I retrieved this gem through Jungleland, a re-mastered Bruce Springsteen Band show from 1971. Our philanthropist in this case comes from the newly launched BruceTapes. A site with a mission to chronicle the early days of the Boss, his formative years. It has always amazed me how much material there exists from that period. Needless to say not all of it good. BruceTapes plans to be our guide to that material. The site is charting all know recordings and grading them, trying to make it insightful which bootlegs are worth tracking down. This re-master is their/his/her (?) first release. It would be rare and well worth collecting enough for the dedicated fan but BruceTapes really put in the effort to make this tape more enjoyable as well. The seed at Jungleland included both versions of the recording and I'm impressed with the job they've done trying to make it more enjoyable. The tape went from unbearable to relatively listen able. Relatively, because almost every recording from that period is very hard to bring to a level where it will have a broad appeal. This material is aimed at the historians amongst us fans.
For those who are interested in exploring more of Springsteen's past there is much to enjoy here. As always we'll rely on BruceBase for the most reliable background info on the show. With the Bruce Springsteen Band all the key players for the early E-Street Band were in place, the rhythm section of Tallent and Lopez, Springsteen and Sancious on keys and van Zandt on guitar. The set list consists mostly of a fairly broad array of R&R classics. Bruce sort of takes us through R&R history in this show, going from Chuck Berry to the Band through the Rolling Stones. The Band's cover of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" is the absolute high light of the show. Through the static you'll hear how accomplished Springsteen as a band leader was even at that early stage in his career. The band sounds like a pretty tight unit. Surprising considering the loose formation the Bruce Springsteen Band was at the time.
According to BruceBase this is only the only source for the two Springsteen originals here "It's Time To Go Home" and "You Better Be Nice To Me". Though they're enjoyable, you can only marvel at the leaps his songwriting took in the short period between this recording and the release of "Greeting From Asbury Park". Many, many thanks for this from all us freaks who'll pick this up with more than just a healthy dose of interest!
"It's Time To Go Home"
Download the full re-mastered show in MP3 here
Art work: none
Note: I almost hated grading this one. The historic value of this recording trumps any grade I could give on the sound and show. Initiatives like this can only be appreciated!