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The Essential Bruce Springsteen Extra tracks, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered

4.2 out of 5 stars 234 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Limited Edition, November 11, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Two CD collection from the singer, songwriter and Rock music icon. Includes 'Born To Run', 'Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)', 'Spirit In The Night', 'Jungleland', 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town', 'Hungry Heart', 'Born In The U.S.A.', 'Glory Days', 'Dancing In The Dark', 'Streets Of Philadelphia', 'The Ghost Of Tom Joad', 'The Rising', 'Badlands' and many more.

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Vastly expanding 1995's single disc Greatest Hits, The Essential Bruce Springsteen easily surpasses the earlier best-of set by serving up all its true essentials and tossing in less appreciated treats and a full disc of rarities. Disc one spans the first decade of Springsteen's recording career, serving up at least two tracks each from the six albums that laid the groundwork for his '80s burst into superstardom. Disc two picks up with his mainstream breakthrough, 1984's Born in the U.S.A., and carries on through 2002's The Rising, tossing in live recordings of "American Skin" and "Land of Hope and Dreams" for good measure. The selections and sequencing surpass those made on Greatest Hits, though there's not too much in the way of surprises, other than that it appears that Born in the U.S.A. hasn't aged all that well for the Boss; here, he selects only three songs from the hit-laden smash, one fewer than is found on the skimpy Greatest Hits. Disc three is where the fun really starts for all but neophytes. The live "Held Up Without a Gun" is as gutsy a one minute and 20 seconds as Springsteen as one could ask for, and the likes of "Trapped," "Countin' on a Miracle," and a cover of "Viva Las Vegas" rank with his signature songs. --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 11, 2003)
  • Ltd ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: November 11, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Extra tracks, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 200 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000E1ALR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,780 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
No matter how many songs are included in a package like this, it's always the ones that are missing that stick in your mind. For me, it's "One Step Up". For someone else, it may be "Cadillac Ranch" or "Racing In The Street", etc. Until Bruce Springsteen releases an all encompassing box set of mammoth proportions, however, we can consider ourselves well served with this 3 disc set. It presents an accurate picture of one of the most influential singer/songwriter/musicians of the past 30 years, and cleans up the sound to boot. A remastering of Springsteen's catalog is long over due; in the meantime, "Essential" does a decent job at putting a nice shine on some of the more compelling, memorable songs ever to grace a turntable, tape or CD player. For long time and casual fans alike.
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Format: Audio CD
When compiling a "best of" collection of songs from an artist like Bruce Springsteen-and you can include the Beatles, the Who, the Clash and Bob Dylan in this-the question really isn't what to include but what can be left out? Indeed, as most of his albums are thematic, it can be difficult to hear his songs out of context; thus the 1995 "Greatest Hits" collection didn't make emotional sense.
But if you're looking for "essential" Bruce-songs that define his art and career and are the backbone of his perspective on life, America, and rock music, then this album comes fairly close. All of his albums and epochs are represented on two CDs, albeit briefly. His wonderfully funky first two albums are finally represented-they were totally ignored on the "Greatest Hits" compilation-and there is a welcome third CD of oddities, rarities, and b-sides that had not previously been collected. The set can serve as an introduction to the man's work, though I still tell friends to start by simply buying the first six albums-Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ (1973); The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle (1973); Born to Run (1975); Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978); The River (1980); Nebraska (1982)-and then picking and choosing from the rest. The magnificent Tracks (1998), however, belongs in any record collection. It is the best anthology of its kind-unreleased cuts, alternate versions, collected B-sides-even if it fails to include "The Fever," "Held Up Without a Gun," and "The Big Payback."
But to truly capture the essential Bruce, it requires at least another CD of songs. Sure there are three cuts from the debut album, but where are "Growin' Up," "Lost in the Flood," and the lovely "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?" (Just listen to him sing the line "Love's like that-sure it is").
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Format: Audio CD
In the days of Rock & Roll, we always have heroes when it comes to Americana in music. For some, we think of greats like Bob Dylan and hard rockers like Aerosmith, Metallica, and The Scorpions. Nevertheless, that all seems to be cliche', when it really comes down to Bruce Springsteen. His voice and his edge have made a dynamic impact for well beyond 30 years in the industry. He truly has been one of the very few icons that always remained true to the public, without the need to sell himself out like most corporate, manufactured artists there are today. Nevertheless, every time he is on stage, that is what makes him sell out.

The Essential Bruce Springsteen, is a comprehensive glimpse into Bruce's career. The 3 CD set contains over 40 tracks that really go deep into the musical depths the boss made responsible. The songs go from his early records, Greetings From Asbury Park and Born To Run, all the way to the massive 9/11 acclaimed The Rising. The album does include some great standards from the boss including Rosalita, Hungry Heart, Glory Days, Nebraska, all the way to his current hits, the Oscar-winning Streets Of Philadelphia, Lonesome Day, and his live acclaim's from his 2000 reunion tour with The E Street Band. Such as the diverse and controversial American Skin (41 Shots), which reflected on the death of a immigrant man who was killed mistakenly by cops in New York City.

The record does also have some disadvantages to this collection. The album does overlook some great Springsteen songs like, My Hometown, One Step Up from the soft-spoken Tunnel Of Love, I'm On Fire, Secret Garden from Jerry Mcguire, and Murder Incorporated from his 1995 Greatest Hits. They could've been added onto the bonus disc of leftover songs.
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Format: Audio CD
THE BAND: Bruce Springsteen (vocals, guitars, harmonica, bass, recorder, mandolin)... and a host of musicians over the decades - the main players being - Roy Bittan (piano, keyboards, synth, mellotron, backing vocals), Stevie Van Zandt (guitars, mandolin, backing vocals), Patti Scialfa (guitar, backing vocals), Clarence Clemons (saxophone, percussion, backing vocals), Danny Federici (accordion, organ, piano), Garry Tallent (bass, tuba, backing vocals), Nils Lofgren (guitar), Max Weinberg (drums & percussion, backing vocals).

THE DISC: (2003) 42 tracks on 3 discs clocking in at approximately 200 minutes (disc-1 at 76 minutes, disc-2 at 77 minutes, disc-3 at 47 minutes). Included with the discs is a 42-page booklet containing song titles/credits, song lyrics, year each song was released (but sadly does not include what songs came from which albums), musicians on each track, numerous band photos, and thank you's. This compilation covers Springsteen's career from 1973-2002. Remastered sound. Label - Columbia / Sony Music.

ALBUM REPRESENTATION: Greetings From Asbury Park (3 songs), The Wild, The Innocent & The E-Street Shuffle (2), Born To Run (3), Darkness On The Edge Of Town (3), The River (2), Nebraska (2), Born In The USA (3), Tunnel Of Love (2), Human Touch (1), Lucky Town (2), The Ghost Of Tom Joad (1), The Rising (3), "Philadelphia" movie soundtrack (1), Live in NYC (2). Disc-3 contains odds & sods, B-sides, live tracks, rarities, etc.

COMMENTS: You get a lot of Bruce here. It's a great collection of songs (and a ton of music for the price). It makes his "Greatest Hits" (1995) look downright small... though don't trade in your "Greatest Hits" disc - it's worth keeping since 6 songs won't be found on this "Essential" set.
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