Ready To Run (no label)
Palace Theater, Providence, RI – July 20th, 1975
Disc 1 (65:18): Incident On 57th Street, Spirit In The Night, Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, Growin’ Up, Saint In The City, E Street Shuffle, Born To Run, Thunder Road, New York City Serenade
Disc 2 (50:21): Kitty’s Back, Rosalita, 4th Of July Asbury Park (Sandy), A Love So Fine, Sha La La, Quarter To Three
In 1975 Bruce Springsteen was actually under heavy pressure from his record company to make a commercially successful record. He had already been labeled everything from “the next Bob Dylan” by the legendary John Hammond to “the future of rock and roll” by Rolling Stone magazine. He was somewhat unknown around America at the time. His first two records, The Wild, The Innocent, The E Street Shuffle and Greetings From Asbury Park were largely unknown outside of the North East and California. His live shows around the North East had already taken on legendary status. Springsteen had regular air time on the now defunct but legendary New York City FM radio station WNEW, which would from time to time broadcast some of his live shows. (Which are available). He spent most of 1974 and 1975 in the studio trying to become that commercial success. It is documented that Born To Run, Thunder Road and She’s the One had been played in clubs and theaters around New York City for a few months prior to this tour.
July 20th would be the first official date for the north east section of the Born To Run Tour. The album would be released one month later. Fortunately, this first show was captured by the great taper Dan Lapinski. This tour would also introduce three new members. Mighty Max Weinberg on drums, Roy Bittan on piano who replaced David Sancoius, who would go on to a very successful Jazz career, and finally Miami Steven Van Zandt on guitar. Miami Steve didn’t actually replace anyone, and he and the band had all know n each each other from being part of the Jersey Shore inner music circle for quite some time. It was Miami Steve’s suggestion to use a horn section for Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.
This is an excellent audience recording. Lapinski knows how to do it right. It starts out a bit distant on Incident On 57th. Street, there’s a split second of a cut between songs, no music is lost, and the quality starts to increase with Spirit In The Night. The recording is fully balanced with all instruments complimenting each other. There are times where Bruce’s vocals seem a bit distant, but I believe it’s because he’s not one to stand still. He does, like he always does, talk to the crowd, but there;s no story telling, and unfortunately, his voice while not singing, is distant and somewhat inaudible. It doesn’t seem like this recording has been tweaked by the “no Label” label, and that’s good. I will say, for the first few songs I had to turn my stereo up a bit to get the full effect, but found myself turning it back down by Born To Run.
Tenth Avenue Freeze Out is introduced as new song song, The Big Man takes the horn sections, its played very straight forward and the crowd applaud es it’s approval. Saint In The City is the great jam it always was back then, E Street Shuffle is played very differently than the LP version. Born To Run is played like the hit single it needs to be, powerful and energetic. Not like the anthem it would quickly become. There was already a buzz about the song ahead of time due to the promo for the song being released to radio stations. Thunder Road is also played pretty straight with the full band, as found on the album, as opposed to just the solo Bruce on piano version it would later evolve into live.
Disc two starts with the Big Man shushing the enthusiastic crowd, and telling them that “Ki ttys back in town” which gets a huge ovation, and it becomes the long traditional jam it always was. For some reason, Bruce changes or just gets wrong some vocals for Rosalita, I’ve never heard that done live before, but it also evolves into a great jam. 4th. Of July, A Love So Fine, Sha LA LA and Quarter To Three are the encore. Quarter To Three is again the good jam it was to end each show back then.
Again this audience recording given the year is excellent. The performance is very interesting. It’s the first major tour for the new official Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, with three new members. At times, they actually sound a bit apprehensive. This band had been recording the Bort To Run ablum, and trying to get it perfect. But getting to feel each other out in a live situation with all the improvisations of their live shows is entirley different, and that is what is most unique about Ready To Run. They were still a tight hungry band wanting to take over the world, with the weight of the world on their backs. By fall of ’75, they would flee to Great Britain.
Once again, the No Label, label has released another outstanding set. Keep ’em coming.