on 16 July 2001
For anybody who caught Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on this tour, this is the perfect reminder of the great emotional feeling invoked by the greatest live band ever. I first caught them at Wembley on the River tour and that was the greatest show I have ever seen - just raw emotion and raw power for three and a half hours! These days the shows aren't as long but they still manage to pack in the emotion and power. On this tour Bruce did away with the inter-song chats that he is known for and instead left it purely to the music - it works. Great mix of songs from all stages of his/their career - a fantastic version of Lost In The Flood from the first album with Springsteen's voice mixed right up front; Jungleland is as storming and emotive as ever 26 years on; Youngstown given the full band treatment will just blow you away with it's power and feeling. The 2 new songs Land of Hope & Dreams and 41 Shots prove there's life in the old dogs yet - classic Springsteen songwriting and arranging - powerful and emotional but as smooth as a Cadillac. But for the long term fans the highlight has to be the album (& concert) closer If I Should Fall Behind - not an obvious choice to close a concert but they capture the genuine love and admiration that exists between this special band and the fans as Clarence, Patti, Nils and Miami Steve get a chance to sing - the gospel-style ending is awesome! A great album for us fans! Buy it!
on 17 April 2001
I approached my first listening of this 'new' live Springsteen album with some caution, but 6 plays later i am totally entranced. The last live album, the plugged shambles (should have been an unplugged acoustic set until some bright spark decided to go electric!) was just a below par band trying to replicate the greatest band on earth. 'Live in New York City' isn't the perfect live Springsteen album but comes pretty damn close. The E street band are in top form, just like the old days, and belt out some real crackers. Highlights are a powerful electric full band version of 'Atlantic City', a searing 'Youngstown' with Nils Lofgren in top form, 'Land of hope and dreams' - Bruce's voice on the diversity in this world and a fantastic rendition of debut album track 'Lost in the flood'. But it does not stop there - once again, as people wait impatiently for the new studio album, Bruce avoids losing fans forever by delivering a new song which reafirms our belief that bruce really does deliver when it matters - 'American Skin' and here we have the best Springsteen work since 'Streets of Philadelphia'- this song is worth the price of the cd alone. Any dissapointments? - yes, I do not like the new arrangement to 'The River', albiet being one of my favourite Sprinsteen songs, Murder Incorporated is weak (dont like the song - sorry!) and Tenth Avenue Freeze Out is too long winded. Buy this album if you can spare the cash - not many other artists can play better versions of their work live than in the studio - long live Bruce and the E Street Band.
on 6 June 2001
This album demonstrates once again that Bruce and the E Street Band are the masters of the live Rock and Roll performance. Although the shows have got shorter, they are still full of the passion, power and sheer quality that you just don't get with anybody else.
This CD breathes new life into old favourites such as Badlands, Jungleland and Born to Run (listen to those guitars) and brings previously neglecteded tracks such as Youngstown poundingto the listeners attention. I have heard Bruce say many times that his music matures and 'breathes in the years', well just listen for proof.
As for the new tracks, 41 Shots and Land of Hope and Dreams show that Bruce is still pumping out moving and powerful music. These are future classics.
For Bruce Springsteen fans, this is proof of what we all know, he is the master, for those who haven't discovered him yet, open your eyes and ears and be entertained.
I have been lucky enough to see Bruce Sprinsgsteen a number of times and I have experienced that terrible feeling, walking out of whatever venue he has played, that this might have been the last time, every time. I am afraid the release of this album may confirm my fears. I hope I am wrong.
on 8 October 2001
Unfashionable as it is to be a Bruce fan right now, I find it hard to imagine that the non- believers out there would fail to be blown away with the sheer energy that radiates from every track on this album.
From the dramatic opening bars of "My love will not let you down" to the sombre team delivery of "If I should fall behind" the album transports you to a time and place where you could obtain "cold beer at reasonable price & pizza for everybody"
New renditions of old classics are a revelation specifically a "plugged" version of "Youngstown" and a blistering rescue from mediocrity of "Two Hearts" and "Prove it all night"
The usual anthems are present and do not dissappoint "Born to run", "The River" and "Jungleland" demonstrate the amount of passion and energy that we have come to expect from Bruce's live performances.
