Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – Legendary Broadcast 1978 (ESB NJ91978A/B/C)

Legendary Broadcast 1978 (ESB NJ91978A/B/C)

Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ – September 19th, 1978

Disc 1 (79:51):  Badlands, Streets of Fire, Spirit In The Night, Darkness At The Edge Of Town, Independence Day, The Promised Land, Prove It All Night, Racing In The Street, Thunder Road, Meeting Across the River, Jungleland, DJ Chat with John Scher

Disc 2 (66:46):  DJ Chat with Scher and Snadowsky, Vin Scelsa Interview With Bruce And E Streeters, DJ Chat, Kitty’s Back, Fire, Candy’s Room, Because the Night, Point Blank, Not Fade Away, She’s The One

Disc 3 (62:41):  Backstreets, Rosalita, DJ Chat, 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), Born To Run, Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, Detroit Medley, Raise Your Hand, Closing Comments

The radio broadcast of the September 19th, 1978 Bruce Springsteen show in Passaic is among the all time legendary unofficial titles.  Its initial vinyl release on Piece De Resistance on Slipped Disc lead to legal action against the manufacturer.  The CD pressing Piece De Resistance (Great Dane GDR CD 9015) was the first for the great label, and is the first in a line of great pressings including Southside Bruce And The E Street Jukes (Seagull SEA034/2) and most recently as Passaic Night (CC 476/477/478). 

Jan Rodenrijs, author of Wanted-The BS Bootleg Guide, claims the Great Dane release has “changes in volume, especially notable during ‘Because The Night'” (which both the Seagull and Crystal Cat do not have) and in the Seagull release “Not Fade Away-She’s the One” has some speed problems” although “the sound is slightly more clear compared to the GDR release.”

Legendary Broadcast 1978 is clear and contains all of the station breaks, interviews, and call letters from the broadcast which are omitted from the others.  It appeared online in April 2009 and now finally receives a silver pressed title all its own. 

Quite contrary to a pre-FM master, this is what was heard on WNEW the night of the show, broadcast over the entire New York metropolitan area and other stations on the east coast including WMMR in Philadelphia.  While a perfect, uncluttered recording of the concert along is perferable by many to experience the music and the event, releases such as this one recognizes also the medium as well.  Hearing the interviews and DJ comments helps to place it in better historic context. 

Because it was recorded on cassettes there is the occasional tape flip.  They are not destructive except for one before “Not Fade Away.”  It has been speed corrected (“Rosalita” was adjusted even more to keep in pitch) and the common source was used for “Spirit In The Night” and “Darkness On The Edge Of Town.”

A long and in-depth review of the show can be read on Cliff’s review for the Crystal Cat release.  But this show has attained legendary status because, according to author Lawrence Kirsch in his book The Light In Darkness:

“The September 19th concert at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, in Bruce’s home state of New Jersey, is arguably Bruce Springsteen’s single greatest live performance. Why this particular show? Because first, it was Bruce’s single largest audience in his career up to that point: it was broadcast up and down the entire East Coast, Bruce’s original fan base. This show was therefore not only a concert ‘thank you’ to those loyal fans, but a de facto live album in the making, with Bruce’s engineer on Born To Run and Darkness– and future Interscope Records head – Jimmy Iovine, mixing live. Though the entire Darkness tour was brilliant, and the band always played at an impossibly tighter level for the radio; there was something about this show that puts it above and beyond even the legendary Bob Dylan Royal Albert Hall ’66 show as the greatest single rock and roll show ever.”

Legendary Broadcast 1978 is packaged in a standard fatboy jewel case with interesting graphics which replicate an old LP label. 

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