Friday, 16 March 2012
ALBUM SELECT OF THE WEEK: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND: LIVE AT THE MAIN POINT
Another main release points to new life in the live show.
Forget about the 15 plus classic studio albums the boss of rock music Bruce Springsteen has released (From 'Greetings From Asbury Park' to 'Working On A Dream'). Springsteen and his E Street Band have also released some classic live albums, from the heavenly, Madison Square Garden show 'Live In New York City' to the Seeger sessions 'Live In Dublin'. There have also been many live bootleg albums of The Boss and his band like the raw and great 'Piece De Resistance' to the differently brilliant 'The Complete Bottom Line'. Now in efforts to beat the counterfeits Springsteen has released one of the fans favourite, most bootlegged album 'Live At The Main Point' taken from 1975.
There's a reason Bruce's live shows are so sought after. It's because they are so legendary and each unique one adds to the top performers legacy. If this is the closest some E Street fans can get to seeing Springsteen live (and it's definitely the closest anyone will get to the classic performances of a young Bruce) then you can understand how much will want to be heard from the greatest rock and roll performer of all-time. As soulful, charismatic and charming as say a Sam Cooke, rocks Boss could make stadiums intimate. Every Bruce Springsteen show is like a different story and this tale from '75 is really something else. There's just something about this one.
Right from the 'Incident on 57th Street' intro this all night rock affair is started off right. Tearing into the hits 'Born To Run', 'Wings For Wheels (Thunder Road)', a velvet smooth version of Bob Dylan's 'I Want You' (a favourite of Bruce's for it's simple but meaningful lyrics) and his own dedication 'She's The One' Springsteen doesn't let up giving his fans big song after big song. As disc one ends with the epic, live favourite 'Jungleland' (which sounds even better in concert) it's such an exciting, huge climax to the CD 1 that it's easy to forget that this is just the end of the first side and there's another disc and more live show to come.
With the second disc beginning with timeless recordings of 'Kitty’s Back' and 'New York City Serenade', this is where it really gets started. Then on the back to back devoted dedications of 'Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)' and '4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)' this is where the then young man really bares his soul. Until he pours his heart out on the faithful, one and only 'For You' with each gravely lyric, true grit and dedication. This dude bridges the gap between music for women and songs for guys to sing about, bringing it all back to love. This legendary set is climaxed perfectly by a rendition of his inspiration Chuck Berry's 'Back In The USA' a fitting end for America's best rockers last encore.
After this your going to want more too as this profound performance really draws you in you'll think your back in the seventies. A lot of tinkering and crate digging has been performed to bring this classic performance out the vault. What results is a raw but polished effort that sounds fresher then most lazy, phoned in live efforts of some performers today. It's crystal clear this is diamond, strong music you need to hear. Springsteen's sensational shows are always worth the price of admission and this one in particular from 1975 is well worth the wait. TIM DAVID HARVEY.