This excellent two-disc concert set captures Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing in London for the first time in 1975. Recorded just after the release of BORN TO RUN--which would ensure the Boss's place on the rock-&-roll map for all eternity--the HAMMERSMITH ODEON concert represents a young band bursting with ambition, attitude, and energy, and ripping through a set with the hunger that has rightfully conferred legendary status upon Springsteen concerts.
From the spare opening version of "Thunder Road" to the rollicking "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)," Bruce is in fine form here, and his band--shifting between soulful R&B, jazzy explorations, and spit-fire rock--plays like a monster. In fact, there is a ragged leanness to the band's style that would begin to ebb some years later, and while Springsteen's backing ensembles have remained powerful and ferocious up into the 2000s, there is something pure and beautiful about this particular group. As such, it is a genuine must-have for any rock-&-roll fan.
Uncut (p.122) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "The likes of 'Spirit In The Night' and 'It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City' offer vivid insights into the road that Springsteen and his band had travelled."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.126) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The E Streeters' operatic showband bombast reached a watershed during this period..."