Lossless Bootleg Bonanza: Bruce Springsteen – Union, NJ (09/22/74)

bruce springsteen - union new jersey - 1974

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Kean College
Union, NJ
September 22, 1974
JEMS Archive

Download: FLAC/MP3

Audience Recording (equipment unknown) by The Big A

JEMS 2012 transfer: master cassette (TDK D-180) > Nakamichi CR-7A >
Sound Devices USBPre2 > Audacity 2.0 (24/96) capture > iZotope RX
click repair > Peak 6.0 with iZotope Ozone 5.0 (speed corrected) >
resample 16/44.1 via iZotope MBIT+ > FLAC

01 Spirit In The Night
02 Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?
03 The E Street Shuffle > Having A Party
04 For You
05 Saint In The City
06 Cupid
07 Kitty’s Back
08 Sandy
09 Rosalta
10 A Love So Fine (A Night Like This) > Shout

JEMS is very pleased to issue this previously uncirculated recording
of an historically important and otherwise unheard show.

The recording from Kean College in Union, NJ is now the earliest
document we have of the “new look” E Street Band featuring Max
Weinberg on drums and Roy Bittan on piano. According to the essential
Brucebase Wiki, this free, outdoor show (which took place behind the
student center) was the fourth date played by the new line-up,
predating by 12 days Avery Fisher Hall, October 4, which had been the
first circulating recording with Max and Roy.

It gives us a fascinating glimpse into a period of transition for
Springsteen. As such, some of the arrangements heard here are
distinctive as the reconfigured band sorts out how to play the “basic”
set. While Bruce had previously performed songs in early 1974 that
would later appear on Born to Run, the only new material essayed at
Kean is a unique version of the Born to Run outtake “A Love So Fine,”
still in such an embryonic state that the chorus sung isn’t “a love so
fine” at all, but another title rumored to have been recorded for BTR:
“A Night Like This.” He also tags the end of the song with several
lyrics from the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.” According to Brucebase, by
the time the song is played again at Avery Fisher, the chorus had
changed to “A Love So Fine” for keeps.

The Kean tape also captures the earliest known cover of Sam Cooke’s
“Cupid” and a particularly punchy full-band version of “For You,” a
song Springsteen performed solo throughout most of 1974-75. Nearly
every track here is a little different than you’re used to given that
two of the band members are still learning their parts.

Our generous taper, The Big A, says he used a “standard-for-the-time,
no-frills, fat-paperback-sized Radio Shack-type tape recorder with a
built-in mike” to record the show. That description seems to match the
tape, which has hallmarks of ALC (automatic level control) where the
first note of a song starts out loud and a bit distorted before the
level adjusts. There are some distorted frequencies in the recording
and it is not as good as the very best we have of the era. But
considering the circumstances (it was the first Bruce show he ever
taped), the outdoor venue, the gear, the PA volume, etc. it is quite a
listenable document of the performance. We worked hard to improve the
sound, but most of what you hear is just what it is. Samples provided.

Very special thanks to The Big A for loaning JEMS the master tape and
to the ER Archive, who had a copy of the show that helped lead us to
the master.


3 thoughts on “Lossless Bootleg Bonanza: Bruce Springsteen – Union, NJ (09/22/74)

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