The highlights of the album are the tracks on which you can hear the dueling guitars of the part time mobster Steve Van Zant, Bruce and the most under-rated backing singer/guitarist Nils Lofgren - "Murder Incorporated" & "Two Hearts".
I am surely a die hard fan for the last 16 or so years and have witnessed the marathon concerts first hand and if you haven't seen THE BOSS "live" well this is nearly the next best thing.
on 5 April 2001
There will never be a compendium of springsteen songs live or otherwise that will satisfy every fan. The breadth of material is too great and fans have a multitude of opinions on which are their favourites. However what this recording does, is remind us, that no other rock'n'roll band comes close to these guys when they are giving a show. They are unbeatable!. The CD seems to contain a lot of springsteen's earlier material that has been re-interpreted with the wisdom and experience that life brings. I love the poignant snarling version of Born In The USA. Other highlights are the ensemble version of If I Should Fall Behind; the marathon Tenth Avenue Freeze Out; a meandering rendition of The River; Jungleland; And of course the two epic new songs. For some fans the lack of tunnel of love and 90's songs will be a downside of this album, although the lucky town and human touch songs were mainly captured on the plugged album with springsteen's band of the time. I think what they wanted to achieve on this record was the power and Glory of those late 70's and early 80's shows that made the band legendary.
on 25 November 2004
I own all of BS'S albums. My view is this is the best. The DVD rather than CD is worth investing in! The east street band are back and it is just the tightest live compilation i have ever seen! Check out the last tracks on each DVD, If i should fall behind and 49 shots! A triumph. If you like BS you will love this!
on 12 July 2001
I saw him Live at the MEN in Manchester, and it blew my mind. The hairs on my neck still stand up when I think about Born to Run and Youngstown. The same happens with this album.
I have had ramrod on repeat in the car this morning, 'mighty' max is pure genius. Mansion on the Hill is fantastic with its 'slide' spin, and the old style carnie band of accordian and harmonica pops up now and again, and am I glad.
Great to hear Lost in the Flood, made me go an dig out the old albums.
For me the highlight is Youngstown. The song is perfect and 'smokestacks reaching like the arms of god into a beautiful sky of cinammon red' is pure genius. Lofgren really rocks like never before, and I am in danger of going deaf. Play it loud.
Low lights? Well, if I had to pick them I'd have preferred the River in traditional format, and 10th avenue is a little overindulged, but hey these are in no way criticisms.
This is the best live album, even better than 1975-85 which had to be replaced recently! Go buyit, and come back to the UK soon, but don't forget the band.
on 7 April 2001
Seeing Springsteen live with the E street band again in London made my year in 1999, I jumped at the chance to get the live album momento. The albums good, but to reiterate some other listeners comments the track selection seems a bit odd!
For example, for me, and judging by the reaction of the crowd most of the other fans at the show, the highlight of the evening had to be the revamped version of Light Of Day. I just can't beleive this was overlooked when compiling the album.
There's no such thing as a bad live Springsteen album, but this could have been a lot better.
on 10 May 2001
My one personal regret thus far in life (28) is not having seen Springsteen play live at Slane. (a large field by a castle where 80,000 people gather each year for a one off, big name concert).
It was 1985 and Born in the USA had just come out. Hits like dancing in the dark, glory days etc. were flying off the radio and those who bought the LP found lots of other gems in there as well.
Alas, I was but a lad of 13 and parental permission was not forthcoming. Legend informs me that the sight & sound of Springsteen playing the opening harmonica solo on The River on the banks of the river Boyne remains as a cellestial moment in e-street history.
I've been to all the tours since, though; Tunnel of Love, The one in the middle, the folksy Tom Joad affair and, of course, the E-Street re-union. I had intended travelling to New York for these end of tour shows but timing did not suit and had to make do with Dublin on the European Leg.
I went to that show with a conflict of feelings; anticipation of seeing the full band again but tinged with regret that this indeed may be the last world tour.
