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Customer Review

41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never lose heart, 15 July 2003
This review is from: Tracks (4CD) (Audio CD)
If you've never heard of Bruce, or if you have but you associate his name with cheesy eighties pop, stop here. Buy Born In The USA, play it five times at full volume, and if nothing stirs within you, give up.
If you're still here, you're either a fellow Springsteenista or you liked the single Lonesome Day off his latest album. In either case, rush - do not stroll, do not even jog - to your local music retailer and fork over the full price for this masterly four-CD collection of outtakes, bootlegs and B-sides from the Boss's thirty-year career. Do it now.
The CDs dovetail neatly with four of Springsteen's five phases as an artist (the fifth began in 1999 after the release of this collection). Each CD in the box has a sleeve with a sepia photo which perfectly captures the mood of the era: there's the merry-go-round Dylan-inspired 1972-1975 Jersey period, the cars and girls River sessions, the industrial rock-out of Nebraska/BornITUSA, and the earringed ageing gypsy mellowness of 1990 onwards. Each CD contains gems, absolute crackers which missed the albums by a criminal whisker. To my great surprise, I listen to the first and earliest one the most: although the four acoustic demos of tracks which made it on to Bruce's first album are great starters, they don't come near the brilliance of Santa Ana, Linda Let Me Be The One and Thundercrack. 'Linda' is my all-time favourite Springsteen song, a simple piano-and-organ-driven street hymn with the most beautiful chorus in rock music, especially in the last verse. 'Thundercrack' is vintage early Boss, with its sprawling structure, exuberant (and sometimes chaotic) Vini Lopez drum thrash, and as always that gorgeous swirling Federici organ.
CD 2 is perhaps the weakest, though 'Loose Ends' and the concert favourite 'Be True' stand out. The eighties CD 3 has the poppiest tracks - 'Lion's Den' and the wonderful 'Janey Don't You Lose Heart' should have replaced the dreary 'I'm On Fire' and 'My Hometown' on the BITUSA album - and also the hardest-rocking one, Pink Cadillac. 'This Hard Land' beats hell out of the Greatest Hits version, mainly because of Bruce's thrilling harp performance at the end. CD 4 is superb even if you didn't like his nineties albums; it's as pretentious as they were, but 'Happy' might just make you cry, and 'Part Man, Part Monkey', while pilloried by snobs as inferior white-reggae dross, is a snarling blood-churning slice of Nu-Boss, and has the funkiest bassline since the genius Garry Tallent left and the edgiest guitar howl since 'Cover Me' (later, Springsteen and the E-Streeters recapture this on 'Worlds Apart').
Human Touch turned me into an infidel. After listening to Tracks, just once, I turned on the road to Damascus. I'll never, *never*, write off the Boss again.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Dec 2010 21:34:18 GMT
Personally i think disc 2 and 3 are the best, and also the version of 'This Hard Land' on greatest hits is vastly superior to this one.

Posted on 14 Dec 2010 21:34:20 GMT
Personally i think disc 2 and 3 are the best, and also the version of 'This Hard Land' on greatest hits is vastly superior to this one.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Sep 2013 10:13:12 BDT
Mr Miyagi says:
Disc 2 & 3 are indeed the best. Also, I'm On Fire is one of the best songs on Born in the USA! Oh well there's no accounting for taste...

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Sep 2013 21:55:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Sep 2013 21:55:30 BDT
I personally think that you are correct as this is usually considered as part of Springsteen's 'golden era'. Actually I'd throw in the first three discs, but that's just me, of course.

Posted on 11 Dec 2013 14:34:15 GMT
D. P. Dowd says:
Why take off the two best tracks on BITUSA and leave all the dross, cheesy 80's pop and badly arranged/produced tacky nonsense? BITUSA is where Broooce took a wrong turn and, apart from Tom Joad and Philadelphia, never really found it again. Best tracks by far on the 1st CD.

Posted on 20 Jan 2014 18:58:19 GMT
music lover says:
Hallo !!!! Can you please tell me why the song Protection ( demo for Donna Summer), never has been released in Bruces own version ??????
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Location: Essex, England

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