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18 Tracks Extra tracks

3.7 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, April 13, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

bruce springsteen 18 tracks 1999 usa columbia/sony remastered cd/no cut out/played 2xs and put away/jewel case/cover booklet/cd CLEAN/red CBS label on CD/NEAR MINT

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When Bruce Springsteen delved into the vaults to compile Tracks, his 1998 four-CD set of outtakes, B-sides, and rarities, it was a watershed for the Boss's longtime fans. There were a couple of notable omissions, though, including "The Fever" (covered most famously by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes) and "The Promise," a longtime fan favorite that's never been included on any official Springsteen release. Those cuts appear at last on this single-disc distillation of the box set that's satisfying for casual fans not willing to shell out for the whole thing but essential for hardcore Springsteen followers needing those cuts to complete their collection. One caveat: "The Promise" is a newly recorded acoustic version, not the oft-bootlegged take fans had hoped for. There's a nice selection of cuts from the box, though, and yet another bonus track, "Trouble River," a hard-hitting outtake from the Human Touch sessions. --Daniel Durchholz
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000IIXH
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,862 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As everyone else has pointed out, there are three 'new' tracks here unavailable anywhere else. This has led many to accuse Bruce of ripping off his fans (with many recalling a similar sentiment surrounding the "Greatest Hits" CD from 1995, which was also padded out with 4 'new' tracks).
It's a real shame the three tracks were not included in the box set (there's more than enough room on each of the four discs on "Tracks"), but Bruce did not have any sinister motive saving them for this sampler CD. One thing to consider was that Springsteen's people were rushed to complete this set. According to a detailed article in Mix Magazine, Springsteen, Landau, and his team of engineers were working at their own pace when Sony got wind that the project was under way. All of a sudden, a huge marketing campaign was begun and a three-month timetable landed on Springsteen's lap. An insane amount of coordination and work was done to meet the deadline. At one point, they had roughly 120 to 130 tracks in consideration, eventually whittled down to 66, and I wouldn't be surprised if the rush had some impact on their decision-making.
When the box set finally came out, many, including Charlie Rose who interviewed Springsteen on his own show regarding "Tracks," asked about "The Fever" and "The Promise." Springsteen said that "The Fever" was never one of his favorites, and as much as he liked "The Promise," none of the recordings did it justice (none of this was new information or a big secret to longtime Springsteen fans).
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Format: Audio CD
David Quantick of Emap Consumer Magazines is a very silly person. Springsteen is not capable of writing or playing a song that is "accidentally trying to put people off rock music for ever" as he snidely suggests. It's a bit late in the day for a critic to make his feeble name by slagging off world-class talents like Springsteen.
The best stuff on this record sounds like exactly what it is; songs Springsteen left off his familiar albums because they didn't fit. In the liner notes, he says he thinks in retrospect some of these editing decisions were regrettable mistakes, and he's mostly right. I'm glad to have almost all of 'em at long last.
The 4-disc box set of unreleased tracks may be too much of a good thing, but this set plays like greatest hits from an alternate universe. Go ahead, David Quantick, be enthusiastic. Springsteen has yet again improved your little world!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Let's face it: five CD's of outtakes and b-sides (the Tracks box set) is a bit much for all but us hard-core Bruce fans. 18 Tracks, on the other hand, is a more bite-sized near masterpiece. With a couple of exceptions (I'd name Seaside Bar Song and Trouble River as the two) the songs all work, and some of them rank with Bruce's best. The Promise is manna from heaven; My Love Will Not Let You Down was a highlight of the 1999-2000 tour, and Where the Bands Are has become my 5 year old's favorite Bruce song. Worth buying for even the casual Springsteen fan. Hardcore fans have to have it.
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Format: Audio CD
I have never been a Springsteen fan before, in fact I've never even enjoyed the big hits that would come up on the radio often. Boy was I amazed when I listened to this for the first time. "Hearts of Stone", "The Fever", and everything else on the album: these are amazing songs. If these were the singles playing on the Mix stations all these years, I would have been a Bruce fan for sure. I'm so glad that these tunes got a chance to surface. They are incredible. I understand that some fans are angry that this album is basically a rerelease of Tracks, and it is a valid complaint, but the 3 bonus tunes are a must-have and I recommend this CD to anyone.
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Format: Audio CD
I feel that there is a great need for some balance in the AMAZON reviews of this compilation. The major complaint seems to be that "the fever" and "the promise" were simply added to the single disc in order to get Bruce fans to shell out for another cd. Allow me to add another perspective, could it be that the decision to add these cuts was based on Bruce having listened to his fans, who were quite vocal in their disappointment that they were ommitted from the box-set? Rather than sell-out, I see this action as that of an artist attempting to meet the needs of his audience. Let me further address his controversial decision to re-record The Promise. The reason Bruce gave for not originally releasing this cut on the box-set was that he could not find a version that he was pleased with. In that light, I find his decision to re-record the cut as further proof of his strong dedication to his art and audience.
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Format: Audio CD
It pains me to be critical of Bruce Springsteen, a man whose music has provided me with years of enjoyment, and whose album releases are of consistent high quality... but I have a bone to pick. In the wake of the _Tracks_ box set, it made lots of sense to put some of the highlights out on a single disc, aiming at the more casual fan. It was downright two-faced, however, to withhold two of the most desirable rarites in his catalog ("The Fever", "The Promise") deliberately, in the hopes of rooking fans who'd bought the box into buying this disc as well. And record companies wonder why cd burners are so popular(!)... well, let me tell you - if you happen to already own those two songs from elsewhere (through the secondary market, perchance), hang onto 'em, because these aren't the versions you fell in love with, anyway. "The Promise" is a new recording (good, but not great), and "The Fever" has been stripped of its smoky jazz-club ambience and given a really incongruous re-mix (ugh). "Trouble River" isn't even worth mentioning. I suspect manager Jon Landau was the mastermind behind all of this, but since Bruce put his name on it, he gets the rap here.
I wish I could call this an isolated incident, but it's starting to look more like a pattern. With the recent release of _The Essential Bruce Springsteen_, Bruce has pulled the trick once again, asking devoted fans to shell out for two discs worth of material they already own, just to get a third disc with a few more rarities (like "Trapped" and "Viva Las Vegas", both withheld from the _Tracks_ releases). Maybe Bruce needs to take a look at his labelmates from the opposite coast, Pearl Jam (a true fan's band, if such a thing exists anywhere).
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