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Born to Run [30th Anniversary Edition]

Born to Run [30th Anniversary Edition]

5.0 10
by Bruce Springsteen

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What's the best way to celebrate a landmark birthday of a musical touchstone? For a blueprint, look no further than the 30th anniversary edition of Born to Run. No new material has been tagged onto the album itself, a decision that makes perfect sense when you consider how iconic the original is. Like Sgt. Pepper or the


What's the best way to celebrate a landmark birthday of a musical touchstone? For a blueprint, look no further than the 30th anniversary edition of Born to Run. No new material has been tagged onto the album itself, a decision that makes perfect sense when you consider how iconic the original is. Like Sgt. Pepper or the fourth Led Zeppelin album, Born to Run is a world unto itself, a realm with a beginning and end so defined, and a character-driven story so precise, that it would be almost impossible to tinker with it. The anniversary edition does, however, offer a huge amount of bonus material in the form of two DVDs that tell the story of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band circa 1975 in incredible detail. The first, a concert recorded at London's Hammersmith Odeon, highlights both the power and the often overlooked subtlety that made the Boss stand out from the pack starkly enough to merit those simultaneous Time and Newsweek covers. The choice of a British venue is intriguing, given the degree to which Springsteen was -- and, arguably, still is -- considered to be an avatar of American music. Cultural barriers, however, are all but absent here, as evidenced by the rabid response to the music -- fiery versions of "Spirit in the Night" and the galvanizing "Detroit Medley," as well as more nuanced takes on "For You" and "4th of July Asbury Park" -- and to Springsteen himself, in this instance a looser (goofier, even) performer than he would become in later years. The second DVD, more or less a "making of" documentary, is even more illuminating, as it delves into the mind-set of an artist who had yet to experience real success, and who clearly felt any chance at doing so slipping from his reach. Footage from the era finds Springsteen and his band (some of whom were kicked to the curb in the process) fretting over just about every note on Born to Run, building the songs from spare rock beginnings to the wall-of-sound grandeur that would eventually win over arenas full of fans. That footage, captured over the course of two years, appears alongside more contemporary interviews with the principals, telling the whole story with a minimum of revisionism and self-satisfaction. It's the sort of thing that could even win over Springsteen doubters -- and will offer plenty of food for thought for his legion of admirers.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
There is such a strange feeling to be writing this, listening intently to the remastered version of Bruce Springsteen's breakthrough 1975 recording Born to Run, as if it hadn't happened at all but was happening in this moment. To look back at pop history as something of an oracle through the glass on its reverse side is always tricky. There was a lot at stake in rock & roll in those days. David Bowie was about to move into his next incarnation after the death of Ziggy Stardust and into his Berlin period; Queen was moving away from hard rock and into its own identity as well; Roxy Music was about to crack it; the J. Geils Band was shattering houses everywhere with its brand of roots blues and barroom rock; T. Rex was almost absent on American shores, and Kiss had stepped in mightily and faultily to cash in on it all. Meanwhile, the Faces were history, and the New York Dolls were disintegrating; Aerosmith were fighting each other, Led Zep were the power and glory of hard rock; Iggy was lost to addiction; Marvin Gaye and Motown were turning into something else, as was the Philly soul sound, mutating into the next phase of funk, and eventually disco. P-Funk were tearing it up musically and on the road, but not to many white audiences; Marvin Gaye was working on I Want You; Leroy Hutson was releasing the best albums of his career but to little notice of rock audiences; Miles was in retirement, and only Grover Washington was carrying the soul-jazz banner into the future with Mister Magic and Feels So Good. The Rolling Stones were doing their thing, but they were the Rolling Stones. And then the dread Yes and Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake & Palmer were ruining rock for another five years. The time was right for something to happen, and happen it did. Springsteen and his E Street Band, armed with a slew of session players, came ambling out of the New Jersey shadows, having no idea what they were doing with a brand of guttersnipe, gritty rock infused with soul, R&B, garage band aesthetics, and a stage show that challenged even Mott the Hoople's, to conquer the world whether they wanted to or not. In its present incarnation, finally remastered to full satisfaction of fans in the post-LP era, Born to Run sounds as startling, dynamic, and desperate as it did in 1975. The songs roar once more with all the drama of the young, where everything is at stake. Back porches, ramshackle motorcycles, the hidden intimacy of back streets, the violent danger of street gangs vying for turf, and the story of their life and death struggles told and retold with apocryphal detail from a group of observers to those who would retell and embellish them. There's the boredom of summer days and working nine to five just to break out into who knows what, and that desire -- the one that covers everything -- the one that knows that just beyond the confines of front yards and downtowns lies America, and some dream that would materialize if only one had the courage to run toward it. Springsteen's voice is full, raging, howling, crooning, and above all simply full of the magic of his own words as given life by a band who knows nothing except for putting it all on the line. In its present incarnation Born to Run once again proves its place among the greatest rock & roll albums ever recorded. This is it -- life, death, love, betrayal, and the dynamics of big-screen portrayals of the mysteries of everyday -- ordinary life boiled down to an explosive essence that carries within it everything rock & roll ever promised. The bonus DVDs are something to behold as well. The Hammersmith Odeon concert from the tour that's included here has a set list to die for. It's adrenaline-filled and fear-drenched. These guys were scared and it fueled the gig. There's everything to prove, and the E Street Band had the quavering guts and naïveté to pull it off. These guys play their asses off; it's as if tomorrow they'll die so what the hell -- and given that the bile Brit music tabloids had the proven potential for, it was entirely possible, as Springsteen explains in his liner notes. The track list is simply incredible, from the cuts to the album at hand to those coming from Greetings from Asbury Park -- "Lost in the Flood," "Hard to Be a Saint in the City," "For You," -- to those from The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle -- "Fourth of July Asbury Park (Sandy)," "Kitty's Back," "Rosalita." And as if this weren't enough, there is the classic "Detroit Medley" and "Quarter to Three." This is a mind-blowing gig, filmed for preservation and forgotten about, until it was recently resurrected from Springsteen's own archives and mixed for this presentation by Bob Clearmountain. As if all this weren't enough, there is another disc , Wings for Wheels, a kind of hodgepodge documentary on the making of the album with rare film footage from between 1973 and '75, concert footage, and the intimacy of the studio as this band struggled to keep their deal with the label -- they were on the verge of being booted into eternal obscurity as has-beens who couldn't deliver the big one. The fascination as Springsteen edits and works with Jon Landau to build the crazy, roaring Wall of Sound that became the single "Born to Run" is almost harrowing to watch -- not just as history, bus as a gamble that paid off. This is as close to a fan's dream come true as it's going to get. But more than that, the package is the one that proves the reason for Springsteen's longevity. His faith and doubt, his willingness to go the distance, and his belief in the music itself as the conveyor of something bigger than himself to get the poetry across is awe-inspiring. Presented in this way, Born to Run is enough to make one accept that rock & roll is a force to be reckoned with rather than something to market cars, beer, and lingerie; it contains the mythic power of the ages, and dare it be said the proof that God himself can speak through a sleazy looking, beat, flesh and blood batch of street urchins using the ordinary as a means of speaking of the power, vulnerability, romance, and redemption of everyday life as something to be celebrated, struggled through, and cherished.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Calvin Wilson
[Grade: A] "Classic rock" in the best sense: personal in its vision, impassioned in its execution and timeless in its artistry.

