In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen's breakthrough 1975 album "Born To Run," Columbia is prepping a box set that will include two DVDs along with a version of the album newly remastered by Bob Ludwig. One DVD will feature a performance at London's Hammersmith Odeon during a tour in support of the album, while the other will house a 90-minute documentary, "Wings For Wheels: The Making of 'Born To Run.'"
Due Nov. 15, the package will be rounded out by a 48-page book with previously unpublished photographs and an introduction by Springsteen.
The Nov. 18, 1975, Hammersmith show spans 16 songs over more than two hours, with Springsteen backed by his faithful E Street Band. The concert is presented in its entirety, with "Born To Run" represented by six of its eight songs: "Thunder Road," "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out," "Jungleland," "She's the One," "Backstreets" and the title track.
The original film was restored by Thom Zimny (who has worked on the live Springsteen videos "Live in New York," "Live in Barcelona" and "VH1 Storytellers"), with the audio remastered and remixed by Bob Clearmountain in stereo and 5.1 surround sound.
The documentary "Wings for Wheels" is rife with never-before-publicly released archival footage of Springsteen and his band in the studio and on stage. Among the clips are Springsteen's solo piano and guitar versions of "Born To Run" and performances of "Spirit in the Night," "Wild Billy's Circus Story" and "Thundercrack" captured during a 1973 concert at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theater.
Newly conducted interviews with Springsteen and past and present E Street Band members Roy Bittan, Ernest "Boom" Carter, Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, Nils Lofgren, David Sancious, Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Steven Van Zandt and Max Weinberg reflect on the legendary album. Springsteen's longtime manager/"Born To Run" co-producer Jon Landau is also interviewed, as are former manager Mike Appel, "Born To Run" engineer/future Interscope president Jimmy Iovine and photographer Eric Meola, who took the album's memorable cover shot of Springsteen and saxophonist Clemons.
"I believe that the combination of the great 1975 concert footage, the brilliant documentary of the making of the album and the dazzling remastering of 'Born to Run' add up to a nearly perfect storm of Bruce's music," says Landau.
I don't know if I'd be throwing around the expression "perfect storm" these days, but this does seem like the rare "celebration" of a classic album that actually gives you your money's worth.