Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Live—1975-85

The Boss' "Rambo" period on three CDs

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With Springsteen currently enjoying a dramatic reinvention, it’s not a bad time to reassess this iron-pumping 1986 live set. Released in the aftermath of Born In The USA, it drew disproportionately from Springsteen’s then-recent stadium concerts, while offering exasperating glimpses of what a great historical document it could have been.

Disc One opens with a gorgeous version of “Thunder Road”?just voice, piano and glockenspiel?recorded at The Roxy in 1975. But that’s the only track from those shows, and though there’s a chunk of material from ’78-’81, the collection is slanted too much towards Rambo Bruce to be a convincing reflection of the shape of his career. Plenty of good stuff, even so.

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