Who’s the Boss? – Live/1975–85: Disc 1

Who's The Boss? Hi Everybody, welcome to the first album of the “Who’s the Boss?” series. On my quest to become a Springsteen fan, as I mentioned in the introductory article, Rock Out Loud’s Kristin suggested that I begin with the album Live/1975–85. There were several reasons for this. Among them are the fact that Bruce Springsteen has a reputation for putting on incredible live shows. Also, this album is a collection of tunes from several of his earlier albums. So, we get a little taste of everything. It also works out in that this album was released in the ’80s. We will be delving into pre and post ’80s albums. But this is a great place to start.
Since Live/1975–85 consists of 3 discs, this premiere album will be split up into 3 parts. So, let’s begin.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band released the 40-track box set Live 1975/85 on November 10th, 1986. The set either consisted of 5 records (ahhh, vinyl), 3 cassettes, or 3 cd’s. This album is not from one particular concert. These tracks span through several concerts. For each song, I will list the date and venue from which it came. Live 1975/85 became the first album since Stevie Wonder‘s 1976 set Songs In The Key Of Life to debut at Number One. This album is the second-best-selling live album in U.S. history, going 13x platinum. It only trails Garth Brooks’ Double Live, which is 21x platinum.

I can’t remember what I did 5 minutes ago. But, I do remember seeing this album in the store for the first time. It was the first box set I had ever seen. I didn’t have a job yet, so I didn’t have the money to buy a box set like that. But now, with the click of a button, this album is mine!

Now let’s play this thing! You can click on the song title if you want to listen to the song on YouTube.

Thunder Road

Recorded October 18, 1975 at The Roxy Theatre
Initial thought: I knew the title, but not the song. Usually, a concert starts out rocking. This is more intimate. It’s a different approach, and I like it! I like the song too. Good start!

Upon further listening: I already liked this song right from the start. I like it more and more with each listen. This Springsteen dude might make it big someday!

Adam Raised a Cain

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: This song has a bluesy sound to it. It rocks a little too, especially during the chorus. I love the guitar in this. Bruce has the perfect voice for the Blues. 2 for 2 so far!

Upon further listening: During my Springsteen education, I have learned that Bruce and his dad had a tumultuous relationship. With that knowledge, the lyrics are a lot more powerful.

Spirit In the Night

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: Another Rock ‘n’ Blues song. While the last song was more guitar heavy, this one is more keyboards and sax heavy. I like this one too. I’m not sure if there is a studio version of this song, but it seems like this would be a much better live song than a studio song.

Upon further listening: This one didn’t get any better, or any worse for me. I still think this is a cool live song.

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

Recorded December 31, 1980 at Nassau Coliseum

Initial thought: OK, I have a new favorite Bruce Springsteen song, and this is it! At the beginning of the song, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. But by the time he hit the first chorus, I was hooked!

Upon further listening: Still love it!!! It is in regular rotation on my iPod.

Paradise By the “C”

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: Well, I suppose since Springsteen’s concerts are like 20 hours long, that he needs to rest his voice for a few minutes. I like how this brings the E Street Band to the forefront.

Upon further listening: I really love this band. And I believe everybody gets showcased here.

Fire

Recorded December 16, 1978 at the Winterland. The short spoken intro is from July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: It might take me a few more listens to like this song. It’s not bad. But, if you’re doing something else while it’s on, you forget that it’s playing.

Upon further listening: I totally forgot that this was a Pointer Sisters song. I love the Pointers, and their version of this song is on my iPod. Now this is coming back to me. I do like this song a lot more now too. This is another one that just keeps getting better and better.

Growin’ Up

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: Nice recovery. I like this song a lot. Clarence Clemons rocks! Wait a minute. Where did the music go, and what is this yapping?! Oh my God, shut up already!! Can’t Clarence jump back in? OK, after four long painful minutes this song is finally rocking again. I would have absolutely loved this song if the four minutes in the middle were cut out.

Upon further listening: This is one of the first things that Kristin schooled me on. Apparently, Bruce is known for talking in his shows. It is all part of his storytelling. That helps a little. It seems like this would be better to see live than just listening on my headphones. That’s no a knock. Seeing him do this in person would make it feel like he’s connecting to his audience on a more personal level. I appreciate this more now, thanks to Kristin. If there is a studio version of this song, I’m sure I will love it.

It’s Hard to Be a Saint In the City

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: This song is rockin’! I like it! Especially the guitar towards the end.

Upon further listening: I love this one! So, so good!

Backstreets

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: I’m really liking the piano at the beginning. This is a pretty epic song. We have a winner here. It didn’t seem like a seven minute song.

Upon further listening: This is another song that I liked from the first time I heard it, and it just keeps getting better.

Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: Like “Thunder Road”, I had heard of this song, but don’t ever remember listening to it. OK, this is a really good one too.

Upon further listening: This is a great, fun, upbeat song! What’s not fun about getting a girl you like to come out with you, even though her parents disapprove?! There’s nothing like forbidden love!

Raise Your Hand

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: This is a good bar song. I think I would rather listen to “Raise Your Hands” from Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. This isn’t bad though. Oh dear God! There is just over 2 minutes left in the song and he’s yapping again!  I liked the song. That was a fun one.

Upon further listening: This is another winner. I really like this one too.  The part of the song where he is talking, he is getting the crowd into the song even more.

Hungry Heart

Recorded December 28, 1980 at Nassau Coliseum

Initial thought: Finally a song I know! I always liked this one a lot. It does sound good live.

Upon further listening: I always liked this song a lot, and it is great live. Outstanding!

Two Hearts

Recorded July 8, 1981 at Meadowlands Arena

Initial thought: I had never heard this song before. I love it! Great way to end the first disc. Max Weinberg is awesome on drums!

Upon further listening: I still love this one. It really puts me in a good mood.

Fun Facts

Fun Facts. Woo-ooo-ooo. Say it proud and Geek Out Loud, it’s fun facts

– Now I have an idea to why I took an instant liking to “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).” Long time readers may know that Kiss Unmasked was one of the first albums I ever owned. There was a ballad called “Shandi” on that album. Well, according to KISS: Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography, “Shandi” was inspired by the Hollies cover of “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

And special thanks to Kristin for providing the rest of these fun facts:

– Last week, one of the fun facts was that the first song Bruce learned to play on guitar is “Twist and Shout.” In relation to that, the night John Lennon was murdered (December 8, 1980), Springsteen was playing in nearby Philadelphia. He also played another show in the same place the next night, and addressed the tragedy – “It’s a hard night to come out and play, but there’s just nothing else you can do.”

– Bruce won’t have an opening band because he was actually booed (not BRUUUUUUCED) as an opening act, and he said he never wanted to put another band in a position like that.

– Bruce’s only #1 single is not sung by him… Manfred Mann’s cover of “Blinded By The Light


I hope you enjoyed this installment of Who’s the Boss?. We’ll be back with disc 2 next Monday. Please leave your thoughts and/or Bruce Springsteen memories you may have.

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6 thoughts on “Who’s the Boss? – Live/1975–85: Disc 1”

  1. “Rosalita” is the only Bruce song I own. For now. Once I have time to listen to this whole album that could change.

    1. I’m really liking this album. But, since it’s 3 discs long, it’s not something that I put into heavy rotation. If the songs come up in my shuffle, I don’t skip by them. I am listening to the whole album again while I write these articles, and I do enjoy it. I am looking forward to the next album, but in the meantime, this is fun.

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