Product Details

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Related Subjects


Disc 1

  1. She's the One
  2. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
  3. Spirit in the Night
  4. Lost in the Flood
  5. She's the One
  6. Born to Run
  7. The E Street Shuffle
  8. It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City
  9. Backstreets
  10. Kitty's Back
  11. Jungleland
  12. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
  13. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
  14. Detroit Medley
  15. For You
  16. Quarter to Three

Disc 2

  1. The Journey
  2. Third Album Pressure
  3. Born to Run
  4. A New Band
  5. The Studio
  6. The Mix
  7. The Record Release
  8. The Hype
  9. End of the Journey
  10. Credits
  11. Spirit in the Night
  12. Wild Billy's Circus Story
  13. Thundercrack

Disc 3

  1. Thunder Road
  2. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
  3. Night
  4. Backstreets
  5. Born to Run
  6. She's the One
  7. Meeting Across the River
  8. Jungleland

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bruce Springsteen   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Horn,Vocals
Michael Brecker   Tenor Saxophone
David Sanborn   Baritone Saxophone
David Sancious   Keyboards
Clarence Clemons   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Wayne Andre   Trombone
Mike Appel   Background Vocals
Roy Bittan   Organ,Piano,Glockenspiel,Harpsichord,Background Vocals,fender rhodes
Randy Brecker   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Charles Calello   Conductor
Ernest Carter   Drums
Danny Federici   Organ,Keyboards
Garry Tallent   Bass,Bass Guitar
Steven Van Zandt   Background Vocals
Max Weinberg   Drums
Suki Lahav   Violin
Steve VanZandt   Horn,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Bruce Springsteen   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Executive Producer,Horn Arrangements,Audio Production
Mike Appel   Producer,Audio Production
Charles Calello   String Arrangements
Barbara Carr   Executive Producer,Management
Jimmy Iovine   Engineer
Louis Lahav   Engineer
Jon Landau   Executive Producer,Audio Production,Management
Steven Van Zandt   Horn Arrangements
Joe Landau   Producer
David Bett   Art Direction
Christopher Austopchuk   Art Direction
W.S. Stevenson   Composer
Barry Rebo   Director,Producer
Tammy Comstock   Management
Michelle Holme   Art Direction
Alison Oscar   Management
Thom Zimny   Director,Producer

