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Bruce Springsteen: The Ties That Bind: The River Collection [CD/DVD]

Track List

>Ties That Bind, The
>Sherry Darling
>Jackson Cage
>Two Hearts
>Independence Day
>Hungry Heart
>Out in the Street
>Crush on You
>You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
>I Wanna Marry You
>River, The
>Point Blank
>Cadillac Ranch
>I'm a Rocker
>Fade Away
>Stolen Car
>Ramrod
>Price You Pay, The
>Drive All Night
>Wreck on the Highway
>Ties That Bind, The
>Cindy
>Hungry Heart
>Stolen Car (Vs. 1)
>Be True
>River, The
>You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
>Price You Pay, The
>I Wanna Marry You
>Loose End
>Meet Me in the City
>Man Who Got Away, The
>Little White Lies
>Time That Never Was, The
>Night Fire
>Whitetown
>Chain Lightning
>Party Lights
>Paradise by the "C"
>Stray Bullet
>Mr. Outside
>Roulette
>Restless Nights
>Where the Bands Are
>Dollhouse
>Living on the Edge of the World
>Take 'Em as They Come
>Ricky Wants a Man of Her Own
>I Wanna Be with You
>Mary Lou
>Held Up Without a Gun
>From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)
>Ties That Bind [Documentary], The
>Born to Run
>Prove It All Night
>Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
>Jackson Cage
>Two Hearts
>Promised Land, The
>Out in the Street
>River, The
>Badlands
>Thunder Road
>No Money Down
>Cadillac Ranch
>Hungry Heart
>Fire
>Sherry Darling
>I Wanna Marry You
>Crush on You
>Ramrod
>You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
>Born to Run
>Prove It All Night
>Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
>Jackson Cage
>Two Hearts
>Promised Land, The
>Out in the Street
>River, The
>Badlands
>Thunder Road
>No Money Down
>Cadillac Ranch
>Hungry Heart
>Fire
>Sherry Darling
>I Wanna Marry You
>Crush on You
>Ramrod
>You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
>Born to Run
>Prove It All Night
>Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
>Jackson Cage
>Two Hearts
>Promised Land, The
>Out in the Street
>River, The
>Badlands
>Thunder Road
>No Money Down
>Cadillac Ranch
>Hungry Heart
>Fire
>Sherry Darling
>I Wanna Marry You
>Crush on You
>Ramrod
>You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
>Drive All Night
>Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
>I'm a Rocker
>Jungleland
>Detroit Medley
>Where the Bands Are [Credits]
>Ramrod [River Tour Rehearsal] [Bonus Track]
>Cadillac Ranch [River Tour Rehearsal] [Bonus Track]
>Fire [River Tour Rehearsal] [Bonus Track]
>Crush on You [River Tour Rehearsal] [Bonus Track]
>Sherry Darling [River Tour Rehearsal] [Bonus Track]

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "This music isn't transitional: It searches for answers but knows its sound, which is what makes this the most satisfying of Springsteen's archival album sets."

Paste (magazine) - "'Out in the Street,' 'Rosalita,' and 'The Detroit Medley' offer persuasive evidence to the claim that Springsteen is the greatest live performer that rock and roll has produced."

Pitchfork (Website) - "As they spill out, the songs play off each other, accentuating the sorrow or celebration heard in their predecessors."

Album Notes

Personnel: Bruce Springsteen (vocals, guitar); Steve Van Zandt (vocals, guitar); Roy Bittan (vocals, piano); Kevin Buell (guitar); Clarence Clemons (saxophone, percussion); Danny Federici (organ, keyboards); Max Weinberg (drums).

Audio Mixers: Chuck Plotkin; Toby Scott; Bob Clearmountain.

Liner Note Author: Mikal Gilmore.

Recording information: Power Station, New York, NY.

Photographers: Lynn Goldsmith; Peter Howes; Jim Marchese; Frank Stefanko; David Gahr; Jimmy Wachtel; Lawrence Kirsch; Anastasia Pantsios; Jim Scott ; Joel Bernstein.

Bruce Springsteen's ambition is his blessing and his curse. He's always believed that rock & roll is a music that can express people's deepest hopes and dreams and change their lives, and his best work communicates that brilliantly. But Springsteen often seems to doubt his own abilities and struggles under the weight of his own (high) standards, and many of Springsteen's best albums were painstakingly created as he spent months in the studio, searching for the right set of songs and performances that would tell the larger story in his mind. Springsteen is too smart to believe you can will a masterpiece into creation, but he does have a work ethic that suggests nothing worthwhile comes without sweat and sore muscles, and the man who regularly plays energetic three-hour shows has never hesitated to do whatever it takes to get the details just right in the studio, even if the desire is to create something that sounds explosive and spontaneous. After taking his early urban folk tales of cars and girls as far as he could on Born to Run, Springsteen took a long, hard look at the lives of those same kids, now saddled with adult responsibilities and realizing that the American Dream was increasingly out of their grasp, on 1978's Darkness on the Edge of Town. With 1980's The River, Springsteen sought to expand on those themes while also offering more of the tough, bar-band rock that was his trademark (and often conspicuous in its absence on Darkness), and by the time it was released it had swelled into Springsteen's first two-LP set. After presenting his fans with a grand-scale study of how Darkness on the Edge of Town came into being on the 2010 box set The Promise, Springsteen does the same for The River with The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, which features a newly remastered edition of the original album along with a bonus disc of outtakes (most previously unreleased) and an early single-LP version of the album that Springsteen opted not to release because it failed to tell the story he had envisioned. The short version sounds like the rough draft that it is, though it also includes several songs that didn't appear on the longer final version ("Loose Ends" and "To Be True" in particular are superb songs that simply didn't fit the flow of the album), as well as different versions of a few tracks that do ("The Ties That Bind" contains different lyrics, while "Stolen Car" and "You Can Look [But You Better Not Touch]" feature different arrangements). And the outtakes disc offers 22 variations on the album's themes that point to any number of directions the album could have gone, and if nothing else it says a great deal about Springsteen that he had enough good songs that numbers as strong as "Party Lights," "Roulette," "Where the Bands Are," and "Chain Lightning" could end up on the shelf. The Ties That Bind also includes a documentary (on DVD or Blu-ray) on the making of the album, as well as a full concert filmed in 1980 that finds Springsteen & the E Street Band in incendiary form. The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, like a high-profile DVD release of the 2000s, is more about the bonus features than the main feature, but the extras lend an invaluable perspective to one of the most important works in Springsteen's catalog, and this set makes it possible to imagine the many chapters that could have been added or removed from the album while still telling the same powerful story, as well as documenting the thought and effort Springsteen put into the process. ~ Mark Deming



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