Sunday, April 13, 2008

Boot Tracker, August 17th 1975, Bottom Line (Early Show)

Fanatic Records is back with yet another release. The pace with which Rob Oslan is throwing projects out there is mind boggling, I guess there is good reason why he called his label Fanatic. Rob has boots appearing almost at a faster pace than I can listen to. "Coastline To The City" is a re-master from an audience tape recorded at the final afternoon show out of a five day stand at the Bottom Line. In coming days Rob promised us two more recordings from this legendary series of shows. Small club Springsteen, how much more romantic does it get. The Bottomline gave room to a mere 500 people and was chosen for the launch of the promotion campaign for "Born To Run". On the 15th, halfway through the stand WNEW-FM broad casted one of the shows. That recording has since thrown a shadow over all other recordings of the Bottom Line stand. As this re-master will attest, not entirely fair. The FM recording is marred by an enormous amount of hiss, pops and clicks. Something this recording doesn't suffer from. Although it is arguably a bit muddier, with Springsteen's vocals sometimes buried into the mix a bit too much, it is much easier to listen to than the legendary FM boot.

The show itself is great. Maybe its because there isn't the tension of going live on the air through an influential radio station, but Bruce does sound a lot more relaxed here than on the FM broadcast. Though part of the promotional campaign for the coming album, songs from "Born To Run" are underrepresented here. Opening with a blistering "Tenth Avenue" plus three in total closer to the end of the set, including a fiery "She's The One" that still has to stretch out. The show features a few fine covers, most notably Ike & Tina Turner's "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" with a spoken intro followed by a still story less "Growin' Up". During the intro to "The E-Street Shuffle" the Boss has the audience eating out of his hands. With only a few hundred people in the room, it must have felt like he was telling the magical tale of the E-Street band just for you, as if you were in a personal conversation with the man. Great stuff, and it comes out real nice on this tape. Worth alone getting the recording for. But if that wasn't enough, near the end of the show the band pulls out a crazy "Kitty's Back" that nears the 25 minute marker with the Boss finding time to travel to Alaska and back. Though it might be too much for some to stomach, the looseness of the whole show has a highly infectious vibe. Highly recommended for any fan of this period.

"It's Gonna Work Out Fine"
Download the show in mp3 format here

Sound: 3,5 out of 5
Show: 4+ out of 5
Artwork: 4,5 out of 5


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that you really understand the greatness of these shows. Kitty's Back and E Street Shuffle were new songs every night and never seemed too long. I was lucky enough to attend five of these and would have done all ten if my job would let me. The pretty face staring up at Bruce on the cover is my girlfriend, now wife of 32 years. I'm the shadow in the lower left corner. This was our tenth show and we celebrated no 100 last week in Anaheim. Get ready for a lot more of these classic performances, another box is on the way to Rob.

Mr. A

SoulBoogieAlex said...

That is very good news Mr A. I hope I can keep up and track them all!