What does it sound like?:
This two cd set is effectively the soundtrack to the Netflix film of Springsteen’s long run on Broadway with his one-man show. As I’m sure everyone knows by now, the show was heavily based around his autobiography, and some of the monologues here are pretty much taken word for word from it. Some songs are delivered uninterrupted, while others, such as Growin’ Up and Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, are used as vehicles to support the story he’s telling. The anecdotes are fine to listen to once, but on subsequent plays I found myself skipping them to get to the music – once you’ve heard a tale you’ve heard it! The music itself is great, although for me there’s not enough of it, only sixteen songs in 135 minutes, but I suppose if you were there in person that wasn’t so noticeable. I really enjoy stripped back versions of songs in general, indeed my favourite Thunder Road is the one that opens the Live 1975-85 box set (taken from The Roxy in ’75), so there’s plenty on here to like, and it’s revealing to hear some of these songs stripped of the bombast of the well known studio versions. It’s great to hear Patti Scialfa join the party on Tougher Than The Rest and Brilliant Disguise, and it’s slightly a shame I think that she didn’t get a bigger role in the show. The recording is slightly longer than the normal show, with the inclusion of Tom Joad and Long Time Comin’, which were added when Scialfa was unable to appear. Overall, the setlist is a good representation and celebration of Springsteen’s formidable back catalogue of the last forty odd years, and is a very fitting tribute to his career.
What does it all *mean*?
My peak Springsteen period really runs from his debut up to Tunnel Of Love, and I rather began to lose interest in him after that – I have the subsequent albums but I found myself playing each successive one fewer and fewer times. I really enjoyed this set though, and would certainly recommend it, especially as an accompaniment to the autobiography.
Goes well with…
Hoping this year will finally see the release of his long awaited new album. As The Boss himself said, ‘it’s been a long time comin’,
Might suit people who like…
Retrospectives, unplugged type albums.