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Old 29-12-2015, 07:52 PM
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Default Bruce Springsteen philadelphia 18th august 1978 (JEMS/ER)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
This, Is Not A Test
The Spectrum
Philadelphia, PA
August 18, 1978
ER Archive Audience Master Tape

Recording Gear: AKG D1000E mic > UHER CR134 cassette recorder

2013 Transfer: Maxell UD 90 master cassettes > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth-adjusted) > Sound Devices USBPre2 (24/96 Audacity 2.0 capture) > Peak 6.0 with iZotope Ozone (speed corrected) > iZotope MBIT+ convert to 16/44.1 > FLAC

01 Summertime Blues
02 Badlands
03 Spirit In The Night
04 Darkness On The Edge Of Town
05 Factory
06 The Promised Land
07 Prove It All Night
08 Racing In The Street
09 Thunder Road
10 Jungleland
11 *Paradise By The "C" (from Fanatic Records' Philadelphia Special Revisited)
12 *The Fever (from Philadelphia Special Revisited)
13 *Sherry Darling (spoken intro patched from Philadelphia Special Revisited)
14 Sandy
15 Mona > She's the One
16 Growin' Up
17 *Backstreets (ending patched from Philadelphia Special Revisited)
18 *Rosalita (from Philadelphia Special Revisited)
19 Born To Run
20 Because The Night
21 Rave On (with Gary Busey)
22 *Quarter To Three (with Gary Busey) (ending patched from Philadelphia Special Revisited)

Welcome back to the seventh in a series of releases from the ER Archives, the collection of an active '70s taper and trader who stepped away from collecting, leaving his tapes dormant until now. ER's collection contains previously uncirculated shows as well as upgrades to circulating tapes, both audience and soundboard. He used high-end tape decks and good tape, so his copies of even well-known shows may well be improvements.

Installment No. 7 is the second master tape in the series recorded by ER himself: The Spectrum, Philadelphia, August 18, 1978, the first of back-to-back Philly nights in the midst of what you might call the heart of the Darkness tour.

The second night circulates as a soundboard tape, but the extant source of the first night is a solid audience tape pressed to vinyl back in the day as The Philadelphia Special. To the best of our knowledge, circulating copies of this show come from vinyl, not the original tape source, and our friend at Fanatic Records released a nice transfer of the original LPs in February 2012 (an upgrade to his own 2008-2009 edition).

The ER master is a completely different, uncirculated and superior recording. In fact, I can't think of another Darkness arena recording that sounds this close up, with the microphone positioning right in line with the PA for long stretches (e.g. The Big Man's baritone sax notes sounding fuller than ever on "Racing in the Street"). ER says he had to move around on occasion this night, and while the sound does shift a bit, for me it remains impressive throughout. Here's his recollection:

"Seeing Bruce in the summer of 1978 came with a unique set of obstacles, for a taper at least. Add to that I was bringing in a carry bag the size of a very large shoe box, which made the experience even more daunting. Given it was summer, I had no jacket to cover the bag, so I was just hoping to slip by security and walk quickly in the door. It worked! I made it down to the floor to set up. This time I did not have a mic stand (no crutches), so this was a handheld project. As you can hear, there are a few souls with unbridled enthusiasm on the recording: Let’s call them Mr Whoo Hoo and Mr Brucie! I tried to position myself away from them and even moved at intermission. The problem arose at the start of the second set: security was on the prowl and they started pointing at me vigorously. I had to lower my mic and start evasive procedures. When one of my all time favorites, "The Fever," was played I almost cried! Hence the loss of some of the show. I did recover to a new spot and continued taping but always with an eye out. Couldn’t get the set end for some memory-lapse reason, but the rest is there for all to enjoy. JEMS was able to master and clean up my tape and patch in the missing pieces from the second source. The end result is a complete and much improved sounding show."

As ER alludes to, the first set is complete, but the start of the second set is joined in progress with the intro to "Sherry Darling." The last few minutes "Backstreets," all of "Rosalita" and the last couple minutes of "Quarter to Three" are also MIA. JEMS used Fanatic's Philadelphia Special Revisited to fill in the gaps, adding "Paradise By the 'C'," "The Fever," most of the spoken intro to "Sherry," the missing bit of "Backstreets," "Rosalita" and the end of "Quarter" remastered and speed corrected to match as best they can.

While the change of sources is obvious, the result is very listenable indeed, with one caveat. The original LP source Fanatic worked with had a few flaws that are carried over here: a small tape gap/jump in "Paradise By the 'C'" and a couple of other ones in the organ solo on "The Fever." Originally I thought these were skips in the vinyl, but another copy of the vinyl confirmed the same issues. Again, minor stuff, but just so you know. Samples provided.

Setting aside all that, hearing this show again in this quality should prove quite a treat. The heart of the Darkness tour means Bruce and the band are truly firing on all cylinders and the performance this night is pure pleasure. Beyond the stuff you expect to be great, the show offers a stellar version of "Factory" with a heartfelt intro about his father from Bruce. "Sandy" is very much in season and "Growin' Up" feels especially joyful. "Backstreets" includes a good bit of "Drive All Night" lyrics and the show closes with a guest appearance from the man who would be Holly, Gary Busey, taking the lead vocal on "Rave On" and sticking around for "Quarter to Three."

Thanks once again to the ER Archive for opening up the vault doors and sharing this recording with the fans. Feel free to let him know how you feel in the comments.

The ER Archive will return.

Wayne Darlington for JEMS and the ER Archives

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