These 7 albums released by Bruce Springsteen in 11 years, as the title of the collection would suggest, contain 76 tracks that span big hits, songs that have been covered, an American timeline and an influence on many other bands over more than one generation. It also contains the track for which Springsteen won his first Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance in 1984, “Dancing In The Dark”.
Springsteen’s most commercially successful period was between 1975’s “Born To Run” and 1987’s “Tunnel of Love” albums and over the years he has sold a staggering 65 million albums and released 18 studio albums. The first seven of these have been remastered by engineer extraordinaire Bob Ludiwg, along with long time Springsteen engineer Toby Scott, and a great job they have done too. The packaging of the box set contains a 60-page book featuring rarely-seen photos, memorabilia and original press clippings from the period.
The constant thread that runs through Bruce Springsteen’s albums is his knack as a songwriter to tell a story whilst plugging into raw human emotions, combined with the ability to capture the feelings and mood of that era perfectly. Considering the fact that he is a hero in his homeland and American through and through, it is funny that the UK seemed to take to his early work first.
The material within these 7 albums ranges from the sparse, almost melancholy tracks like “Racing In The Street”, “Meeting Across The River” and “Stolen Car” to the epics like tracks such as “Jungleland”, “New York Serenade”, “Incident On 57th Street” or “Backstreets”. There are also a couple of tracks that you could imagine Meatloaf singing and a good example of this is “She’s The One” or “Working On The Highway”.
Over the years his work has mixed styles such as rock n roll, Americana, blues and even Stax style horns – however, each song is undeniably Springsteen. It would be hard to pick highlights amongst the 76 tracks on offer here as there are just so many good songs. These include “”Cover Me, “The Ties That Bind”, “E Street Shuffle”, ”The Promised Land” and the first track on the very first album “Blinded By The Light”. But then you look again and find such massive hits as “Born To Run”, “Glory Days”, “Hungry Heart”, “Jackson Cage “ or “Born In The USA”. Then you go deeper and discover such gems as “I’m a Rocker”, “Growin’ Up”, “Tenth Avenue” or “Out In The Streets”.
To put it simply there is only, and will only ever be, one Bruce Springsteen – and he is a musical genius. *****
Review by Nikk Gunns
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