Great Rock Albums of 1986: Bruce Springsteen- Live 1975-85


If aliens from outer space landed on Earth and said they wanted to know about the legend that is Bruce Springsteen, I would put on this “Live 1975-85” album because it stamps with authority, everything that is good about ‘The Boss.’ First, if anyone has been fortunate enough to see him live, I wasn’t as tickets always sold out too quick, would know how truly amazing he is in concert. Renowned for his four hour plus performances, this live album tries to capture the essence of his live performances. After all, the album is over three and a half hours long with forty tracks.

All of Bruce’s classic songs between the years in the title are recorded live and put before you here. The album isn’t just one concert but songs are recorded from various concerts over the decade. Some dates and venues appear more than others and if I wanted to nit pick, I could point out that none of them were recorded in Philadelphia where I went to see a majority of my concerts at the time but I can’t because I’ve never seen him. Some people may prefer recordings from one concert but what Bruce gives you here is his very best efforts over ten years and listening to the album, it works!

Typical of Springsteen, he does throw in what I call a few surprises. Two songs he wrote but were made famous by other artists are on the album. One was the famous “Because the Night,” which he co-wrote with Patti Smith and “Fire,” which was a minor hit for the Pointer Sisters in 1979. Again, I could nit pick because my two favourite songs by other artists, “Blinded by the Light,” made famous in 1977 by Manfred Mann and “From Small Things Momma, Big Things One Day Come” done by Dave Edmunds aren’t here. Oh well. Furthermore, he does a cool cover of Edwin Starr’s “War,” which he released as a single from the album. But my highlight is the live recording of “The River.” It’s not just the fact that it’s a great song, it’s his little talk about his early life before the song that does it for me. It makes this album that much more excellent.

Track Listing:

  1. Thunder Road
  2. Adam Raised a Cain
  3. Spirit in the Night
  4. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
  5. Paradise by the C
  6. Fire
  7. Growin Up
  8. It’s Hard to be a Saint in the City
  9. Backstreets
  10. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
  11. Raise Your Hand
  12. Hungry Heart
  13. Two Hearts
  14. Cadillac Ranch
  15. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
  16. Independence Day
  17. Badlands
  18. Because the Night
  19. Candy’s Room
  20. Darkness on the Edge of Town
  21. Racing in the Street
  22. This is Your Land
  23. Nebraska
  24. Johnny 99
  25. Reason to Believe
  26. Born in the USA
  27. Seeds
  28. The River
  29. War
  30. Darlington County
  31. Working on the Highway
  32. The Promised Land
  33. I’m On Fire
  34. Cover Me
  35. Bobby Jean
  36. My Hometown
  37. Born to Run
  38. No Surrender
  39. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
  40. Jersey Girl

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen- lead vocals, guitar, harmonica

Roy Bittan- piano, synthesizer, backing vocals

Clarence Clemmons- saxophone, percussion, backing vocals

Danny Fereici- organ, accordion, glockenspiel, piano, synthesizer, backing vocals

Nils Lofgren- guitar, backing vocals

Patti Scialfa- backing vocals, synthesizer

Garry Talent- bass, backing vocals

Steven Van Zandt- guitar, backing vocals

Max Weinberg- drums

Additional Musicians

Eddie and Flo- backing vocals on “Hungry Heart”

The Miami Horns on “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out”

Steve Harrison- tenor saxophone

Eddie Manion- baritone saxophone

Mark Pender- trumpet

Richie ‘La Bamba’ Rosenberg- trombone


Bruce Springsteen was never one to do things by halves. He wanted his fans to have an album worthy of his concert performances. They certainly got it with this one. There’s not much more I can add here.

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10 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1986: Bruce Springsteen- Live 1975-85”

  1. Great post and a great memory as I got this as a Xmas gift back in 1986 along with Third Stage by Boston.
    The Bosses box set was popular that year as my pal Tbone got this box set as well for Xmas.
    Two Hearts on here is such a great version!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was already in England by this time and it was expensive. It was a very popular record there as well. Glad I got to bring back great memories for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that is a live album. 40 songs!! Crazy, but what a representation of who he is. Great stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Too expensive for me back then. I have always loved the cover image – just perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great set this. I’ve been looking for a copy, but only ever saw it once out in the wild.

    Liked by 1 person

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