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Fantastic even though it's not traditional Springsteen
on 2 October 2014
Some people don't like recordings of live concerts on principle. I'm in the other camp. I love it so much, I write the Best Live Albums blog.
That admits one bias. Now for another. I've spent years believing that anything from Springsteen between 1973 and 1978 is brilliant (his second to fourth albums, The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, Born To Run and Darkness On The Edge Of Town are all fantastic) and anything afterwards ranged from very good to OK.
Despite my love of live albums, I ignored this one from when it was released in 2007 to very recently. That was a big mistake.
This isn't Bruce Springsteen as we know him from the E-Street band. It's as if it's from a parallel universe where, after releasing his first two albums (that had strong folk and jazz influences), he didn't become a rock superstar. Instead he developed his musical ideas and created his own Rolling Thunder style revue band with brass, violins, mandolins, banjos and other strange instruments.
And then went out and had a great deal of fun every night playing folk, jazz, country, and traditional roots music.
I've never heard an album like this before with its sheer variety of styles and sounds. It might have been a mish-mash but it all seems to make sense.
If you're prepared to listen to a Springsteen album with an open mind and not pigeon-hole him along the lines of Born To Run, Born In The USA and The Rising, I think you'll really enjoy this.
I don't think it's as essential as the Hammersmith Odeon 75 live album but until we get an authorised, great sounding album from the Darkness tour, I think Live In Dublin should be the second Springsteen live album you buy.