And that's how I approached this live album. On a personal level, it represents some consolation as it's a recording of the shows I really wanted to be at. But it's also that exact thing; the re-united e-streeters on perhaps their last tour? Is it tired old rockers revisiting the glory days or a close-knit family revelling with old friends?
The first thing you notice about the disc is the off the wall structure; two discs with one as an album, the other as bonus tracks and a "hidden" Born to Run somewhere in the middle. The reasons are manifold; The first disc represents an audio form of the recently televised HBO live special (soon to be released on DVD?). The bonus tracks on disc two are additional songs from the show not included in the film. The Born to Run mess is due to last minute decisions regarding running order etc. and time pressures meaning the inserts were printed before final tracks were agreed.
Not an auspicios start! But then you hit the play button....
The CD sounds great. Crystal clear vocals and a fine instrumental mix combine to make you wonder; can a band really play this well live? Well, put that down to experience. You can hear the age in Bruces voice. You can hear the effort on the energetic numbers. This is a hard rockin' outfit but you get a sense that they're not 30 anymore and feeling it a little.
The intervening years, however, have augmented some of the songs magnificently. Mansion on the Hill stands out here. Others are true to the album versions; a stunning Jungleland is one of the hilights. This was my favourite when I saw the live show and it's even better here than I remember.
Then there's Lost in the Flood. Great to hear a song like that get to see the light of day. Hearing it reminds one of the best bits of Tracks; the hidden gems that fill out the background to Bruce and illuminate his progression as a songwriter & artist.
Waht's missing? Thunder Road!
Perhaps this album will appeal to fans only. I can't rally see anything in it that will win new admirers. But for those of us with all the LPs and are big enough fans to have bought all the same music on CD, this is a captured moment in time we can cling to and look forward to digging it out when the Boss eventually anounces the end of the E-Street roadshow.
on 27 April 2001
This Springsteen CD is very unlikely to appeal to anyone other than long time fans. Many people have commented by the line up of songs, and the order they are played in. But to be fair, Bruce played 8 of the first 11 tracks, in the same order at a Birmingham concert in May 99 and I thought they went down well that night. We all have our own idea of what songs we wanted on this album, but it's impossible for Springsteen to put together a favourite listing for all of us fans on one album! The only real downside for me is Land of Hope and Dreams. The band played this at both gigs I saw back in 1999 and most fans didn't respond to it that well on both occasions. I feel Light of Day or Workin' on the Highway would have fitted in much better as they are both superb live songs. Another new song, 41 shots is excellent, and the acoustic version of USA is cool. On Freeze Out Bruce takes over from where Joe Tex left off and preaches to his converts as he introduces the band. The CD contains excellent versions of Prove It, Hungry Heart, Ramrod, Born To Run, Atlantic City, Jungleland and Badlands, all sounding just like they always did all those years ago when were all young! Sure, it's predictable, but with Springsteen what you see is what you get. The E Street nation is built on hard work. The album also has its softer moments with Mansion on the Hill and The River. The list goes on and on. Youngstown shines bright on this album, even better than at the live shows, and Fall Behind, though not one of my favourite songs comes over really well with most of the band taking a vocal turn. A good choice to finish off the album. The vocal quality of the songs are better than previous live albums, you can hear Bruce's vocals like never before. 41 Shots brings a chill down my spine, you can even hear Bruce's intake of breath at the start of the song. It's a song he clearly likes singing and feels very strongly about, and the band give it up big in every way. It's my guess that this is an album that CBS wanted to put out, it's mostly going over the same ground as Live 75-85 and Plugged. Springsteen would probably have been happy making a studio album in his own time, after all, who wants to rush around when you reach 50 plus? It's always the easy option to put out a live album, though Bruce has proved he can still write good new songs and my guess is a studio album could be a year or so away. An artist like Springsteen is never going to go away, his popularity may have faded a wee bit, but those who saw any of his shows at Earls Court in 1999 will know the band and Bruce can still go the full distance. If you are a long time fan you'll go out and buy this album anyway. For someone who's just getting into the Boss it's a good taster. Enjoy and play it loud!