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I just finished (finally) watching the documentary on the making of the Born To Run album included in the 30th anniversary package.  It actually got bumped down in rotation by Madagasgar and Star Wars Episode III (which shows how much Springsteen has fallen in my "priorities" recently).  (By the way, I was a bit disappointed in Madagascar — loved the penquins, though — and thoroughly enjoyed Star Wars; this was the first installment that I hadn't seen in the theatre first.)

Anyway, I thought the Wings For Wheels documentary was very well-done and a real treat for long-time fans.  I did feel it was a tad too long (just hitting the 90-minute mark) and that I would have edited it slightly differently (too many shots of Bruce driving to Freehold, for example).  There's A LOT of previously-unseen footage, not only of the E Streeters working in the studio but also of live footage.  I'd expected some shots of the Hammersmith Odeon concert to be worked in from time-to-time, but there was also plenty of footage from other concerts from that era (including, significantly, a snipet of the slowed-down version of "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" that was only performed during late December 1975 shows at Philadelphia's Tower Theatre).  It was interesting to see that they used a bit of audience-shot footage that has circulated among collectors for many years (that of Widener College in February 1975); really, the only previously-seen non-Hammersmith live footage included.

The parts I found most interesting was the playback of different versions of the "Born To Run" track — first the instrumental backing track, then portions as various instruments were added to the mix.  Portions of "Jungleland" were presented in a similar way, although I wish much more was included.  I would have preferred more of the other songs to have been included as well (we hear bits of "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out", "Backstreets", "She's The One," and several others but they aren't given the in-depth treatment as "Born To Run" and "Jungleland" are).

I felt it was interesting that Bruce's previous manager, Mike Appel, was included as well.  He was, afterall, an integral part of the production of the title track of the album before Jon Landau entered the picture.  They did dance around the controversy a bit and made no mention that a year later Bruce had to take Appel to court to gain rights to his own songs.  Among the things Appel did was legally prevent Springsteen from entering the studio to record the follow-up album to Born To Run until mid-1977.  You could tell all parties involved were careful not to bring up the bad blood that still exists among them to this day.

In whole, a very fine production.  That DVD also includes a significant bonus feature — three songs from the 1973 CBS Week Of Music convention at L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre.  Some of this footage was released in a three-minute promotional reel (interspersed with circus scenes) by Columbia in late 1973 but the (relatively) uncut songs hadn't seen outside of the convention.  Both "Spirit In The Night" and "Wild Billy's Circus Story" are presented in their entirety; "Thundercrack" fades out towards the end and, I believe, the band intros have been edited out (I can't remember if Bruce was doing his comical intros during that period; my favorite occurs during the song in a January 1974 performance).  But what's unexcusable is that the end credits list the wrong date (May 1, 1973) for the gig; it actually occurred in late July (the same version of "Wild Billy's Circus Story", then called "Circus Song", appeared on a promo single that September with the same wrong date but has since been proven by those Springsteen experts employing almost "forensic" detective work to have taken place on July 27).  This little mistake does leave kind of a bad feeling among some Springsteen fans — an unfortunate end to a great DVD.

Perhaps I'll listen to a bit of the CD and watch the Hammersmith Odeon concert sometime in the near future.  First, I'm looking forward to watching the new U2 live DVD which I got last night (I accidentally purchased the one-disc version, forgetting until I arrived home that there's also a 2-disc deluxe version which I would prefer.  And, speaking of U2, I recently found some VERY old Irish television footage of them performing two songs in 1978!  They look so young!)