Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Bruce Springsteen (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica); Steve Van Zandt (acoustic & electric guitars, background vocals); Nils Lofgren (acoustic & electric guitars, background vocals); Clarence Clemons (saxophone, percussion, background vocals); Roy Bittan (piano, synthesizer, background vocals); Danny Federici (organ, accordion, glockenspiel, keyboards, background vocals); Patty Scialfa (sunthesizer, background vocals); Max Weinberg (drums).
Flo & Eddie: Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan.
Miami Horns: Stan Harrison (tenor saxophone); Eddie Manion (baritone saxophone); Mark Pender (trumpet); Richie La Bamba (trombone).
Producers: Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin.
Recorded live between 1975 and 1985.
There's one song from a 1975 show, which makes the title of this box set true in the literal sense, and eight from a 1978 appearance at the Roxy in Los Angeles, but in essence this is Bruce Springsteen in the '80s--physically huge, politically charged and desperate to connect. You get the sense this is no accident. LIVE/1975-85 easily could have been a celebration of Springsteen's rise to rock & roll fame, instead, it's a concerted effort to make something of it. Almost all of LIVE/1975-85 was recorded in arenas and stadiums and almost all of it is intent on spreading a message.
The cover song that resonates most isn't the party encore "Raise Your Hand"(from 1978) but the anti-war chant "War" (from 1985). The most astonishing sequence of songs is all acoustic and almost all angry: Woody Guthrie's protest song "This Land Is Your Land" and Springsteen's own "Nebraska," "Johnny 99" and "Reason To Believe." With its reverberant keyboards and a haunting intro that quotes the soul classic "Nowhere to Run," even the love song "Cover Me" sounds like some sort of protest. There's lots of celebrating and rocking here, too, but mostly there's lots to think about.