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4.8 out of 5 stars111
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 18 November 2005
Finally the world is ready for the bargain of the year!!! What a package! The big surprise is the documentary DVD 'Wheels for Wheels',where Director Thom Zimmy has really done an Oscar-winning job instead of the usual tosh that passes as a rock documentary - this is right up there with No Direction Home, and is worth the price of admission alone. If any of you reading this bought the recent copy of 'Uncut' magazine in which the writer trashes the Hammersmith Odeon show featured in this package, simply ignore his poorly-researched ramblings. And cancel your suscription. The show is magnificent and the audience loved it, even Steven Van Zandt's Saturday Night Fever clothes. To sum up, this sets the gold standard for all future CD/DVD reissues and will take some beating. Oh and the songs are good, too.
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on 17 November 2005
If you're a rock fan and haven't discovered Springsteen's Born to Run you're in for a treat, one of the greatest albums ever released just got better. The powerful lyrics are matched only by the music to create an epic grandeur and timlessness that makes the album sound fresh today as it did 30 years ago.
The Boxset is worth every penny with a remastered recording and more importantly the entire Hammersmith '75 gig on DVD. Go and buy it now!
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on 21 November 2005
Whether you own the original, or not - Bruce Springsteen's 'Born To Run, 30th Anniversary Edition' is simply not to be missed.
Lavishly presented in a box set this would make THE ideal Christmas present for `The Boss' fan who has everything, and with `never seen before footage' of around four hours, who can resist the lure, even if for oneself!
Along with the remastered album comes a DVD of the making of the album, a DVD of the November 18th 1975 Hammersmith Odeon, London concert and a 48 page booklet of newly-released photographs of BS and the E Street Band.
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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2006
I'm not going to write about the album, it's a 5 star classic, we all know that already...
So, the DVDs? The Hammersmith shows ARE legendary - do they live up the hype? Hmmm, I'd say yes - the band are playing superbly, great song choices, etc etc. However, you need to bear in mind that this footage is 30 years old, and has just been lying around in an attic somewhere. Another reviewer complains that the picture is too dark - and they're right, it IS too dark. But it's not so dark that you can't see an amazing band near the peak of their powers. And it still makes me chuckle that you have a bunch of Jersey wide-boys in their sharp suits being led by a bloke who looks like he's just been scrounging change outside the venue. Wonderful. Great sound, though, which kind of makes up for the picture.
The documentary is marvellous - all the key players - what more could you want?
Put it this way - this isn't expensive - you're getting an all time stone-cold classic album, a great documentary, and a live DVD - if you're looking for "bang for your buck", it's all here and more. I would dock half a star for the darkness of the live DVD, but Amazon doesn't let me!
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on 15 November 2005
I wrote a review of Bruce's current album "Devils & Dust" a few months back.My opinion has not changed in the intervening period.Born To Run 30th Anniversary Edition however is something else!
Beautifully presented in a sturdy box BTR comes in three parts.First up is the newly remastered edition of arguably THE best rock album of all time.Crystal clear sound make this CD sound much better and the songs on the album have of course achieved legendary status over the years.
Next up is the first of two incredible DVDs also included.This features the story of "Wings For Wheels", the making of BTR,new interviews. archive footage plus three rare performances from 1973.Coming in at 90 minutes and of great picture and sound quality, this is a fantastic bonus to be enjoyed.
Wait though, there is that other bonus DVD!Well this for me is the "piece de resistance" (to use a term linked with Bruce).What we have here is the concert performed by Bruce and the E Street Band from the legendary Hammersmith Odeon show of 1975.This was of course the time that prior to the London shows, Bruce was so incensed with the posters proclaiming him to be "the future of rock and roll" that he went round personally removing them.Well he was the future and one look and listen to this stunning DVD shows why.This is a two hours + show of brilliant songs performed immaculately by a band and singer right at the top of their game.Although the concert lighting is low for the most part, the picture quality is so good that you feel you are either on that stage or sitting right up front.Sound quality is awesome throughout.
Record companies are often maligned (and often deservedly so) but when they get it right (like this) you just have to say thanks for producing such a fantastic package.
Don't even think about not purchasing this (and Amazon's price is great) do it now.This is the keeper of all keepers!
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on 30 January 2006
Most fans will buy this 3 part package primarily for the Hammersmith concert, and for good reason. Bruce Springsteen and a newly re-shuffled E Street band had just finished recording the album and turned up for their first concert in Europe after a lot of hype surrounding their release. The concert that followed silenced critics and launched his career. What you have is a band that gels extremely well, an amazingly good sound quality and an unihibited voice. Songs such as "For You" and the "Shuffle" are played and sung in a totally different manner. The power that every song transmits is awsome. I have never seen Bruce Springsteen so inspired, nor before nor after this concert. The only complaint I have is the low lighting throughout.
The Wings for Wheels shows rare footage of the recording of that album which took over a year to finish. It leaves every question you might have asked about the album answered with a description of the recording and background of every song. It also contains three live songs from 1973 with Vini Mad Lopez on drums. Inspired, especially on "Thundercrack".
The CD itself is supposed to be re-mastered but personally the reason for buying the set is the Hammersmith concert.
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on 6 January 2006
I can't believe it's happened, sometimes I have to pinch myself that it's not all a dream. I always thought Bruce Springsteen was in denial about his early work but here it is all those classic songs we never thought would see the light of day. This is Bruce a callow youth, pre-air punching and hankerchief in back pocket, instead sporting wooly hat, beard, and surrounded by the E-Street Band looking like a bunch of totaly cool 70's gansters, and playing songs some have only dreamed of hearing again in concert.

