Bruce Springsteen Los Angeles April 23 1988

Los Angeles, April 23, 1988 is an archive released live recording of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band with the Horns Of Love.

It was recorded at the Los Angeles Sports Arena during the Tunnel Of Love tour and is available from liveBruceSpringsteen.net.

This follows on from previous archive recordings from 1975, 1978, 1980 and 1984 that have been released in the same way.

After the worldwide success of Born In the USA in 1984/85, Springsteen went back into his shell with the Tunnel Of Love album and whilst it sold well, it lacked the commerciality of his earlier album.

By this stage Nils Lofgren was a member of the E Street Band after Miami Steve Van Zandt had left. His future wife and mother of three children, Patti Scialfi was also a member.

Bruce Springsteen Los Angeles April 23 1988

Songs On Bruce Springsteen Los Angeles April 23 1988

SET ONE

Tunnel of Love – 7:59 (originally on the studio album Tunnel Of Love)
Be True – 4:52 (b side to the Fade Away single)
Adam Raised a Cain – 5:51 (Darkness On The Edge Of Town)
Two Faces – 4:39 (Tunnel Of Love)
All That Heaven Will Allow – 11:21 (Tunnel Of Love)
Seeds – 5:47
Roulette – 4:22 (b side to the One Step Up single)
Cover Me – 7:31 (Born in the U.S.A.)
Brilliant Disguise – 5:11 (Tunnel Of Love)
Spare Parts – 10:09 (Tunnel Of Love)
War – 2:59
Born in the U.S.A. – 8:18 (Born in the U.S.A.)

SET TWO

Tougher Than The Rest – 6:02 (Tunnel Of Love)
Ain’t Got You – 2:33 (Tunnel Of Love)
She’s the One – 6:57 (Born To Run)
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch) – 6:00 (The River)
I’m A Coward – 9:42
I’m On Fire – 4:19 (Born in the U.S.A.)
One Step Up – 5:49 (Tunnel Of Love)
Part Man, Part Monkey – 4:53 (later to appear as the B side to 57 Channels)
Backstreets – 7:52 (Born To Run)
Dancing in the Dark – 6:22 (Born in the U.S.A.)
Light Of Day – 7:36 (written by Springsteen, first performed by Joan Jett)

FIRST ENCORE

Happy Birthday To Roy Orbison – 3:06
Born to Run – 5:32 (Born To Run)
Hungry Heart – 5:00 (The River)
Glory Days – 8:58 (Born in the U.S.A.)
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) – 10:26 (The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle)

SECOND ENCORE

Have Love, Will Travel – 5:47
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out – 4:34 (Born To Run)
Sweet Soul Music – 3:28
Raise Your Hand – 6:37

The Wikipedia comments on this tour are worth reading. Springsteen was deliberating trying to escape from performing a greatest hits concert. This tour was the only time I have seen Springsteen live (at Villa Park in Birmingham) and I was left disappointed because so many of my favourite songs were missing. Even Born To Run was toned down from the uplifting power anthem but, in hindsight, I appreciate this alternative approach.

I prefer his 1970s work but the brooding of the Tunnel of Love tracks means that the relief provided by the songs from Born In The USA is a much appreciated relief and I think the songs sound better for it.

I suspect this is a fans only release. I’ve bought it as a delayed souvenir but I’m not expecting it to rival the popularity of the 1975, 1978 and 1980 live albums based on Born To Run, Darkness On The Edge Of Town and The River. It does however have a unique place in the (legal) Springsteen live recordings and that makes it well worth getting.

As normal with these authorised releases, the sound quality is very good and Springsteen is clearly happy with the performance. This is also the complete performance so you get plenty of Springsteen’s chatter that I think make his live albums so special.

My thoughts on ratings at the moment are:

  • Set list 7/10 – I appreciate the change but I don’t think these songs match his early work.
  • Performance 9/10 – this is the E Street band so it’s bound to be excellent but I think it has lost some of the intensity. It was down in 1980 and it has carried on down. Harsh I know but I am judging this against some of the very best live music every recorded.
  • Atmosphere & Authenticity 10/10 – the full concert with great sound and all the chatter.
  • Overall that gives it a total of 26/30. Very good but without hitting the dizzy peaks that Springsteen is capable of reaching.

Buying Bruce Springsteen Los Angeles April 23 1988

It is only available from liveBruceSpringsteen.net

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