The Essential Bruce Springsteen Limited Edition
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For an artist with a career as long and stacked with worthwhile albums as Bruce Springsteen's, greatest hits compilations like The Essential Bruce Springsteen are always a difficult proposition. To pick the best moments from three decades, include all the hits, string them together into a cohesive whole and then cram them onto two CDs that hopefully tell the story of a lifetime's work is a near impossible task. For once though, these 30 tracks do just that. From the early Van Morrison-styled fumblings of "Blinded by the Light" and "Spirit of the Night" through to the small-town dreams of escape of "Born to Run" and disillusioned bar-room anthem of "Born in the USA", it chronologically charts the genesis, rise and crowning of the blue-collar hero from New Jersey. Meanwhile, the thick drawl of "Tunnel of Love" and "Streets of Philadelphia" and the quiet introspection of "The Ghost of Tom Joad" remind that as well as being the quintessential American rocker, Springsteen is a songwriter with a unique insight into the human condition. Those who harbour a longstanding devotion to Springsteen will probably feel that there are glaring omissions--other album tracks more essential than some of the ones included here. For everyone else though, The Essential Bruce Springsteen is a phenomenal place to start. --Dan Gennoe
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The three disk set includes all the obvious choices one would expect, such 'Born in the USA', 'The Streets of Philadelphia', and of course 'Born to Run' which remains his finest song. But it wisely drops some hits from albums that contained a large number of them (eg Born in the USA which managed an amazing seven top 10 hits in the US) and includes some of Springsteen's lesser known gems from other albums, which make the collection a fairer overview of his whole career.
Thankfully, this collection includes tracks from his first two albums, which the first Greatest hits did not. 'Blinded by the Light' and especially 'Rosalita', long a concert favourite, are the two best from this part of the CD.
One of the two live songs, '41 shots', is one of the highlights. My main complaint about the second disk is its inclusion of the 9+ minute 'Land of Hope and Dreams', a good song no doubt, but hardly one of Springsteen's best. The 9 minutes it takes up would surely have been put to better use by including two studio songs.
The third disk, for me at least, is a bit excessive, containing not hits but rarities. If this disk does not interest you either you may be better off buying the cheaper two CD edition.Read more ›
One other thing I have noticed is the omission of `I'm On Fire' on both this collection and `Greatest Hits'. Surely there is no one out there that would actually choose `Glory Days' or `Dancing In The Dark' over this one? Is this song omitted simply to force people to continue buying `Born In The USA'?
Regardless, one of the strengths of this collection is that it is a `best of' rather than a `hits' package. This means we don't miss out out on masterpieces like `Jungleland' that could never appear on a `Greatest Hits' package. Having said that, the inclusion of some other `masterpieces' such as `Brothers Under the Bridge' might have been good, though might have reduced the commercial appeal.
...and speaking of `Greatest Hits', why not include `Blood Brothers' on this collection?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
good selection of hits,mines the 3 disc version in a fatbox style cd case.Published 2 months ago by bullet45
What can I say? It's the Boss. You probably won't buy this unless you are a fan, but if you are new to Bruce Springsteen, it's a good starter CD.Published 2 months ago by Simon Austin
Was hearing a lot of Brucy on Radio 2, so thought I would give this a go. The only album I already have is the classic Born in the USA. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Joe
Bruce has still got what it takes to make you want more everytime, music & singing is just so precise.Published 5 months ago by Peter of Enfield