Classic performances of Wild Billy's Circus, Kitty's Back Town, Spirit in the Night, Hard to Be a Saint in the City and many songs from the Born to Run album. It's a complete sweaty palms moment to read the set listings on the outer box. All the songs Bruce has never included on his set list since 1975, probably, except Born to Run. I highly recommended this I wish I could give it more the 5 stars.

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on 29 November 2010
I've loved this album for 30 years and every time I play it it just blows me away. Thunder Road would have to be my favourite song ever..the sheer romanticism of the whole "its a town full of losers, we're pulling out of here to win" message and the brilliance of the song's unique structure make it magical, whilst setting the tone for the sustained intensity of the album. Actually, speaking of intensity, I can't think of any other song by any artist which matches the sheer committed power of of the other all-time classics amongst the 8 tracks. Others which deserve that title ar Jungleland, Born to Run and Meeting Across The River. The latter is hushed, intimate and genius.
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on 27 November 2005
The DvD of Springsteen's debut UK performance at Hammersmith Odeon in 1975 included in this box set has to be seen to be believed.
Chuckle then ignore the 70's lapels and wide-brimmed hats - there is simply no better illustration of his live powers than this and its better than the more recent DvD issues of his shows in New York and Barcelona.
The sound quality is amazing and the performance is reminiscent of the legendary Whistle Test clip of "Roslalita" that broke Springsteen over here.
Probably the best music DvD yet.
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Fancy hearing "Born To Run" with strings and a girly backing accompaniment - or Take 16 the album finisher "Jungleland" with a Springsteen guitar solo instead of Clarence Clemons' famous saxophone break? Well on this wonderful yet frustrating release - you can and you can't. Why is this? It doesn't take a particular genius to work out from the track list on Disc 3 below (the actual album) that 'zero' amounts of outtakes or alternate versions have been made available to listen to as a 'separate audio track'. This is because the decision has been made to 'integrate' them into the footage of the 90-minute "Wings For Wheels" documentary - and I'd argue that in some ways this 30th Anniversary Edition is a better fan experience for it (others may disagree). But before we get into fisticuffs - let's get to the big-rimmed hats, sneakers hanging out of guitars and a 24-year old New Jersey boy's stab at romance...

