Title - The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts [2CD/BR]
Artist - Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band
Sony Music Entertainment’s Premium Content Division, in partnership with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, has announced The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts, a Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band film featuring ten never-before released performances from the Madison Square Garden MUSE benefit concerts, and full footage of the band’s entire setlist for the first time.
Edited by longtime Springsteen collaborator Thom Zimny from the original 16mm film alongside remixed audio from Bob Clearmountain, The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts represent the highest quality and best recorded Bruce Springsteen performances from an explosive, ascendant and rarely-filmed era of the E Street Band.
The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts film will be released in HD on physical formats November 19th, 2021 including on two CD with DVD, two CD with Blu-Ray (of which we have been sent for review here today) and two LP formats.
The film will be available globally in HD for digital download on November 16th, 2021 and digital rental on November 23rd, 2021.
1. Prove It All Night
3. The Promised Land
4. The River
5. Sherry Darling
6. Thunder Road
8. Rosalita Come Out Tonight
9. Born To Run
11. Detroit Medley
12. Quarter To Three
13. Rave On
A composite of two performances captured during the multi-day ‘No Nukes’ concerts, the film packs the intensity of a marathon Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band show into a crackling 90 minute run-time.
If you like your Bruce Springsteen young, raw, deeply-angst ridden and yet wholly embodying everything that New Jersey could offer a musician with the Golden Ticket to legendary musicianship status, then ladies and gentlemen, this live performance has all that you could ever wish to flashback to ... and oh so much more!
Opening on the penultimate song from his fourth, and some might say best studio album Darkness on the Edge of Town, the feisty Prove It All Night (which comes with the imbedded message that success requires sacrifice) leads the way and is backed supremely by the leadoff track from that very same album, the raucous teen angst of Badlands.
Next up is actually the third single from that album - after both opening tracks - the harmonica-driven beauty The Promised Land, and then comes one of my own all-time Springsteen favorites, a then-unreleased version of The River (off of what was Springsteen’s only double album) and the lively Sherry Darling (which had been purposely left off Darkness to help fill The River run time), which are backed by the opening track on his breakthrough album Born to Run, the breathtaking Thunder Road.
Along next is one of the true stand out cuts from this live recording, the closing song on Springsteen’s Born to Run, and a track that also contains one of E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons’ most recognizable solos, Jungleland is played to a baying audience and is followed by a 12 minute Rosalita, from his quite brilliant The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle album.
Up next is another thundering highlight, the energized, sweaty and street fighting, pulsating Born to Run and then Springsteen introduces his special guests Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and Rosemary Butler on stage for their group collective rendition of the 1960 song by Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, Stay.
Being from Detroit, Springsteen and his ensemble’s 10 minute Detroit Medley (featuring: Devil with the Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly / C.C. Rider / Jenny Take A Ride) is something to truly behold, and then the recording rounds out with the Gary U.S. Bonds-sung, Quarter To Three (a track that was sung regularly by Springsteen as a show closer on the Born to Run and Darkness tours), closing on a rousing cover of Buddy Holly’s Rave On.
The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts were captured while Springsteen and the E Street Band were in the midst of recording The River and just after the conclusion of their breakout 1978 Darkness Tour, marking a rare chance to witness the future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers comprehensively in the heart of their reputation-making rise.
Captured during an ascendant, but rarely-filmed period for Springsteen and the E Street Band, the footage in The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts marks the highest quality and most comprehensive live experience from the heart of the band’s reputation-making rise.
Highlights from the 90 minute set include the live debut of The River, guest appearances from Tom Petty and Jackson Browne, Springsteen’s on-stage 30th birthday celebrations, an exuberant cover-packed grand finale and live favorites Born To Run, Badlands and Thunder Road.
Noted film producer Jon Kilik, who served in the camera crew for the No Nukes concerts and penned liner notes for this release, reflects that “... magic was in the air. The energy on stage and from the crowd was beyond measure and description.”
Much of all that is born out in the footage that still to this day showcases a man seemingly always at the top of his game. His brisk stage darting along with youthful gusto, let alone his still developing growl, are in full view, although he himself does freely admit that even back then he was weary of his age: “I can’t go on like this. I’m 30 years old! My heart’s about to go on me!”
Watching the live show now here on Blu-ray, you get to see just how controlled, yet vivacious Max Weinberg’s hard drum swing was and along with showcasing (and rightly so) Clarence Clemons’ R&B sax, the camera also focuses on the careening, intensified key work of both Danny Federici and Roy Bittan.
The entire group, the entire stage entourage is happy and even though they knew that collectively re: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band had already amassed a wondrously deep catalog of hit singles and beloved album cuts, they purposefully remained connected with their audience by bringing them nothing short of one of the greatest rock’n’roll hits events ever to be created.
Pivotally, Springsteen was not one of the founders of Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), the organization behind the No Nukes concerts in the fall of 1979.
Those people were actually Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, and John Hall (a member of the soft-rock outfit Orleans, best known for their 1976 hit Still the One, who would later be elected to the House of Representatives).
MUSE was formed in the wake of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, a disaster that had consumed headlines that spring. In another twist of fate, the Three Mile Island tragedy inspired Springsteen’s Roulette, a cathartic ode that was the first song cut during the sessions for his 1980 album The River; but lay dormant until it was released as a B-side in 1988.
“A few years ago, I started re-examining the filmed archives for Bruce and the Band’s appearances at the No Nukes concerts of 1979,” said Thom Zimny. “I quickly realized that these were the best performances and best filming from the Band’s legendary Seventies, and dedicated myself to bringing out the full potential of the footage.”
“Having worked as Bruce’s principal director and editor for the last 20 years, I can say without reservation that this newly re-edited, re-mixed and restored ninety minute film is the gold standard for Bruce and the Band live during one of their greatest creative periods.”
“The Seventies were a golden period in the history of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and the Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts is the greatest document of that era we will ever have,” said Jon Landau.
“It’s a pure rock show from beginning to end, the energy level is transcendent, and the mastery of the art and the craft of rock music is awe inspiring.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to give audiences around the world the opportunity to witness these groundbreaking performances,” said Tom Mackay, President, Premium Content, Sony Music Entertainment. “‘The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts’ is a rare opportunity to experience an event that became an instant classic and marked a pivotal moment for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.”
Official Purchase Links
Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band - The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concert [Official Trailer]