Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Hammersmith Odeon London ’75 (2006)

January 5, 2009 at 2:41 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Disc: 1
1. Thunder Road
2. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
3. Spirit In The Night
4. Lost In The Flood
5. She’s The One
6. Born To Run
7. The E Street Shuffle
8. It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City
9. Backstreets

Disc: 2
1. Kitty’s Back
2. Jungleland
3. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
4. 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
5. Detroit Medley
6. For You
7. Quarter To Three

During their career Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band have made a name for themselves as one of the live acts to see. Their peak of popularity and success came in the mid 80s and it all started around here. Recorded on 18th November 1975, just three months after the breakthrough album Born To Run, Springsteen and his band had yet to carve their reputation in stone. Here we have a real treat for the audience, who would mostly know of him and his records, but have yet to hear about and experience the magic made when performing on stage. This was the start of Springsteen trying to break into the UK and Europe.

We open with Thunder Road, one of Bruce’s best loved and well known songs, but here everything is stripped down to a piano and vocals. Roy Bittan really is a great pianist and here is no exception, it’s a beautiful rendition of the song, often sounding like something Jim Steinman would write. A very laid back start to the album.

Tenth Avenue Freeze-out comes next, delivering the energy that, these days, we come to expect from the band. I never really liked this track on Born to Run, but when I first heard it live it changed my opinion of it. The band seem to have a lot of fun with this track and put a lot of energy in it. The best version is on Live In New York, but this one is still great to listen to.

From here on the party never really lulls, the energy is kept cranked up, all members are on full form and are each allowed to shine, especially Clarence Clemons on saxophone enjoying the chance for some solos of his own.

The only downside to a live album such as this, recorded so early in an artist’s career, is that there are a lot of favourite not on here due to them not being created yet. Having said that though, they certainly make the most of what they have, often improving on some of the ‘flatter’ tracks (Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out as already stated).

All-in-all this is a very enjoyable album, even for those not familiar with some of the tracks. This does not read as a ‘best of’ like later live albums would be, but it certainly is an interesting look at the beginning of Springsteen’s career and the birth of his live reputation.


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