Released November 2005 - "Born To Run 30th Anniversary Edition" on Columbia 82876 75589 2 (Euro Version) breaks down as follows:

Disc 1, DVD, "Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band - Hammersmith Odeon, London 1975":
Never before seen - over two-hours of live footage from the legendary concert in the UK recorded at the height of the Times and Newsweek covers hype ("London is finally ready for Bruce Springsteen" the posters boomed). Digitally restored from the original negatives and remixed in both Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound...

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
10. Jungleland
11. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
12. 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
13. Detroit Medley: For You / Quarter To Three

Disc 2, DVD, "Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born To Run":
A 90-minute documentary film by THOM ZINNY on Thrill Hill Productions - includes indepth interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons (Saxophone), David Sancious (original keyboard player - on the "Born To Run" track), Ernest "Boom" Carter (original Drummer with the band - on the "Born To Run" track), Miami Steve Van Zandt (Guitarist), Roy Bittan (Piano, Fender Rhodes, Glockenspiel), Garry Tallent (Bass), Danny Federici (Organ), Max Weinberg (Drummer) Nils Lofgren (present Guitarist with The E-Street Band), Mike Appel and Jon Landau (Managers) and Jimmy Iovine (Producer of the album).

Bonus Features include:
Live at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles 1973 - Spirit In The Night, Wild Billy's Circus Story and Thundercrack

Disc 3, CD, 39:29 minutes:
1. Thunder Road
2. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
3. Night
4. Backstreets
5. Born To Run [Side 2]
6. She's the One
7. Meeting Across The River
8. Jungleland
Tracks 1 to 8 are the album "Born To Run" - released August 1975 in the USA on Columbia PC 33795 and CBS Records S 69170 in the UK

The long box set has 3 gatefold card sleeves inside (hollows) and a 48-page booklet with previously unreleased photos and a short set of lead notes from Bruce about the recording and how it changed his life and career and the lives of those around him. It's all very tastefully done - but there are real fireworks in the audio transfer and remaster of the material...

Digitally Remastered to stunning effect by BOB LUDWIG - the moment the beautiful opening piano of "Thunder Road" hits your speakers accompanied shortly after by his lead vocals - the warmth and clarity is fabulous. This disc leaves all those Eighties crap issues in the dust. Even better is "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" with the brilliant and street-funky Brecker Brothers Saxophones simply flooring you. To this day Bruce admits he doesn't know what the titles means and the documentary also reveals that after months of in-studio deliberation the key parts were arranged by cheeky Miami Steve on a whim. When it continues with "Night" and "Backstreets" you also begin to notice more ROY BITTAN whose musical flourishes on the keyboards contributed so much to every song. Bruce now says that "Born To Run" the album was 'all' written on the piano and not the guitar - and that's why most songs have big intros - setting the scene - sort of mini operas. There is hiss on "She's The One" and "Backstreets" but its not too much to distract. The density of "Born To Run" now seems opened up somehow, the sparseness of "Meeting Across The River" is eerie and the "Jungleland" finisher is massively improved. A superb job done.

The documentary is a masterclass in editing - old photographs, concert footage from the time, actual in the studio black and white film with Bruce and Iovine going at it over sound and mixes and not getting what he wants. It's interspersed with Bruce in 2005 on the piano (great versions of the songs), driving around in his car, in discussion with Jon Landau at mixing desks, shots of the actual master tapes, Columbia promo material, outtakes from the album cover....its really deep and brilliantly laid out. The concert is incredible too - tearing into lesser-heard stuff like "Lost In The Flood" and the Gary US Bonds covers that bring the set to a storming Rock 'n' Roll close.

Will we one day get those audio outtakes on a CD - another Anniversary issue probably. But for the moment - in 2014 - this 3-disc set is surprising cheap and a fitting tribute to the past and future of Rock 'n' Roll...
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