not agree with me, but I believe this live set is better than the Agora ’78 show from Cleveland that was released last year. The sound is much better and the band is absolutely on fire. Thanks to Bruce and company for cleaning these old shows up and making them available for fans. I cannot wait to see what is next.

Bruce Springsteen Official Website

Friday is Boss’ Day: Born To Hype?

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , on December 26, 2008 by 30daysout

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As we prepare for Bruce Springsteen’s 16th studio album Working On A Dream (to be released Jan. 27), it seems we’re seeing the Boss everywhere.  On Sunday, the fourth song  “Life Itself”  from the new album will be released as an exclusive download on Amazon.com.   An exclusive greatest hits package will go on sale only at Wal-Mart, to capitalize on Springsteen’s appearance at halftime of Super Bowl XLIII.

What’s next:  Springsteen on the covers of Time and Newsweek?  I doubt that will ever happen – again.  In 1975, to promote the release of Born To Run, Columbia Records spent $250,000 to relentlessly hype Springsteen to the music-buying public.  As early as late 1974, Springsteen’s then-manager Mike Appel “leaked” early copies of the single “Born To Run” to select radio stations (including Cleveland’s rock powerhouse WMMS).  The label made extensive use of critic Jon Landau’s famous quote from 1974: “I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”

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Friday is Boss’s Day: Paris, 1985

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , on April 4, 2008 by 30daysout

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In 1985, Houston’s KKBQ radio was giving away the last of three trips to go see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Paris.When they played the song “Born To Run,” caller 93 won the trip.

When I woke up that day I had a feeling I was going to France. I told my girlfriend at the time that I was going to win the trip. Of course she thought I was crazy. After listening all day, “Born to Run” finally hit the airwaves at 3 p.m. I frantically dialed. Busy, busy, busy, busy, then the phone rang and rang and rang. The man who eventually answered was John Lander, leader of the Q Morning Zoo. He says “You are the caller 93…. you are going to Paris to see Bruce Springsteen.” Needless to say, it was a good moment.

After a nine hour trek to Paris, we had to go to the hotel where the band was staying to pick up the tickets. When we walked into the lobby, E Street Band keyboardist Professor Roy Bittan was getting on the elevator.  So I did what I always do when I see a famous person: I pointed and said “Hey!” He looked at me like I was an idiot, but gave us his autograph and took us up to the suite where we met co-manager Barbara Carr and got the tickets. No Bruce sightings. He was newly married at the time, so he was probably busy.

The concert was an outdoor show June 29 in Parque de la Corneuce.  It was supposed to be in a stadium (the same stadium where they played the final soccer game in the Sylvester Stallone movie Victory) however, authorities were afraid of terrorist activity and people getting crushed. Nice.

We took a cab to the gig and somehow the driver got lost. As we’re walking up to the venue we here “Bonjour, 1,2, 3,4” and the band kicks into a rousing rendition of “Born in the USA.” The album was still near the top of the charts a year after its release, and the band was extremely tight on this wonderful night. They whipped the crowd into a frenzy with “Out in the Street,” “Glory Days,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “Rosalita,” “Because the Night,” “Ramrod,” a rousing “Twist and Shout,” and “Trapped,” which was a released a few months earlier on the We Are the World LP. He even brought out the rarely-played b-side “Shut out the Light.”

We were sitting about 100 yards away in the Columbia Records VIP section, which was really temporary bleachers in a roped off area, however, none of us cared. The tickets were free, the airfare was free and the hotel was free. You couldn’t ask for more.

After the gig, we somehow got turned around and ended up standing on a deserted street in a foreign land…but it didn’t matter.  I had just seen the best rock and roll band in the world in a place I never thought I would visit….life was good.

The next day I was standing on the street outside The Boss’ hotel to see if I could catch a glimpse of the band. I was talking to a young woman on the street and after a few minutes she asked where I was from…I told her Humble, TX. She said I live in Spring Branch, which is about 20 miles away.  Small world.

Here is the setlist from the show: Born in the USA/Badlands/Out in the Street/Johnny 99/Atlantic City/Shut Out the Light/The River/Working on the Highway/Trapped/Darlington County/Glory Days/The Promised Land/My Hometown/Thunder Road/Cover Me/Dancing in the Dark/Hungry Heart/Cadillac Ranch/Downbound Train/I’m On Fire/Because the Night/Rosalita/Can’t Help Falling in Love/Born to Run/Bobby Jean/Ramrod/Twist and Shout/Rocking All Over the World

“I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (Paris – June 29, 1985)

“Out In the Street” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (Paris – June 29, 1985)

“Born In the USA” by Bruce Springsteeen and the E Street Band (Paris – June 29, 1985)

Official Bruce Springsteen website

Backstreets.com