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Bruce Springsteen | Madison Square Garden 1988 • No Nukes 1979

The Boss serves up two more tasty live MSG platters from his glory days.

For most artists, self-releasing five historic live recordings in little more than a month would be seen as egomaniacal overkill. For Bruce Springsteen, it’s no big deal. In fact, it’s practically business as usual. The Boss’s long-running archival Live Series continues with two new gems recorded a decade apart in New York City. No Nukes 1979 compiles two tight, nearly identical hit-heavy sets he played with the E Street Band in Madison Square Garden during The Muse Concerts for a Non-Nuclear Future. Both shows — which included debut live performances of The River and an encore of Stay with Jackson Browne, Rosemary Butler and Tom Petty — were filmed and recorded for use in the 1980 soundtrack and film of the event. And both are typical of the high-velocity, high-quality shows the band was dishing out at the time. Not that they were slacking off when they returned to the venue under their own steam nearly a decade later on the final show of the Tunnel of Love Tour. That mammoth 207-minute show is captured on the Madison Square Garden 1988 set, a more varied and wide-reaching affair that transforms the mostly solo Tunnel album into a full-band blowout, augmented by rarities like Be True, Seeds, Part Man, Part Monkey and Light of Day, plus covers of Boom Boom, War, Sweet Soul Music, Raise Your Hand, The SonicsHave Love Will Travel, Woody Guthrie’s Vigilante Man, Jackie Wilson’s Lonely Teardrops, a dash of Born to Be Wild and even a stab at For Your Love from the soundcheck. Phew. Get ’em both — seriously — at the Live Bruce Springsteen site. And hurry up about it — at the rate he’s going, it won’t be long before drops another handful of gems.


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