[This blogpost is also available in German: The Live Series: Songs Under Cover vol 2 (auf Deutsch)]
On March 5, 2021, a new live compilation of the Bruce Springsteen Archives was released via streaming services. It is the ninth in a series of themed live playlists from Springsteen (“the Live Series”) and the second in a collection of covers that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have played over the years. The first episode (the Live Series Under Cover) was released on February 14, 2020.
The Live Series: Songs Under Cover Vol 2 contains 15 interesting performances from 1975 to 2016. The songs are sorted chronologically, starting with a 1975 rendition of Mountain of Love at the Tower Theater, Upper Darby. The song is written by Harold Dorman and made famous by Johnny Rivers in the 1960s. According to BruceBase, Springsteen has played the song live only 11 times. Springsteen’s voice sounds very young. I like this version. It is rocky and fun, and it kicks off the playlist in a good way.
The highlights of this playlist for me are:
- The Buddy Holly hit Rave On from the Roxy (1975), a show that was also broadcasted on KMET-FM radio.
- The Creedence Clearwater classic Who’ll Stop the Rain (the River tour, 1981) is a very good song that Springsteen and the E Street Band have covered quite a number of times (147 times). I was lucky to catch it in Gothenburg in 2012.
- The first known Springsteen performance of Drift Away (1984) is the true gem of this playlist. Here with Steven Van Zandt and The Miami Horns – a fantastic song and a fantastic rendition!
- It’s Been a Long Time (v.Zandt) has been one of my favorite Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’ songs since the release of their album Better Days (1991). Southside Johnny made a brief guest appearance on this show in New Jersey (1993).
- Many of the shows of the second leg of the High Hopes Tour – Oceania (2014) opened with different covers. Stayin’ Alive and Highway to Hell, for example, were included on the first Under Cover release. The two shows in Auckland (2014) opened with acoustic solo covers of local heroine Lordes megahit Royals, a very interesting and unique choice that apparently made Lorde “teary”.
- Mountain of Love – Live at the Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA – 12/31/1975
- Goin’ Back – Live at the Roxy, West Hollywood, CA – 10/18/1975
- Rave On – Live at the Roxy, West Hollywood, CA – 07/07/1978
- Stay (with Jackson Browne) – Live at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – 09/21/1979
- Who’ll Stop the Rain – Live at Wembley Arena, London, UK – 06/05/1981
- Drift Away – Live at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ – 08/20/1984
- Love Me Tender – Live at Joe Louise Arena, Detroit, MI – 03/28/1988
- Lonely Teardrops – Live at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – 05/23/1988
- Highway 61 Revisited (with Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt) – Live at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA – 11/16/1990
- It’s Been A Long Time – Live at Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ – 06/24/1993
- Then She Kissed Me – Live at the Scottrade Center, St. Louise, MO – 08/23/2008
- Royals – Live at Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, NZ – 03/01/2014
- Clampdown – Live at Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA – 04/22/2014
- Rebel Rebel – Live at Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA – 01/16/2016
- Take It Easy – Live at the United Center, Chicago, IL – 01/19/2016
The Live Series: