Hammersmith Odeon, London '75
2CD, Remastered, Live
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Two CD live archive release from New Jersey's finest. Until recently, only a few lucky concert-goers were able to experience the magical and the sensational night of November 18, 1975 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. As soon as Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band took the stage that night, the performance immediately became a classic and defining moment in history of the band, perfectly encapsulating the passion, the drama, the intensity, and all that embodies this extraordinary band. Now, the entire concert is available on a special two-CD set, featuring over two hours of live music. A must-have for any fan who wants to finally hear for him or herself this epic and historical event. Columbia.
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It's a solid concert from beginning to end, covering those early years from Bruce and company. The set is missing some of his great stuff from Darkness on The Edge of Town, but I'm here to tell you you must buy this in tandem with the '78 Cleveland show. This way you've covered all your bases. Great, great, great!! That's all I can say.
And this is coming from a person who is 30 years old, who grew up thinking the Boss was lame, for all those old folks and Baby Boomers. Now I'm passionately singing along to every word of Thunder Road, haha. Personally speaking, this live album really did convert this Bruce non-believer.
If you've enjoyed any of the bands other live performances such as 'Live - 1975 - 1985' or 'Live in New York City' you will not be disappointed here. An excellent performance, one of my favorite choices for long journeys where you can enjoy the whole thing uninterrupted.
Stand out points? I guess I never tire of the opening track 'Thunder Road' but 'Rosalita' is a rip roaring breathless awesome performance tempered throughout by Clarence Clemons awesome sax, while his solo in 'Jungleland' shouldn't be missed either.
Pros - 16 brilliant songs
Cons - none
If I was offered a chance to go back in time to watch any legendary performance, this would be my choice! If I was being castaway on a desert island? Then stuff the books give me an MP3 player with this on it. Its that good, so if you like Bruce and the Band buy this - you need it, if you're not sure, try it anyway you'll likely be converted!
This album was when he was first on the cusp of greatness, and if you listen, you'll know why. This album features many of the great works from his masterpiece second and third albums--and it MAKES masterpieces out of several initially underwhelming pieces from the first. The band is featured in ways it rarely would again. There are some significant reinventions, some great jams.
Most crucially of all, it is tremendously raw. You can hear the hecklers, the scratchiness of Bruce's voice, the occasional bad attempt at improv banter, the screech of the mic. Bruce is great live, but his other live albums don't translate the energy. This is a marvel precisely because it is so vulnerable, so unpolished in spots.
The definitive live album from Bruce, and probably among the top 5 live albums from anyone. Particular gems are For You (which sends shivers down my spine), Sandy, Kitty's Back, E Street Shuffle, Spirit in the Night, and Lost in the Flood. Even She's the One, which I think is a dud of a song, doesn't sound half-bad here.
The timbre of the instrumentation is great, too. Roy and Steve in particular shine.