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The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were recorded at the September 1979 MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) benefit concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This 2 LP set features 13 songs performed over two nights, that are newly remixed and remastered. This gatefold package includes a 24-page book with rare photos and memorabilia, an essay and a 33" x 19" poster.
The No Nukes concerts came nine months after the end of Springsteen's breakout tour in support of Darkness On The Edge Of Town in 1978, the year when the legend of Springsteen's marathon shows was born.
Bruce and the band were in the Big Apple already to record the follow-up to Darkness and took a break from the sessions to support the worthy cause, organized by Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, and Bonnie Raitt. That support - "for a non-nuclear future" - marked the beginning of Bruce's public activism that continues to this day. When Springsteen and the E Streeters took the Garden stage on September 21 and 22, the country was still not even six months past the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history, the partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania.
Along with a sense of urgency for the cause, there was pent-up energy to expend. Following their reputation-making year on the road in '78, MUSE brought Springsteen and the E Street Band back for essentially their only gigs of '79, which seemed to light an additional fire under the performers - and under Springsteen fans too, who flocked to the Garden for this special opportunity. The No Nukes shows also coincided with Bruce's 30th birthday, making the occasion that much more special.
The resulting performances capture the electricity of the Darkness tour and preview Springsteen's new writing, while packing the intensity of one of those epic, three-hour concerts into 90 crackling minutes. The set includes the world premiere of "The River", which would go on to be the title track of Springsteen's double album of the same name the following year. Though the song was new to the band and unknown to the crowd, you wouldn't know it from this powerful, moving debut.
The 1979 MUSE concerts yielded a concert film, No Nukes, released theatrically in 1980, which gave fans their first opportunity to see Springsteen live on screen, even for just a few songs, along with many other artists on the all-star bill. Between the film and a concurrent triple-LP live album released by Asylum Records, still only a smattering of Springsteen's performances from this high profile event were part of the official record.
For this project, director/editor and longtime Springsteen collaborator Thom Zimny recovered and restored the original No Nukes camera film footage in HD. Zimny's cut features all 13 songs Bruce performed over the two nights, ten never before seen. "The River" and the unreleased "Sherry Darling" gave a taste of Springsteen's next album, joined by live favorites "Prove It All Night", "Badlands", "The Promised Land", "Thunder Road", "Jungleland", "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" and "Born To Run".
The thrilling "Detroit Medley", Springsteen's Mitch Ryder tribute (combining "Devil With A Blue Dress On", "Jenny, Jenny", "C.C. Rider" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly"), was a highlight of the No Nukes album and garnered radio airplay, but it did not appear in the original movie. Cover songs like these have always helped fuel the rock 'n' roll frenzy of E Street Band concerts; also featured are their renditions of Gary U.S. Bonds' "Quarter To Three", Buddy Holly's "Rave On" and Maurice Williams' "Stay", featuring Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and Rosemary Butler. The audio is remixed from multitrack masters by Bob Clearmountain.
More than 40 years later, No Nukes is a chance to witness the future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers just six years into their story, on the cusp of superstardom as their live legend grew, based precisely on explosive performances like these, with something to prove all night.
The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts offers an uncut dose of pure rock'n'roll. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band were by then amassing a deep catalog, but they remained connected with their audience through the common vernacular of old hits. Those familiar choruses and hooks are warhorses, but the E Street Band uses them as a vehicle for transcendence. Years of similar performances haven't diminished the power of this one: It has a distinctive blend of magic and might, the sound of a band who knows theyve hit their stride and still gets giddy at the noise they make. Its a bar band delivering communion.
- Double LP
- Recorded September 1979 at the MUSE benefit concerts in NYC
- Entire 90 minute performance
- Remixed from multitrack masters by Bob Clearmountain
- Embossed gatefold jacket
- 24-page book with rare photos
- 33" x 19" poster
- Prove It All Night
- The Promised Land
- The River
- Sherry Darling
- Thunder Road
- Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
- Born To Run
- Detroit Medley
- Quarter To Three
- Rave On