Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CD of the week: Springsteen at Main Point, 1975

This much-bootlegged concert, originally broadcast on a radio show, finally gets a semi-official release through a legal loophole whereby its copyright has lapsed. It's a great show with good sound quality which captures Springsteen midway between his second and third albums, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle and Born to Run. One striking aspect of the concert is Suki Lahav's violin; reminiscent of Scarlet Rivera's violin playing on Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour the same year, and on his album Desire in 1976. Springsteen here is still in the shadow of Dylan, playing a cover of I Want You, though he forgets half the words (which doesn't matter, much). We also get the chance to hear early versions of Born to Run material including Born to Run, Jungleland, She's the One and Wings for Wheels which would soon become Thunder Road. He forgets the words here too, or perhaps hasn't actually written them yet. No matter. There are also great, extended, energetic versions of songs from the Wild, the innocent and the E Street Shuffle.

The cover is awful. The best bootleg artwork of this performance (and with the best title) was You Can Trust Your Car To The Man Who Wears The Star. The version above has been tackily coloured in, but the original vinyl copy, a black and white, pen and ink illustration, is way better.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Top 10 Bruce Springsteen albums

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