More Springsteen Downloads

I wrote a while back about my Springsteen download problem, and that problem hasn’t gone away – although there have actually been a small handful of shows he’s released that I haven’t bought.

There’s usually a show released on the first Friday of each month, but this month I saw that it had been delayed for “a seasonal release”, and one thing sprang immediately to mind – are they going to release the 1978 San Francisco Winterland show?

Friday 20th came along and the release came out. Had he released the 1978 San Francisco Winterland show?
Yes and no.
They actually released *both* 1978 San Francisco Winterland shows – the one that was broadcast on the radio and the second night as well.

The associated blog explains about the recordings, and just how complicated it was to make live recordings at the time. The radio broadcast show only exists on a two-track recording, but the show from the following night actually existed on a full multi-track recording – which no-one knew existed.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I spent some of my first ever salary on Live in the Promised Land, recorded at the Winterland in San Francisco in 1978.
This has remained a favourite show, and one I always come back to – I’ve always wondered if this was because it was the first one I heard, or whether it was actually one of the best shows.
The item on the release on Backstreets (a magazine/fanzine that was created on the back of a 1978 show in Seattle) is illuminating because it suggests that the Winterland radio broadcast *is* one of the very best shows. I might just have hit it lucky when I bought that triple CD set back in 1990.

This official release sounds great. You can hear everything clearly, and there’s a lovely bass sound.
It’s a bit strange, hearing a new version of something I’ve listened to a lot over the course of almost 30 years.

I obviously started with Prove It All Night, with the most amazing guitar intro. It’s about the best thing he’s ever done, never fails to make me stop and listen.
There is no footage of the show, but the audio is on Youtube – take a listen, I think it’s incredible.

Moving on to the second night is interesting. I’ve never heard the show before – what difference does a multi-track recording make? And how different is that night’s Prove It All Night?
First impression is that it’s a bit crisper and cleaner sound – this was mixed from the individually recorded source tracks, whereas the first night is a two-track source of the pre-mixed feed to the PA and is perhaps a bit rough in places.
The guitar sound in Prove It leaps out, much sharper, less distortion especially when the band kicks in. The solo is clearly different, so it was very obviously improvised each night. This is where familiarity helps – I know the first night’s solo note for note – but this one is seriously good, and maybe slightly longer.

Dipping into a few other songs, the sound is great – rich, clean, distortion free.

BTW there’s a blog post about the 1978 radio broadcasts – worth a read.

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