Essential Listening: Bruce Springsteen – Roxy Night (3CD)

Roxy Night (3CD)

3 DISC BROADCAST OF SPRINGSTEENS LOS ANGELES CONCERT FROM HIS LEGENDARY 1978 DARKNESS TOUR

Often flagged by fans as the best gig Bruce & The E Street Band ever played, although perhaps this a judgment influenced by the fact that, as with four other shows from the legendary Darkness Tour in 1978, it was broadcast on FM Radio (and so tapes and other formats have changed hands routinely ever since), listening to this recording again today one has to acknowledge that this contingency might just be correct!

The sound for a start is superb and while rather awful versions of the same show are in circulation, a good quality replication of the original FM broadcast reveals a crystal clear presentation to the extent it allows the listener today to experience what those who had tuned in to K.M.E.T. FM Los Angeles, on the night of July 7th 1978, heard coming through their FM receiver (presuming a reasonably up-to-date set, fitted with a contemporary FM aerial had been installed).

And it must be said that while perhaps the ambience of actually having been at the show is an experience one could never re-live, recordings of this quality are certainly the next best thing. But what else makes this gig such a heralded event amongst those in the know? Is it the first ever performance by ESB of Buddy Holly's Rave On kicking off proceedings? Point Blank debuted with alternative lyrics? Or is it the solo piano version of Independence Day? That infamous intro to the second set Bootleggers Roll Your Tapes an interesting statement in retrospect, considering such an instruction would have been more relevant to those sat at home with an line-in direct to their receiver, than anyone in the audience with a shaky cassette recorder fitted with a 10 buck mic, whose recording was no doubt worthless by the time recordings of the direct broadcast had hit the pavement

In answer to this question, perhaps all these things contributed to the legend now surrounding the Roxy show, but would anyone still be shouting about it if the show itself was lame, disappointing or routine (although if anyone claims to have ever witnessed a routine Springsteen show, they are either dead themselves or lying)  No, the real reason for the enormous esteem surrounding the concert given by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band on July 7th 1978 at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, is obvious to anyone who either attended, listened in or has heard a (decent) tape. And if you are not yet in that category, just slip disc one into your player. It'll be just as obvious to you.

DISC 1

1. Intro 01:53 2. Rave On 02:37 3. Badlands 05:23 4. Spirit In The Night 08:09 5. Darkness On The Edge Of Town 05:05 6. Candy's Room 03:39 7. For You 07:04 8. Point Blank 07:39 9. The Promised Land 05:52 10. Prove It All Night 09:50 11. Racing Intro 01:02 12. Racing In the Street 09:24 13. Thunder Road 05:48 14. Outro First Set 00:48

 DISC 2

1. Paradise by the C 04:18 2. Fire 03:15 3. Adam Raised a Cain 05:41 4. Mona 07:53 5. She's the One 06:08 6. Growin' Up09:16 7. It's Hard To Be a Saint in the City 04:44 8. Backstreets 14:33 9. Heartbreak Hotel 02:28 10. Rosalita (come Out Tonight) 11:22

DISC 3

1. Independence Day 06:16 2. Born To Run 05:35 3. Because The Night 06:09 4. Raise Your Hand 06:11 5. Radio Spot 02:22 6. Twist and Shout 09:15 7. The Classic 1978 Dave Herman Interview 41.41