Top critical review
27 people found this helpful
Do all these reviewers work for Sony?
on 26 January 2006
I dare say most obsessive fans will have bought this by now, but for the casual fan, I think a slightly less over the top review, than the other reviews posted on this site, might be useful. The remastered cd does sound better than the old version, but it isn't so good that it would warrant spending this amount on. However, the boxset also contains 2 dvds, that may make this worth buying, if you like Bruce's early output.
One dvd contains a documentary and the other a complete concert from 1975. I found the 'Wings for Wheels' making of Born to Run documentary, interesting and entertaining for the most part, but once you have seen it, it is not exactly something you would repeatedly watch. The dvd has a short film of 3 live songs from 1973 at the end. This is probably the only available, really early footage of Bruce, and it is quite entertaining, but nothing spectactular. Also, if you don't really like his pre-Born to Run songs, then you probably won't like this footage.
The main reason for buying this boxset for most people would be the dvd containing the complete concert of Bruce's first UK show. Reading other reviews on this site you would think that the dvd was the greatest thing to ever hit the planet and that the show was fanatastic, it's not. I sat back to watch with high expectations (having read some of these reviews and being a big Bruce fan). It started fanatastically with a great performance of Thunder Road, in the same/similar stripped down arrangement that opens the Live 1975-1985 boxset. However, to me that was the high point. The next couple of songs 'Tenth Avenue Freeze Out' and 'Spirit in the Night' are good, but by the mid point of Spirit in the Night, the darkness of the picture (which is a feature of the whole dvd), was starting to irritate me. From then on, the concert just failed to really keep my interest, and by the time the concert got to the encore, I was glad it was over!
So to buy or not to buy ? If you love his early stuff and can put up with watching a really dark screen, then yes. If you prefer his more mainstream rock, or his folkie output, then you probably don't need to rush out and buy this one.