Customer Reviews

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Born to Run 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A gem, enough said.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Born to Run is arguably the best Rock album made within the last 30 years. --Just listened to it this morning (on cassette no less) on the way in to work, and it still has the same haunting and engaging lyrics, rhythms and melodies that I remember from my teens. "Jungleland" and "Thunder Road" are timeless American classics; "10th Avenue Freezeout" and the title track are everyting that Rock n' Roll was meant to be. The other songs do not disappoint at all. Love or hate Bruce, you can't help but to admire his spirit and vision in this album. Springsteen is a true poet; the E Street Band are the minstrels of our souls. Turn it up, and jam to it in your car. Your fellow commuters will smile at and envy you at the same time. The album just simply feels 29 years young-- and isn't that what great music is meant to do? ;-)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Born to Run is the greatest rock album of all time. Springsteen is the quintessential musician for any generation and his ability to write so much good music is amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most websites with Bruce Springsteen discographies gave this album a 5 out of 5. After listening to the album, I've discovered that the album deserves 5 stars! Most people who are only familiar with Springsteen's hits are only familiar with "Born to Run" and "Thunder Road" from this album. If you're one of those people, you should check out this album. Every song will blow you away! The only song on the album that is not really as memorable as the others is "Meeting Across the River", but it's still good. This album is strongly reccomended for Springsteen fans. How can you not like Springsteen?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Al Leiter's theme song is Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, which makes this CD cool!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After releasing two successful successful albums after making his professional recording debut in 1973, Bruce Springsteen would become an overnight sensation with his third album Born To Run. Released in 1975, Born To Run not only solidified Springsteen as the new voice of rock and roll, but it showcased a new kind of rock and roll star with a message of hope and solidarity that made him an American folk hero. Showcased by a pulsating beat, energetic guitar riffs and high energy backbeat solos, Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band thrilled rock fans as Born To Run became a Top Ten blockbuster that would include a set of sweeping tracks, such as North Avenue Freeze Out and the title track, as it made him an international star. 30 years later, Columbia Records and Sony Music have remastered and expanded the masterpiece in a deluxe 2-CD format that includes a live DVD based of Springsteen's live performances at London's Royal Albert Odeon in support of the album. I did hear the deluxe edition of Born To Run in it's original formaton disc one and the live DVD edition on disc two where I found the deluxe edition even better than the single CD version, because the deluxe edition delivers more of the album's rich and timeless legacy in a bigger and enhance version that include several songs not included on the album (like Thunder Crack) from the second disc. If you are looking to buy Born To Run, make sure you get the deluxe edition, because it will give you 100% of lasting pleasure from this rock and roll masterpiece. The deluxe 2-CD edition of Born To Run is the definitive edition!
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the first few notes played by the harmonica on the album's opening song to the heartbreaking and earth-shattering chord that finishes the record, life can never be the same again. You've discovered two pairs of disillusioned lovers taking to the open roads (''Thunder Road'' and ''Born To Run''), in cars and on motorcycles, and you've cheered for them. You've watched a group of friends turn into a band (''Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out''), and you've seen a very different couple stand by sadly and observe all the energy that had ever existed in their relationship seep out of their world (''Backstreets''). There's two young men searching for and dreaming of the woman that will make them complete; one works hard all day just to see her when darkness falls (''Night''); the other simply informs you of what kind of goddess it is that he loves (''She's The One''). And two unknown figures get an unknown sort of business taken care of (''Meeting Across The River''), helplessly being drawn into the musically metaphorical struggle that will beat itself out on the streets that night (''Jungleland''). BORN TO RUN makes you wonder about bygone days when Springsteen and his characters wandered the alleys and bridges of the city, and it makes you wish you were there with them. This is about as close as you'll ever get.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It' s definitely the greatest LP of the Boss, and one of the major record of the seventies, and one of my favorite ever. Each song is just wonderful especially
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is no better rock 'n roll album than Born to Run. It is an essential part of any rock music collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the greatest album ever made. People that don't like springsteen have simply never sat down and listened to this CD from start to finish. It is possibly the only album in the history of rock that can be descibed by the word 'perfect'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every time I listen to it, I remember why I love Bruce Springsteen so much! He has such soul and passion in his music that can uplift even the farthest gone heart! I love every song on this album! Especially (though I hate to play favorites!) Born to Run, Thunder Road, Jungleland, and Night. A true rock record that I'll love and treasure forever!
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