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I've been a Bruce Springsteen fan for many years.  I almost became a lapsed fan this year; his latest album — Devils And Dust only received a couple of spins in my CD player and I honestly haven't listened to any of his music since late April or early May.  I didn't purchase the Storytellers DVD when it was released in August, nor have I downloaded any concert recordings since the Spring.  His activities just haven't seemed interesting to me lately; I've been in a different place musically and lyrically for quite some time.

However, this past Tuesday's release of Born To Run:  30th Anniversary Edition may help bring me back to the fold.  The record's nine-and-a-half- minute masterpiece, "Jungleland," has been my favorite song — by any performer — since the first time I heard it on the radio sometime during my high school years.  The lyrics really spoke to me and the variety of music within that one song sums up all I think is great about The E Street Band.  I've always thought of "Jungleland" as rock & roll's version of West Side Story.  The rest of the album is pretty remarkable as well.

The reissue of the album includes one CD (just the original eight songs — no bonus tracks), digitally-remastered for the first time, plus two DVD's — one featuring a documentary about the making of album featuring all sorts of previously-unseen footage (even for fanatical bootleg collectors like myself) and the other including one of his two Hammersmith Odeon, London, concerts from November 1975.  Although this concert footage has been bootleged, in part, for years (in a mixture of black & white and color footage), it will be wonderful to see the entire show restored to it's orginal running order and mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound.

My copy arrived in today's mail (a little disappointed that it didn't arrive on release day since I'd preordered it a couple of months ago).  The packaging is pretty cool — a large box housing the three discs, each of which are in miniture gatefold sleeves (they were individually shrinkwrapped, however, kind of a waste of plastic if you ask me).  The CD itself is designed to look like a small record, complete with grooves and Columbia red label; even the non-label side is black (I imagine this is what the recent Japanese "mini-LP" reissues look like, but since those are so expensive and I own the original CD's, I haven't bought any of those!).

I may check out the documentary tonight but won't watch the concert until tomorrow when I can turn up the volume a bit more.  And I'll definitely check out the remastered "Jungleland" first before playing the rest of the CD; I want to see if they've finally removed that bed of hiss underlying all other releases (even the gold disc released 10 years or so ago).  Will the song sound any different without the hiss?  We'll see.  But I'm sure it will still move me the same way it does whenever I hear it.  What a grand way to begin listening to Springsteen again.  It's been too long...