Live / 1975-85
Bruce Springsteen earned his reputation as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ rollers of all time with unparalleled live shows. Even before he was well-known, his epic performances were often three or four hours and featured classic ‘50s and ‘60s rockers alongside the most inventive original songs of the ‘70s. Live/1975-85 lets us glimpse the magic. A piano version of “Thunder Road” from ‘75 starts the set. From there, Bruce’s legendary 1978 appearance at the Roxy in Los Angeles proves The E Street Band’s greatness. Then arenas beckon, and Bruce plays the big stages. Despite this, he still commands an unusual intimacy. He recounts stories of his youth. He dares break out the acoustic guitar and harmonica for “This Land Is Your Land,” “Nebraska,” and “Johnny 99.” Edwin Starr’s “War” crashes through the night, and Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl” sounds like it was written for the Boss himself. But the heart of the experience is what you expect: inspired versions of “Born to Run,” “The River,” and “The Promised Land.” There isn’t much better than Bruce in his prime.