This is the first Bruce Springsteen album I have ever bought brand new. I have a ton of his albums, but I always bought them second hand. Perhaps the fact that I wanted to buy his new book, Born to Run. I took the plunge and got the cd/book together. Also the fact that 5 unreleased songs were included on this cd, and the songs chosen were not always “the hits”.
Baby I – This was a song by his first band, The Castiles from 1966. To me it is very similar to songs of the day. Maybe a little Kinks influence.
You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover – Another Castiles song from 1967, which is actually a cover of a Willie Dixon song. The beginning has aspects of Wild Thing by The Troggs. It also has a bit of an blues feel with the harmonica, and the Hammond organ work is pretty cool.
He`s Guilty (The Judge Song) – This was the band Steel Mill from 1970. Steel Mill also included Vini Lopez, Danny Federici, and Steve Van Zandt. The 3 members went on to form the E Street Band. This song has an early James Gang meets early Thin Lizzy meets Southern Gospel. This is a real cool sing-a-long.
The Ballad Of Jesse James – This was a song from The Bruce Springsteen band from 1971. One of many bands that were short lived after Steel Mill broke up. The guitar work and Bruce`s lyrics are the stars here. This song could very easily have turned up on an Allman Brothers, Little Feat or Lynyrd Skynyrd album and would have been a sure fire hit.
Henry Boy – This is Bruce Springsteen solo from 1972. I can only assume this is an early take on the song that would eventually become Rosalita. Another amazing song. (I included live footage of this song. The version on this album is a studio version however)
I won`t go into detail about the remaining 13 songs but suffice it to say the selections are pretty cool. Bruce didn`t go the hit route. He chose many songs from his long list of albums, including many b sides that will be new to a lot of listeners that only know the hits.
Of course he included Born To Run, Badlands, The River and Born In The USA, but he also included 4th Of July Asbury Park (Sandy), Growin` Up, My Father`s House, Brilliant Disguise, Living Proof, The Ghost Of Tom Joad, The Rising, Long Time Comin`, and Wrecking Ball.
I really enjoyed this album. Many of the songs I had not heard in years, some were new, and the obligatory songs will never get old.