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Insightful extras drive Springsteen's will ride.

BORN TO RUN: 30TH ANNIVERSARY

A Columbia Records release. DVDs produced, directed, edited by Them Zimny.

With: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Release: Nov. 15

Three-disc set: $39.98

Proving that alternate takes and B-sides aren't always the illuminating force that some reissues stake their pride on, Columbia Records has enhanced the greatness of Bruce Springsteen's breakthrough album with an insightful "making of" docu and an exceptional concert video from 1975.

Thorn Zimny's "Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run" follows Springsteen as he drives around Jersey shore towns and in the studio along with his current and former bandmates and manager-producers Mike Appel and Jon Landau. Their memories are focused, and Zimny produces a compelling tell-all that avoids only the friction between Appel and Landau.

Collectively, the interviewees paint a picture of a meticulously assembled record, an album designed to weather epochs. Epics, Springsteen avers, are assembled piece by piece, and whether it's the single note of a 12-string guitar, a lyric or even an extended solo, Springsteen made the decision to place it there.

Some of those decisions were made after six months of listening and altering the way sounds are layered on the record. It's especially fascinating to hear how a behemoth like "Jungleland" was actually calmed down sonically as instruments and passages were discarded in favor of a clean solo piano and Clarence Clemens' poetic solo, which Springsteen himself guided note by note.

"Born to Run" was very much about Springsteen shed! ding one skin and trying on another. He found an editor in Landau who provided support for Springsteen to blossom in the recording studio the way he had as a live act.

The set's live disc, filmed at London's Hammersmith Odeon just after "Born to Run" was finished, is a bracing document that captures Springsteen as a rock 'n' roll dynamo whose bag of material is about to set him on a new road.

Like so many of his shows that year, Springsteen and the E Street Band are a brilliant force unlike anything else on the concert stage. Few who saw him at that time didn't get religion, and this video is the first official glimpse fans who joined the parade in the 1980s have to see what Springsteen was like before those songs became anthems, before he had a persona to live up to and before age and book-learning made him less wild and innocent.

This is Bruce Springsteen, a product of his environment, taking the idea of putting one long summer night into song and collecting it on a single work. Best of all, with all the new information, it makes "Born to Run" sound better than it ever has.

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Title Annotation:Born to Run: 30th Anniversary
Author:Gallo, Phil
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Video Recording Review
Date:Nov 28, 2005
Words:453
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