Not that I would ever need an excuse to write about one of my all-time favorite artists like Bruce Springsteen, but typically, I do so around an occasion like a new album or a concert I visited. In this case, it’s a new compilation of live material released from Springsteen’s archives that’s available on various music platforms for streaming or downloading, such as Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music. The Live Series: Songs of Summer turned out to be the perfect background music while carrying out a house chore earlier today.
Organized chronologically, the collection spans from Born to Run recorded at The Roxy in West Hollywood, Calif. in October 1975 to Jungleland captured at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on August 30, 2016. The last gig has a special meaning. It was the third of a three-show run at that venue during Springsteen’s River Tour. I was there and remember it pretty well. Let’s get to some of that sweet music.
An extended eleven-and-a-half-minute version of Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), during which Springsteen introduces the E Street Band Band, is a nice way to kick things off. These guys are killing it, especially Clarence Clemons who launches into some great saxophone work at around 6:30 minutes into the tune. It all was captured at Capitol Theatre in Passaic, N.J. in August 1978. Originally, the tune appeared on Springsteen’s sophomore album The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle from November 1973.
Here’s Out In The Street from The River, Springsteen’s fifth studio album released in October 1980. This live version is from September 1985 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Next up: A beautiful version of Waitin’ On A Sunny Day, which features a bit of Steven Van Zandt on vocals. This is from a gig in Helsinki, Finland from June 2003. Springsteen first recorded the tune for The Rising, his post 9/11 album released in July 2002.
Girls In Their Summer Clothes is a track from The Boss’s 15th studio album Magic, which came out in September 2007. This version was captured at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston in November of the same year.
Let’s do one more. I just couldn’t help it to end with the aforementioned performance of Jungleland at MetLife Stadium. It’s just a beautiful version and frankly a great memory. Jake Clemons, the nephew of Clarence Clemons, does an amazing job playing the part of The Big Man. Check out his extended solo starting at 4:30 minutes, making his uncle proud. Jungleland is the closer of my favorite Springsteen album Born to Run, which came out in August 1975.
Here’s the complete tracklist of the collection:
- Born To Run [Live at The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA – 10/18/75]
- Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) [Live at Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ – 08/19/78]
- The Fever [Live at Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA – 12/15/78]
- 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) [Live at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – 12/31/80]
- Thunder Road [Live at Wembley Arena, London, UK – 06/05/81]
- Spirit Of The Night [Live at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ – 08/20/84]
- Out In The Street [Live at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA – 09/27/85]
- Blinded By The Light [Live at Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ – 11/24/96]
- Waitin’ On A Sunny Day [Live at Olympiastadion, Helsinki, Finland – 06/16/03]
- Racing In The Street [Live at Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI – 08/03/05]
- Girls In Their Summer Clothes [Live at TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA – 11/19/07]
- Seaside Bar Song [Live at Farm Bureau Live, Virginia Beach, VA – 04/12/14]
- It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City [Live at Croke Park Stadium, Dublin, IE – 05/29/16]
- Frankie [Live at CASA Arena Horsens, Horsens, Denmark – 07/20/16]
- Jungleland [Live at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – 08/30/16]
Sources: Wikipedia; YouTube