Whatever promise there was in Bruce Springsteen's Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. 1973 debut was long forgotten when his follow-up, The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle, tanked. Faced with the distinct possibility that another flop could be a career-ender, Springsteen set out to craft a hit record and wound up with the certified rock 'n' roll classic Born To Run.
While the eight songs from that album, which made Springsteen "the Boss," are here in brilliantly remastered form, the real selling point of the 30th Anniversary Edition boxed set is the remarkable story behind Springsteen's against-all-odds triumph that's laid out in the two accompanying DVDs. First, there's Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born To Run, a revealing behind-the-scenes documentary that includes candid running commentary by Springsteen, the insights of producers, managers and bandmates (Miami Steve provides comic relief) along with never-seen archival footage of the sleep-deprived conspirators trying desperately to piece together the Born To Run puzzle over the course of a year. The title track alone took six months! There's also a pro-shot concert film of Springsteen's storming London debut at Hammersmith Odeon in 1975 that captures that moment in transition when our man turned from Boardwalk bar band beardo to international rock superstar. Nice job.