Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band‘s Hammersmith Odeon London ’75 is simply one of the greatest (if not greatest) live albums ever. The energy is unbelievable, the pacing perfect. What I like most is that this album is far from a greatest-hits collection, and songs such as “The E Street Shuffle” are so transformed that they become new. Yeah, “Born To Run” is on here, but it’s long before it was ground into dust by FM radio, and it’s not the best song here anyway.
The opening, “Thunder Road,” is stripped to the bones, with Springsteen singing to piano accompaniment only. The gentle vibe doesn’t hint at the explosion to come, and three tracks into the set (“Spirit In The Night”), it’s evident that this gig is special. Springsteen and The E Street Band give transcendent performances of “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),” “Kitty’s Back,” “Jungleland” and more. By the time they tear through “Detroit Medley,” one wonders what could be left. Extraordinary live set.